Boodi and the Beast
Posted on July 30, 2015
It’s been a while since I wrote about Boodi and our journey with him through the tangled webs of early intervention for autism. It seems like such a long time since it felt like we were moving forward, though there has been (inadequate and unsatisfactory) therapy, and a great occupational therapist who runs two separate special needs playgroups that we attend, and I have been to two Amaze (Autism Victoria) Early Days workshops.
A couple of months ago, after another frustrating therapy session where the therapist/key support worker once again ignored Boodi, advising me on strategies again (he never received any one on one therapy from them, though that was what he was supposed to be getting), I reached out to friends and online forums that I am a member of, to ask what Boodi’s therapies should look like. The answers told me that we needed to terminate the service agreement where we were and begin again from scratch.
We are in a pilot area for the NDIS and as such, everything is a little different to most places in Australia. Ostensibly that equals far superior funding and support, but it also comes with the drawback of service providers (aka therapists and organisations) being on their own steep learning curves. We went with the people that we did because there was no waiting list, and the people that we wanted to go with had a wait list of several months. We were so impatient to get started that we chose to believe that they would all be pretty much the same.
That assumption cost a significant chunk of Boodi’s funding package for this year but not time. As it turned out, when I called to get him back on the waitlist for the first place, I had forgotten to ever take him off it, and he was now at the top of said list. It’s been another month or so, but we met with his new Speech Therapist/Key Worker, and with his Occupational Therapist last week, and had our first session of speech therapy today.
When I first wrote about Boodi’s autism, it was at the end of one long and frustrating road, the road to diagnosis. That part of the journey culminated in meeting his paediatrician, the first person to finally give us answers, hope and immediate options. Henceforth he has always been referred to as St Isaac in our household, and we have all faith and confidence in him.
Working with Boodi’s new speech therapist today, Al and I experienced that moment again for the first time since late January (that has felt like a very long time in the world of early intervention). As she worked with him, an exchange of jaw dropping back and forth interaction in the form of eye contact, delighted smiles and squeaky noises took place and brought tears to our eyes. She wrought magic. She wrought change, affect and hope.
She earned the second halo awarded by the Netherclift household.
What a difference the right person makes. In her wake a dark cloud lifts and our sluggish feet become alive again with sensation. The journey continues with renewed vigour.
*The Beast in the title refers to the journey :)
PS I have putting heart and soul into the 3 chapters of my book, trying to get it ready for submission for #therichellprize and the deadline is so close now! Anyone else working feverishly to the deadline? I have zero chance of winning but I am so happy to have gotten this far, and looking very much forward to continuing the story once these chapters are sent off xx