Have you ever wanted or needed something, but felt shame from society or even from your inner self for getting it?
After years of fighting to do it all myself (with as much support as my wonderful, but overworked husband could offer), I finally gave in and got full time ABA therapy for both of my Autistic children. It actually kind of happened by chance. I heard about a company who offered in home therapy. I called them to see if they accepted my insurance and next thing I knew, there was a woman in my home telling me that they could offer 27 hours of care per week.
I didn’t believe it at first.
I was expecting them to offer something along the lines of what Early Intervention did. Something where I would have to do extra work to make sure that the kids were ready for them and that the house wasn’t a complete pig sty, so that someone could come for an hour or two to do direct therapy sitting at a table.
My first thought was, “This can’t be right.”
But, it was.
My second through was, “What are they going to do for 30 hours a week!?”
That was the amazing part. They weren’t just going to sit at a table and ask them to point at pictures for 6 hours a day. They were going to "do life" with them. They were going to help them learn to use the bathroom on their own. They were going to help them learn to eat their dinner appropriately and get themselves dressed for the day. They were also going to sit at the table and do plenty of picture pointing, but it was so much more than I ever dreamed. It wasn’t something that would cause me to have to do more work. It was something that actually took some of the weight off of my shoulders. Something that allowed me to be able to take my kids to the playground without having to worry about calling the police when one of them went missing. Something that allowed me to be able to focus on the joyous parts of my children, instead of only managing the chaos. They even came to their birthday party and helped them enjoy themselves and enjoy spending time with their friends. This year was probably the first year where neither of them cried or threw themselves on the floor at their own birthday party and it felt awesome!
I do have to admit that at first I felt a bit ashamed to have someone with my children all the time. I’ve gotten comments from people that sound a bit judgey, and I’ve seen people staring as our party of 5 (me, my two little ones, and their two therapists) heads to the park, but it was more than that. I know they are trained professionals and I’m not. However, I still felt like I was admitting defeat when I accepted the treatment plans. I was there mother, but I wasn’t able to do or be all that they needed.
I guess all parents go through something along those lines. Whether it’s like my situation where your child has a medical condition and needs more care than you can provide alone or when your teenager decides to confide in someone that’s not you or a million other scenarios where you just can’t be everything. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t realize how strong my desire to be everything for my kids was until now. I know it’s a feeling that is going to linger for a long time and may never actually go away, but I know I’m doing the right thing here. I know they’ve made so much progress because of the therapy they’re now receiving. I know I need help to make sure that they can live their best and most happy and fulfilled lives.
Accepting help is hard. That sounds stupid, but it is, especially when it comes to your kids. But, I did it. I gave in. I got the help that our family needed and I’m happy that I did.
Megan is a stay at home mom of two au-some kids & the vice president of the Hoboken Special Needs Parents Group. Her children both attend Wallace Elementary, here in Hoboken. Both children are extremely active and always keep Megan on her toes! She and her husband, Matt, moved to Hoboken in 2014 and they hope to make it their forever home. You can also find Megan in her role as the children’s ministry leader at Hoboken Grace Church.