A new year. FINALLY. I think we all feel the same way and are hoping lots of things change this year. Many people make goals and resolutions for New Years’ in order to hopefully make changes for the better. I’ve never been one to make a New Year’s resolution, and don’t plan on it this year.
That being said, I am always striving to try to be a good mom to my daughter. I do have parenting goals, and my number one goal for this coming year is the same as it was this past year. I want to be the best advocate for my daughter that I can be. A lot of mamas out there will agree about how important this is, and they do this for their child without even thinking about it.
As I’ve written about in previous posts, my daughter likely has high-functioning autism. Notice that I am still using the word likely. As a mom, it’s incredibly frustrating that I am still using the word likely after pushing to get a diagnosis this past year. With 2020 being the crazy year it was, testing for a diagnosis was pushed back. It got pushed from March until August since pretty much all in-person therapies and testing was shut down. Testing got done in August with one in-person testing and two virtual sessions. I wasn’t a fan of this in itself, because virtual just hasn’t been effective for us. It has been one of the biggest challenges in the past year. Maybe virtual worked ok for older kids, but my 4-year-old just didn’t cooperate or sit still for ANYTHING.
Advocating for your child and trusting your gut
I’m sure you can guess that the testing came back as inconclusive. The testing team uses a number scale, and she was literally ONE point away from a diagnosis. Their main reason for not giving the diagnosis- that she had a great imagination when playing. I’m not going to disagree with that statement. She does have a great imagination, some self-created, and lots that she has seen and scripted out from television and kid’s YouTube. Ultimately, the impression I got is that they didn’t provide a diagnosis because she didn’t present all of the signs that are common in BOYS. I’m not going to get into the specifics, but girls often present much different than boys (and yes that can make it harder to diagnose).
I was frustrated but I didn’t argue with them. I also did not immediately make the decision to pull her from their programs. However, this mama, like most special needs moms, did her research. I found a lot of local moms with similar complaints. They mentioned that they had much better luck elsewhere getting their girls diagnosed. After hearing this, and the surprise of other professionals involved with my daughter not getting diagnosed, we decided it was the best decision to stop utilizing their services. This might not be the best decision for someone else in the same circumstances, but my advice is to trust your GUT. You know your child better than anyone. Also, I didn’t do a ton of research before picking a developmental pediatrician, I went with the referral straight from her regular doctor knowing we needed a referral to get in. I regret not doing more research in advance, and highly suggest that any mom in a similar position do just that.
Moving ahead, despite setbacks
Despite the setbacks we’ve had, I think I’ve managed to advocate for my daughter well. She has an amazing teacher and an amazing intervention specialist that comes in to help her. When we got discouraged with our developmental pediatrician, we brought it up to our regular pediatrician. This got us a referral to occupational therapy. My daughter has been there a few months, and so far, it’s been great for her. This coming year I want to continue to advocate for my daughter in the same way. It’s so important for our kids to receive these services that will benefit them in the long run.
As a side note- I do have another parenting goal this year. This goal is another I think a lot of moms will relate to as well- to stop yelling so much. This one is going to be a lot more challenging. Between all the tantrums and not listening I will fail more often than I’d like. Despite that, I’m going to at least try. Do you have any parenting goals for this year? Share if you do, I’d love to hear them!