For the sake of keeping people informed, that want to be informed, here's where we are now with Davey Dude:
We've been doing speech therapy now for almost 3 months. I'm so glad we decided to do it. The differences in Davey have been really great. He's so happy again. He's understanding what we're saying and he's able to communicate certain needs of his own. We still have a lot of work to do, but to see him happy and comfortable in his world, when he was starting to get so frustrated, it a relief beyond anything you can imagine.
About two weeks ago we got a phone call that the kids insurance was no longer going to pay for Davey's speech therapy. Speech delays, on their own, are not covered by our insurance anymore. I was immediately thrown back into this scary place where I had NO idea what to do. After reading our insurance manual (that thing is a monster), I found that if a behavioral psychologist and a pediatrician signed off on a speech therapy request, the insurance company would cover him. So we set up an appointment on Friday and lucked out that the behavioral psychologist had a cancellation this morning so we could get in right away.
These appointments with a behavioral psychologist are crazy in depth. Three hours of questions on top of questions while we watch to see how he plays with toys. It's enough to make you go insane because all you're thinking about is "Can we get to the end of this so you can tell me what we're up against?" And then of course, three hours later, the psychologist couldn't tell us anything. She wanted to meet with his speech therapist to compile all of the information she could to pinpoint exactly what's going on. What she would tell me is that if he does have autism it's very slight and that it wouldn't even be under the umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Apparently there are cases of autism that just barely qualify as autism, but aren't in the spectrum. It's very confusing. It could also be something called P.D.D., or Pervasive Defiant Disorder. It seems like P.D.D. and O.D.D. (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) are disorders that ride the line of autism but cannot be classified as autism. Basically, besides the delay in speech, Davey doesn't get rewards and consequences. He doesn't care about them. This isn't to say he's a defiant kid or unruly. He's quite the opposite. He's one of the easiest kids. He's so pleased with everything. But unless it's something he's interested in, he won't attend to it. If you asked Davey to clean up his room so he can earn a sticker, he wouldn't care about the sticker. This can become a problem when he reaches school age because if a teacher says "It's circle time", even if Davey knows what circle time means, he doesn't make the connection that it's something he needs to go do, even if he's not interested. Does that make sense? It barely does to me.
Everything has been a roller coaster lately. I've been anxious and overly worried. And I guess that's typical, whether or not your child is going through any of this. I do feel a sense of peace after today though. Because Davey is happy. I measure success in life by happiness. Davey is living a successful life as a 3 year old. The rest of this stuff, the behaviors, the speech, it can be learned. My dad said something to me (well several things) that really stuck : "Everybody has something". And that's so true. Charlie had her thing, she may have more things. I've had anxiety and depression, my brother has OCD, I have friends who have a variety of medical issues - we all have something.
With all of that said, I'm just thinking about how grateful I am. It sounds weird, because we all want the best for our kids, but I'm kind of glad my kids have hit the big bumps in their road so early. I want so badly for them to value life and enjoy life and understand that even though it's hard, it's also really, really fun. And I feel like they've been so fortunate to learn that lesson so early.
Don't let those hurdles knock you down, little soldiers. Mommy's got you.