Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Baptism / Research

I spent the afternoon with Ronin at a new allergist. Ronin's former allergist closed their Barrington offices and reside in Elgin and Lake Zurich, too far for me to travel with the brood just for a flu shot observation. The new allergist is in Hoffman Estates, Higgins & Barrington road so much more manageable. He's still allergic to dairy, eggs and peanuts/all tree nuts, but also found a small reaction to feathers, and an allergy to dogs. No reaction to cats or dust mites. Hmmm.... we have to weigh our options about having Lego in the house.

Nikko had a huge tantrum when we left, but when we got back he had fallen asleep in the living room. The rest of the evening was uneventful, but I often look at Nikko and wonder if letting him "play" with his cars along the bookcase ledge by the picture window is a good thing. It's probably stim-like letting him run the cars back and forth, but he can break away at times to look at the tv or at books. Lately, Ronin has been going up to Nikko and grabbing cars right out of his hands. If a battle ensues and Ronin gets away, Nikko comes to me, grabs my hand and leads me right to Ronin. He lets go and looks at Ronin, then to me to solve the problem. I have to stand there and figure out the problem because Nikko can't tell me what happened. Often, I have to watch and see what cars Nikko was playing with so I can determine if Ronin has to lose what he's got, to be fair, or if Nikko is just wanting what Ronin has. It's been exhausting to separate these two when they fight.

On the imitation front, Denis told me yesterday that Nikko imitated the motion for Want when he prompted Nikko with cake. We were at Alessandro Orquiola's baptism and had to placate the kids for a while before lunch was served. Nikko was following the other kids who were running around, and found refuge under the draped cake/drink table. I followed him to see what he was doing and almost had a heart attack when I saw that he was standing in front of Alessandro's cake. But Nikko simply dove to the floor and crawled under the table, joining the cousins in the dark. If he didn't make a move for the cake, then I was strangely satisfied with this activity because he was being social and because it made him happy. While we ate, Nikko stood nearby and was standing on one leg, then falling to the floor. I wonder if he needed some sensory input. I think he gets some input during school hours and on the weekends he's not getting anything. Hmmmmm. I gotta remember to borrow the trampoline from the in-laws when we go to dinner on Friday, if they aren't using it. It's supposed to be an OT thing. If they can't spare it, then that's the next thing I'm going to buy for Nikko. Ronin can share it, no problem. But it's mainly for Nikko. Anyway, Kathy told me that she squatted down to say hi to Nikko, then he came up to her and kissed her on the cheek. How cool is that? Way cool!

OK, now it's downer time... Since Nikko's Oct. 2 visit Friday with Dr. Keen, I've been trolling the internet for info on ABA Therapy and variations thereof. This morning I called Blue Cross Blue Shield and asked them if Nikko had any coverage since he's autistic. The lady said I had to provide a 5-digit procedure code for therapy and then they could determine if he's covered for anything. I was confused, because I thought a law had just been passed in Illinois that said up to $36,000 and all services for those with autism were covered. She plainly told me that BCBS is a goverment plan and therefore the law does not apply to them because it was a state law, not a government law. That totally took the wind out of my sails. BCBS will cover some services for PT, OT, and Speech, a $30 copay and up to 50 visits per year. But that will hardly meet the needs of ABA Therapy, which can be 25-40 hours per week. It's looking like BCBS probably won't be able to cover any ABA Therapy and we may have to pay out of pocket if we go that route. I've listed other options, but it's looking very dreary for us. I wrote an email to Nikko's teachers letting them know our situation and if they had recommendations since they've probably encountered all this before, so I'll see what they have to say. I hope Ms. Winters can shed some light, especially since we're looking for an outside speech therapist too. I'm reading posts on other websites to see what other people have done in this situation, and the info is quite sketchy. I wonder why! My heart is sinking because I'm finding out that one hour of ABA could go anywhere from $20 to $45 to even $120 depending where you go. On the Naperville Meetup site I'm finding some really good threads about it, and jotted down some names of companies, but am hearing that some of those places are extremely expensive. I've got lots to research, little time, and no template to follow right now. Very disheartening, really. Another option is to self-teach ABA to Nikko, but I have two other kids under 3 and it's really hard while they are around. Somehow I've got to do something, I can't let Nikko become stagnant! This is also why I am grateful for preschool. They are keeping him engaged in the mornings, except Mondays. Perhaps I should line up a speech therapist for Nikko now, and get to ABA later. That's a start. It was a lot easier when we were going through Early Intervention where they did all the searching for therapists and services for me. Now that it's all up to me to get Nikko services, I am feeling totally overwhelmed. I don't think I will be for long; I'm about finding a solution to a problem. That's why I got the MBA, right??

No comments:

Post a Comment