Saturday, October 9, 2010

It takes a Village....

I know I toot my own horn pretty often about how much work I do with Brian but I need to give credit where it is due.

First it starts with my amazing family. It was a rocky start. I remember most of them refused to believe that he had autism. I can understand that, but at the time I found it aggravating- because I needed someone to feel the same sadness I felt, yet they were all still in the denial stage. It was hard to accept because Brian was NOT always the way he is now. Ask anyone in my family and they will tell you the same.

But despite the bumpy start (which was completely understandable), they have been so super supportive of Brian. They have been accepting, loving, patient, protective, and eager to learn.

And then there's our professional team.

Two members that are no longer part of our team but I still love dearly would be Annie and Alan. Annie spent so many hours at our house in the very beginning just teaching me how to get my child to look at me again. How to get him to want to play! How to break into his stereotypic patterns. She became a fixture in our home- only because I wouldn't let her leave. She became a great confidant as well and helped me through a rocky time. She started a support group for parents of special-needs kiddos at about the same time and I was her regular. Thanks to that group I met so many other great Moms who really get it.

Alan was the "CEO" of the ABA program we used. He would come in and set up these awesome behavioral plans for our workers to carry through. I saw a lot of cognitive growth with his plans. Honestly, Alan is the man. I have never heard any Mom that worked with him that doesn't just start gushing and smiling and getting that dewy look in their eyes. Josh use to tease me all the time about how I changed when I talked about Alan. But he really did get to know all the kids and just knew what he was talking about. It's nice to have that kind of expertise in your arena. Unfortunately we had to leave this company after we graduated from Early Intervention.

I have two other professionals that I also love. They've been there since the beginning of this journey as well. Actually they were there before because they also work with Corbin. That would be our speech therapist, Kellie, and our occupational therapist, Marissa. I really don't even know where to start when it comes to these two. I just LOVE them. I love them so much I'm always pushing the envelope and trying to make them break their boundaries and just be my friend because they are so super cool! They are both very knowledgeable in their fields, very open to CAMs, and are continuously furthering their skills by attending new conferences. They have both been doing a lot of work with reflexology- particularly with the Masgutova Method. Not only do I love these ladies, but they truly love my boys. They can't get enough of them. And this is probably the real reason I love them so.

Not too long ago we added a new case manager to our team. Carolee is amazing. It was adding her to the team that finally made me want to tell every Mom I met that they NEEDED to have a case manager. Prior to Carolee I had a hard time wanting or utilizing a case manager. Honestly I am a bit of a "Type A" personality and I find it torturous to dole out tasks. I like to do them all myself because I *think* I'm the only one that can do it right- and then I find myself in these mini-breakdowns and I wonder why. Carolee certainly knows about all of the red tape that I'm still learning and how to go about to get the services that Brian so desperately needs. She also has broken down my wall a little and encouraged me to ask for help when I need it (still hard but I'm working on it!).

Then last year I had the pleasure of adding another amazing person to my list of people I owe so much to. And this is Brian's general ed teacher, Jo. Granted last year was a bit of a hard year it certainly wasn't due to her not trying. Jo really embraced Brian in the room and was dedicated to including him as much as he'd let her. I'm so happy we have her again this year and that Brian is now showing so much growth in the room. It definitely has to do with Jo and her desire to go above and beyond for Brian. It doesn't hurt that I believe she, too, belongs to Brian's fan club. He is lucky he is so easy to love because I truly believe it is a part of the great care that we receive.

So as much as I'd like to take the credit for all of Brian's growth it is really because of having so many wonderful people like the ones above being a part of his team.

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