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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

School and Therapy Balance?? How do you choose??

Posted by on Apr. 10, 2014 at 1:26 PM
  • 12 Replies

Ok, my 3 SN kiddos (5.5 years old in Kinder next year) have received several recent developmental diagnosis, and each addition causes a need for new services.  We are officially at the point where they need more therapies and school hours than I can fit in a day/week.  And I'm having a hard time saying I am going to 'deny' them anything they need, but there are 3 of them, and that is triple the time commitment on 1 parent when the therapies can not all be done at one time or even one location.  So, my question as many of you have to juggle therapies and schooling too.  If you can't get all your child's therapy needs met on their IEP/school time.  How do you choose between education and therapies?  Which is more important?  How do you pick?  I can't get the schools to provide all they need (as in may be physical need over educational need), and I can't get some critical therapies without committing to travel/therapy time at 5 hours a day, 5 days a week (and they still need more therapies than just that one which would not leave much time for school).  I can't figure out where my priority lies, and what is truly critical as they all are.  Any suggestions?  What do you ladies do?  

by on Apr. 10, 2014 at 1:26 PM
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Replies (1-10):
SamMom912
by Gold Member on Apr. 10, 2014 at 3:50 PM
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that sounds really rough.. Im so sorry. Is there anyway since your kids need so much that providers can come to you? Im wondering if a PT could come to your house and work with the kids either together on separate things-- or a PT and an OT and then swap.. its still hours of therapy- but done in your house with multiple children. ... and AT YOUR HOUSE... (have I mentioned AT YOUR HOUSE?!) LOL...

I think its always a rough balance with push into classes for OT and push into gym for PT and recess.. and pull out for speech or other therapy. I mean, it sounds like the district should put therapists at your beck and call...

I also want to say, I know therapys are important.. but being a kid is important too.. and I always struggle between the over scheduled therapy and the over stressed out kid... Its SUCH a fine line... and you know your kids, so its important you watch for those signs of "too much".
HUGS.. tough question.. wishing you peace around your decisions...

dawncs
by Dawn on Apr. 10, 2014 at 4:04 PM
1 mom liked this

 I recommend getting a crockpot. They are $10 to $20 at Walmart. You throw in meat, potatoes, and vegetable in the morning. It will be ready in the evening when you are ready to eat.

Momof4AEMW
by Gold Member on Apr. 10, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Thanks.  I would love in home.  It just does not exist here, neither does weekend or evening sadly.  And if I want to try ABA for the two kids, I have to commit 5 hours a day as it is an hour drive each way 5 days a week.  They would not go to school until noon, and then still have to pull out for private OT, speech, and PT which does not leave much time for school.   

And I fully agree on the balance.  What I run into is my two are NOT high functioning, at all.  ABA is only covered until age 9 by medicaid in our state.  My kids with the wait list won't get to start until about 6.  We have tried SOOOO many other things without success, especially with my daughter.  I'm worried if we don't try the one thing that may help I'm doing a disservice to her, but it is such a committment that will throw off everything.  She's developmentally 12-24 months and made no 'school' progress in 6 years they have had her in intervention and prek.  Maybe that answered my own question, lol!!  But I also think she (they) need their peers for interaction and peer modeling.  ugh!!  It just finally got to be too much that I can not fit it all in as this one mom juggling them in the different directions and needs they have.  And I don't want to pick one kid's needs over the other.  They all need therapies and such the school will not provide.  Ugh!

Quoting SamMom912:

that sounds really rough.. Im so sorry. Is there anyway since your kids need so much that providers can come to you? Im wondering if a PT could come to your house and work with the kids either together on separate things-- or a PT and an OT and then swap.. its still hours of therapy- but done in your house with multiple children. ... and AT YOUR HOUSE... (have I mentioned AT YOUR HOUSE?!) LOL... I think its always a rough balance with push into classes for OT and push into gym for PT and recess.. and pull out for speech or other therapy. I mean, it sounds like the district should put therapists at your beck and call... I also want to say, I know therapys are important.. but being a kid is important too.. and I always struggle between the over scheduled therapy and the over stressed out kid... Its SUCH a fine line... and you know your kids, so its important you watch for those signs of "too much". HUGS.. tough question.. wishing you peace around your decisions...

