As a military family, we move around a lot. In the last 5 years, we’ve lived in 3 different places. For some people, like my husband, this is normal as he grew up with the Army. For others,like myself, it is quite different as I spent almost all my childhood in the same home. Nonetheless, moving can be hard for the littles, and especially challenging for those who have special needs. Therapy becomes a way of life, part of the routine, if you will for families of children with special needs. And when it’s time to move, that part of the routine becomes drastically interrupted.
Therapy has become a normalcy for the Davis household for over 6 years. For over 6 years, I’ve been running the kids to either speech or behavioral therapy, or have been welcoming speech and behavioral therapists into my home. For over 6 years, it has been our way of life. In the last 2 months, however, this has ceased to happen. It’s difficult to talk a great therapist into moving with you. Believe me y’all, I’ve tried. But as with all things when one moves, it’s time for us to find new professionals to help our kiddos in our new home.
I thought that for at least 2 months, not having therapy would be a little like a vacation for us. It was nice not having to rush through homework or carefully configure our Saturdays to ensure the kids got to their sessions on time. It. Was. Nice. But then real life took over. The kids began regressing back to undesirable behaviors quite forcefully. Summer reading assignments became arduous. Workbook practices became exhausting and frustrating. The attempt to create and implement daily chore expectations have been challenging. There’s nothing like being an hour into my day and hearing the defiance! And as much as I’ve responded in the ways I’ve been taught by the professionals, I have not been successful in encouraging them to prolong more desirable behavior. Actually in the last two weeks, things have been more challenging than they have been in quite a while. And I feel like I’m losing my mind just a tad.
Now I was prepared to deal with a bit of challenges simply due to the move. The newness of our home, the difference in environment and routine, the change in the people who were most trusting and reliable. It’s all overwhelming and the behaviors have clearly dictated that. I’ve done my best to capture the best of our time here so far, but what I’ve realized in avoiding the meltdowns and the tantrums and the out and out defiance is that I’ve failed to capture the realness of being plopped down in new environment against one’s wishes and be expected to comply with the same expectations as was had in the previous, more comfortable environment. I’ve failed on this aspect. And I know that no matter how much I do to ensure my kids are learning to respond more appropriately to undesired emotions, there is something wonderful and useful in their going to therapy on a regular basis. They are able to focus and practice the skills necessary to be successful scholastically and socially. They are put in situations in which they can practice their emotional responses to unfavorable situations. Therapy helps to work on existing goals and create new goals that are kindred to their experiences. And it’s a plus for us. I like to pretend what I’m doing as their mom. But truth be told, I am making this thing up as I go along. Sometimes it’s nice to get some help in the process. And therapy is a compass of sorts that helps to navigate the journey.
I have started the process in finding therapists that will mesh well with our children. Insurance makes it tricky don’t you know because the practice needs to first accept your coverage and then often times, a referral is needed. And because we are in the nation’s capital, home and workplace to a large population of people, wait lists are everywhere seemingly, with the average time before one can be seen being anywhere between 6 to 12 months, or so I’ve been told. For now, I hold tightly to the discharge and transfer paperwork that we walked away from Colorado with and find fun and creative ways to keep the kids entertained.
Because if I hear “it’s too hard-rrrrr-dddd” one. more. time…