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The Heart of Our Family

This is Noah. He is the love of our lives and the little boy who brought Glen and I together.I would have never used the computer as much as I have if I never had him.
Noah is now 3 years old. Some say the 3 year olds are worse than the terrible two and I am one to really agree.But we love him and as everyday seems to be a new fight we conquer it and take a deep breath at the end of our day.
Noah was Language delayed. So we entered him into the local Easter Seals. They had a Daycare center so it was good to have both the therapy and the Daycare in the same place. He was entered in October of 2000 and by April of 2001 we could hear an incredible difference.
By August he was talking in circles and our worse fear came true. The fear that once this child would start speaking he would never stop.GAB..GAB..GAB...We carry a large stock of Aspirin in our household.
In May of 2001 Glen went to Easter Seals to meet with the Pychologist Dr.Keen. She had raised concern with his "Social development" as well as his Cognative levels. He was ranked in the 24 month stage in April 2001. She then scheduled a meeting with me in September.
At this point Noah's general listening skills were almost gone. We noticed we had to show him direction in eye contact and turn off all surrounding noises in the house for him to even pay attention.
Dr.Keen met with me on September 21,2001 at which time we spoke about Noah and the issues at hand. She had asked me if she could observe him during "Daycare" session. I complied to the request. She handed me a Prescription without Noah's name inscribed. For she didn't want to diagnois him at that point. However she wanted me to read up on some websites about P.P.D. Pervasive Developmental Disorder.Which is a BROAD SPECTRUM of Autistic symptoms.
Although a diagnosis was not supplied to me I had recieved a letter from Noah's speech therapist stating the diagnosis was P.D.D. I immediately called his Case Worker a Easter Seals to find she was still awaiting a diagnosis.On October 18,2001 I had a typed letter from Dr.Keen's office in Noah's cubby at daycare.
We immediately contacted Easter Seals and set up an appointment with Dr.Keen. She apologized so many times for the mistake.Of course after accussing me for knowing that on September 21,2001 she made a diagnosis, and that I should have known this. Prior to this meetingon the 19th of October .Easter Seals had Video taped Noah during Daycare sessions and we didn't know. We did however observe the video (that we no longer have in our posession)and made note on a few things. Noah was given time out for delibertally dropping his "project" paper on the floor. He asked for it back and they refused.There was then a pause in the tape and when it returned to the scene it left at they were picking up all the children's pictures and showing them. At that point Noah's was finally picked up.They showed these pictures and when Noah's came up it was stated that "this is Noah's he didn't want to participate". During the pause he was apparently put in time out. Talk about a great self esteem booster.
On October 19,2001, I received an Assessment Report for Noah. Glen and I had some issues on this day. After speaking to Dr.Keen we had a little time before Noah's usual pick up time, so we observed from the inner windows. We were in aw...The children were basically waking up from their naps and we didn't see one diaper changed. We sat in this room for over an hour. Noah was kept seperate from the other children and he was given a snack along with drink last.After the snack they had cleaned up some.Still NO DIAPERS changed and were all seated around the table for "Circle Time". They had a story about a Spider and had a pre made craft ready .It was a paper plate colored black and they had construction paper legs ready to staple on... It was cute.Still NO DIAPERS changed and they are getting ready to go out side in the "Buggy". (Now I had been told that Noah needs to be first on the buggy or he hits the other kids or throws a terrible tantrum.)What we witnessed next was AMAZING...After the children were placed on the buggy . (the 9 or so of them ) Noah was seated next to 2 other boys. The two other boys started playing around and of course Noah joined in < what kid wouldn't>BUT Noah was the one taken off the buggy to attend TIMEOUT.!!! We walked right in. The door was opened and I think we suprised them .We told them that Noah would be going home now and that we had seen enough.
I took Noah to the bathroom and he went.Changed him and then we left.
I had all weekend to do much homework. I highligted the assessment where I noticed numerous questionable remarks.
On Monday October 22,2001 Glen and I brought Noah to Daycare and attend a staffing. At this time I was handed a letter from Dr.Keen. Along with the message was a 1 sheet photocopied paper on Aspergers' Syndrome. The form of Autism that she thought Noah might have. (now mind you ...we went up and down on this lady . She swore he had P.D.D. and Glen told her that it being a BROAD SPECTRUM of symptoms anyone could have that)So I of course had no time before the staffing to look into this latest diagnosis.
Daycare itself had issues on Noah..i.e. 1)Not taking naps (well when we enrolled him,this was noted,they knew he didn't nap) 2)The issue about the buggy. I had suggested that he was with them more than he was with me and they needed to show him how to wait and take turns. They pretty much gave into him. 3)They said he was eaisly excited.I suggested that when he gets excited to have him take a deep breath and sit to calm for a moment. 4)There was an issue with the fact that he looked into the mirror alot. My response to that was:"If he indeed is P.D.D. then this is normal and if they are trained for special needs children they of all people should know to go up to him and while looking in the mirror have him identify himself as Noah" This was another problem.He was not stated that he was Noah(I am Noah). He was addressing "Noah sits...or Noah eats"
So as you can imagine this Staffing was quite an event. Our liasion from Child and Family Connections did not have to intervene at all. In fact when I ask Easter Seals for Noah's records they wouldn't comply. However Child and Family Services did.
