Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Where Shall We Start

The first problem we had to deal after the diagnosis was knowing how and where to start. I had no choice but to resign from my work, teaching english online. I know it will be hard to teach other people when I know that my daughter needs me more. Fortunately, they allowed me to resign right away. I immediately immersed myself in the computer searching for the next big step we need to take. The first thing I wanted was to enroll Patricia in a regular preschool. 10 days after, she was already starting. Thanks to my sister in law for allowing us to enroll even though it's already the middle of the school year. After a month, Patricia started her Occupational Therapy, 3 times a week, 1 hour per session. We also started her with a special diet that is said to help in her development. It's gluten-free and casein-free diet. It means she can't eat anything that has wheat and milk. That's another challenge we had to face. I'll need another blog to discuss it. Anyway, the hardest part for us during this part was leaving her in school and with her therapist, hearing her cry and cry. It was a struggle. They say that she'll be like that for a month. It was torture for the family. She was still a baby, barely 2 years old. They said we had to ignore it since it's her way of manipulating the people around her, by crying. True enough, after a while, she stopped crying and started performing. We're so happy. But we still have to do more. If you'll look in the net, you'll be so confused with so many therapies that you'll find, claiming that they can cure Autism. One of the most accepted is Applied Behavior Analysis. I called up all the therapy centers trying to find one. And after waiting for 2 months, we finally had a slot. My daughter started immediately, twice a week, 2 hours per session. We saw the improvement right away. Although there were still no words yet, she can now express herself better. The following school year, we transferred her to a regular school accepting children with special needs. Her first school was okay but her classmates are older than her, she was only 1 year and 10 months then, but her classmates are already 3-4 years old. In her new school, her classmates are of the same age as hers. She adjusted well. They required a shadow teacher for her. Someone who'll assist and manage her while in class. She's doing well. She still cries once in a while, but most of the time, she enjoys her school. Right now, we're waiting for a slot for her Speech Therapy. It's unbelievable. We've been waiting for 6 months now. That will be our next step and we'll be right on track. Go, go, go, Patricia! Just keep holding on. =) Mommy and daddy will always be here.

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