Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Details...

It's been a rough couple of weeks for Dexter but I'm hoping the next few weeks and the new year will bring some clam for him.

School has become increasingly harder. Rather than good days I find myself hoping for just not terrible ones. He's easily over stimulated and agitated and it's difficult to predict what will upset him sometimes. As I mentioned in the previous post, we've started medication for anxiety. I think we are seeing some improvement in being able to let some things go and I think we are seeing less physical aggression at school but he's also been a lot more emotional and crying more which could be him adjusting to it. (Or it could just be Dex being ridiculously broken over the ground being wet and ruining recess?) It takes 6-8 weeks for it to fully kick in so we still have a ways to go before we make any adjustments there.

Good news... we've met with his therapist for the first time and we also went in for the OT evaluation and I feel like both will be really helpful. The therapist is going to start by helping us with dealing with anger and frustration, his need to have things perfect, attention and focus, and the serious depression that is setting in. The OT is going to start by focusing on the sensory issues that are preventing him from being able to function in school... sound, visual stimulation, being touched or bumped in to. We've also worked hard to make changes in his home life too. He regularly stays at Jenny's house on weekends to give him some down time away from everyone. He enjoys the quiet (and let's be honest... the spoiling from Jenny!) so he gets a chance to have a little reset. We've also done some things around the house to give the kids more responsibility and ownership over their things and their space. Dex really likes that sense of control. Combine those changes with everything the school does, and I'm really hoping we will see some better days for Dex.

The bad news... therapy and OT aren't cheap. We found out last week that Shawn's job is switching to a new insurance company so I'm really worried about what will be covered. Not all companies cover OT. Most that do only cover so many appointments a year and we will still have to meet the deductible and pay our portion of it after that is met. Once we meet the allotted number of appointments, it is all out of pocket. Each appointment is $175. We are looking at OT twice a week for a while before cutting it back to once down the road and the therapist once a week. Yeah... if you did that math on that, that's about $2100 a MONTH if it's all paid out of pocket. Depending on what insurance covers, we will be adjusting his therapy plans to balance getting him what he needs with what is financially possible. I'll be doing some research to see if there are any programs that help with these kinds of things but we won't be eligible for anything income based.

The other big change is one that I think most people are now aware of. I'm going back to school. Because Shawn is an employee I can go tuition free. I'm torn on this decision. I worry that this is biting off more than I can chew with all of the time and effort Dex takes. On the other hand though, Dex is likely to need some kind of therapy for quite a while. It will always be important to get him what he needs to be successful, happy and in a good mental state. A second income down the road would make that a lot easier. I'm able to do a lot of my classes online which gives me more control over time management. I've got great support. The hard part for me is going to be figuring out what things I can let slide and what things I can't. Shawn and the kids are already stepping it up and taking over some of the things that I do... Shawn is taking a big role in doing laundry and Parker and Regan will be doing the majority of their own. Meal planning and cooking in advance will be more important too.

I'm sure there will be bumps along the way, but I'm determined to do this. I want to be college educated and I want to have the option of going to work down the road if it is the best choice for my family.

So, there  you have it. The good, the bad and the crazy. Thanks to everyone who thinks about us and provides emotional support. And thanks to all of my friends who are so understanding and love me even though I don't see anyone as much as I'd like to. Life isn't easy but it's much better when you have friends and family who understand.

Also, please note I have no time to proofread and edit this. Enjoy my typos and grammar errors. Just pretend they add to the charm of my post. ;)