On October 23,2001 ironically we were called. Noah apparently had a 106.00 fever at 11 a.m. After his little nap 102.00.Of course we were terrified. I came out and asked why he was still there and not rushed to the hospital.I had found a ride and took him right to his doctor.Who was down the street from the Daycare facilities and his temp was normal.I called Daycare when we had arrived home and told them that the doctor said his temp was normal. At this time I also told them that I did not doubt that he had a temp.But that his doctor suggested that they check their thermometers.Noah was able to return the next day.
On October 24,2001 I recieved a call from Gayle Valentine (head of daycare) She wanted to meet with me. When I had asked her why she claimed it was "my disrespect" to the daycare staff. (Funny thing was I never really drooped Noah off or picked him up from Daycare.)We set a time for the 25th.
note: Before we left for Easter Seals I saw a butterfly on the ground.Because of the change of seasons he was barely alive. I however thought the children would get a kick out of this so I cupped him in my hand and brought him to the staff in Noah's room.They too thought it was neat.
When we arived at Easter Seals Noah's speech therapist wanted to set up a Goal plan for him. We went in and spoke a bit. I had explained to her that I was in between jobs and that I was not sure if Noah was going to remain in Easter Seals at that time. She had gotten right up and went to Gayle and told her what I had said. (so much for confidence) Gayle asked us to her office and threw this right on me.I had explained to her how I felt about what was going on. How Noah is being sent home at least once a week. She in return stated that the records showed he was only sent home 2 times since he had been with them.(keep in mind ...paperwork can be changed..so if you are a parent of a young child. Document everything!Something I know now to do.)
We can use the second income but,Noah was more important. And I wish I had known all along what was going on in this facility.Noah was brought there originally for his Speech. I had also hoped he would get some social interactions while there. I then found out too late that he was in timeout more than anything.This was because no one knew how to handle him.
Noah was paid up until November 9,2001 and I had asked for him to stay until then. I was told in a stern voice NO.I had then suggested for him to stay until the end of the following week. It was Halloween and I had already had things together for the party. Once again I was told no. They wanted him out that day. In fact at that moment.
We confronted them on the accusations of my being "disrespectfull" to the daycare staff and there was a silence.Then they blamed Glen. He at that time asked to question those who felt that he disrespected him . Of course this was not possible.
The decision was made that Noah could stay until the end of that day. This way they could "get his belongings together". I had paid cash for his tuition and that was to be returned that day also. I had also once again raised issue to his files. I was told I had everything. I asked to see what they had and noted a large amount of papers.I questioned them and they told me they were notes.I asked for them.For when I picked up Noah.
When we went and picked Noah up it was hard.Here is a child who has been diagnoised with P.D.D/Aspergers Syndrome a for of Autism ..The "Rainman" disorder. The children/adults who need routines to stabilize their lives and they were just ripping him out of that.
I had brought his belongings out to the car while Glen stayed behind to get Noah ready to leave.I had tears in my eyes.I felt like I was to blame for everything.Because I started asking questions they threw this boy out like garbage.
When I returned to the classroom where Noah was Glen was confronting Carrie Weis on who said what as far as "disrespect" went. She actually looked into it and the one "caretaker" who was in charge of Noah ( Debbie) told her that we barged into the room and scared the children. That they were at the table during snack when we came in. What a bunch of bull. At that moment.I stated that they were on the Buggy getting ready to go. I really think Carrie knew at that moment what was really happening to us.(Debbie ironically went home early this day ...she was sick)
Gayle came down to see what the issue was. Well at that point I was a little upset. (If any of you know me you know how I get when I am upset)I confronted her about my feelings of ripping this child from his routine.There was plenty of time for me to slowly change his routine. She had the nerve to tell me to my face that I was the one who chose to do this not her. I demanded my money back. Which at this point we had to wait for someone to send it via check. I told her I paid in cash and that they should petty cash me. I wanted nothing to do with Easter Seals after this. I of course didn't get my money until 3 weeks later.
We tried to keep Noah in therapy at Easter Seals. I however had mixed emotions of the place. So we finally decided to get in home therapy the Start of November 2001.
After we removed Noah from Easter Seals and started going through all of the paperwork that was given to us we found many problems.Noah's cognative level did not change at all between the months of April-September of 2001.They stated it was at a 24 month level.We were receiving statements for payment request for his therapies while attending Easter Seals. Only to find some of the time he wasn't there. All of the "Therapists" notes came in handy. We counted at least 24 times that Noah was sent home early/left early.
Easter Seals may never be fully behind us.They really didn't help Noah that much.Socially he was still behind.Developmentally they made him out to be worse than he actually was. And the trauma of being put in timeout so often and held back from expressing himself only left an inner anger that we see everyday. All things get better in time though.... Great Websites for Children's projects.

ENCHANTED LEARNING: This site has projects for children Prek-6th Grade.
PBS: Between the lions and Sesame Street....
NICK JR: Dora the explorer....Can we do it??? Yes we can!!!! Bob the Builder.
MAKING FRIENDS: Great site for craft projects. Ones to fit any budget .

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