 

SamMom912
by Gold Member on Apr. 10, 2014 at 4:46 PM

 what about hiring a sitter/ someone older/ educated/ open minded to shuttle to closer places so you do the far ABA drive while your other 2 get services they need closer to home. It sounds to me like you need another team member!!! Is there a possibility for someone else to be on your team?

Quoting Momof4AEMW:

Thanks.  I would love in home.  It just does not exist here, neither does weekend or evening sadly.  And if I want to try ABA for the two kids, I have to commit 5 hours a day as it is an hour drive each way 5 days a week.  They would not go to school until noon, and then still have to pull out for private OT, speech, and PT which does not leave much time for school.   

And I fully agree on the balance.  What I run into is my two are NOT high functioning, at all.  ABA is only covered until age 9 by medicaid in our state.  My kids with the wait list won't get to start until about 6.  We have tried SOOOO many other things without success, especially with my daughter.  I'm worried if we don't try the one thing that may help I'm doing a disservice to her, but it is such a committment that will throw off everything.  She's developmentally 12-24 months and made no 'school' progress in 6 years they have had her in intervention and prek.  Maybe that answered my own question, lol!!  But I also think she (they) need their peers for interaction and peer modeling.  ugh!!  It just finally got to be too much that I can not fit it all in as this one mom juggling them in the different directions and needs they have.  And I don't want to pick one kid's needs over the other.  They all need therapies and such the school will not provide.  Ugh!

Quoting SamMom912:

that sounds really rough.. Im so sorry. Is there anyway since your kids need so much that providers can come to you? Im wondering if a PT could come to your house and work with the kids either together on separate things-- or a PT and an OT and then swap.. its still hours of therapy- but done in your house with multiple children. ... and AT YOUR HOUSE... (have I mentioned AT YOUR HOUSE?!) LOL... I think its always a rough balance with push into classes for OT and push into gym for PT and recess.. and pull out for speech or other therapy. I mean, it sounds like the district should put therapists at your beck and call... I also want to say, I know therapys are important.. but being a kid is important too.. and I always struggle between the over scheduled therapy and the over stressed out kid... Its SUCH a fine line... and you know your kids, so its important you watch for those signs of "too much". HUGS.. tough question.. wishing you peace around your decisions...

 

 

Momof4AEMW
by Gold Member on Apr. 10, 2014 at 4:53 PM

I don't know.  My kids are kind of wearing people (grandparents mainly) out.  I'm sure I would have some help, but I still have to commit to myself that it is ok she (they if my son goes too) hardly go to school if I do this.  They'd only get at school like 10ish hours a week??  I'm just not sure what is going to meet their needs the best and what I just am ok them missing out on.  We all do all we can for our kids, I just feel I'm at the point I literally can't meet all their needs.  and that's a sucky point to be at.  

Quoting SamMom912:

 what about hiring a sitter/ someone older/ educated/ open minded to shuttle to closer places so you do the far ABA drive while your other 2 get services they need closer to home. It sounds to me like you need another team member!!! Is there a possibility for someone else to be on your team?

Quoting Momof4AEMW:

Thanks.  I would love in home.  It just does not exist here, neither does weekend or evening sadly.  And if I want to try ABA for the two kids, I have to commit 5 hours a day as it is an hour drive each way 5 days a week.  They would not go to school until noon, and then still have to pull out for private OT, speech, and PT which does not leave much time for school.   

And I fully agree on the balance.  What I run into is my two are NOT high functioning, at all.  ABA is only covered until age 9 by medicaid in our state.  My kids with the wait list won't get to start until about 6.  We have tried SOOOO many other things without success, especially with my daughter.  I'm worried if we don't try the one thing that may help I'm doing a disservice to her, but it is such a committment that will throw off everything.  She's developmentally 12-24 months and made no 'school' progress in 6 years they have had her in intervention and prek.  Maybe that answered my own question, lol!!  But I also think she (they) need their peers for interaction and peer modeling.  ugh!!  It just finally got to be too much that I can not fit it all in as this one mom juggling them in the different directions and needs they have.  And I don't want to pick one kid's needs over the other.  They all need therapies and such the school will not provide.  Ugh!

