Well, Little Man passed his hearing test. This means that he can totally ignore a cow bell and isn't responding to anyone calling his name and has no words for reasons other than a hearing problem. This leaves the autism screening. I called the lady from Babynet who evaluated him and told her that he passed the hearing test. She said this means he is on the spectrum. This took me back to the very first text I sent to his social worker, "has anyone mentioned autism with him?" She seemed shocked at the suggestion. Honestly I was hoping it was a hearing problem.
I have been struggling with the question of whether we could manage him and everything else we have going on in our house. Our entire lifestyle has changed. We love to eat out but have only taken him to Chic Fil A, he barely handles that so we don't go anywhere else. While in public he has to be restrained in some way. If his feet touch the ground he is bolting and he is fast. I was sweating by time I got back from the hearing test because holding him is not easy, he is constantly pulling from you. I let him down once and he bolted. Running through the office is not fun. If a door were open to the outside he would go and never look back no matter how much you were screaming at him.
At home someone must always have an eye on him. He loves to climb and fall and he doesn't care how high or what he is falling on. Yesterday he developed a passion for climbing onto the computer table. After one fall and many times taken off we put him in the play pen. The play pen is a struggle because the entire time he is in there he is screeching. However, we know he is safe.
We try to contain him within the family room. This is a 500 sq ft area. However, it is hard. The little ones open the gate and leave it open often. He is not safe wandering the house. He has a fascination for breaking glasses. He puts everything in his mouth. He loves to climb and drop. He puts himself into danger and doesn't know it, over and over with the same things. If someone were to leave the front door open it would be a huge problem.
We have been told that a relative out of state has spoken up and wants the kids. I do not know how long an ICPC takes but I know that it isn't quick. I also worry that she will not be prepared to take all the kids. The family had no idea that Little Man even had any struggles.
Little Miss is doing great. She calls us mom and dad and fits right in. She did qualify for services which is great for her because I feel that she could use the extra speech services. Moving her at this time to a different placement would be detrimental for her.
Our home is not a therapeutic home or a medical home. Those homes take fewer children and are paid quite a bit more than we are. They have more training and are prepared to deal with children with special needs.
When children come into care DSS really doesn't know much about them. This is something to consider when looking at ages. You don't know what behaviors you will have, neither does DSS. We had to have the older sibling moved because of safety concerns for our pets and younger children. Some things were seen on the hallway camera upstairs and by my children. DSS had no way of knowing that we would have those types of issues. When new kids come into your home and you have children already in the home you have to quickly access the kids and be hyper-vigilant in keeping them safe. When kids walk in the door they may have a honeymoon period or simply be in shock about all the changes in their lives. As they get more comfortable you can see how they are doing.
Typically with neglect there is some type of delay. I see a lot of speech delays and less gross motor skills delays. Little Miss has only speech delays, Little Man on the other hand has global delays. When Babynet showed up they had a lot of questions. Even though we had only had the kids a short time, my correct answer of the questions helps to get a better assessment.
At this time we are trying to make adjustments in our home and expectations so that we can keep the kids until the ICPC is complete. However, I don't think that we could keep them long term, we would all be too exhausted.