Guest Post Friday

Get out the tissues. This one had me weeping.

I am sitting here trying to figure out what I should write for a guest blog post on parenthood and children. I have 2 daughters of my own and 2 stepchildren and I can go on and on about all the beautiful and funny memories; I have of all 4 of them all day long. One subject keeps coming up in my mind that I should talk about but it is a very touchy subject. My youngest daughter was born 8 weeks early and weighed in at 4 pounds 4 ounces. I strongly believe that she would have not made it if she did not have the stubborn “FAMILY” streak in her. After 2 weeks of misery going to the hospital everyday and getting her to bottle feed and gain weight so I could take her home she finally was allowed to come home.

She seemed to be progressing as a premature baby would except that she did not talk very much until she was 5 years old. She also had such terrible tantrums starting around 2 years old. She would sit on the floor and hit her head against the wall and say the same words over and over. Finally I got a speech therapist and occupational therapist that came and went in 2 meetings (basically everything was fine in their eyes).

Things starting to really open up when we got to kindergarten and the teacher could not understand my daughter. She did not know how to read, write or know her colors. This is when the teacher started trying to get help for her (Occupational Therapist, reading teacher, Speech Therapist). But when you are in school you only get a certain block (time) a year to see the specialist and then you have to wait again until next year, as the school only has a certain amount of money they can spend on a child. The school wants to do psychoeducational testing with my girl in grade 2 for her learning disability as they only have a certain amount to spend each year on testing too.

My wonderful cousin helped me get a Victoria Mental Health worker when my daughter was in grade 1 as she started to get really aggressive towards animals and us at home. Victoria Mental Health was great they came to my house and helped me and my husband get a routine, and behavior charts etc… it was all great with my daughter until she figured out what we where doing.

Since then our family has moved to the mainland. My husband got a great job and we thought we could get better help for our daughter over here. Since being here we went to Dr. Bamber (autism pediatrician) and she referred our girl to get the Autism Spectrum Test as she said our daughter may have a branch of Aspergers and we need to know what kind. I have kept hearing “Autism” with every specialist that my daughter meets, but not until I heard it from Dr. Bamber did it really set in that yes somebody can tell us what is wrong with my daughter.

I have cried myself to sleep many a night trying to figure out why my daughter, kicked me, called me a bitch, hit her head against the wall over and over, liked the dogs biting her, talked to dolls and herself, kicks animals, has a learning disability (can’t write or read and is in grade 2). But this is only the beginning I still have to get the new school to get the psychoeducational testing done and wait 10 months for the Autism Spectrum Test at Sunnyhill Hospital for them to possibly say my daughter places somewhere on the Autism Spectrum until I can get help from anyone. I just keep trying everyday to get help for my girl and that is all I can do.

I am writing this out because I am a mom that feels so alone with this subject. I have my cousin who is such a good listener, but she is not there everyday when I have to take care of my daughter and walk around like my daughter is a drunk. I don’t want to set her off or else the rest of the day and night is going to be full of swearing and aggression. I hope that me coming out helps at least one of the moms on this site to know that you if you are going through this too, you are not alone as I am here everyday dealing with it too.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Guest Post Friday

  1. Brandy Mitchell

    Dear Guest Post Friday,

    My heart goes out to you and the problems that you are dealing with… My older sister has a child who has been labeled Austic and what you posted reminded me of what she went though. Her son was a premmie and weighed in at 3 pounds 8 oz. plus we found out after, he practically starved to death in his first year, he was allergic to many milks and he had to be put on a special formula; many a night my sister has called me crying. I really want to have compassion and help my sister, to be her rock as it seems your wonderful cousin is for you, but the stress my sister put me under finally took its toll physically and mentally. I had to seek some help from a counsellor to deal with my mixed emotions and intense dislike towards my sister because, I know the flip side of the story.

    Although, my sister has been supported by the family, the doctors, and therapists, and it appears she takes no blame in my nephews’ situation I know differently. My sister and her husband have made many poor choices with their health and lifestyle. They both smoke, she drinks, she is obese, and she never stopped these addictions during her pregnancy. In fact, she still continues exposing her son to second hand smoke, junk food, and unhealthy, messy home, even though she has been told countless times, by countless numbers of people, professional and family to change. Yet she comes out the victim because her son has been labelled. I think her lifestyle choices, especially during her pregnancy, impacted the health of my nephew.
    After doing my own research on Autism, I found out that it can run in the family, just like any condition, i.e. mental illness. I have a friend whose daughter has Aspergers and the family were told after many tests it comes from the dad’s side and they were able to find other family members who were not diagnosed but had it. We have no Autism in our family history nor does my brother in law. So, I feel sorry for my sister but I also blame my sister and resent my family for encourging her to play the victim when the real victim is my nephew. I have babysat him many times and I have not seen any abnormal behaviour, which futhers my belief that it just isn’t Autism, sure he is quiet, isn’t touchy feely and gets frustrated when things don’t go right, but what can you expect when everyone around him is encouraging him to be Autistic and not accepting that he might only be slightly mentally challenged.
    I know my sister is unable to cope even with all the support she gets, and her heightened anxieties are felt by him and this makes his behaviours worse. I pray that my sister finds the strength to realize that her home might not be the best place for him. All she is doing is making his life more misarable because she won’t change.
    Sorry for the rant, it isn’t my intention to play the “one up” game and I hope my story helps others as well and that ” Friday’s Post” can take some comfort knowing her life might as bad.

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