Quoting SamMom912:

that sounds really rough.. Im so sorry. Is there anyway since your kids need so much that providers can come to you? Im wondering if a PT could come to your house and work with the kids either together on separate things-- or a PT and an OT and then swap.. its still hours of therapy- but done in your house with multiple children. ... and AT YOUR HOUSE... (have I mentioned AT YOUR HOUSE?!) LOL... I think its always a rough balance with push into classes for OT and push into gym for PT and recess.. and pull out for speech or other therapy. I mean, it sounds like the district should put therapists at your beck and call... I also want to say, I know therapys are important.. but being a kid is important too.. and I always struggle between the over scheduled therapy and the over stressed out kid... Its SUCH a fine line... and you know your kids, so its important you watch for those signs of "too much". HUGS.. tough question.. wishing you peace around your decisions...

 

 

 

okpondlady
by Member on Apr. 10, 2014 at 6:39 PM
1 mom liked this

We are very lucky that so far Alex only goes to school 1/2 day in Head Start.  One afternoon a week we do OT and PT in the same place.  It is great but I wish he had some in school services too.

Gloria1025
by Bronze Member on Apr. 10, 2014 at 6:45 PM
1 mom liked this

I know you have had many conversations with the school system and love their teacher but if your daughter has not made progress on goals in her IEP - they are accountable for that and should be doing more to help you.  If you have 2 children who qualify for ABA and they haven't made progress in years, then they should be nervous and doing everthing they can to get an ABA therapist to come to your children at school.  I know you have tried but they really don't have any excuses that I have heard from you that are legit.  I get that it is hard for them and expensive but you have documented "lack of educational progress" and they should be very nervous about that. 

jowen905
by Jan on Apr. 10, 2014 at 7:38 PM
1 mom liked this

 I've been really thinking on this and unfortunately I don't really have crap to offer in the way of advice.  I'm guessing I would lean toward more time with therapies and less time with school - only because they'll just be in kindergarden, right?  It just seems that some issues have to be addressed before a child can be capable of "receiving" the benefits of education.  Is the school willing to let you "cut" their school hours?  And what if you just take it a year at a time, and go from there.  I just don't know how all of that works.  I'm sorry I'm not much help.  Hugs.

Momof4AEMW
by Gold Member on Apr. 10, 2014 at 11:23 PM

I have been thinking about that.  See the funny thing is, I see a ton of progress that is directly from this teacher (I can tell, I see her with them a lot and then watch my son regurgitate her actions/words).  But yes, it is not progress enough on the 'goal areas' to be considered progress and they have not passed a goal.  So there is documented 'lack of educational progress.' And I do plan on mentioning that when I call the director of Special Ed tomorrow asking for them to hire in or train teachers/aides in ABA for my kids.  I won't win this, but I'm doing it anyway.  Other parents have asked as well. and being turned down  It is not available within an hour radius of us in private or school settings, so is like it just does not exist here.  I think they get by with it that way, because it is too far out of county to transport daily for the service, and they claim too far away to bring it here as well.  So make a position and hire someone or pay to get one you have now trained.   

Quoting Gloria1025:

I know you have had many conversations with the school system and love their teacher but if your daughter has not made progress on goals in her IEP - they are accountable for that and should be doing more to help you.  If you have 2 children who qualify for ABA and they haven't made progress in years, then they should be nervous and doing everthing they can to get an ABA therapist to come to your children at school.  I know you have tried but they really don't have any excuses that I have heard from you that are legit.  I get that it is hard for them and expensive but you have documented "lack of educational progress" and they should be very nervous about that. 

 

Momof4AEMW
by Gold Member on Apr. 10, 2014 at 11:26 PM

That is helpful and a good point.  How can we get schooling in if we don't have the therapies to address the underlying issues that don't let the education in now.  And yes, they are kindergarten.  I am not sure what the schools would say yet, but at the same time they are not providing what my kids need to be successful in their setting or sending them out to obtain it.  I don't know.  It's crazy! 

Quoting jowen905:

 I've been really thinking on this and unfortunately I don't really have crap to offer in the way of advice.  I'm guessing I would lean toward more time with therapies and less time with school - only because they'll just be in kindergarden, right?  It just seems that some issues have to be addressed before a child can be capable of "receiving" the benefits of education.  Is the school willing to let you "cut" their school hours?  And what if you just take it a year at a time, and go from there.  I just don't know how all of that works.  I'm sorry I'm not much help.  Hugs.

 

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