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Forum -> Parenting our children -> Our Challenging Children (gifted, ADHD, sensitive, defiant)
Fascinated by this post - can you please tell me more

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Post Wed, May 22 2024, 7:34 am
I am clipping a post from a different thread. This is making me feel both fascinated by everything that this wonderful ima put into her son and at the same time jealous that I could not do this for mine. He is 14 and we've seen massive improvement with various therapies but nothing like the below. He is still very sensitive to noise and rigid. He is definitely still considered on the spectrum. I don't have the time or money to invest like what this amazing ima did and that is giving me a feeling like I should have done more. Should I have? Should I have quit my job gone into debt? What is a realistic amount of therapy, time and money to give a child? We did our best but maybe our best was not good enough?

Floor time therapy, and loads of it. Ideally a session with a therapist every day, and then daily floor time play at home with the family. You really can do floor time all day long.

My son was diagnosed when he was 2.5. We put him in a floor time public school program for 3 years. He was getting 5-6 hours of floor time therapy daily, in a social setting, plus floortime informed OT and speech therapy. It wasn't an easy decision, but BH we have an amazing Rav who met with our son, heard our concerns, and backed us all the way. It was probably the best thing we ever did. I stopped working for 2 years, which was very hard for us. But it allowed me to join many of his therapy sessions in school and we also did private OT and more floortime after school. It cost a fortune. It was worth every penny.

When he'd gotten a bit older and we put him is yeshiva, we continued the after school ot and floortime, and did a lot of follow up at home. We started working with the super flex model therapist (Michelle gracia winner), which made a huge impact. We worked with an OT on and off through the years, and always prioritized sensory outlets-- swimming several times a week, horseback riding, trampoline, hiking.

We tried lots of other things too, but this is what really worked.

He stopped meeting criteria for his autism diagnosis when he was about 10. We kept up the floortime and superflex therapies until he graduated elementary school at 14. Now he's in 10th grade, almost 16, in a mainstream school. He's an incredible kid. Kind, tuned in, funny, empathic, calm, flexible. He can still get more overwhelmed than your average kid, but he copes with it well and has the self knowledge and tools to deal with his emotions. He has deep, sincere empathy for others and real, reciprocal relationships. I'm confident that he'll make a wonderful husband and father.

Academically, my son was always gifted. (People assume this is the case with all autistic children, which is very much not true. Most have average or below average intelligence.) This was a huge boon for him and us, one area of his life where he thrived and excelled. It made it easy for us to take him out of school frequently for therapy and stuff we called therapy so his yeshiva would go along with it (swimming for example).
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Post Wed, May 22 2024, 2:02 pm
To the op I think you can learn one thing what to do now for your son who is 14. You can sign him up for an exercise course with a private instructor. Or splurge and help him develop what he is potentially good at now. My daughter loves makeup and hair so I get her makeup sets and books so she could practice on me and her grandmother. Find something that interests your son and splurge what you can afford on that one thing
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Post Wed, May 22 2024, 2:18 pm
There are people who have the results that the other imamother shared. There are also people who go that route and do have the same results. It's impossible to know how things may have been different for you.. Sending you hugs, because nothing about this journey is easy.
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Post Fri, May 24 2024, 2:27 pm
I'd love to know others that have done the same and their results. To me these results are just amazing.
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Post Fri, May 24 2024, 2:33 pm
amother OP wrote:
I'd love to know others that have done the same and their results. To me these results are just amazing.

The mothers who do this and it doesn't work are not posting.
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Post Fri, May 24 2024, 3:04 pm
Hi OP,

I wrote the post you quoted.

I'm sure you did and are doing your very best for your child.

We did make the decision, very early on, that money and stigma would not be factors in our choices for our kid. We lived in a tiny basement apartment long after most of our friends had bought homes, because a nice chunk of our income went to therapies. We've chosen to forgo vacations and cleaning help. We've made unconventional decisions about schools and extracurricular activities that have raised eyebrows. Our son's healthy development was very much the focus of our lives for many years.

I'm able to look back now and see the beautiful results of all of our efforts, but there were low points too, times where nothing we'd done seemed to matter, times when rigidity, anxiety, and bullying had me despairing. I've definitely had times when I asked God, in anger and grief and desperation, why He in His infinite love and wisdom gave us this child to raise.

So here's what I'd tell myself: I'm not in charge of the results. That's God's job. I can only put in the effort and trust that the seeds we're planting will bring the results God wants, and that those results , weather I understand them or not, will be good.

You've been planting for a long time. I'm davening for you that your son continues to blossom!
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Post Fri, May 24 2024, 7:17 pm
My autistic twins are 17 now. The results I'm seeing are NOT worth the amount of time and energy I've put in. Have I seen improvements? yes. Enough improvement that I don't resent all the time and energy I've put in? Honestly no. But no regrets about putting in all the time and energy because I'd be angry at myself if I didn't. So now I'm just depressed and pessimistic rather than angry.
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Post Fri, May 24 2024, 7:21 pm
So what’s the rule of thumb? Especially if the efforts you put in are going to take from your resources for other kids if you have them.
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Post Sat, May 25 2024, 10:44 pm
Meh. If you've seen one child with autism, you've seen...one child with autism.

There are no guarantees, OP, and beating yourself up for not having done something different is very unhelpful.

I have 3 with the diagnosis. One was diagnosed before his 3rd birthday, and received tons of special help. One was diagnosed as an early teen, and refused most help. One had another diagnosis, for which he received ongoing therapy and some other help, but we didn't confirm ASD until young adulthood.

I do not see a clear connection between time, money, specific therapies, and results, especially by a given age.

You just have to look at what's in front of you, and what might be the best current path forward.
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