Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Entering a New Chapter of Motherhood

Yesterday, as the school psychologist left my home after reviewing Sarah's assessment with me, I realized that I was entering into a new chapter of motherhood.

My youngest daughter, Sarah will be turning three in March and will be phasing out of the 0 - 3 program that is government funded and has been providing therapy in our home two times a week. When a child turns three, there is a transition process that takes place so that another government funded agency can give proper services and therapy for the child to prepare him or her for school. And, after several hours of testing spread out into several sessions throughout the past couple of weeks, the 'professionals' have reported that my daughter will not be eligible for any services.

With one side of my heart I am relieved! I am thankful to know that we no longer need to have our weekly schedule spent doing therapy. I am also grateful that my daughter tested 'Superior' in language and cognitive skills. I mean, I should be proud, right? However, my concerns are honed in that along with those high results, she tested borderline and very low in social and emotional development. She also struggles with sensory issues as reported by the Occupational Therapist. This report only reiterates my original concerns for my child as I have lived this chapter of parenting several years ago with my oldest daughter, now age seven. My seven year old has Aspergers Syndrome, although, we didn't know that at the time. In fact, we just are learning about it as I key this post in.

Asperger Syndrome is such a tricky disorder that has taxed me as a mother. It has changed my life in ways that I could have never imagined. It has given me a mix of challenges and blessings. And, as I am still learning parent strategies to get through each day and learning to restructure my dreams for my oldest child's future, I now am seeing that both my daughters may be walking in the similar paths.

Life is all about choices. We chose what we will believe, how we will live and who we will be. Although I am tempted to chose to be a victim, befuddled, judged and in daily grief, I chose another window to look out from. I admit that there are days when I do glance from the darkened viewpoint and I am overrun with tears and isolation. I do let myself have healthy pity parties from time to time, I mean after all, it's only fair! I am hoping that the pity parties will occur less and less as I grow into my new role as a mother to children on the autism spectrum.

And, as I watch the psychologist leave my home on a Tuesday morning in February, I am thankful that I am able to process and condense my thoughts long enough to realize what are my challenges. And, I come up with a new mantra as I enter into a new chapter of motherhood:

I will accept the quirks of my children and the ignorance of others and find healthy coping strategies while maintaining an eternal vision.

More about this mantra in future posts...


Amazing_Grace said...

I found you!

I take school evaluations with a grain of salt. For some reason I can never trust them. Could that be because of their track record? Case in point: We had the school psychologist test MONK and she claimed that he had no problems significant enough to warrant special services. We then had a comprehensive Independent Evaluation done and MONK was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. We met again with the school and had our psychologist present the test results. The same school psychologist then retested MONK and found there were indications of significant processing deficits, which seem to be related to an autism spectrum disorder. MONK met the criteria for an educational disability of autism. DUH!

Elizabeth Channel said...

I love love love your quote! I'm adopting it, too.

(Such a timely post because we just got home from our therapist.)

Accepting these quirks is so hard and painful and trying at times. Some days it is so difficult to see the positive side of these quirks. But we press on because God didn't give us a spirit of fear, but of a strong mind, and our children have that same strong mind. I claim it every day and need to be reminded constantly.

I'm so glad He brought us together on this similar journey.

Blessings to you, friend!

An Unlikely Retirement said...

And I'm adopting your mantra, too!

Trish said...

So glad you shared this - it seems to be hitting a lot of us right now! I am so glad for your daughter's progress and think you should give yourself some freedom to totally celebrate her (and your) achievements.

Then you can start on the next phase of your project - I'm looking forward to watching and learning from you!

Lilly said...

Good on you! Your mantra is indeed a powerful one. Here's to the next phase!!

Mrs4444 said...

I can't remember whose blog it is, but someone I know has recently done a little education/presentation with their son's classroom at school. The purpose was to explain to the other kids (and interested adults) what Aspergers is about. I've seen so much growth in relationships when kids understand it. You're a great mom :)