July 28, 2016

Am I Doing the Right Things?

Several months ago, James (my husband) and I went to an aggressive behavior workshop.  Brandon was becoming more and more aggressive.  He would bite, hit, and kick adults and himself.  He never became aggressive towards other children, which I am thankful for.  He would become frustrated, and take it out on himself, his parents, or teachers.  Sometimes he would meltdown for what seemed like no reason.  It's not like I can pinpoint the exact trigger for every single meltdown, but typically I can determine what likely set him off.  At this workshop, the psychologist brought up seizure activity - not in relation to our specific issues, but as a part of the workshop.  

It got me wondering...could theses seemingly sporadic meltdowns be something more?  I didn't think so, but as time went on I just kept thinking, "What if?"  What if there was seizure activity going on and we don't get it checked out.  What if we find out five years from now that he was having seizures that were delaying his development, and we didn't do anything about it.  That was enough to schedule the appointment for an EEG.

I think that is a fear for a lot of autism parents.  We are constantly wondering if we are doing the right thing by our child.  I know all parents wonder that.  But I'm talking about making decisions that can drastically impact his quality of life, especially considering that all the research shows that early intervention is key.

These are the kings of things that rattle around in my brain while I'm trying to fall asleep: 
He starts Kindergarten in one year.  Is public school good enough?  Well, I mean, of course it is...at least where he would go.  I teach in a public school, and it is wonderful.  Should I push for him to be in a general education classroom?  Should he have a one-on-one aid as part of his supplemental ads and services to get him in the least restrictive environment?  But what if pushing for him to be in a gen. ed. class is actually more restrictive for him?  What if an aid is more restrictive?  What if kids make fun of him?  What if he can't defend himself.  Okay, what about private school?  He would get a lot more one-on-one attention from his teacher.  Are there even any private schools around here that can accommodate a "not functional verbal" child with autism?  Is he even considered low functioning?  I mean, he is smart, but he still isn't talking...  Okay, there is a private school for special needs.  I'm still running into the same issues in my head...is he "high functioning" enough to go there?  It's fancy.  It's too far away to drive there every day.  We would definitely have to move.  Is this the best speech therapist for him?  The best occupational therapist?  The behavioral therapist?  I should have gone private with speech earlier.  Is it really the best thing for him to have his mom working full time?  Am I too hard on him?  Am I too easy on him?  Do I give him enough attention at home?  If I tried harder, maybe he would be progressing more.

I know I am a good mom, but I'm certainly not perfect.  It's just that right now we're sitting in this limbo, where we don't know what is going to happen.  Brandon will be five in a few weeks.  He has the chance to fall anywhere in this range from being non-verbal to becoming completely verbal.  We've been waiting for three years, wondering every single day how he will progress with his speech.  All we can do is sit here and wait, and trust in God's plan for us and for Brandon.

So, the EEG itself took about 30 minutes, and it came back normal.  We talked to the pediatric neurologist in depth before the EEG so he could understand what we were seeing with Brandon.  We have to keep an eye on these seemingly untriggered meltdowns, but we think, and the doctor agrees, that it's rooted in behavior.


  1. Oooh, it's like you are in my head. I think about all the same stuff. I try to remind myself that my best is my best and all I can do. I pray for guidance every day too.

    1. You are so right. All we can really do is the best we can!


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