We Need To Work Double-Time

December 04, 2022

We were recently told by our developmental pediatrician that we have to work double-time in helping Miguel meet his developmental milestones.

I realized lately that I haven’t recently shared much about our autism journey here. Truth is, there isn’t really much to share except that we were just continuing with Miguel’s Learners with Special Needs (LSEN) class.

Miguel's Happy Helper Award from his LSEN class

We Need To Work Double-Time

We are now in his second semester, and I must say that it’s been advantageous to Miguel in developing his social skills as well as his ability to wait. I would’ve wanted Miguel to develop his academic skills at a faster pace, but let’s face it. We really can’t dictate how a child should develop, let alone a special needs child.

Aside from Miguel’s LSEN, he is still doing his regular weekly occupational therapy (OT) sessions. We’re also observing the benefits of OT as Miguel has become more responsive and communicative lately. He is still non-verbal but he can engage with us through gestures and some eye contact.

On another note, we went back to Miguel’s developmental pediatrician about a month ago. We skipped developmental assessment for a year since Miguel has not had formal OT for about six months. We deemed it best to return to the developmental pediatrician after six months of LSEN and OT sessions.

As we had expected, Miguel still has not yet caught up with regard to his developmental milestones. In fact, his developmental quotient or his age versus the number of milestones has significantly gone down. Nonetheless, Miguel is still within the mildly autistic spectrum.

I guess, as a way of encouraging us, Miguel’s developmental pediatrician told us that the pandemic has adversely affected the development of children, regardless if they were neurotypical or neurodiverse. However, since Miguel is already almost five years old, we were told by the doctor to work double time in terms of the interventions that we were doing.

That meant continuing with his LSEN and OT sessions but we would have to split his 2-hour OT into two one-hour sessions each week. The developmental pediatrician told us that two hours of OT might be too exhausting for Miguel, and as such, he might not be able to effectively retain information.

Additionally, we would also add a special one-on-one class for Miguel to give him more focused academic sessions. Lastly, we got the go-signal to proceed with speech therapy, but this is one area that we are a bit challenged. Apparently, there is a shortage of speech pathologists in therapy centers so we are still waiting for a slot to open in Miguel’s school.

As you can see, the things that we have to do are quite a handful. Miguel’s schedule is full and we even have Saturday morning classes. That’s not to mention the lessons and skills that we have to reinforce at home.

In the end, though, I know all the hard work will be worth it. The journey may be challenging but that’s where the adventure lies.

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