Last week Cordy ended her final year as a preschooler. She had been through two years of half-day special needs preschool, followed by a year of full-day pre-K, and to celebrate a graduation was held for all of the kids in her class.
They all wore baseball caps that said “Class of 2010″ and had gold tassels on the top as they entered the classroom and sat down in front of all the parents. The kids gave us a presentation of their talent show performance of “Eight Days a Week” and then the teachers spoke about the progress each child has made over the past year.
Each child then received a diploma.
We ended with a tear-inducing slideshow followed by cake. Because cake makes everyone happy.
Next up for Cordy is a mainstream summer camp at a local Montessori school, followed by kindergarten back at her current school. After the massive meltdown she had on the last day of school, I’ll admit I’m a little nervous about how summer camp will go, but I’m trying to remain positive and remember that the Montessori method was designed for kids like her, and she’ll likely have a few rough days at first but will then settle into the routine of a new place.
Cordy’s also on a new medication now. Our two week period of no-meds wasn’t the worst time of our lives, but it certainly wasn’t the best, either. Despite the side-effects of the previous medication, I found myself wanting to call up the doctors and promise to never complain about irritability from the medication again if it meant she’d sit still for a few minutes to read a book or do a math workbook or do anything other than demanding to watch TV every minute of the day. The flapping came back. Her lack of focus was painful to deal with. And I forgot just how out-of-it she could be sometimes.
But after speaking with the doctors, we’re trying a new medication that they feel will reproduce the positive effects of the study medication without the irritability. It’s the safest option of the medications available, with the fewest and least harmful side-effects.
The downside is that if it works, the study will be over in a couple of weeks and we’ll have to find some way to pay for the $180/month medication.
Yep, still no health insurance here. No private insurance will cover autism, remember?
(But OF COURSE we don’t need health care reform in this country. Ahem.)
One option could be to use the old generic of the drug – when it was originally used as a blood pressure medication – which is thankfully inexpensive. But it isn’t an extended release like the newly patented version, so we’d have to give her multiple pills a day (not too big of a problem) and hope it doesn’t create a roller-coaster-like effect throughout the day (could be a big problem) as a result.
So far, we’re seeing modest improvements in Cordy already. She’s back to reading books and doing math problems. She’s drawing again. And while they do still fight like sisters – as any kids would do – she is actually letting Mira play with her sometimes. Another week or so should be enough time to evaluate her response.
I’m being optimistic, but I think that Cordy is going to have an amazing summer of growth. She earned her graduation and I’m confident she’ll continue to impress everyone she meets.
Please, fate, don’t let me have to eat those words.