This year has brought a realization of just how many things fall under my job description, and one that I wasn't expecting was attending and speaking during video conferences to diagnose or gather information from various paraprofessionals on certain kids. These regularly include speech therapists, occupational therapists, program coordinators, behaviour consultants, specialists, pediatricians, parents and teachers.
I have been to three this year so far, and it has been nerve-wracking but interesting. We are expected to speak on behalf of the school, and to present what we see in the classroom. Each time, I hope to goodness I've been looking for and taking notes on the right things! They could be looking for social interactions, sensory seeking behaviours, anxiety, seizure indicators, etc.
Today was a little different of one, as the parents knew and even hoped for a diagnosis for their little guy, and were trying to make sure that all pieces of information fit together for the doctor to see, as the diagnosis was the difference between getting further funding for him or not (which he desperately needs). Because he doesn't fit in the regular boxes of Autism (ASD), parents were worried that this would be passed over in favour of just a sensory processing disorder, which would mean his coding would remain as 'speech' only, which is a difference of no assistant aid, and no occupational therapy support.
The pediatrician was able to make a diagnosis for this little one, but it hit me hard to see the parents' faces as they heard. The mix of relief and sadness was very apparent, and I can only imagine how hard it is to hear something like that about your own child. So today I'm thinking hard about how incredible a parent's job is. My plate may be full, but I still send these kiddos home at 3:00 pm, and though I may lose sleep over worrying about them once in a while, a parent must feel that a million times over. Thank goodness for amazing parents and their equally incredible kids!
Thanks for reading!