Sometimes it feels like we are weaving in and out of traffic between the fast lane and a detour.
One of the biggest obstacles Ally has faced is socialization.
At school, she only seems to have one or two friends and during my brief encounters with her classmates, they don’t think much of her. Whether that is adult driven or truly the impression they have of her is unknown.
But what I do know is that we hit a dead end and it has been a long road trying to find the next steps for her to make progress.
When she was 3 and 4-years-old, I sent behavior therapists to daycare and summer camp almost everyday. Ally received anywhere from 20-30 hours of therapy in a social setting that aided her when interacting appropriately with her peers. We made strides and true progress.
But as all of you who follow me know, she has been expelled from every program out there where typical peers are present.
With that, her progress was paused and forgotten.
It has left me saying, where do we go from here?
I say this often and I want to reiterate it again—I am not that mom who expects the public school system to raise my child for me. That is not me.
I do my part in helping my child succeed at school but there comes a point where I get stuck—when there is nothing more I can do. Socialization is it for us.
Today we started ABA company in a center-based environment rather than in-home. It is not totally new to us since she has been getting OT and Speech at this center for three years, but joining their social skills and working on peer interaction is.
We now spend three hours in therapy on Sundays.
While she still does not have access to socialize with non-disabled peers in an environment where hands-on interventions can be done, this is what we can do.
I didn’t know how she was going to handle spending three hours in an environment with demands being put on her but she did it.
And we will continue to do it because this is all I can do.
I can spend three hours every Sunday teaching my kid how to socialize so she can function better at school, and in life, while her non-disabled peers are playing sports and making memories with their families.
This is our world. We keep going.