autism spectrum disorders - DS

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from stefani2. Show stefani2's posts

    Re: autism spectrum disorders - DS

    thank you all so much.  you've given me tremendous support and some great ideas for resources.  misslily - i'm so hopeful after reading about how you got through the hearing loss. 

    mm (or others) - can i trouble you with some specific Qs re: ABA?  i think we're on the right track to lining up ST and OT, but i'm really anxious about finding an ABA therapist to come to his school with him.  we will be in the town of cohasset in the fall and he's enrolled in a private montessori.  i'm going to research whether cohasset has a public preschool program that would get him the ABA services and IEP (thanks for the suggestion!) (though he doesn't turn 3 until Nov, so i don't think he's eligible this year - is that right?), but if public school isn't an option, i am on my own finding a therapist to go to Montessori with him.  MGH gave us a list of agency providers, but warned us that there are long waitlists.  did you go through this and are there other sources for therapists?  i have calls into every agency and haven't heard back yet, but i'm panicking - b/c DS at a montessori without a therapist is going to be a disaster based on his issues (non-functional play, focus on parts of toys, spinning toys/objects in his hands rather than pretend play - seemingly getting worse every day, but probably just b/c i'm hyper-aware of it now).  no matter where we send him, montessori or not, we need the ABA therapy - and this seems like the most important part of the "treatment".

    THANK YOU ALL.

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from wasMM379. Show wasMM379's posts

    Re: autism spectrum disorders - DS

    Stefani, I am on the South Shore, too.  I spoke with some great ABA providers in the area, but ultimately did not go with private ABA b/c of my insurance and b/c he is school eligible. 

    First off, please consider using South Shore Therapies in Weymouth and Pembroke for Speech and OT, if you aren't already connected with providers.  They are AMAZING with specialty in ASD and sensory integration!!!!!!!!!!  www.southshoretherapies.com

    For ABA, we also considered having the therapists work directly in our private childcare center (which our school was cool with and the therapists were willing to do)  Again, we ultimately did not go that route, but I spoke with Erica at the following and she was great!  http://piecingthepuzzle.org/ 
    I also believe this agency is opening a Cohasset branch: http://autisminterventionspecialists.com/ 
    Your insurance should also be able to provide you a listing of ABA specialists. 

    Honestly, i am super new at this myself, so there are tons of resources we are probably not aware of.  If you are in Cohasset, you will have access to a great school system, so definitely worth connecting with them the minute he turns 3 (even if you don't enroll him right away, it is good to at least connect as they WILL take time to do their own assessments and come up with a plan for future enrollment and may even offer "drop-in" services for some of the therapies or social groups)

    If you will be in Cohasset (I think you just moved are moving), not sure if you need a PCP.  Dr. Belknap in Cohasset is a developmental pediatrician, specializing in ASD, but can also be your children's PCP.  He also has psychologists and other specialists on staff.  I didn't need to access him, but I have heard very positive things: http://drbelknap.com/

    Since we are both on the south shore, if there is a way to private message on here, I'd be happy to provide you with my email so that we can directly compare notes/resources

     

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from tbracer39. Show tbracer39's posts

    Re: autism spectrum disorders - DS

    Even if he doesn't turn 3 until November, the public school has to take him as soon as he turns 3. They will most likely do an eval. and if he qualifies they would take him as soon as paper work is done. My son is 6 now but has an October birthday. He was in school by December receiving services the year he turned 3. They also waive the potty training requirement.

    Is your son enrolled in early intervention services? They should be helping you with preparing for the transition from EI to Preschool.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: autism spectrum disorders - DS

    I think the cutoff for services is technically 2 years, 9 months.  I could be wrong but I think that's when EI switches over.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from wasMM379. Show wasMM379's posts

    Re: autism spectrum disorders - DS


    Yes - I think Lissa and Tbracer are correct:  I would make contact wtih them now in preparation for 2.9/3yo. 

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from stefani2. Show stefani2's posts

    Re: autism spectrum disorders - DS

    i called the school and they said he wasn't eligible until the following fall (have to be 3 by 9/1).  but maybe once he turns 3 i can have him evaluated?

    mm, thank you for the s. shore specific tips!  i am thrilled you recco'd south shore therapies b/c yesterday i started the speech and occupational therapy process with them (intake meetings next week, followed by assessments, etc. - i guess).  i will contact the ABA providers you mentioned next - thank you!  what type of private program did you enroll your son in before he was eligible for preschool?  and what town are you in, if you don't mind saying?  i have a fake email address set up with my stefani2 account so i can't privately message but i could start a new screenname with real email account if you would be available to connect that way.  you're a g*dsend to me right now - thank you SO much.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from wasMM379. Show wasMM379's posts

    Re: autism spectrum disorders - DS


    Before you posted, I sent you a message on the tab for messages.  Can you check right on here under your account to see if you can read it?  I included my email, so then you can just email me directly.  If that doesn't work, let me know.  I think you can read the message on here without it going to your fake emial.

