Maggie and I went with Isabella to see Elizabeth’s psychologist on Tuesday. Stephen and I decided that we did want to do the follow-up appointment with Dr. Cohen but that it really made more sense for Maggie to go with me instead of him because she is Elizabeth’s secondary caregiver and would benefit from talking with the psychologist. Elizabeth stayed home with Joshua while we went, and Stephen took Samuel to an antique mall.
The appointment was fairly uneventful because the report, or results, were very clear BUT I did learn a few things and I’m glad we went. For one thing, I did not know whether or not Elizabeth would qualify for social security disability or what is included with that. It turns out that the psychologist’s detailed report will be plenty enough for her to qualify and she (the doctor) has a lot of experience dealing with SS. If/when Elizabeth does get on disability, it will give her straight Medicaid which is medical insurance that is far more inclusive of therapies and participating practitioners than what she has now. There will be no co-payments and coverage will be great. I’m happy to find this out. The money from disability will be able to go toward out-of-pocket expenses that we are currently covering ourselves, like trying private therapies, buying therapy products, etc.
We spoke about ABA and DIR Floortime at the appointment, too and I could tell that Dr. Cohen promotes ABA for its intensity, but I’m not going that route with Elizabeth. I’ve been researching Floortime and have begun implementing some of what I’ve learned at home, with great results. It is a perfect fit for us, at least at this time. It is a relationship-based, play focused, FUN therapy and honestly, I think it’s a great way to interact with kids, autistic or not!
We talked about speech and occupational therapy as well, which I’m pretty frustrated about. I want in-home for them but that doesn’t look like it’s going to be an option. She thinks ABA is the answer to Elizabeth’s non-compliance and eloping but I disagree. She hasn’t seen her in all the situations that I have, HOME therapy could work if we find the right person(s), while clinical therapy doesn’t have a chance right now. I’m not taking her to a special education class at our local public school while she is basically non-verbal yet she said they can’t come to us.
The psychologist wants us to check back in with her in three months to see how Elizabeth is doing. I am not thrilled with the fact that I probably won’t be able to follow most of her suggestions but hey, I have to do what’s right for my daughter.