Monday, March 10, 2008

Catching Up

My mom informed me this morning that it had been awhile since I posted to the blog. She's right. It has just been a little crazy and I haven't had anything very specific to blog about. So, this will be a very general, possibly boring post about what we have been up to the past few days/weeks.
As of August 2008, I will be employed again. The past week, I have been visiting with my friend Mandy and getting paperwork together for my new "career." I am going to be teaching one of the three-year-old classes at the church preschool. I won't be teaching Benjamin's class (I'm sort of funny about that, I want him to have his own experience in his own class since he is with me so much of the rest of the time). This is part time, just on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but I am really excited about it. And now Jonathan will be "going to school", too, in his own little class at the preschool.
We are heading to Muleshoe next week during Spring Break for a visit. Getting super excited about that. We are only able to travel on the weekdays this year because we are both teaching in March at church and we are both on nursery duty-- David, too! So, we need to be in town on the Sundays to be at our church.
I am currently ironing and preparing clothing like a mad woman for the big Mommy & Me Consignment Sale in Austin at the end of the week. I am really behind. I am not putting everything I have in the sale, some things I am setting aside for someone (wink, wink-- you know who you are). But in order to obtain a pass to shop early, I have to at least fill a certain number of sales. I'll get to shop on Friday afternoon before the big rush on Saturday. I am excited about it. My friend Amanda and her (brand new) baby Landry are going with me to take advantage of some awesome deals. Amanda just had Landry on Thursday and she is a precious little girl! We went and met her on Saturday. I am in shock as to how resilient Amanda is! She went home on Friday and seemed like she could run a marathon on Saturday when we saw her! I am excited to spend some time with her on Friday-- and Landry, too!
I want to go ahead and write about what we have been working on/going through/discovering/praying about with Benjamin. I have been a little weird about putting this on the blog, because I don't know who all reads our blog. But, if you read this, I know that you probably care about us and will keep our little family in your prayers during the next few months. If you know us at all, you know Benjamin is one great kiddo (I know I am completely biased here). He is funny, smart, inquisitive and obsessed with vacuum cleaners. He can also be a little shy and sometimes has a hard time in social situations with his peers. He also has quirks, which up until now, we have regarded as just that: quirks. But some things have come to the surface that have made us think that we may have a little more than that on our hands. This is an incredibly long story, so I am going to try to just share the abbreviated version.
After visiting with a number of people, including his pediatrician and several on her staff, we are about to go through the diagnosis process for Asperger's Syndrome with Benjamin. (Feel free to click on the words Asperger's Syndrome to find out what this is). In an extremely brief nutshell, it is a very, very mild and high-functioning form of autism. After a lot of research and talking with people "in the field", we feel certain that he probably has some small form of this, possibly just a touch. But, in the case that it could be bigger than we think, we feel the right thing to do at this point, is to go on with the diagnosis and if he does have this, start researching the best way to handle it. This could involve just a slight change in our routine to some therapy to an extreme situation, possibly medication. Obviously, we are hoping this is nothing at all, just Benjamin's quirkiness. But in the case that it might be something more, we want to give him a leg up on it before he starts kindergarten so he doesn't miss a beat.
Where we are right now:
Stuck! In an insurance nightmare. Our pediatrician cannot do this diagnosis, but she has worked with us so much to get us on to a Developmental Pediatrician who can. There are no Dev. Peds. in our area under our insurance. Our pediatrician's office is trying to get an override to see out of network people, etc. or to send us out of network to someone who is covered by our insurance in a different territoty. So far, we seem to be getting the run around from the insurance company: everyone we speak with there (now on an almost daily basis) has a different idea of what we need to do and who we need to talk to.
What we are thinking may happen:
No matter what, we are ditching our current insurance during open-enrollment this summer. We will switch to the Scott & White plan and at that point can go on with the diagnosis process. We have thought about just doing this out of pocket in the meantime. However, we have found that this will be thousands (if not tens of thousands) of dollars and if we can just wait it out, it would be nice to avoid that if possible.
What we are hopeful could happen in between now and September (open-enrollment):
There are several possibilities that we are still uncovering as we talk to many people who have gone through this process or know a lot about it.
One possibility is the school district, KISD. At this point, we are so blessed that we have a bit of an inside source on this one, we just call him Daddy, though. David has talked to the district about the possibility of getting a diagnosis on the district level with one of their trained professionals in this area. If we decide to stay in Killeen (which at this point, we probably will because of how AWESOME the elemetary school across the street is that caters to autistic and Asperger's kiddos), the district can do a diagnosis possibly even before he is enrolled in kindergarten. This was HUGE news to us that we just received this morning.
We could also go through a local college graduate psychology department for a diagnosis. I talked to a family that did this with Baylor in Waco and loved the process and it was a lot cheaper than the Dev. Ped. route. And then they were able to utilize the services of the psychology department for therapy. They loved it and highly recommended this route for us.
So...we have several possibilities. We just ask you for lots of prayers through this whole thing!
We are praying specifically for:
-- this to be nothing but the quirks of a three-year-old
-- but if it is more than that, we pray that we have peace and understanding and great wisdom about our little guy's diagnosis and what it will mean for his future
-- patience....especially if we have to wait on that diagnosis through late summer/early fall with a dev. ped.
-- we pray that Benjamin is not affected negatively by the entire process and never thinks for a second anything is wrong with him-- he is still and always will be such a great kiddo with a big heart that we love so incredibly much
-- we pray that we are the best parents we can be to him, not pushing him too hard or holding back too much in any area because of this matter
-- we pray for our little Jonathan, too! We don't want him to get lost in the craziness of the next few months or however long this process is....if it ever ends?
I am sure there are many more things to list, but right now these are some prayers we ask you to keep in mind for us.
Thank you all for taking the time to read this incredibly long post. We also welcome with open arms any advice from anyone who may have gone through this or knows someone who has.