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from tbracer39. Show tbracer39's posts

    Re: autism spectrum disorders - DS

    I hope this doesn't come across as rude, but when you called did you specifcally state to the  school that your son would be in SPED and have an IEP? I know it's been a few years since we went through this, but I'm 99.9% sure they can't deny him services because he doesn't meet the 9/1 birthday deadline. They are required by law to make sure he has uninterupted services. 

    I can't copy and paste the document, but on the mass.gov education page there is a document for the Operation Standards of Early Intervention. If you go to Appendix A page 4 it clearly states what the school's responsibility is for working with IE to bridge the gap from termination of IE services at 3.

    I don't know if it's different rules where you aren't working with IE though. And I'm not sure how it works with private schools. Due to cost we've always dealt with public schools. Public school will also (or should) provide an extended year program as well. My son went to "summer school" 1/2 day for 3-4 days a week for 7 weeks over the summer. Not sure if private school will do this.

     

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: autism spectrum disorders - DS


    Yeah STefani - I'd check again with the public preschool. My public preschool took in kids all during the year as they'd reach age three. My children's class started with 12 kids and ended up with 15.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: autism spectrum disorders - DS

    I think I wouldn't send him to a Montessori school even if you get his therapists to go to the Montessori school to work with him.  I don't think Montessori is good for a child with autism  because of their focus on individual work - I think he'd be doing too much spinning and rolling of cars and the teachers aren't trained to be so involved in a child's work to intervene as much as they would have to. Also, they don't encourage all that much social interaction - yes, I know it happens, but when you have 20 preschool age children all working on their own mats on the floor or on their own tray at the table, it doesn't encourage him to speak with others, work out issues, etc.  And again, there is so much time when he'd be by himself, and for him he'd be off purpose.  I think there are good things about Montessori, I am NOT saying they aren't good programs, but I do think that wouldn't be a good fit for him, period.  For his sister? sure.  And I don't see any reason (other than the PITA of two drop offs) why they can't go to 2 different schools, where they each get what they need. yes, your daughter would be fine at a regular childcare center/preschool if it's a really good program, so she could be moved, but if you really like Montessori, I see no reason why you can't have your daughter go there. But I don't think it's a good match for a child on the spectrum. 

     

    At least, not this year - I'd like to see him at a regular preschool getting lots of help with his therapists (or at the public school preschool) for at least this year before even thinking of having him do Montessori.  But Montessori doesn't like kids to do just 1 year, they want them there for both 3 and 4 yr old years - it's intended as mixed age grouping.

    Remember that children often behave differently at school from home - it's more stressful in school because there are 12-16 other children and that probably stresses him out more than being at home in his environment with only 1 sister and a baby and 2 adults who get him.  So I'd trust the teachers, as much as I know this hurts to hear.  Or at least think that 80% is true.

    I admire how you have jumped on this and not stuck your head in the sand and ignored this, Stefani, good for you!  It's so hard to hear. Also, he might not be able to enter Kindergarten until he's 5 yrs old, which would be at 53/4 yrs but he should be able to get services - he'd just be in the preschool from November when he starts at 3 years of age for one more year than those children who are entering the same room at 31/2 yrs old - he will enter Kindergarten 2016, right?  At almost 6 years old?  And that's a great thing for a child with special needs, he'll have one more year to mature and have services before hitting "real school."

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml2620-2. Show ml2620-2's posts

    Re: autism spectrum disorders - DS

    In response to stefani2's comment:

    i'm a high achiever, type A non-touchy-feely person and typically approach things with the attitude "if something's wrong fix it immediately" and "if a behavior is undesirable stop it"


    Steph, I'm sorry you are going through this - and here I've been jealous of your twins and new baby, we all have our burdens, it's just plain strange and heartbreaking what joys and challenges life gives us sometimes.

    But I do want to say these traits you have that you are beating yourself up over are the very traits that got your son to an early diagnosis and will provide him with the most amazing advocate for his needs and best interests through out his life.

    You are going to be an amazing advocate, but you have to give yourself some time, like everyone else said, to mourn and to reimagine your new life. I think it's perfectly healthy and acceptable, and really a good idea to step back from the world right now and deal with it yourself behind closed doors. You'll think and say and feel all kinds of things that you will forget and move beyond, but your parents, or whoever you vent to (besides us) will not forget. I've been going through that recently, I would see a pregnant woman and just be so angry and jealous it would ruin my day (and everyone around me too), but I've allowed myself space and time and I am finally comfortable and content with the beautiful life I DO have. I'm blessed with what I have, and you are too.

    When I went to New Mom's Support group on maternity leave, one of the weekly speakers was a woman named Melissa Sessions. Super smart (Harvard MBA smart), powerful career woman, very type A and her son has ASD. She was amazing, just a regular mom talking about her experience and all they've managed to do for their son. Basically her message was that she wanted to speak to us before anything ever came up with our newborns, to know we would never be alone, the resources and networks are out there. Just knowing that in advance was such a comfort, and to this day (almost three years later), her business card still sits in my wallet (she told us to call if anything came up and we needed someone to talk to). Someday, when you are ready and able, you are going to be that kind of mom to ALL your children.

     

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