I know I haven’t posted anything lately, but I have a good excuse. We were out of the country for a month and the return to reality hasn’t been as smooth as I thought it would be. So let me try to update everyone.
We were gone to Brazil from the middle of June through the middle of July to visit family and friends. Guto did a lot better on the flight than we expected. Everything was going smoothly and he fell asleep after a couple of hours. But then he suddenly woke up somewhat in a panic and cried nonstop for almost 1 hour. We were not sure if it was because he woke up and got scared, since he didn’t recognize where he was, or if his ears were bothering him. Fortunately he finally calmed down and slept pretty much the rest of the way. On the way back he was a champ and slept on Joe’s lap almost all the whole way.
We had a busy month with him while we were there! We threw him a Mickey Mouse themed birthday party, had him baptized and got to spend lots of quality time with family and friends. He especially got to spend a lot of time with his six year old cousin Giovanna from Hawaii. If you don’t believe in love at first sight you should have been there to witness it. They clicked the moment they saw each other and Guto even went to her to giver her a hug. He had NEVER done that before! The two of them were together almost 24/7 and needless to say this momma had teary eyes almost everyday watching them play together.
The time we spent there went by so fast, but it was amazing, specially for him. We feel like the trip made a huge difference in his personality. I don’t know if it was the fact that he was constantly stimulated being around people most of the time, all the new places he got to see, or perhaps a combination of both. He even went on a helicopter ride around my hometown! It really was a memorable vacation for all of us, but as they say all good things must come to an end and so did our trip.
We got back in the middle of July and I had to get back to work a couple of days later. Joe was not as lucky as he had to get back to work the very next day to get things back in order. It was great being on vacation for a whole month, but there was a price to be paid being gone so long. There were a lot of fires that needed to be put out at Joe’s business, but he is managing to get things under control again. The house is still not quite back to normal as we still have stuff from the trip around the house that need to be put away.
We got home on a Thursday and Guto went back to daycare (Mother’s Day Out) the following Monday. In the past he would start whimpering as we got to the school parking lot and then he would start crying whenever we tried to drop him off. Well, he only cried for a little bit when we dropped him off on Monday and when Joe went to pick him up the teacher was bragging about how well he had behaved and pointed out that he didn’t cry the whole time he had been there! Joe dropped him off again on Wednesday and he had a wonderful day without any issues. He had speech therapy on Tuesday with a new therapist because his regular therapist was out on maternity leave and he didn’t cry at all that day either. This is solid proof that the trip did him some good and he is definitely making progress!
One week after we got back he had two more evaluations done, which included the Early Intervention Program to help pay for his medical bills and a meeting at the Dennis Developmental Center to get a definite diagnosis on his condition. I guess I was hoping against all odds that somehow I could have been wrong all along and that we were just dealing with some sort of delay that would right itself off over time. But on July 22, 2016 we got the formal diagnosis that we had been dreading all along. I know it was something that we were expecting, but it still wasn’t easy having Guto labeled as an autistic child. We were given a packet filled with information about ASD and programs that we should apply for in order to get financial aid because this can get expensive very quickly as we already found out.
Today we had a meeting with the Early Intervention Coordinator and a couple of team members from the clinic he currently goes to and based on his most recent evaluations his speech therapy sessions were increased from 60 minutes to 90 minutes per week and he will start 90 minute sessions weekly for occupational therapy as part of his curriculum. They gave us another huge packet with more papers to fill out. We never imagined there would be so much paperwork involved, but it’s just one of those necessary evils that we must deal with in order to give Guto the best possible tools to deal with his condition. I don’t think overwhelmed can begin to describe the feeling I have right now.
All I can think about is to tell myself “Belle don’t forget to breath, just breath.”
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