Since things began falling into place with all of Roman's autism appointments, I think I was too afraid to post a lot, because I had a fear that I would have to come crawling back to this site to report a setback. As much as I was preparing myself for any and everything that might come my way, sharing the news here was a fear of mine, so I have really been hiding so to speak. However....TODAY I HAVE GREAT NEWS!
Let's go back. I am not really sure where I left off, so let's just sum up some HUGE things. We got another official diagnosis from the geneticist. Out of NOWHERE...and by nowhere, I mean, I did not apply for any kind of supplemental insurance. I was going to ride out CHP and see where it went. I randomly got a letter in the mail telling me that Roman had been approved for Medicaid. Since I did not apply for this, I was slightly confused, but excited as it opened the door for him to go to Progressive Pediatrics for therapy which I had heard repeatedly was the best place in town but they did not take our CHP insurance. I, to this exact second, do not know WHO applied or referred him to Medicaid, but basically due to the disability, he was approved and I couldn't be more thankful.
Progressive Pediatrics has quite a waiting list, but we were bumped right in for speech therapy. We are still waiting to get with an occupational therapist, but the fact that we got in so quickly with speech is amazing! Also, due to the fact that he receives speech services with them, he is more likely to get an occupational therapist quickly.
Ok, so about a month ago I met with them for an initial evaluation. After the evaluation, the therapist wrote up a plan of care for him. That was sent to the pediatrician for her approval, and then to Medicaid for their approval to proceed. We then met to discuss the plan of care and ensure that we were all on the same page and had the same goals for sweet Babyman.
After alllllll of that was completed, we met today for his first and real "all in" session. HE DID AMAZING and I LOVE LOVE LOVE his therapist. She was so patient with him, and worked so well with him. She truly is better than anything I could have imagined. She was out of breath by the end of the session, but didn't complain a bit. She simply talked to me, in broken out of breath sentences, and answered any and all questions I had. I say out of breath, because while it WAS speech therapy, she definitely engaged in physical and occupational type therapies as well to incorporate it all. When Roman would get distracted and want to go down the slides, as long as he said please or slide, she let him. She had a way of getting him to attempt words I have never heard him attempt before. Sure, he hit his stubborn spots and would just giggle, or shut down, but she didn't let that slow her down at all. She just diverted him elsewhere and kept on trying.
I am sure I will miss a few of these, but today I believe I heard my son attempt the words: pig, cow, horse, chicken, dog, please, thank you, more, slide, ball, yes, no, tree, shoes, off, jump. Sure, they weren't necessarily clear, and she even said he said mo for more, bo for no, pee for please, moo for cow, but you know what?! I DONT CARE! I am so very proud of him!
I am so thankful for the fact that this has all fallen so perfectly in place, hasn't taken the long grueling months I was warned about, and that Roman is actually happy with this place. When she called his name, he literally got up and followed her down the hall...not even looking back to see if I was coming. Sure, I went and watched from a distance, but the point is... he is comfortable there!
He also got to swing and play on various therapy swings, slide down the slide, get tossed into the pillow pit, PLAY WITH BOWLING PINS, roll a school bus back and forth, line up some building supplies (because he could have cared less about putting the screws in and connecting anything... he just wanted them lined up appropriately!) Next appointment he gets to "bungee jump" for animals hooked to a chain. I really feel that this is a huge answer to my prayers, and I couldn't be more thrilled with the facility, the therapist, or my support system that I have.
Roman, in my opinion, has already made great strides and I cannot wait to see what else is to come! I owe so much of his progress to my mom and dad for having the patience to work with him on the nights I had school and didn't see him until 8pm, Tomeka for working with him so much at school, Shenika for working with him when she isn't working and on the weekends...and for keeping me level headed and focused on the positives everytime I wanted to fall apart, Debbie for always bringing out a big smile and encouragement for me anytime she sees me or thinks about us...and for praying for us whenever she sees us outside, each and every person who has taken the time to send positive thoughts/encouragement/prayers our way, and Susan for taking the time to do little activities to work with him when I am overwhelmed with day to day life and responsibilities. The older kids also deserve a pat on the back for never once showing out because they feel Roman gets more attention, but simply helping encourage him to talk. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen or heard them asking him to repeat words and giggling with him when he decides to be stubborn. I really have been blessed with some of the best friends and strongest supporters I could have ever asked for.
So there you have it.... a quick update on where we are, whats to come, and a big huge smile from a very proud mama! Pictures from today? Sure, why not!