Friday, September 26, 2014
Could I Be Doing More?
Right around the time Dominic was diagnosed with Autism, I became friends with a gal who had a daughter with Autism. The more I got to know her, the more I realized she and I had very different ways of helping our children. While she was a very nice person, she was using what I considered a "controversial" therapy on her daughter. I won't go into specific details on what she was doing, but let's just say, it made me uncomfortable. Needless to say, we have lost touch with each other. When we decided to put Dominic on Ritalin after he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), it was a really, really hard decision. I had a lot of doubts about putting him on the medication, since he was not quite four years old. But, we saw such great results shortly after he started taking the Ritalin, that he still remains on it to this day. I know that not all parents would agree with our decision to have a child on medication, but it is our choice. Sadly, even within the special needs "community" there are parents that feel the need to "judge" other parents on how they are raising their children. I have written before about my encounter with another special needs mom who challenged me after I told her what we were doing for Dominic at the time, by saying, "that's it? that's ALL you are doing for Dominic?" I was so stunned by her rudeness, that I had to walk away from her! It would be wonderful if one therapy worked for every single child with Autism, wouldn't it? Unfortunately, that is not the case. What works for one child, might not work for another and that can make it extremely difficult to know what is the "best" therapy to try. Since Dominic is terrified of large animals, I know "hippotherapy," a therapy using horses wouldn't be a good "fit" for him. I try really, really hard to not pass judgment on what treatments other parents use for their special needs children, because I wouldn't want someone to pass judgment on me. From time-to-time, I think of my friend who has the daughter with Autism. Her daughter was talking, reading and potty trained well before Dominic. I think sometimes, what if I used the same therapy my friend used on her daughter for Dominic? would he be further along than he is? could I be doing more for him than I'm doing? I guess I could spend all day feeling "guilty" for not trying a certain therapy, but that would be counter productive, wouldn't it? I focus my efforts instead on what we ARE doing for him each day. I love what Dominic's private speech therapist told me at the end of his session last week. She said, "I have high expectations for Dominic." We do too. He has already surpassed many "hurdles" since his diagnosis of Autism and I know that there will be challenges ahead on this special needs "road." I know in my heart, that when I put my head down on my pillow to go to sleep each night, I have done the best that I can for Dominic and that is enough.