I figure it is about time I give you all an update about what is going on with Aiden these days. For those of you who don't know we started our son on some medication this month in order to help him function better in his daily life. And you know what? We think it is actually helping! He does seem to be less explosive which is fabulous.
Today the dose was raised to what will hopefully be his semi-permanent dose until his official assessment finally happens.
Speaking of which we talked to the centre where his assessment will take place this week. We are officially on the waiting list. And oy what a waiting list it is. They told us it would be AT LEAST one year until they could see him. ONE YEAR!!!! Crazy.
We put our names on their cancellation waiting list so that if someone cancels they will call us that day and we will drop everything and drive the 3 hours to the centre so he can take the vacant spot. I am fervently praying someone cancels soon. Feel free to pray too. We need it.
The centre also told us that they normally don't work with kids as OLD as Aiden. He's 6 and normally they stick with kids who are 5 and under. They took pity on us since I have been trying to get help for him since he was THREE and we have just been ignored and shuffled around and treated like crap by the system. The lady we spoke with was VERY unimpressed that we had not been referred years earlier.
It was a little funny though because she told my husband that she normally has a LOT of questions to ask but because I filled out their 20 page questionaire so thoroughly she didn't have a lot to ask. Yay me. It is at times like this when being a complete nerd comes in very handy.
I suppose the most interesting thing about the conversation was that all the resources she suggested to us are geared towards kids with autism spectrum disorders. Obviously she couldn't diagnose over the phone, especially since the lady we talked to wasn't the doctor, but clearly they seem to think my son fits in that category. So I guess I have some serious researching to do in the coming months about autism spectrum stuff.
Apparently now that we are officially on this coveted waiting list we can qualify for some help for Aiden. Of course it means I have to call a zillion different people and try to navigate this insane system some more. And honestly I'm not even entirely sure what I am asking for.
The lady seemed to think that if we happened to contact the right people and they happened to be in the right frame of mind to give a crap about our situation then we MIGHT be able to start an application for funding for Aiden at school. Which I think means he would get some extra help.
IF I can figure out who the heck to talk to.
Seriously there should be a manual given to parents of kids with special needs explaining HOW to get the help you KNOW is needed.
Dear stressed out parent of a special needs child:
We regret to inform you that we could not care less about your situation. But if you insist on continuing to bother us we would like to suggest the following steps to take...
Step one: call everyone in the phone book. Start with A and work your way down to Z. Tell everyone what the problem is and ask them if they can help. Take notes. Follow up on any leads.
Step two: call every doctor and medical professional within a 300 mile radius and ask for help for your child.
Step three: call every person affiliated with the school your child attends and ask for help.
Step four: call the spouses of every person you have previously contacted and try to get on their good side in order to win favour.
Step five: write letters and emails daily to all the people you have contacted inundating them with written reasons why you need to be heard.
Step six: camp out on the front steps of the mental health professional in your area until someone listens.
Step seven: document every thing you have done in order to prove you have tried to get help for your child so that when you finally DO get someone to listen and they say "have you talked to anyone else about this?" (in that tone that suggests you are just a complete lazy moron of a parent who has done nothing but eat chocolate and watch soap operas all day while your child suffers) you can just hand them your stack of documentation. That should shut them up. Briefly.
Step eight: weep, scream, cry, rant, vent, and suck up to anyone who has any authority anywhere.
Step nine: lather, rinse, repeat.
Step ten: collapse.
If these steps do not give you the desired results than please move to another country.
Medical and Metal health Canada.
Ok. So I am exaggerating a tad bit. I have met some very wonderful and helpful people along the way but I really do think this system is insanely difficult to navigate and a guide would help a lot.
All in all I am very pleased with how things are going now though. Aiden is getting some help from the best pediatrician in the world. He has an excellent teacher who honestly cares about his well being. We are ON the waiting list for an honest to goodness assessment that, in theory, can get my son the help he needs to live happily. Things are moving forward.
I must admit that my mind is almost entirely taken up with it all right now though. And I know it stresses people out that we have gone the medication route with my son but we really do think we are doing the right thing. If it improves Aiden's quality of life then it is worth it.
So there you have it. Please pray for Aiden and for us and for a cancellation so we can get an earlier appointment!