Sunday, January 25, 2009

When I Say Osteo You Say Path

I started this post a few days ago, and I, professional technology user, managed to lose half of it into the ether. Alas. I've cobbled it back together as best I could, because though it lacks some flow, can you believe this roller coaster? I can't:

So, on the one hand, we have the rooster. He has special needs, and he keeps us hopping. Sometimes he has good days. When he does, though: bang! Instantaneously, Peaches seems to know it, and she takes over where he left off.

Peaches, on the other hand, has what I guess you call typical needs. Hmmm. I looked up typical and either we all are or no one is, but let's just say that our Peaches has become a budding control freak. She often tells us what to say. Random things. Yesterday? "Say, 'Blue square, 5 triangles.' Say that." She also tells us what to do much of the time, and plays the favorite parent game. "No, MOMMY DO IT," she screams at my poor husband. So, yesterday, a decent day for the rooster, Peaches decided to take it up a notch. When my husband insisted on changing her diaper because I already had a few chores on my hands, she flew into such a rage that she actually took off the clean diaper, went to the garbage can, dug out the soiled (and I don't say that word lightly) diaper, and tried her two-year-old best to put it back on her bottom. Call her what you will, she ain't easy.

I guess the up side to all of this can't-catch-a-break-one-way-or-another business might be that their bad days alternate. Sure, now that I just said that, tomorrow will be the double whammy.

To follow up on the osteopath business, we had brunch today with my sister-in-law, a pediatric oncologist, and I asked her what she thinks about osteopathy. "I worked with some osteopaths," she told me. "They had the same training as the rest of us, but then went on and did some specialized training. Most just practice the same regular medicine as everyone else. Some do this thing called manipulations, but I don't know what to think about that," she said. I told her our story, how our osteopath vibrated the Rooster one day, and he seemed to improve at school the next. "Hey," she said, sitting to my right, "whatever works!" To my left sat the rooster. He cheerfully sat through a LONG brunch at a fancy gay-bar-meets-West-Hollywood-brunch-spot, not misbehaving once until the bill took too long to get paid, at which point he began screaming: IT'S TIME TO GO TO THE PARK, NNNNNNOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWW. And, yeah, actually, it was.

No, I'm not chalking the Rooster's better days up to anything, yet. I'm not a scientist, but I do understand the concept of numerous variables, and we have a long way to go.

I do have to report how well the park trip went, though. Whatever the factor, I don't care... as pixiemama pointed out, "A good day is a good day."

So the Rooster's daddy takes him and his sister to the park so I can pay the long delayed bill without scaring away too many other patrons. I arrive ten minutes later to find my husband talking to another dad I know from school, the dad of a boy the teachers have said, "is not the best match for the rooster." Seems these two boys provoke each other, bring out the worst. I hold my breath and run toward them. Quickly, I can hear the rooster shouting. I am leaning in... what is going on? Seems the rooster has met a stranger, a third boy, and now Rooster is trying to WHAT? He's trying to introduce him to his classmate! I nearly fall down. The rooster shouts joyfully, "Tommy*! Tommy! Do you know Tim*? He's the boy in the blue shirt. Let's play!" I thought if I described this scenario, this appropriate reciprocal language, this good behavior, this social engagement, to his teachers, they would never trust another word out of my mouth ever again. But it did happen.

The osteopath called today, saying they have an opening tomorrow. Hmmm. It's short notice and both J and I have a lot on our work plates, and have done a number of appointments in the last week. What should we do? As we mulled it over, we revisited again the question: do we believe that, er, um, manipulation, can help our boy? J said, "I believe that sometimes ideas work ahead of our understanding of the why or the how." I said I don't know that any of this stuff we do works or fails, I don't know how things would be the same or different if gave up OT, speech, behaviorists, meds, shadow teachers... but if something doesn't hurt him, and we can provide it, I want to try. So did we grab up the opening at the D.O.'s? No, but we did schedule for a more convenient time next week. I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, after one year of lobbying, seven thousand phone calls, and 16 hours of parenting classes, we finally qualified for an ABA specialist in our home. Yes, Mama Mara, we are calling him our own Whisperer. He already came once and gave us PLANS. I, for one, love nothing better than a PLAN! J thinks it's a four letter word sometimes, but since this one does involve potty training, he can probably appreciate this is some good sh**t. (Sorry, I couldn't resist. Next time I'll try to keep it clean.)


Niksmom said...

Hey, I'm with you on the "if it doesn't hurt and I can provide it" philosophy. Who knows what works from day to day. Hell, I can't even figure out what works with myself on most days!

I'm thrilled to hear about such an awesome day. On the other hand, Peaches and that diaper...not so much. Yikes.

Melissa said...

I can so absolutely relate to the phenomenon of when one child has a good day, that's when the other decides to ratchet it up a notch. Yes, indeed.

And pixiemama is right - a good day is a good day. :) (Ironically, the word for the comment moderation is surrive. Like not quite surviving. :)

redheadmomma said...

I will say that, in many respects, a typical daughter is just as difficult as a developmentally disabled/ASD son (but both bring so much joy). I totally can relate to Peaches thru Maya. She went through six months of driving me up a wall with utter refusal to go anywhere - but she seems to have passed to a point of equilibrium where she's just so much more easy to be around. I hope that Peaches finds her equilibrium soon too. It'll come :)