Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Day Home

Joey was pretty sick yesterday. About 6am, he started throwing up- but since he hadn't eaten much, it was clear. He felt better enough to get dressed, but then I found him sprawled on the couch as Andy zipped about putting on shoes. No, that was not a child in condition to go to school. I kept him home. Shortly after Andy left, we had another bout of waxing, then the other end of the system became an issue. It was a good call.

We spent the morning watching Wow Wow Wubbzy on my bed, while I poked at a few things, but mostly snuggled him. Then he decided he wanted to move downstairs, so I set him up on the couch, and asked him what he wanted to see. He asked for Little Bear. We did a Little Bear marathon. I found this also interesting- he could watch anything he wanted, and instead of the high-power shows like Looney Tunes which have had his attention lately, he asked for a slow-paced, comforting show, most of the afternoon. I think my little buddy was trying to get some rest.

He was super-glad when Grandma arrived with soda and snuggled him on the couch- yes, a very snuggly boy. We got to sit with a fire in the fireplace, watching our Little Bear, letting the tummy rest and the boy rest... and the Momma rest. I did some picking up. I poked at the laundry. But otherwise, I spent the day snuggling my boy.

I only wish he wasn't sick.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Why Are Mental Health Services Important?

I am glad I am not a set of parents in Arizona today. I am glad I am not the Greens, who are suffering the unimaginable pain of losing their child. I am glad I am not the Loughners, who have likely been struggling to get their child the services he needs, and for whatever reason were unable to do so. There, but for the grace of God, go I.

Yes, we think about it. When Joey melts down and says violent things, we think about it. We could very easily lose him. He could be bullied to death (or worse). He could lose that line between speech and action and do something violent to himself or to others. As we scramble to get others to understand the need for service, the vital nature of those services, the potentially dangerous situations we face, we have these kinds of stories to terrify us into action.

That's not even counting in the autism factor. The autism factor just makes it that much harder to get our child help, because we can't just send him to any social worker with space on her schedule, we need someone who can work with an autistic child, understand his way of communicating and expressing his needs, his unique issues, on top of the angst. We need to find service providers who understand how autism amplifies the issues other children have with anxiety, depression, anger, frustration.

I had an appointment to see a psychiatrist in March, and we were going down the Charlottesville to see them. They cancelled. We haven't managed to get back on the schedule yet, as we sit on the waitlist for a client cancellation. We're not hopeful; it is just too hard to find someone to see these kids, the appointments are too precious. It is insanity.

So today I am thinking of the Greens and the Loughners, and sending them my thoughts and prayers with all my heart.