Do we parents of kids with special needs ever get to the place where everything is in a state of balance? For me, the answer is most definitely 'not yet.' But I have high hopes of getting there...maybe for a day at least.
However, I discovered a feeling yesterday that sort of caught me off guard. As you may have read previously, after a very long battle with our school district they hired private 1:1 aides from an outside agency to work solely with M at school. These aides are legitimately ABA trained unlike the paraprofessionals who hadn't the slightest idea what they were doing, and to my son's detriment, I fully believe. These aides began working with him last February. Then, in May I was able to finally begin an intensive in-home ABA program fully funded by our insurance. (minus a small $15/day copay) Unfortunately, we have one agency providing the ABA at school and another agency providing the home services; but these people have all come to surprise me in a very positive way...they actually want to work with one another to make sure that all are on the same page in teaching my son important life and educational skills.
A meeting was called by the school's overseeing behavioral analyst, and we all came together yesterday to find that both groups were doing very similar tasks, and where one was doing something different, the other offered to take the time to create a detailed list of their steps to achieve a goal. I was floored. It may sound like something one shouldn't get floored by, but having heard and seen how school districts hold what they provide your child very privately, I never in a million years thought they would be flexible enough to listen to someone else's ideas and theories.
We've agreed to send home a detailed daily journal so that school and home therapists continue to have dialog between one another. We've agreed for the case supervisors to meet in person again in the future.
Yes, these outside agencies are being paid a large price for their services...but I really believe that they give a shit about my child and about his future. It's thrown me for a loop, in all honesty. But even more than that, was the feeling I left with yesterday of worrying that if we do get to move to a new district I may have to start this fight all over again. Dare I say that I am *almost* content with my son's current placement?
I still feel the school's campus and it's highly mixed needs, special day classroom are not the most ideal for M, but given what we have to work with and the very unlikely chance we would be successful in getting the district to pay for the crazy expensive private autism schools I covet, I think we're doing okay for ourselves at the moment.
Now don't go thinking I've given up on those coveted schools. I most certainly have not! I think that if M could actually attend one of them our lives would be even more fulfilled than they are currently and I think M would be able to gain back even more of what he has lost. But for the moment, I will gladly take this feeling of partial contentment...of not needing to fight and worry for now...and I will enjoy it.