We chose a special needs adoption and although we weren’t sure of the road ahead, we didn’t have to grieve for our loss that so many families do. Grief is real. I’ve worked with so many children whose parents are still grieving years after their child’s birth. This is normal. You have to go through all of the stages. And although I’ve felt a smidgen of this, I haven’t dealt with this side of things. So if you are comfortable commenting below with your story if you feel it could help just one family, please do. Also, check out this letter written by Emily Perle Kingsley titled “Welcome to Holland” that may give you some comfort!
When we first left the doctor’s office after receiving G.G’s autism diagnosis, I remember feeling relieved to finally have a path to follow! It explained so much and now we had direction.
Driving away from the doctor’s office we thought “OK! Now what?!” The doctor provided us with some information on government resources and pamphlets and that was about it. Don’t get me wrong! She is a phenomenal pediatrician!!! She did a wonderful job with G.G. during her assessment and took the time to answer any questions we had. The problem was, I didn’t know what questions to ask! I had worked a little bit with a child or two who had autism, but if you’ve heard the term, “When you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met ONE person with autism.” It is so true!! As much as many people diagnosed with autism share certain characteristics, they are all extremely unique! We didn’t know what to expect, what the future would hold, or what all of our needs would be! And I mean ALL – G.G., hubby, her brother and sister and myself. So please keep reading my posts! I will share our adventure, provide you with some strategies & resources that you can start with right away and links to help your whole family live a Well Balanced Life!
Let our journey together continue! You are NOT alone!
Gracie’s first diagnosis was autism so that is where we are going to start. For those of you who have a child with a different diagnosis, check out the resources page for something that may help you there. Also, keep reading this post, because you never know! Something might be of use to you here. If you still aren’t sure where to turn, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll see what I can do!
First thing’s first, take a deep breath! Know that there is a TON of support out there for you and your family! I will do my best to let you know about all of the freebies out there. You should qualify for a disability tax credit which can help out with some therapy and resources also.
Here are some links to the Ontario Government website that can answer many of the questions you may have. The menu on the left has a list of options for those with another diagnosis.
Next, get your child on the wait list for IBI (Intensive Behavioural Intervention). You can actually get your child on the wait list if there is suspicion of autism. IBI is not for everyone and not everyone qualifies. But it is a long process to get to the top of the wait list so you might as well get started now. If your child doesn’t need IBI therapy by the time they call, great! You just let them know that your child doesn’t need their services. If your child does need it, well you will be happy you put them on the long wait list! No harm done planning ahead! Here are some FAQ from the Ontario government website on IBI. To get your child registered click here for more information. Your child needs to be referred by a physician or psychologist so definitely ask your doctor/pediatrician about this! Once you are on the list for IBI services, you may be provided with support while you wait.
There are several support systems in your own community. If you are not sure, ask your doctor. They should have a list of contacts for you to see.
Remember, as hard as this can be, you now have a path. Some sense of direction. Learn all you can. It is a community like no other so try and find other families who have been down the same road.
That’s what this blog is all about. To let you know you are not alone! Together we will see the exceptionalities and wonder of our children. And together we’ll get through the tough times.