Friday, July 15, 2016

Speech Therapy

We have been aware A2 would need Speech Therapy. In fact, we tried to have her evaluated when she was two- a young three, alas, she was very shy and would not cooperate with evaluators so the evaluations went nowhere.

Fast forward to last summer traveling, the shell started to break away and she would communicate with adults. Yay! This kid will be seen when she gets home.

When we arrived home, we started following up with old contacts we had used for therapy services. Some were unable to see us due to them moving, others could not see us because, by the time they had openings A2 would be turning four. A few were only able to see children if they started appointments prior to the child turning four. We now started searching for other places. Waiting lists.

One had an appointment opening for February! Yay! When the therapist found out we were unavailable for that two week time frame she had openings, she scheduled the next kid on the waiting list. She's since had no openings as kids with speech tend to be seen for longer periods of time.

I decided to contact our pediatrician and see if a referral might work. A week later we received a call from Child Find saying our pediatrician referred us for a speech evaluation. A2 would be seen in mid May for an appointment and we would then discuss eligibility of services. If she is eligible, she would receive "free" preschool and speech therapy... It's from the public school system though.

After months of waiting list and our first appointment with Children's Hospital on October 16th, we accepted the appointment. In the least, we figured we would have a starting point. The appointment though was not a speech therapy evaluation, it was an evaluation of development in general. She was fine, outside of speech. The new appointment for the speech evaluation: July 14th.

Between these dates we discovered we now had an appointment with a private provider for July 15th! Yay!

We decided to attend the appointment yesterday, overall, I was impressed by the kindness, professionalism and non judgemental attitudes of the workers and the general support I felt from homeschooling and traveling. A2 even said this was a fun process.

Of course, there is always a drawback.

Oddly enough, not that I was sensing from Child Find, the government.

From our pediatrician. As we drove to swim lessons, a call came from our pediatricians office... It went a little like this, insert some awesome "tone."

Person: This is ______ from Dr. ______'s office. I'm calling to follow up on our referral to Child Find. Has A2 been seen by them yet?
Me: Oddly enough, yes! Today. It went well.
Person: You were *only* seen today?
Me: We had an appointment in mid May but the appointment was for an overall developmental screen.
Person: It took *two months* to get an evaluation?
Me: Yeah, bureaucracy. We have another appointment tomorrow after a few months on a waiting list for _____. We're also scheduled for October 16th with CH.
Person: You are cancelling those, right?
Me: No. We don't even know if we are eligible for services from Child Find until August 25th.
Person: Okay, make sure they give us their findings. (3:30pm)

This morning I get another call from a local number and answer...

It is our pediatricians office AGAIN asking for the findings. At this point, I'm put off. Not even five hours between business hour phone calls????

Anyway, this process has been frustrating many hours of phone calls, e-mails and scheduling appointments. We are finally moving off the waiting lists! A2 will be starting services, in the very least- soon!

It's a huge relief. I'm happy for her. She has so much she would like to say and communicate and hopefully these will help her.... But I might be looking for a new pediatrician.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

"But they won't remember it."

If there is one negative reaction we tend to get when traveling with kids it is the idea they will not remember each adventure. Why not wait until they are older?

Do I expect them to remember every field trip? No. If I'm being honest, I don't remember the details of most of our recent field trips but if we enjoy the moment, we can carry on. 

Sooooo.... Why not wait until they are older and appreciate traveling? 

* First, I firmly believe our kids do appreciate traveling and enjoy new experiences. 

* There is not always a later due to life circumstances. Pulling teens away from friends is never easy but with younger kids, their primary attachments are parents and families so it is potentially the best time. 

* We have our kids for a short time. Eventually the days of college will come along and their friends will become their new family. We hope to solidify memories of a pretty cool family. (Confession- we are not cool people, none the less, they will have memories of a slightly disfunctional but crazy family which has a bad case of wanderlust.)

* Learning opportunities. Erosion, climate change, extinction will claim some of the natural wonders of today by the time they are older. 

* Lastly and mostly, I want to raise adventure loving kids. If the girls come out of this with a desire to explore and learn more about the world around them I will be happy. Why wait until they are older when they love adventuring now, I can work with this. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Wow! It's been a while...

We are heading out on our next adventure in the coming weeks. It's more of a vacation meets field trip but I realized I have not written our experiences out from the summer. It seemed overwhelming putting four and a half months of our lives and experiences into a blog and the notion of breaking down what we did and where, well, tedious. While I started the blog as a way for our kids to look back at adventures, woah... Our kids have adventurous souls and the reality, they will have hundreds or thousands of adventures over the course of their lives. At the end of the day, the trip on the road was about instilling a love of exploring, not them remembering every single museum or hike. 

Sooooooo... The things I took from the trip: 

1. 4.5 months is a long time. There are things I would do different on future trips. Mainly, I would slow down. Some areas we were drawn to like New England. Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine were amazing and it was easy to stay and to be honest, they feel like home and relaxing. Other areas we felt little connection to, the midwest and southern states... It was difficult to pace myself and slow down when none of us felt that connection. Maybe I would have felt like less of a troglodyte when we arrived home had we paced ourselves? Maybe 4.5 months is too long? I'm not sure I will ever know.

In the future, if we don't enjoy an area, I think we would take that time to relax and hang out around our campsites. 

2. The seasons impacted our days. My kids tend to sleep with the sun as I call it. When the sun would set, they would hit the pillow and wake up when the sun rose in the morning. This is amazing when you are camping in the summer. Endless hours of sun, you have time to make breakfast, clean up, maybe pack up, head out to a museum or hike and come back and make dinner or hit the road... But as the nights grew longer, it became harder to focus that energy. Several days we were getting back to our campsite and the sun was setting. By the end of the trip it felt like a race with the sun. 

3. The pope is kind of a pain in the butt. I'm being honest. Our time in DC was chaotic, we planned our time around DC when we could meet the girls' father for a business trip. It just also happened to take place when the pope was in town. I'd avoid world leaders and what not if possible in the future. 

4. Making time for friends (and fellow travelers) along the way was needed more than wanted. Some of them are fantastic, I am lucky to have those of you in our lives:) Wisdom and friendship from them were greatly appreciated. 

5. Compromise is crucial when you are on the road for several months. Three personalities and two kids with different interest. Sometimes you bend and break... and sometimes, you are going to miss out on experiences when someone needs something different than you. While we hoped to stay out three additional weeks, we cut our trip a bit short. Due to a sick kid who wanted to go home, it didn't work out. It was disappointing, but when I left we agreed to coming home when one of us felt the need to go home. Part of me is surprised we lasted 4.5 months, the other part of me is not shocked at all because ditching schedules is freeing. 

All in all, it was a great experience. Within days of being home, the girls were ready to go out on a new adventure again and I share that sentiment!