Monthly Archives: November 2013

The reason I don’t win anything

This past weekend I was doing what all competitive team parents must do at some point:
The Pub Night.
I know some people really enjoy it, and honestly it wasn’t bad at all–the company was fun!

It was also the first snowfall of the season that day and it kept a lot of people home. (Why do the forecasters always create so much drama over the potential maybe’s of a storm and basically shut the town down for a couple of cm?)

So it was quieter than we had expected and the bids on our silent auction items weren’t quite as vigorous as we’d hoped.

We were joking that with the lack of bids we would all end up going home with something, and I turned to my friend beside me and said that it wouldn’t matter, because I never really win anything.

She said to me that she never did either and that was ok. Because we have everything that we need in our lives, so we don’t need to win anything

Well. Um. Yeah.

So instead of complaining any further about it, I changed my view. I have everything I could possibly want. Three awesome children, an incredible husband, a silly dog, a four bedroom home, a van (yes I’m even grateful for the van!), and wonderful in-laws. Who could honestly ask for anything more?

Thank you to my fantastic friend for pointing out the obvious when I obviously needed it.

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Life’s Lessons

Although my recent posts have all been about autism and the challenges we are facing, we do have two other children as well. Our daughter at who 10 years old is a competitive dancer who is more graceful than I will ever be. When I say grace I do mean physical grace (I’m clumsy enough to fall into a half empty pool in winter, but that’s a story for another day 🙂 but I also mean that she has an emotional grace, handling peer-to-peer situations with grace and respect in a manner that I never could have achieved at her age.

A couple of weeks ago she showed her emotional grace in a way I hadn’t foreseen.

This is her third year of dancing competitively. Her first year, she was in two group routines. Last year she was invited to three group routines. This year we were thrilled for her to be invited to be in five group routines. Our pocketbooks didn’t share much of that joy, but that is a choice we made.

Before I go any further, anyone who thinks that I am a “dance mom” aka the horrible show on lifetime, please get over that. Our daughter chose dance (frankly I always pictured myself as a soccer mom) and chose to do competitive. We do not push her, though maybe we should have a bit.

You see, the envelopes indicating the small group, duets and solos that dancers were invited to came out a few weeks ago.

Our daughter was devastated to not receive one. She expected that this would be her year for a duet. I thought she was on track for it too, though I wasn’t positive.

Our studio is adamant that they won’t push a dancer beyond their abilities. Judges at competitions can be downright mean, and there is no point subjecting a young dancer to that nastiness.

So, when I walked my sobbing daughter to the owner of the studio to talk about it, she was met with a gentle yet firm answer: Watch your posture and be consistent.

That night there was lots of talking about it and why it had to happen to her. I felt awful for her that night. My poor baby. I of course had mommy guilt for not pushing her harder, though hubby did point out that had I tried, she would have pushed back and likely not done it. This way, he said, she would really learn her lesson about hard work. Sigh. What a way to learn that lesson.

The next morning she was quiet, so I didn’t ask her much. In fact it wasn’t until we were in the van after school heading to dance that she told me she had made up her mind. Oh? I asked wondering, as parents are known to do, just what I was about to hear.

“I’m going to make them realize that they made a mistake!” she said with determination. That’s my girl! She had her cry, thought about how to fix the issue and realized that she will have to prove herself. I’m proud that it’s her choice and not something I’ve pushed her to do. By giving her that space, I think and hope, that she will have learned the value of work ethic and not have to keep learning it over and over.

And by choosing not to wallow in her sadness, but to turn it into a positive effort to change, at ten she has shown an emotional grace that many adults are incapable of.

That’s my girl.

The Waiting Game

So, we’ve been put on several wait lists, and are waiting for other appointments.
One intake put us on a central wait list for services in 12-18 months!
One intake lead to another intake in two weeks to then put us on a wait list.
Our developmental ped can see us in five-six weeks.
We see a consultant in two weeks.
Our homeopath sees us though next week. Always easy to get in to services that you pay out of pocket for!

We are exhausted by all of this. His meltdowns are draining for us, and terrifying for the younger two. Our baby has night terrors/nightmares each time there has been a crazy meltdown. Our daughter was late for dance again last night as we both drove all over the place looking for our son who took off and decided to walk home in the dark without really knowing how he was getting there or getting in (did I mention it was around zero?)

The school is working with us. And the SERT and Principal are working with the teachers, especially the one who has never dealt with autism (a hazard for sure when you put your child in French Immersion as traditionally any extra needs have been de-streamed out even if it’s not in the child’s best interest. We fought against that, but now sometimes have teachers who have never had to accommodate a student in twenty years of teaching!)

Basically we are tired, worn out and dreading our upcoming weekend holiday that was booked before this latest eruption of behaviours.

Wanted: EA support

The last few weeks have been so hard. Our eldest son is really struggling. Our attempts at getting help have been partly successful. His pediatrician saw him within five days of our call, and gave us some really good advice. She is an old fashioned kind of doctor who sits with you and takes notes and does not hold her script pad at the ready. She has ordered some blood work to see if there are any other underlying conditions going on, and is ready to support our push for EA support to be returned.

The youth support system moves in slow motion. We are still waiting for our intake appointment (which is scheduled for Friday, two weeks after we called) though I did speak with a worker. She was friendly and nice but couldn’t offer anything until after we work through the system. Sigh.

Meetings at the school have been productive and helpful, though the biggest issue is EA support. The school is maxed out with younger children who need support and there is no one left to support our son.

So my question this week is:

Does anyone have experience convincing the school board that their child needs an EA when the school is “at capacity” with EA’s?

Thanks!