The past three months have pushed me as a parent in ways beyond my limits. I like to consider myself a strong woman, someone who never takes no for an answer, always seem to get the job done, regardless of the circumstances. That said, I’ve found myself wanting to crawl up in a ball and surrender with all the challenges, especially those Ryder has been faced with. With his issues, and trying to offer enough attention to the girls as well, it feels like I’m walking back and forth on a plank blindfolded.
I’ve never really shared with all of you, but Ryder has been getting therapy since he was five months old. He had a flat spot on the back of his head that we were reassured would correct itself once he started to roll over. When he failed to roll at the same time as other kids in our playgroup, we decided to disregard what our pediatrician said, and sought input from a neurologist, who diagnosed him with low muscle tone. With low tone, his flat spot would only get worse, so he was required to wear a helmet for three months. Looking back, I thought it was the worst thing in the world, but to add to it, from five months through kindergarden, he received speech, physical, and occupational therapy. Up to that point, he was classified a borderline, and would probably not require services in grade school. I’ve always been super diligent about making therapy appointments, and engaging in at home excersises, with the hope that he would overcome it all, but now it seems he needs more help than ever.
In January, the results of an educational evaluation stating that Ryder has a learning disability, including dyslexia, as well as ADD. It was recommended that we should seek medication options, which we were adamantly against. I’ve spoke to several doctors and teachers about this, and have come to the conclusion that we will refrain now, because he is still so young. We are using alternative methods such as essential oils and dietary changes. Sometimes I think I notice a difference, but other times it’s the same behavior issues. I met the sweetest person through my instagram feed, who has been a tremendous resource, for determining which combination of oil work best for his condition. Like anything, we have good days and bad days. Everyday is a rollercoaster and I never know what to expect from the morning through bedtime. I have been keeping a journal of everything he eats and the behavior that follows, to see if there any changes, but nothing seems to be computing. I’ve made it a point to dedicate every afternoon just to him, for studying, homework, and toting him to different therapists around the city. Sometimes I feel that I neglect the girls, but he needs me now more than ever.
Another major hurdle recently introduced into the mix is eye therapy. Even though I hoped these glasses would serve as liquid gold on his eyes, he still requires vision therapy. I was told it would take a month before he could even be evaluated to get into therapy, which I refused to accept. I called everyday to see if there were any earlier openings, and finally after two weeks, I asked my pediatrician call on our behalf, which resulted an appointment the following day. I pulled him early from school for the appointment, only to be told that he was indeed a candidate for therapy, but there was a 4 month wait list. Defeated once again, I pulled his records and we just went to another doctor completely out of network, and finally, he will be starting therapy at the end of the month. Of course, I can’t help but think if I would’ve known this a month ago, he would already be well into his third week of therapy. As if this wasn’t enough, we received a letter from the principal last month advising us that he is at risk of getting held back, and I just don’t understand how all these proactive initiatives are not paying off. Sometimes, I wonder if I did nothing would we be in a better place? Is all this too much for him?
A little light at the end of the tunnel at this point would be nice, but it seems unlikely. I’ve learned that this is something I have to accept, and I can’t change things overnight. Regardless, I can’t help but feel drained and completely defeated. As a parent, its difficult to watch your child struggle, especially while you are doing everything you can to make it better. I find myself repeating the mantra of can’t stop, won’t stop in my head on the difficult days.