Yesterday, I finally got the call I've been waiting so long for- G's school had finally set up a meeting for his PET.
Now, if you're not sure what a PET is don't be concerned- I've actually forgotten what exactly the acronym stands for myself. Something Evaluation Team? Anyways, what it boils down to is that, after a long period of struggling on our own, we may finally get some real help for G.
To understand the situation, you must first understand my G. He is a very complex little boy. He is so smart, it causes him frustration and boredom. He'd rather do math problems than art. He obsesses over things constantly, from any shift in our daily routine, to what's for dinner the following day, to the amount of time he gets to spend on the computer. He's the pickiest eater I've ever known, so picky in fact, that's it's almost as if any food with flavor causes him pain. He hates to sleep, and, even after he manages to drift off for a few hours, he'll wake up in the middle of the night, turn his light up, and do tanagrams in bed.
G has always been "quirky", and initially we chalked it up to a funky personality. So what if he loved looking at the phone book for hours, staring at the neat rows of names and numbers? And his difficulties with transitions? Just a phase, we were sure.
Our outlook changed as G entered school. The teachers began to notice things we never had. G's fine motor skills were lacking- his hands became tired quickly when he wrote and drew. His gross motor skills were behind as well- he avoided to much physical activity. His vestibular system (the 5 senses) became easily overwhelmed. And then the fits started.
G's fits are terrifying. When his schedule is interrupted, or he has to deviate from his current obsession, etc. he falls into horrifying fits. It's like he's possessed. He screams horrible things, cried, throws himself on the floor, and can't be touched or reasoned with.
Of course there are a lot of other little pieces, to numerous to go into. Eventually, we couldn't deny it any longer- G was different, and we needed help doing what's best for him. After extensive personal research, my husband and I found that G fit all of the criteria for Asperger's Syndrome, a high-functioning form of Autism. Armed with our experience, our frustrations, and all our love, we consulted our pediatrician. The pediatrician then referred us the only behavioral specialist in our area.
The behavioral specialist sent us a scary amount of paperwork to fill out on G, from the time he was in the womb. I filled it out, sent it back, and then was told it would be up to a year before G could be seen. We were dumbfounded, frustrated, and at a loss for what to do next.
After expressing my frustrations to a new co-worker, I was told that we could get all of G's evaluations done through his school, at no cost, and much faster. Once again, I was dumbfounded. How could that be? I mean, if that was true, why hadn't the school told us this after so many meetings with teachers and staff, talking to them about G's behavioral issues and our concerns? Why don't they let ALL parents know that these services are available if needed?
Well, now we've finally made progress. The meeting is on September 18th, and we're all so relieved that help may finally be within reach. Until then, we will continue to be patient and understanding, dealing with the situation the best we know, and hoping that answers will be coming soon.