Early Intervention (i.e. Birth to Three) is over. Done. No more home visits from the school district. It's weird to have a part of your life that been such a regular thing just end. I learned a lot from Elijah's therapists. They cheered along with us, they cried with me during hard times, encouraged me often, and gave us priceless knowledge on how to help our son. Thanks for everything ladies! :) I so appreciate everything you've done for us.
The next step is Preschool. Elijah will be attending two days a week for two and a half hours (a total of five hours a week). Sending our kiddo to preschool is a hard one for me, mostly because I don't think I would have sent him to preschool sans-special-needs. I had always thought I'd homeschool until it was time for kindergarten, but who knows what we would've done if our life was different. I simply need a change in my preconceived notions and expectations (something I'm working on!).
The bottom line is that I think preschool will be good for Elijah. He loves kids. He'll be in the special needs class and he'll continue to get speech, OT, and PT during school. I'm going to miss him, of course, but I think that it'll be a good thing for both of us.
He starts school next Tuesday, which is seemingly really late compared to all of our blogging friends. I am glad we still have a week for me to become accustomed to this notion. Let's face it, I'm really attached to this kid. I have no idea what I'm going to do with myself after I drop him off at his class next Tuesday.
The biggest change in Elijahland is that we've started a therapy called Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). I wrote about Elijah possibly having another diagnosis called PDD-NOS back in October 2009. I can't believe it's been that long already. Elijah now officially has the PDD diagnosis, which puts him on the autism spectrum. Essentially it means that Elijah has some autistic characteristics, but not all of them. This'd be why I wrote this post about Elijah's diagnosis collection. It can be overwhelming at times.
Now, to be clear, we've been told his PDD is a result of his brain injury. The way we understand it is this - because of his impairments, Elijah has found things to do with his time that he can do. He has impaired vision and very impaired fine motor skills, so there isn't much he can do to play on his own. He's figured out what he can do to fill his time, which most often means banging on things, spinning, and mouthing nonfood items, etc.
Elijah's developmental pediatrician recommended we try ABA for Elijah, which honestly kind of threw me for a loop. I thought our lives were calming down some and now a doctor was recommending a therapy that would mean at minimum a commitment of 25 hours a week. But when I clarified, "So you think ABA would help Elijah?" He said, "ABA WILL help Elijah." That was it. We would try it.
So trying it, we are. (Oooh, that makes me sound all yoda-like). It's been quite the road to get here, but I'm glad we've made the decision to give it a chance. We haven't been doing it for long, but we've already been noticing some positive changes. I will be sharing more about our experiences with ABA in the near future.
So, yeah...no more Early Intervention, Preschool starting soon, and getting ABA underfoot. It's been a crazy life lately with a lot of changes in our household. I have such mixed emotions about it all, but mostly I'm excited to see where these new paths will direct us.