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The trips to speech therapy were an experience Kat felt very strongly about. One day I realized that Kat would start screaming at an intersection close to our house for no apparent reason. I realized that I always made the same left turn to go to the speech therapist. So after a while she knew it so well, that she would start screaming at that corner, down to two towns over where the therapist was located and finished as soon as the therapy was over.

Now that I think about it I can’t believe that I would take this screaming kid anywhere, but I think God has a way of adjusting us slowly so that we don’t know any better.The therapist would have three or four objects and tried to get Kat to give her the object when she asked for it by name. This went on for months until we went with our district therapist.

We were asked to go with Kat to early intervention. We went once. We were new to the group. They all seemed to know each other and seemed so well adjusted to their child’s disability like it was OK. As far as Kat was concerned, it was not OK. There were little children. There were some with down syndrome, some with appliances attached to them, and some paralyzed from waste down. It was heartbreaking and depressing. And there was Kat pretty little blondie, who could walk, was toilet trained but just could not talk.

They played some games or crawled on the floor, which of course was a struggle to try and make Kat do something she did not feel like doing, roll a ball, etc. Other kids looking very handicapped would smile right at you and Kat ignored the whole world. We went afterwards for our diner powwow, and decided that this could not be productive for Kat, we needed someone to teach her to talk, she didn’t need to crawl, she climbed couches for God’s sake!

She was diagnosed at two and a half. Six months elapsed and we weren’t much better off since original diagnosis. We did find out that we were supposed to contact our district for assistance. We did but only to find out that there is nothing else they can do until she is three years old, that’s when she’ll be eligible for services and scheduled us for another evaluation by the child study team.

In the mean time we were trying to read whatever we could to try and understand more, but anything related to aphasia was relating to adult patients and there was nothing on autism spectrum disorder. There was no internet, very few books with outdated information. I read some references to the "refrigerator mom" theory, but dismissed it pretty quickly knowing how my firstborn was fine and I knew that I did not treat Kat any differently.

In the search for the "cure" somehow, I got a hold of an article in readers digest on Hold Therapy. I don’t even remember the title or what exactly they called it. It pretty much said that the child needed to bond with a mother and the best way to do it was to wrap your child in your arms and hold them there for hours each day. So I tried. I took Kat upstairs to our bedroom, sat her in my lap, put my arms around her to hold her, and made sure that my grip was strong enough that she could not get out.

As soon as she realized that the arms were coming around, she stared wriggling out and screaming, but I was stronger. I continued to hold her. She screamed, wriggled, kicked, and pushed. If she got out of my grip, I would pull her in again talking to her softly telling her how much we loved her, how precious she was, explaining to her that I was her mom and I had to do this so that she could get better… So on and on realizing how my life was falling apart, how I had a child in my arms that could not understand that I was her mom, that I would never hear “ I love you mom “ from those little lips…. 45 minutes elapsed I was watching a clock set before me. By this time Kat was screaming bloody murder and I was wailing right along with her until I finally let her go. We didn’t make it one hour. I felt so beat by the process, I felt that I was not strong enough to help her out. I could not take her screams any more. I sat there crying in a pillow while Kat sat up whimpered few times got up and left the room as if nothing happened.

management systems

Danuta - Kat's Mom, December 2, 2006

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