The last thing I recall posting about Monkey was that he’d just turned four, so here are a few new updates on my wonderful pride and joy. First of all, Monkey is doing really well in preschool. He loves it and he loves seeing his new friends everyday. He’s also talking a lot more than he used to, which is wonderful. He still has obvious delays in his speech, but being able to hear the words, “I love you” from my son is priceless, especially when he randomly says these words on his own without prompting. As for therapy, Monkey is finally in a position where he receiving “co-treats” which means that his speech therapist and his occupational therapist both see him at the same time, which is something we’ve been trying to work out for a couple of months now. And now, we finally have an I.E.P. (Individualized Educational Plan) for my son. Normally, when a child begins preschool at a public school in our state, the child is either accepted based on low income or disability. I was told by our local board of education that the process of getting Monkey into school would be faster if I chose to enroll Monkey based on our income, so I did, not knowing that it would take until January to even get an I.E.P. meeting. Apparently, the school had so many months from the time I requested an I.E.P. to have the meeting and they took all of the time they could get, but I’m glad that Monkey now has what he needs at school.
So, now the next step in the process for Monkey is potty training intervention. I’m getting nowhere with potty training him, but have been told to use the TEACCH approach. Apparently, this is the best way to teach Monkey that he can use the potty more than just in the morning when I literally have to place him on the potty and give him a distraction toy (the iPod) just to get him to sit there and go. This is the only time of the day that I’ve been successful in getting him to go potty and for us the TEACCH approach just isn’t working. So, the next step is some kind of potty training intervention, which Monkey’s medical insurance doesn’t pay for, so I applied him for a waiver program in our state. Monkey was approved for the waiver, but we are still in the process of acquiring these funds, so the journey continues. This waiver should cover the cost of a potty training intervention program where I actually get help with teaching Monkey to potty in a way that he can understand. Though I’ve been told by several people that children with Autism are usually really late to potty train and it’s quite impressive that I can get him to go potty almost every single morning. It’s a journey, but Monkey is well worth the effort.