Stage One: the Honeymoon Phase; New ABA ‘s


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Week one went smashing. We were all smiles and giggles, talking non stop and dining on lavish meals. Our real honeymoon almost 10 years ago was even better. However, hubs and I am still in that lovey dovey stage while I have a feeling that same feeling has passed between Bug, Diva and their new ABA’s.

I wasn’t present for their first session in clinic, nor their second session at home. I got resounding, and not surprisingly, positive reports from each ABA. Not surprising because with all new relationship there is that ooey gooey stage of bliss and a high of happiness meeting a new friend. At that point the therapist hasn’t unleashed her cruelty of trying new foods, park trips just to practice conversations and actual work. The first week is all about building a relationship and friendship to gain trust and respect.

Nevertheless, the honeymoon period should soon be over and they have their work cut out for them chasing our eloping children and trying to get them to eat one kernel of corn. Neither ABA will be remarking on the child’s eagerness to please or their engaging attention span.

I will hold out hope for the sake of not burning out the ABA’s and making them question their profession of choice. God speed ladies and may the force be with you

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Tip{py} Tuesday: With A Smile on my Face and a Song in my Heart- Trying to Remain Pleasant While Visiting Family


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We have all been there before; thrusted into a situation with a family member who makes some comments about your children or family. Most common “well your cousins son does that and he’s fine”, “it’s just a phase”, and “they will out grow it”. I feel like I need to carry around my children’s medical diagnosis to shut some people up. When visiting family I constantly feel defensive about my kids diagnosises. I get tired, hurt and annoyed with the constant snide comments and family playing doctor with their own diagnosis.

So what do you do? You can argue and pull out the paperwork and explain in great detail how their constant farting nosies they make is “not a boy thing” it’s called a stem. You can educate people until you are blue in the face, but after six years I have learned to save face and my breath.

It’s hard. It’s more than hard; it is almost damn near impossible for me to keep my mouth shut. Not to mention you can read me like a book. I was very good in theater. I have a tendency to get very defensive about topics I know a lot about. So I have to press my lips together and bite the inside of my mouth to keep from being the next breaking news story.

My momma taught me that if I have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all. At my age I still heed that warning. Sometimes it’s better to just say nothing to the people you love. Take what they say with a grain of salt and all those other euphuism we have all acquired over time.

So next time your faced with a family member who just keeps digging at you, slap a smile on your face and put a song in your heart and remember that they are just family.

Tip{py} Tuesday: Quick Ironing Tip


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Let me start this post off with- I’m not awake. It has been some long days since we arrived back on the mainland. Lots of fun with family, visited some wineries and playing tourist just about every day has lead to some long days and even longer melt downs. Can you blame me?!

So today is no different. We are up early, again, and headed off to the best free zoo in the country. However, living out of a suitcase has it’s downfalls. One happens to be wrinkles. Sadly, some of our family members don’t own irons. More sadly is if they did, I still wouldn’t use one. I could also say that with kids on the spectrum, I try to avoid all impending disasters. I can just picture ironing my shorts and one of the littles running into the cord whipping the iron out of my hand and me (not awake) trying to catch it. So I have invited numerous ways to “iron” out some wrinkles.

The fastest and easiest way is the one I just used.

Take wrinkled bent under short hem. I straighten it out, wet a wash cloth and rub the wrinkle.

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The end result is that you basically did a quick wash and unwrinkle the wrinkle without burning yourself or your children. Hope this helps some of you feel a little more presentable to the outside world. Which just reminded me I forgot my deodorant this morning. Have a glorious day!

Wordy Wednesday: Tricare ABA; Let’s Beat a Dead Horse


Yes, I know. We have touched on this topic before…like 10 times. You read it in your social media feeds almost daily with all the changes, laws, and rants about it. So why am I sitting here wasting your time again? For the same reasons I did last time. Things are a changin’.

First off, let me provide you with this freaking awesome chart explaining the differences in the Tricare ABA programs there currently are- Tricare_ABA_Comparison_Chart_March2014 that was American Military Families Autism Support Community (AMFAS). I belong to the one in our region and the group for the region we are moving too. They each have their own Facebook pages and support groups by location. I’m a big advocate of being able to communicate when you need to communicate immediately to answer questions. I hate mulling over a question I have waiting for a office or store to open their telephone lines or doors. I love social media because I can almost instantaneously get an answer to my question.

