Mommy Moment Monday…A teenager with autism describes what it’s like

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Two little kiddos to be exact.  That said, our house is never boring, usually not quiet, but always full of love.  I hope that’s how they feel, anyway.  Not to say I don’t ever get frustrated, raise my voice, or lose my temper.  But, I hope that at the end of the day no matter what challenges we’ve faced my little guys know that we love them unconditionally, will always be there for them, and that they can count on us.

That said, there are times that I am so frustrated I can’t even see straight.  One issue that seems to be a constant frustration for us is sleeping.  My oldest gave up naps at two, my youngest still takes them semi-regularly at three, but they both have a hard time turning in at the end of the day.  And they get up early.  I mean, E…A…R…L…Y.  Like my husband leaves for PT at 5:20 and one of them has already been up almost a half hour.  Ay, ay, ay, is all I can say. I find myself asking, why can’t they just sleep?  Why can’t they just close their eyes and rest?  My husband has said he thinks it’s an issue where they just can’t turn their brains off.  We’ve all had those nights, where our thoughts keep us awake.  But, what if it was like that more often than not?  That’s why I found this youtube clip to be particularly interesting.  It’s a teenager describing what it’s like to have autism, and one of the things she talks about is her thoughts, constantly running in her head.

Her message is awesome, and I just want to hug and thank her for sharing.  Since my little ones are not at the point where they can always articulate to me what’s going on in their minds, I found this to be very insightful.  I’ll try to keep this in mind the next time we’re playing chase-the-kids-back-into-their-room at nap or bedtime.  Hopefully, they’ll know that I’m doing it out of love.  And my desperate need for some sleep 🙂  Have a great week, everyone!


Tricare Testing the Waters; Failing to Swim

Again it looks like AD (active duty) families are rightfully spared the chopping block…this time. But with the raising cost of health care aligned with the rise in diagnosed ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) children; when will the two clash? Some are complaining that Autism is being over and misdiagnosed.  Parents are searching for a scapegoat for either their own poor parenting skills, uncontrollable children or  lack of a different diagnosis. With all these new cases of ASD coming to the forefront those with extreme or mild ASD are the ones who will eventually suffer. When cases come up with severe ASD children, there might not be enough ABA’s or therapists to handle the case.  In the future, something will have to give. I’m thinking we will either see changes to the Tricare ABA policy permanent or the cost share will dramatically go up.

I think what we were all witness to was Tricare dipping their toes in the water. How far can they push until they get a reaction? However, instead of a simple toe dip, Tricare jumped in head first. Luckily, us parents were there to save them before they drowned. Maybe they will learn their lesson. Nevertheless, as a parent, I have a feeling they are going to test the boundaries a few more times.

In an email addressed on July 24th, one day before the new Tricare ABA guidelines were suppose to go into effect, Tricare sent out a passive yet informative email.  They wrote “Beginning July 25, 2013, the Department of Defense is expanding autism services available to retirees and other non-active duty family members with the introduction of the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) pilot program. There are no changes to the level of care and service being currently provided to active-duty family members.”

No apologies were written for their abrupt and unemotional apathetic rudeness towards military families with special needs children. But isn’t that one of the first things we teach our children; when to say “sorry”?