Changes Make Life Interesting

Laurie Childree By Laurie Childree, 7th Aug 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Diaries

Changes are a part of life but to a child with Autism they can devastating when there is no time to prepare for them. Sometimes it is best to keep your children from moving forward too fast.

Gap in Therapy

Clinic Closing Theresa currently gets therapy for her Autism five days a week at the only Autism Clinic in the area. The last year and a half she has made vast improvements but last week I got a bombshell dropped on me. August 12, 2011 the center will close its doors. I was not pleased to hear this considering everything else but there was a bright spot. The therapist are getting together to continue providing services.

Theresa's ABA and speech therapist talked it over and they'll be keeping Theresa's schedule the same unless I need something else. Given that Head Start requires I go through certain channels to pull her out early and the schedule I put her on to go to the potty is no longer working I'll be calling tomorrow to send her back to PHP. I can not afford a private facility and she wants to be in school. She also wants to ride the school bus which she can't do if she goes to Head Start. I'll have to pick her up on Wednesday's so she can be at therapy on time but she'll adjust to that one afternoon of not being on the bus.

Are They Going To Think I'm Crazy?

I dread making the call to put her back in PHP since I've already called to change my mind three times now. Head Start would have been five days a week while PHP is only four days this year which is just a two day increase over last year. I'll simply explain that with all the upcoming changes and the fact that she is no longer able to keep her schedule for the potty it's best she go back to the PHP class until Kindergarten. They may still be able to look at her later in the year.

Back to Full-Time At the end of the month when PHP starts back I'll be working full time again as a freelance writer. Monday through Thursday mornings I'll get to work from approximately 8:30 until noon when it's time to pick up Theresa. That's 12 hours a week. Add in the 2 hours a night between the time she goes to bed and I go to bed and you get 16 additional hours for a total of 28 hours. Two more and I'll be at an almost full time schedule. That means I have to be rather productive in order to make a living.

More Plans to Throw Her Off Balance

Almost twelve years ago now my ex-husband and I moved into a three bedroom, two bath trailer on almost seven acres of land with the intention of one day building a house. You can guess that so far that hasn't happened since we've divorced and both of use have remarried. (One of us is still in that new marriage but that's not important.) With the fact that the trailer is now falling apart and the upkeep of it and the basic cutting of the grass if becoming out of reach for my small family we have decided that moving out of it might be for the best.

Why move if it's paid for? It's rather simple, my mother actually owns the place and we can't afford the costs of repairs or a replacement for the trailer. My credit is awful after two previous divorces and rebuilding it has been a slow, painful process. It could be faster to rebuild my credit if we rent and then we'll have proof of at least one on time monthly payment. That and maintenance would take a big burden off of us at the moment. There are far too many repairs, if I had the money for them or the credit to get them done I could replace this place with something brand new this afternoon.

A Need To Save More Money

Issues with Savings I currently have a whole $1 in my savings account just enough to keep it open. That's not a lot but considering it's been cleaned out a couple of times I am happy with the fact that it is still open at all. There are guidelines for savings that have to be met to keep Theresa's SSI payments. Without them I can not manage to get her needed supplements and therapies at the moment. I'm working on increasing my income to cover her expenses as well as the basic expenses of the house. It appears that my income has steadily declined since her diagnosis.

Short Term Savings Plan I have a short term plan to bring the balance in my savings account up some. About a year ago I purchased one of those jars that counts change as you put it into it. It has just under $5 in it at the moment, the goal is to fill it up and deposit the rolled changed into my savings account. At the rate I'm going this could take a while. I did manage to save a little bit of money on gas by taking advantage of my bank's cash back offer and using the cheapest gas station I could find. I'll have to purchase gas again at least once before the time is up so I can still earn a little more back but I won't see it until October I believe it is. That will give me a little bit of extra money that month to cover our basic needs though.

Tax Refund The amount of our next tax refund or if we'll even get one is not certain so I no longer make plans for it. In the past it has gone to pay off bills and make the rest of the year a little easier. If we get one this year I'd like to save it to make a down payment on a house or replace my gas guzzling SUV with it. Not having to buy gas for it would save us a great deal of money in the budget each month.

Struggling On

The changes are all going to take a while so in the meantime I will continue to struggle on with daily decisions. I know that leaving Theresa in PHP at least until Christmas is the best at this point. She may already know the curriculum that is taught but she does not have the self help or social skills that would allow her to be successful in Head Start at the moment. I can send curriculum with her to therapy and the therapist will help to make sure that she is learning it.

In a couple years provided that she is socialized I'd like to take her out to Home School so that I know what she's learning and that she's comprehending it.

I'd love to build my dream house but at this point it appears to be impossible and the longer I stay here the faster the dream fades. I think something smaller that takes less time to take care of would allow me to let Theresa learn basic housekeeping skills she'll need when she's on her on. She will be on her own one day provided I do my job correctly and allow her to grow up like any other child her age would do.


Autism, Behavior Modification Techniques, Behavior Pattern, Preschool Activities, Therapy

Meet the author

author avatar Laurie Childree
I'm the single mother of an autistic child a published author. I have a wide range of topics that interest me including personal finance, writing, self employment and creative writing.

Share this page

moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar David Reinstein,LCSW
7th Aug 2011 (#)

Transitions are hard spots for most people, but for those with Autism, they are particularly hard and can be traumatic. Well written and moving piece, here!

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?