I'm starting my new teaching job next week. The issue? Childcare. Unbelievably, there is no childcare in this town of 16,000+ for children with special needs. Unreal. First Steps provides in-home therapy at a cost, but there is NO group type therapy---none. My child has nobody to emulate. In the county next to us, they have a childcare place where there are children with and without special needs, but that's 40 minutes away--not an option.
I have a good example from THIS MORNING of why he needs to be around other children. We went to the playground, and there were only two other kids there with their grandpa. Evan did his new usual routine; he went up the ramp and sat on the platform that connects the wobbly bridge, a slide, a tunnel, and the bars that one can go across. He likes to sit there and watch kids run around him. Today, a soon to be 1st-grader girl who recognized me from school came over to talk to us. Evan laughed as she ran across the wobbly bridge. She then went up to him and said so sweetly, "Do you want to go down the slide with me?" The slide is a small, double slide. Evan has gone down it before but only with me holding his hand. Even though I have tried to get him to go down by himself in the past, he wouldn't. Right after the little girl asked him, she went over and sat on one side of the slide, and Evan scooted right over and sat at the top of the other side! She then went down the slide. Without hesitation, Evan went down!!! I was on the other side of this piece of equipment, and although I could have ducked and gone under to get to the other side, there wasn't enough time to react. I thought for sure he was going to land on his bottom. Nope, he landed squarely on his feet--a perfect 10!
Unfortunately, he then decided that he wanted to walk over by the animals, but he changed his mind halfway there when the donkey got really loud; he also doesn't like when the sheep get too loud. So we walked back to the playground, and I really think he wanted to play with that girl again, but she was on the swing. He walked halfway to where she was and whined for a while; he never approached any of the playground equipment after that. We then decided to walk home.
I'm so frustrated! I went to the home of one person who does childcare, and she was nice, but I'm just not sure that it's the place for him. Wherever he would go, he would need extra attention; I can just imagine him standing in front of a tv all day flapping away! I called another person who was recommended, and I was supposed to meet with her, but the day after I talked to her she called to say that she was going to be taking care of her daughter's kids. Where's he going? He'll be with my mom and dad again. I don't like doing it this way, because I hate tying them down, there not spring chickens (sorry mom :) and Evan won't have any interaction with other kids, but it's the only situation that feels right. I know they understand him and his needs, and I know they love him!
Tomorrow, a woman from First Steps is coming over. Yep, he hasn't been in any therapy yet. The therapy that this county provides isn't that impressive. The fact that they don't have childcare---or at least group therapy---says a lot. BUT, I figure at least this will give mom a little break, and I'll feel a little more comfortable knowing that specific skills are being worked on. I can't expect my mom to do it all!
Has anyone else out there used home daycare for their Fragile kids???