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From my son’s first diagnosis of speech delay, we have done every kind of therapy recommended. I believe that the more help my child receives the more successful he will be.
Speech delay and some learning delay equaled speech therapy and occupational therapy. Autism diagnosis equaled ABA – Applied Behavioral Analysis. This meant every day after school for 2 hours my son receives behavioral therapy. It’s great for him. He works on different skills and gets homework done. The therapy vendor that works with C offers Social Group. It’s a therapy session once a week. It is with a group of peers, in a clinic setting for 2.5 hours. We did that for over a year.
Here is an example of our schedule:
Monday, Tuesday, and Friday: School 8:30-2:41, ABA 3:45-5:45,
Wednesday: School 8:30-2:41, Social group (clinic setting, 45 minute drive one way) 3:30-5:45,
Thursday: School 8:30-2:41, Speech Therapy (30-45 minute drive one way) 3:30-4:30
This was a doable schedule and it worked fine…until my littlest one was born.
Two days a week for 30 minutes to an hour drive (depending on traffic) I have 3 kids of different ages, attitudes, wants, needs and schedules with me.
Those drives became so difficult! Not just difficult but unbearable. It was always stressful for me and the kids. There was yelling and screaming. Naps or no naps (both situations can be a problem). Once we are at the clinic I need to entertain two kids. Then back on the road again. When we are home I have tired kids waiting for dinner and trying to do some homework. It was impossible. I ended up stressed out, worn out, and with a headache. I dreaded Wednesday and Thursday.
After careful consideration, praying and talking to others about this situation I came to a conclusion. I need to keep my sanity!
A healthy happy mama makes for healthy, happy kids!
I decided that something had to go.
Speech was going to stay. We would manage one trip a week.
Social Group was getting put on hold.
Wednesday we would just have a regular day at home. Maybe we would catch up on some homework, or run an errand, have more playtime, visit grandmas house.
But what about C’s therapy? I needed to choose the health of my self and my family. And that meant a little less therapy for C. And we are happier because of it.
I also asked his ABA tutor to include more social skill practice so C is not missing out completely.
As far as the speech therapy drive, I gave in to the iPad and Kindle (my opinion on screen time).I downloaded some of my kid’s favorite tv shows and movies. They each get a device. They watch, they switch with each other, they play games. For the most part, they are content. And the baby naps or just sits in her car seat quietly.
I found something that works for my family. And made a decision that was best for us instead of feeling the pressure that my son needs to get all the therapy that is offered out there.
My wish for you is that you mom, make a decision to take care of yourself first. Then you are better equipped to take care of them.
“It is God who arms me with strength, and keeps my way secure.” 2 Samuel 22:33