Happy Mama said...

Kristi- You know our prayers have been going up for you and your precious family. What amazing news about the school that caters to needs Benjamin might possibly have- God is already at work! We will continue to lift you all up and we know that each path that you need to be on will be clearly marked and laid out before you so that God can show you exactly what to do. We love you and sweet Benjamin and we know that God is at work in his life and that He will do amazing things with this little man that he has blessed you both with. Hang in there and know you are being lifted up daily with the specific prayers you mentioned.

Arly said...

As always, he and you all are in our prayers. However, I am confident that he's just a quirky kid. He does have you two as parents after all. :) Hahaha. No matter what happens, he's still our Benjamin, and Uncle Sam and Aunt Arly will always love him.

Anonymous said...

Good job Kristi. You and David have a great way with your words. I know our Bubba will be just fine. You guys are the best parents. You have made many caring friends and I know everyone is praying for you guys. We love you both and Bubba and Pudge.
Love Mom and Dad

Jennifer said...

Definitely keeping you in our prayers! We're so glad that you are a part of our church family here---now, the Home Builders!

I want to go to that consignment sale too! I love consignment sales!

Lauren said...

You and David are such wonderful parents!! We will keep y'all in our prayers for sure. Benjamin and Jonathan are so precious!! Love you!

Laney said...

My mom reminds me when I haven't blogged in a while too...

Your family will definitely be in our prayers. What a roller coaster! You're doing the right thing by being so proactive though.

tommie said...

First- I was a special ed teacher prior to kids. I have taught pre-K self contained with mostly Aspie/autism kids. If you have any questions of testing or anything, please call or shoot me an email.

Second, I totally wanted to go to that sale in Austin! I can't believe you got all your stuff together to do it. So jealous.

Hollar if you need anything:


Wendy said...

You'll definitely be in our prayers, but it sounds like you guys have a great attitude and are taking everything one step at a time! Benjamin is such a cutie!