of goals and gas

(Evan telling me he is three)

The start of my evening sort of felt like a situation comedy. And ended like an Ensign article.

We have been lucky that Zane finally qualified for state funded services for his Autism label. Something all children anywhere on the Autism Spectrum should get, but mothers have to fight very hard to obtain. Several evaluations later (PT, OT, Speech) it's become even more clear to us he could really use extended support beyond us to help him fill in the gaps that come with his differences. Any time you hear someone gripe about labeling a child, tell them to call me so I can show them the evaluations that demonstrate the sizable gap between where he is and where he should be for his age. Without this label he gets none of the support that will help him make up some ground and reach his potential in ways we as regular parents cannot fulfill alone.

So part of his package of services includes what is called Hab Therapy and Respite. It happens to be the same person trained to do both and I am given a certain number of hours and we create goals for him to work on in addition to her guiding him through the evening with regular life routine.

I met and interviewed her and thought she would be a good fit for our family and schedule. Tonight was her first night on the job.

She arrived and Zane had just punched Evan several times, making him cry a lot. Sylvia hates it when Evan cries, so she stared to cry too. Zane was in and out of time-out and no one was eating their dinner I had hoped to have cleaned up before she arrived. I opened the door and she got to see (and hear) the real deal. My kids. My chaos. Dinnertime at its finest.
Every time we tried to talk I had to interrupt the conversation to pull a kid off furniture, redirect someone to the kitchen table, or comfort more tears. Once dinner was finished and the house calmed down she farted. Not Sylvia. The woman! It was awesome. I excused myself to check on Evan in the bathroom because I knew I could not pull a straight face.

I get in the bathroom and Evan tells me he peed on Sylvia. An entire roll of wet toilet paper is bunched up on the floor while she waiting in my kitchen to finish our conversation. I pass her swiftly explaining my son peed on my daughter I need to clean her- I will be right with you- why don't you talk to Zane while he plays computer games and get to know him.
I am not really sure how much time they spent in that room together while I cleaned up Sylvia and dinner. It was a while. But she was getting to know him and I felt the stress melt from my shoulders as I took in the peace that is two people and three children in one home. It works so much easier that way!
The rest of the evening she shadowed me throughout evening routine and I faded out to help one of the little ones while she took over with Zane. Homework. Reward. Cleaning room. Brushing teeth. Jammies on. Etc. Each of these takes a really long time for him to complete and he needs complete 1 on 1 attention just about the entire time.
Tonight I felt it. I know the Lord's hand was in this- for our family to have this kind of support for Zane and for me. It's hard getting what you need for a special needs child, especially one that is high functioning. I know it's not by accident that this blessing is ours and I feel so grateful for it. Even if she has bad gas. She's an answer to my prayers.