While I agree that these are definitely challenging areas for Hayden, I disagree that at least one of these is the BIGGEST of her issues. Yes, her attention deficits definitely make teaching her more challenging. But I have spoken with Hayden's IEP team on several occasions lately and they have nothing but good things to say about Hayden and her ability to learn. In fact, her special ed teacher told me that she hoped I wasn't planning on pursuing medication for the ADHD because while Hayden might need one-on-one attention to learn, she focuses well enough to learn without very much problem. And right now, from our perspective as her parents, her attention deficits most impair her when we ask her to do things like pick up her toys or things like that. What it amounts to is that we have to ask her multiple times and stay with her through the whole process--which is more than manageable in my opinion.
Her language disorder is, I agree, one of her biggest challenges. But she makes progress every day. I am encouraged that while her speech and language abilities are delayed, they have never stopped progressing. I have always described it as her abilities growing at a rate of 10 mph when the "typically developing" child's abilities grow at a rate of 30 mph. The important thing to me is that she is still growing.
Hayden is a child on the spectrum--she has autism. She is high-functioning and as with any kiddo on the spectrum, her manifestations are very individual and specific to her. So we are kind of floating in a place where we know what is going on but need the official diagnosis. Our purpose for pursuing this diagnosis at this point is to secure some therapies that our insurance will cover once we have that official diagnosis. We have contacted a place called Tulsa Developmental Pediatrics in order to have Hayden undergo the test for Autism. Luckily, our insurance covers the testing, 60/40. On the down side, however, we have to pay all costs up front and then fill out forms to be reimbursed, plus meet a deductible up front--which is all but met in the first of three appointments. All that we have to do now is wait on tax return season as the testing is not cheap. :)
But we have made it through the first hard run of our journey and are jogging for awhile. We have made some wonderful connections with parents of kiddos with ASD's as well as teachers and therapists that understand where Hayden is and are more than willing to help us in our journey. We have been led to some awesome resources that give us great ideas for learning as well as for stimulation and relaxation. And of course, we have you! We love you all very much and appreciate your prayers and support. I'll sign off for now but keep reading and we'll fill you in on more as it comes along!
PS--I included some pics of Hayden lining up her little bears. She is very good at making them twist and turn and look quite elegant! Since they were the inspiration for this blog's title, I thought it was apropos to include pics! :)