One of the things that my husband and I get asked a lot is “Where did you start”, in reference to our youngest son’s diagnosis.
Now, I have to say that over the years I have figured out that some of our story is not typical, in that things kind of just…happened.
We talked with Wonder Boy’s pediatrician, she referred us to Early Intervention. As he aged out of EI services at age 3, we were fortunate to land a spot at the preschool we wanted him to attend. And when he was done there, he transitioned into an integrated classroom in the school district. I’m telling you, with him, things just happened in the ways we wanted.
Things were different for Speedy, and I find myself perpetually in a state of “where do we start” where he is concerned. Sure, he received a diagnosis- three, in fact. And it’s become clear to me that perhaps we have been seeking help in ever-so-slightly the wrong direction.
I believe, quite firmly, that several things which have happened in Speedy’s life have played a big part in the trauma-like responses that we get from him:
Quick, highly emotional responses
Reactions which do not match the situation
Fight or flight mode always set to fight
Always in a state of either protecting himself or hiding himself
Heightened fear response
Getting help for this is not so easy, and therefore we definitely are feeling like many families do: WHERE DO WE START???
We want him to feel good about himself, about his family, about his place in this world. So, after talking with a great many people about it, we will try therapy for him. And possibly for me as well. Because every single day I say to myself “I don’t know how to be who he needs me to be”, and that makes me both scared and sad.
Where to start? Trust your instincts. Do a LOT of research. Advocate. And if you feel that there are unanswered questions, continue moving through the people who may have the ability to provide the answers. We haven’t yet gotten there with Speedy, but I have no doubt we will.