Posts Tagged ‘special needs’

Just the other day, I was having a conversation with a friend who was telling me about all of the interesting things that go on in his neighborhood. He mentioned how he liked his neighborhood and all the quirkiness that comes with it. Such as a gentleman neighbor on the corner who wears spandex all the time. Or the girl from across he street who is always barging in my friend’s house forgetting the fact that it’s important to knock first. And lets not forget about the 60 yr- old woman from 3 doors down who is always chasing her disobedient puppy down the street while in her underwear. There were many other interesting features about my friend’s neighborhood. Features that actually have a resemblance of an episode of “Desperate Housewives”, but I won’t go into that. Sorry 😉

I said to my friend, “Wow, my neighborhood is dull in comparison.” I added, ” There’s nothing all that entertaining going on in this cul-de-sac”.  Then I pondered a little.  Well, there is that one gray house with the Christmas lights still up.  Yes!  That gray house with that family of 4!  One of the little boys in that family likes to walk this red bike around the cul-de-sac over and over again. He doesn’t even ride it! Every once in a while, you will see this same little boy run out in the front yard in nothing but his boxer shorts and socks! Sometimes he’ll do this in the dead of winter! Then his poor mom ends up chasing him all around the front  yard untill he jumps into the back seat of their car and locks the door so his mom can’t get him.  The mom just shrugs her shoulders and walks back in the house. As soon as the mom does that,  this boy will jump out of the car and run back into the house….but what happened to his boxer shorts???! Did he take them off in the car?  Sometimes I notice them in the driveway the  very next day. 

I notice this little boy has an older brother.  He doesn’t do the streaking-outside thing but I notice he is quite loud. I can tell whenever they are on their trampoline in the back yard.  Sounds like a hyena is being tortured but I know it’s just him having fun on the trampoline.  

Then the husband. Seems like a nice family man and a great provider.  But would it kill him to take the rest of the Christmas lights down so his poor wife doesn’t have to?  She’s the one who puts them up every year.  Poor, poor woman. 

Yes, this gray house keeps our neighborhood very interesting.  Would it surprise you to know  that me and my family are the occupants of this gray mad house?  

I often wonder what perspective my neighbors have regarding the madness that spills out the front door on an almost daily basis.  But then again, I don’t think I want to know entirely.  One thing I know about my neighbors is that they are all precious! They are not judgmental like many people.  My neighbors practically have front row seats to a great deal of what goes on outside.  They probably lost count of how many times Matt has launched his backpack in the middle of the street because it wasn’t fitting just right.  But they don’t judge.  They show love, acceptance, and grace.  We are lucky.  The neighbors directly across the street happen to have a son with Autism Spectrum Disorder who is grown up. They remind me that they’ve been there.  They know.  Even our neighbors who don’t understand the challenges of raising a child like Matthew-they still love. They still care. They don’t ever criticize or pretend he’s not there.  Not too many people in my shoes can say that about their neighbors.



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So, I have been putting off blogging about Matthew’s big Autism evaluation.  In my very first blog post, I mentioned a long anticipated autism evaluation was going to be preformed on Matt  scheduled  February 9th.  http://mygreatvillage.com/2009/11/19/hello-world/.

Well, that day has come and gone. In fact two weeks have gone by since the appointment.  The long 9 hour appointment that we were blessed to have his teacher and a family friend attend.  What was the big reason for this appointment?  To find out if he has autism?  Well, that is a given.  We know he has autism so why waste the money and the long drive to be told something that we already know?  It’s because I felt there was something more than just autism going on.  There had to be! If not, then why is it that in spite our efforts to help make Matt’s world more predictable, he still rages.  Several times a day even!  I have constantly been told, “Identify his triggers.”  Everything is a trigger! I don’t say that as an exaggeration.  

So what did this 9 hour long evaluation consist of? It consisted of doctors, therapists, surveys to fill out, interviews, and lots and lots of waiting.  At the end of the day, all participants of the evaluation–minus child and parents–gather together with their notes and come up with a result: The report.   This report, which is a rough draft, is then shared with the parents during the final meeting.  This is what I have been anticipating for the past 4 months. “Your child does indeed fit the criteria for PDD-NOS (Pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified.)”  I am shocked. “But isn’t that the higher-functioning end of the Autism spectrum?”, I asked. “I always thought of Matt as being more moderate because of  his behaviors.'”

The doctor explained that when  adding up everything Matt did in fact meet the criteria for autism.  But at the higher functioning level.  She said the reason he appeared to be lower functioning is because of his explosive behavior.  She also said his explosive behavior is the cause of another disorder, not just autism.  Anxiety.  I told her I thought  that all kids on the spectrum have anxiety.  She said that while yes, this is true, Matt’s anxiety issues are much more severe and at a level that doesn’t match typical autism anxiety. 

This took me a while to process as you can imagine.  I felt a tiny bit of relief.  Relief that we weren’t failing Matt.  We were doing everything we could to help his autism…….but it’s his anxiety that overpowers everything.  Soon relief turned to grief.  Now what?  Modify his medication, of course.  What else?  The doctor STRONGLY suggested Intense Behavior Therapy. Hmmm ok, I will just go shopping for some of that as soon as we get back into town. I asked her what that was?  She really didn’t offer anything.  She suggested I check around our community and see whats available.  In her defense, she doesn’t realise we live in Hicksville USA.  Not a big city like Portland. 

So, that is where we are today.  Matt is now taking a whole Mirtazapine tablet instead of just 1/2. Thats Plan A.  We are still making phone calls and trying to figure out where the heck to find an Intense Behavioral Specialist.  That is also part of Plan A. 

 Those who know me well know that I usually like to have a plan B in case plan A falls through.  Plan B will be Prozac instead of Mirtazapine and maybe even a MORE intense behavior specialist (haha).  Plan C will be Valium…..thats for me. Stay tuned.

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