I am linked to AMFAS via Facebook and yesterday a new meme caught my eye and sent me into a panic reading over their article.

AMFAS.ORG had that scrolling across my Facebook account. GAH, FFFFFT! Those weren’t exactly the words I used. But for the sake of not offending our readers, I will keep it PG. Enter a few eye rolls and I was more than a little irritated. Riddle me this Batman, didn’t we just go through changes. Changes that were so unrealistic and ridiculous, that they were resended? Um, yea. So why are trying to do this again? Nevertheless, a Tricare ABA consolidation program is coming this year.

I do understand that some of the retirees are not getting the level of care they need and qualify for and there are a few other issues arising from the current programs. However, the more I mull it over I realize this is basically Tricare trying to cut costs again and streamline programs. AMFAS provided two links to reports given to congress

Report 1

Report 2

 

Head on over to AMFAS for more information regarding the Tricare ABA consolidation program.

Tricare and Therapy Thursday: Medical Radius


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When we were awaiting orders we dreamed at all the amazing possibilities for our first duty station. I never dreamed I would ever move away from my home town, let alone, home state. Then there we were waiting to see if we would be moving to another country. When the word came in it was a like a bomb had gone off. We didn’t know what to think or how to react. We were scrambling to pick up the pieces and quickly get our affairs in order. We didn’t get Germany as we had always dreamed, and what we did wasn’t even on our radio as a possibility. But there we were faced with a realization we needed to get packing… and fast.

One of the steps you take when moving to a new base is often clearing EFMP. If you don’t know what EFMP is, take a quick read over at a article we wrote a while back.  For the rest of us, lets move on.

During our personal process of EFMP screening when leaving our last post we had to go through the EFMP clearance process. What we told was a scary realization we had not realized was going to be a issue. Due to the medical radius of the base we were currently at, we, as dependents, were told we could never reside there again (there are always ways around this). Why? The medical radius for that particular base was 40 miles. Care for my child had to be within those 40 miles. It was not! It was a 3 hour one way drive to a larger city to find the medical specialty he needed for care and his weekly medical treatments. That’s right folks. I was drive 3 hours one way for a 30 minute appointment 2-4 times a week! A WEEK!!!!!

So the questions come. I know your thinking them.

1) How were you still stationed at the post if you were traveling outside the medical radius that often for care?

Our son was diagnosed with his medical condition after we had been stationed at the base. They were in a frantic search for someone in the state to be able to manage his care. Due to the isolated location of the base, honestly, there was no medical care within the 40 miles. So (here is where an exception comes in), somewhere along the lines they approved his EFMP paperwork that stated he needed said medical care outside of the radius. It seems however, some where along the way no one really noticed how far we were driving. Upon exiting and pcsing from said base, this is when they caught it and said there was no way we could live there as dependents.

2) If you can’t live there as dependents what happens if your spouse is stationed there?

Great question. No real answer. We have yet to reach that point, but I have a feeling we are going to get our answer shortly. Due to the high specialty of the medical care Bug needs and the combination of the MOS Hubs does, we are very limited to bases that can accommodate both. We are literally currently trying to figure this out. However, from I have have been told in the past it would resemble something like an unaccompanied tour for Hubs. Which will not fly with me. Sorry, but separating me and three small children (all requiring specialized care) from my husband will require you to sedate me and lock me up. All that will do is create more hardship on my family. I would rather drive 3 hours for a 30 min appointment to be able to keep our family together. But there in lines a greater question- would staying together do you more harm than good?

3) What is the medical radius for my base?

In order to find that out you will need to contact your base or your gaining base EFMP office. Every base is different. Some bases have larger radius than others.

4) What will happen if you can’t find a base with medical needs and your husbands job?

Another amazing question and another one I am in the process of discovering. Where there is a will there is a way. The way? Talking to my children’s doctors and explaining to them the situation.  If we are having this issues, I am sure other families in the past have had similar if not the same issues. And I am sure the mommy in that family was just as feisty as me to find a way to make it all happen.

5) Do you want to move?

That is the question of the year. I have also wrote about this a bit earlier this year; the first time we were told we were pcsing (which was a lie!). We are now facing the same situation again, just a different base. Yes, we want to move. There are so many reasons that will end up being another post.

Ideally in the end we will move to a base that will have both the medical care we need and Hubs job. Realistically that will probably never happen and we might be stuck in paradise forever. If not paradise forever, then an base with limited medical access that will require weekly road trips but our family will be together.