Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Good News or The Bad News?

It's been an eventful 4 days around here!

Start with the bad news. My brother Bob is having some...um... family problems, which came to a crucial point on Saturday.  I think it's too early for me to elaborate on it in a public forum, as things are still quite tense around here, but it is very much a part of my life, and your kind thoughts for him would be appreciated, as he is going through a rough and emotional time.  He's feeling much better tonight after talking with a friend.  He's smiling and laughing for the first time since Saturday, which really is a great relief!

That's what my *sigh was for on Facebook the other day, if you saw that.  I wasn't sure exactly what to say.

On to better news...

Today I took a half day to go to my 20 week ultrasound in Avon.  My appointment wasn't until 3, so I had a few hours to run errands.  I left work at noon and had lunch, then drove to Cornerstone Autism Center in Greenwood to check it out. There are two new Autism centers opening in Greenwood, which is wonderful, since there are 4 schools on the north side of town, and previously none down here.  I emailed both this summer for details, and found that the "other" school (as we'll call it) had free after-school daycare. This seemed a better choice than separate day care, so I began trying to get Hayden into that center.

Indiana is one of only 17 states with a law that mandates for insurance payment of autism services.  The loophole many insurance companies have apparently found is that companies based in a different state are exempt to some extent from this mandate.  Our insurance, according to the "other center," is one of these companies.  "Other center" said they could contact our insurance and figure out what would be paid.  Over 2 months' time I continued to call and email, with only 1 lonely email letting me know anything was really going on. At the TACA meeting last week, I asked a parent what the deal was with this center, and got some scary stories for my trouble. I think I mentioned this in my last post.  The parent said I'd be better off finding someone to give Hayden services in our home, after school.  (I believe her words were, "I wouldn't send my dog to that school, let alone my child.") Yikes.  That same week, before the TACA meeting, I finally got an email from someone at the "other center" saying that the insurance might cover the center. I had gotten my hopes up for the one-on-one, all-day therapy, and now I was disappointed.

On my way home from the TACA meeting I was thinking about options, and remembered the Cornerstone Center for Autism.  The reason I had originally chosen the "other center" was because of the hours.  Cornerstone is 8:30 to 3:30. I work from 8 to 4:30, about 20 minutes' drive from the center.  On the way home from the meeting I realized: if I just change his daycare to one in Greenwood with a bus, they can drive him to and from Cornerstone.

So today I went to check it out, and was thoroughly impressed. There are pictures if you friend them on Facebook, or maybe this link will work:  http://www.facebook.com/CornerstoneAutismCenter?ref=search&v=wall#!/album.php?aid=23912&id=104929199558004  They just opened in that picture;  the rooms were more populated with cool sensory stuff when I saw it today.

I stopped by without an appointment, so that I could see what things were like without anyone "cleaning up." Or as my dad said, "so they couldn't take down all the chains in the basement."  *oh, Dad...  A therapist gave me a 20 minute tour of the building and answered my questions.  Then one of the owners came out of his meeting to speak with me for 45 minutes or so and answer questions.  I had to leave after that for my OB apppointment, or else I would have then spoken with his wife, who helps people get insurance taken care of and was willing to talk with me about that. Instead I gave her copies of some of the insurance paperwork I had with me in the car, and she'll get the process started.  I'm again excited and inspired and hopeful for my Hayden!!  

I know, I shouldn't get my hopes up, because I still haven't heard back for sure from the insurance.  But the center is so awesome!  They care about the diet, have a sensory room with trampolines and peanut balls, have a quiet room, Hayden would have his own cubicle to decorate and his own therapist, a bin to keep his food in so we can keep him on the diet... his own individualized plan...the director really knew what he was talking about, seemed to legitimately care about autistic kids (he has a 13 year old autistic boy), and worked for a center on the north side that came highly recommended (but was too far north)...etc. etc.  I'm more excited about this than our other news, because I really want to help Hayden, and I think ABA will be soooo wonderful for him.  I'm crossing my fingers that this will all work out with insurance!

ok, the other good news (that you probably already know) is that the ultrasound today showed a little girl!  I am so smiling and happy inside.  I really wanted a girl the first time, I don't even know why, and now with girls being less likely to have autism, I'm almost relieved!  I feel like she has an even better chance at being "typical."  We saw her little feet in the ultrasound, and she had her toes all spread out.  Too cute!  She was moving around a lot, and everything measured perfectly.  I love my new OB, everything about her is great.  I can't wait to meet my new little girl!  Halfway there!  *sigh  (this one is a happy one!!)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

School has started

Sorry for so long without updates!  I always feel like there's nothing to say, then start writing and realize there's plenty.

The first two weeks of school have gone well for Hayden.  He is even doing ok with the odd schedule change-- the developmental preschool changed from him going every day, to just Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri.  I made him a picture schedule, and he hasn't been too out of control.  Work for me has been kind of hectic, but I'm still enjoying it so far, as I love the kids and the crazy things they say. Jason has been busy, but most evenings he's home by 7:15, which is a life saver if Hayden's having a rough night. Jason's getting crumby treatment at work from administration, but what else is new.

Sleep is definitely an issue-- Hayden is still in our bed.  My pregnant brain is too tired by the evening to fight that battle, though I know I should. Potty training is also on hold, as my Mommy instinct can tell that Hayden just isn't ready.  He can't verbalize, or maybe doesn't even yet realize, when he has to go until it's too late.

I went to a TACA (Talk about Curing Autism) meeting last night in Greenwood and learned a lot about Medicaid Disability and other money issues.  There is an all day conference on October 16th that I hope to go to.

I have been trying to stay away from milk and wheat since my allergy results came back (and my allergies to those were sky high), as the nutritionist confirmed that I can pass those reactions on to baby #2.  I have fortunately not been nauseous in several weeks, though the first week of school I was exhausted!  I think I've caught up now and am feeling better. This summer I switched out my shampoo, conditioner, lotion, sunscreen, and toothpaste for healthier versions with no parabens and other yucky chemicals.  I tried switching out my deodorant, but it didn't work, so that got scrapped.  Recent cravings have included 3 weeks straight of eating hot dogs and saurkraut, with no bun, of course, as it contains wheat, and Lucky Charms (which I have to eat with Almond Milk, which is a little odd.)  As with the previous pregnancy, I haven't wanted too many sweets.  I mostly want protein, fruit, and veggies.

We also tried to install an RO unit with the help of my dad, since tap water is so bad for you, but ran into some plumbing problems.  We need to replace the faucet, but ran out of money until next month.  Two of Jason's paychecks in July had 3 weeks between checks instead of the usual two, causing our checking account to become sad and lonely.  Hopefully we'll be caught up in the next two checks and can get a new faucet so the RO will work (and right now we have hot water and not cold in the kitchen sink.)

We got a rather oblique note from our Insurance saying Hayden would be covered as In-Network for the ABA school, which made me really excited since I was told they don't cover ABA.  But, no response from the school despite regular calls and emails, and a parent at TACA last night gave them a poor grade (and scary story), so I'm going to switch tacks and try getting him in to another ABA school. Back to the drawing board on that one, as they say.

Oh-- forgot to mention that we finally got Hayden the official label of Autism a few weeks back. A thousand dollars and several hours of testing later... I also heard at the TACA mtg last night that the  Michigan legislature has changed Autism to a medical label to help with insurance coverage.  Hopefully other states will follow!

On Tuesday we find out if Baby is a boy or girl!! Stay tuned! : )