There are a few questions that no matter what will always be asked. As the parent to two kids on opposite ends of the autism spectrum they are inevitable, but still surprising.
My sons are now 12 and almost 14. When my youngest son was nine years old I attended training sessions through a clinic for Floortime. In order to get funding through the Regional Center families had to go through the training classes, which were held on a weekly basis during day and evening hours. The Regional Center is for those in the State of California.
I was able to answer all the questions that were posed to the class each week and gave examples of our experiences. Most of the other parents were there for their very young children. There were some professionals taking the class as well.
At the end of a class another Mom asked me one of these dreaded questions. She wanted to know why I was just starting Floortime for my 9 year-old-son. It really was none of her business, plus the answer is not an easy one to respond. Being in the same class for all those weeks she should have known that I am a single parent with two kids on the spectrum doing it all alone, no family in the same State.
I did not want to go into the explanation that a few years earlier we had a Floortime assessment in the home from another agency. I did not appreciate the way they portrayed me in their report or the way they handled being in my home. I am not about to have an agency bring their employees into my home who disrespect me or my children and will not be utilizing the pecs cards for my nonverbal child or appear irritated because my son needs a diaper change.
I am not about having people in and out of the house disrupting our lives and routines, no matter what the end result may be from the therapy. Pros and Cons of Assessments offers insights into our experiences. You might want to consider some House Rules for in home personnel. Here are our Rules for a Respite Worker.
A few summers ago I thought we were getting some behavior therapy, but it turned out to be parent training. The girl who came for the assessment looked like she signed on for a modeling assignment. The actual so called therapist was a singer in a punk rock band. The three months did not go fast enough. The clothes and attitude they brought into my home that summer was unreal. The supervisor girl who did the assessment wanted to do pecs with my son and DTT. She was to be supervising the punk rocker. The punk rocker's mission was to be the one to get my nonverbal son to talk. Just in case I forgot to mention - we live in Los Angeles.
Over the years I meet up with someone via email or in person that wants to be the one to turn my son into a verbal kid. They seem to forget that I am the parent here. I did not ask anyone to try to get my son to speak, especially those clearly not qualified to do whatever they think they can.
I really do not know how to respond to those who want to tell me about miracle stories of someone learning to talk through this or that therapy at the age of 9, 12, 15, whatever. I really want to say it is none of their business. If it happens, it happens, not the end of the world if my child cannot speak. Evidently it is something they cannot accept and need to get over it.
My son did turn 12 in June and is still wearing Huggies Goodnites. I do not particularly like the questions from people asking me why he is not toilet trained or when do I plan to do it. When we are both good and ready. Case closed, butt out.
So to recap the questions I find annoying and wish they would stop:
1. Why did you wait so long to try XXX therapy - or why did you not try XX therapy?
2. What have you done to get him to be verbal - have you tried XX, I know so and so tried and now talks after being nonverbal.
3. When do you plan on toilet training?
I can do without hearing these three questions. Every kid is different, nice that yours now does this and that and was trained in one hour, two days or whatever. Stop bugging me.