Monday, October 29, 2007

Autism Screening

I have mixed feelings about the new Autism Screening that is to be done on every child under the age of 2. I just learned about this on the news this morning, then watched a clip of it on the news tonight.

In a way, the new screening procedure is good. I've seen way too many children come into the school system and they could be the poster child for Autism, but have gone undiagnosed and, as a result, without services. I believe wholeheartedly in early intervention, especially for this group of children. On the flip side, I have seen more and more children lately who have been diagnosed with "high-functioning" Autism where the diagnosis is in doubt. Why does this happen? With increased awareness of the disorder comes more concern from professionals and parents. Now there are checklists on the internet of behaviors to watch for in your children. I think it's a normal thing to see something in your child that may not be there if your senses are heightened about it.

Another aspect to the over-diagnosis or mis-diagnosis of Autism is that savvy parents know that a diagnosis will get them the Cadillac of services. If you know this from the start, what's to keep you from seeking second and third opinions in order to obtain a diagnosis for your child? You're bound to run into at least one professional who caters to the parent, especially since there is big money involved in both assessment and treatment of children with Autism. I hate to be so jaded, but no where in the news are these trends mentioned, and they happen regularly.

How many behaviors need to be present for a child to fail a screening, and how objective is this screening? How are therapeutic services going to be funded? How will this screening trend affect the multitude of lawsuits that already happen in school districts over "appropriate" services? Who determines what appropriate services look like? These are just a few questions and concerns that I find myself asking about the new screening procedure.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Be Nice

This little video clip is from when I visited my mom and my son in September. I forgot that we had taught Zoe to "be nice". I am making progress in my videoing skills, but I've not completely figured out editing and how to get music onto the video. But just give me time. In the meantime, enjoy. :-)

Monday, October 08, 2007

Sometimes It's Difficult....

... to know what to say. At times, there simply is not much to say, and other times there is plenty but I don't always know where to start. I guess a lot has been happening. My business partnership officially started up, but we're still waiting for our business card so we can order the testing supplies we need. We even have our first client, who needs a full evaluation (yay!) and doesn't mind waiting for us to get set up fully. My business partner and I went last Friday and networked (isn't there a better word than "networked"?) with private schools in the area so they would know our name is out there and hopefully refer people to us. Kinda funny how things happen, because on Sunday, I got a call from a fellow SLP who is looking for people who want extra work. She runs a company similar to the one I contract with. I told her that I didn't need extra work and mentioned that I've started a general partnership. She was eager to know the details, so I began explaining what we'll be doing - mostly focusing on psycho-educational evaluations and recommendations. Her response was totally opposite of some of the responses I've gotten from other SLP's - mainly that she'd be happy to refer clients our way (obviously she is overloaded). One other SLP I told my plans to warned me that I would be sorry if I "went up against her". Oh please! Because there aren't enough people out there with communication delays looking for services?!? Either way, it was a breath of fresh air to actually have some support from a colleague, which is really how it should be.

H and I put Jellybean's crib together. We had both dreaded doing it because we figured it would be a pain in the ass. Luckily, the crib took about 45 minutes from unpacking to finish it, which is the easiest thing H and I have ever assembled. Hooray for directions that make sense and quality craftsmanship - what a concept!

Speaking of things related to Jellybean, I'm getting to the point of getting nervous. Not all the time, but enough. There are things I don't remember about my first pregnancy, but I do remember the pain. I remember yelling things that I never thought I would say, like barking at the doctor "don't push him back in!!!" and "get IT out!!!". At least we're getting prepared as far as getting things set up. Next week, I'll attend a breastfeeding class, and our childbirth preparedness classes will start. I think I need more resources for what happens after the kiddo is born. Some friends of ours came over for dinner last night and mentioned the "No Cry Sleep Solution", which made me think of some other friends of ours who are struggling with their own issues. It makes me wonder what kinds of things we'll be dealing with....

On a personal front, I've been dealing with some resentment issues with someone in my life who likes to keep a scoresheet. For those unfamiliar with the concept, scorekeeping in any relationship or friendship is when one or both sides try to keep things even. I must confess, scorekeeping is ingrained in me, and has been a very hard habit to let go of, even though I know it doesn't do any good and mostly ends up doing harm. Recently, I've been on the receiving end of it, and I've had a hard time disengaging from it. I had no idea, until now, how much resentment this "keeping even" produces. The problem is that I have this compelling urge to inform this person of all the wrongs that have been done to me in the past and how that means that the scorecard will never be even in my mind, no matter what happens from here on out. This takes my focus off of just sucking it up and doing the right thing. In the end, especially with H's support, I'm choosing to do the right thing, but it's so hard for me not to say "yeah, but....". I think only time will help with this issue. The one thing I'm learning is that I'm on the receiving end for a reason, if only to give me a small taste of my own medicine.

This post is brought to you by a fellow blogger, whose link never works when I try to use it, but his simple "hello" was a reminder that I need to get off my ass and keep blogging. Hope everyone is having a good start of the week!