OK. So maybe I AM bitter. I mean sometimes I just feel like we are totally moving off the grid, here. When I decided to quit my job and do RDI full-time I knew it would mean that I was going to take up the reigns of engineering Oliver's remediation. That's OK. I'm glad for it. And that is how it should be. And then, of course, there is the homeschooling. Our schooling options here in Virginia are so limited that homeschooling has really become our only option. I know that sending Oliver off to school each day would be counter-productive. So I'm happy to take that on as well. And don't even get me started on the doctors and medical experts we have seen! But every Friday afternoon when the speech therapist leaves I find myself feeling so very low. I know that it is a total waste of our time but I can't bring myself to give it up. I'm not ready to become an expert on speech as well as everything else. I just want some support. I want some outside resources to help us along on our way. We will get there -- wherever 'there' is. I'm sure of that. But I really don't want to do it all. I want professionals who are willing to really examine what they are teaching and why and to be willing to throw it out the window if it doesn't fit. To do some research and ask the right questions. And to look at Oliver as a boy with some challenges, not just a boy with autism. Because one size doesn't fit all. But what we have is so very lacking.
Today the SLP started off her session by trying to get Oliver to label pictures of faces with the correct emotion: happy, sad, angry. Then she moved on to getting him to label colors and assign quantities. Oliver was a good sport about it but I know him well enough to know that it was totally random whenever he did manage to get something right. And if she said: "Good sitting!" and "Good listening!" one more time I thought I would reach across the room and smack her. I'm not saying that these aren't good things to teach someone with a language deficit -- but it is just so far ahead of where Oliver's skills are at the moment that it seems pretty meaningless to me.
I'm left feeling so conceited. I'm just a mom. I'm a mom who has done about a million hours of reading on the subject of autism and child development over the last two years, but still just a mom. And when I find myself thinking that we would be better off with nothing than with the wrong thing, when I think we are better off just working it out on our own, I can only marvel at my own arrogance.
But on a more positive note: my day was filled with more arguments than I could count. Oliver is really learning to assert himself with the nod of his head! There is absolutely no uncertainty that he knows what our silent dialog is all about. I tried the opposite though: asking him to do something that he didn't want to do and that was less successful. As soon as I started insisting with a yes head nod he followed suit and nodded yes. But with some success under our belt I'm eager to see if he picks it up as quickly.
Oh, and we spent some time goofing around with the capture photo feature on my webcam this evening. It was like being in one of those photo booths at the mall only we were all in our slippers! Here's the evidence (well, you'll have to trust me on the slippers!):