Friday, May 8, 2009

Some Road Blocks

After not hearing anything from the adoption/foster agency for a week, we got a call. This call was not necessarily good nor bad. Our family was "red flagged" (yes that is the word they used on the phone) for several reasons. The caseworker had some concerns as to why we had never received counseling nor attended a support group after Andrew's diagnosis of Rett Syndrome. I explained that there is no support group for Rett Syndrome here in town and especially not for boys with Rett Syndrome. He is one of 6 known boys in the world with the syndrome. I also explained that Andrew's regression started happening around his first birthday and that we have had plenty of time to process and go through the grief cycles. When we got his Autism diagnosis we did attend a support group meeting. It was not a right fit for us in that many of the attendants were Spanish speakers and had children that were older in school. At that time Andrew wasn't even two yet, and having worked in special education for 5 years I did not need to learn about the ARD (admission-review-dismissal) process. We had just moved to a new town, were both working full time jobs and trying to make all of the appointments for MRI's, sleep studies, EEG's and repeated EEG's. All of this was on top of tyring a biomedical approach to treating what we thought was plain ol' autism. We were doing the GFCF diet, giving him probiotics, digestive enzymes, taking him to the Thoughtful House and even had him on Valtrex for a while to kill what we thought was a virus in his body. And yes that is a STD drug. Scary and gross now. What I am saying is that we didn't have time to fit in counseling or support groups, maybe we should have made that a priority but here we are and we're still making it work. The caseworker feels like Andrew's diagnosis of Rett Syndrome has been very soon- November of 2008 and we still haven't gone to counseling. In my opinion not everyone needs counseling. We knew last spring that this was either Rett Syndrome or Mitochondrial Disorder and were searching for the right doctors to listen to us. Thank goodness for Texas Children's hospital and the Blue Bird Circle Rett Clinic. Although we don't attend a support group for special needs parents I feel like we receive so much support through family, friends, teachers, therapists, and all of the doctors. I even feel like I have received so much support through this blog. Although I have never met any other families or children with Rett I feel like I have. I can read about their struggles and know that we are not in this alone. We fully accept this diagnosis and are at peace with our life situation. Sure, more than anything we want a cure for our son and for all of the girls. After getting off the phone with the caseworker I felt like a bandaid was being pulled off very slowly. Hurt!!! I felt and so does Felt, that we are being judged and some what discriminated against for having a child with Rett Syndrome. You would think it would look good that we have made the best out of an adverse situation but I guess not. We would be better off if we had ten cats sitting in our house and no children. Does that make sense? Not to me! We aren't sure what is next in this process or even that we want to continue with this. Please pray for us and for all of the children that sit in foster homes waiting to be adopted but are being help up with buracracy. It really breaks my heart for these kiddos.

Thought I would add a couple of photos of Drew-Drew. The first one is him crashing out in the recliner while watching Elmo. I wanted to include a photo of him with his hands. This is the wringing that he does that tears up the inside of his hands and has disabled him from playing with toys or eating. He does it all the time except when he is tired.


Brooklyn and Kelly said...

How frustrating! Hang in there. I love the new pictures - he is such a cutie!!

Jennifer said...

Brandi - I want to say something to encourage you, but everything I think of sounds trite when I type it. Please just know that I am praying for your sweet family!

abbysworld said...

Abby's diagnosis was October of 2006 and we have not attended a gried or counseling meeting.
We've screamed and cried and gotten on with it.
No one knows what Rett Syndrome is. There are no support groups. When we were diagnosed at one of the top 10 Childrens hospitals in the US that was the first thing they told us."Get on the internet and find other families."
I remember that being so harsh at the time.
ANd having a boy with it? It's practically unheard of.
Good luck to you. SOunds like they need some sensitivity counseling

Caitlyn said...

Who are they to tell you that you need to handle your sons diagnosis a certian way! I go to a support group, but I'm the only mom with a child with Rett Syndrome...It's just a group of moms that get together..nothing special...But it's not for everyone, and shouldn't be required!

With the shortage of people willing to be foster parents, you'd wonder why they would even bring this up! grr...

I'll pray for you guys that something wonderful and amazing happens to the situation, and you guys receive a child that needs you.