Owen and Ben's Journey Through Autism

Owen and Ben's Journey Through Autism

Saturday, November 2, 2013

And we once again, have to say good-bye,

When I spoke at Niagara College this past Tuesday, something hit me.

Darla and I were asked, "what worker really stuck out in our mind". I wrote my answer in the last post, but I will write a bit more today. Heather, has stuck out in my mind. I had 2 therapists that were my world when Owen began Private Therapy, Heather and Laura. Both these women went above and beyond their call of duty for Owen. They took me at such a hard, emotional, fragile time and were there for me. They accepted that I don't ever rest, that I will always be in their face; they embraced my ways and in return, are 2 women I will never forget.

Why did Heather stick out in my mind? Owen was classified as, "Non-Verbal". He had sounds, and maybe 2 or 3 words give or take. He was turning 3 years old, and I still had not heard him call me, "mama". He could say dada no problemo; mama was not in his sights. Then that all changed; right after he turned 3. I went to pick him up from therapy like I always did after my hour long personal therapy session at the gym to loose weight, and Heather had the biggest smile on her face when she brought him out to me. She took out her phone, and I will never forget the sound I heard; mama, pointing to my picture. Done. Not only did Heather video tape progress for me, she always kept me close, and our communication was open and it was honest. Then we had Laura join our team, same. I knew when I dropped Owen off to her, he was going to work, and she would be so eager to tell me. I trusted both these women fully, and seeing their love for Owen in their eyes, their hugs to him; they won me over. I have never lost contact with both these women, Heather is now out West, yet I hear from her commenting on my FB pictures, has stopped by for visits - she is apart of our family. Laura, I would do anything for as well, and now we get to see her more often as she plays on Ryans Volleyball team. This is what happens when you have a child, and more so a child with a Special Need - you find someone who puts their entire heart into their career, where even they can't remember they actually get paid for being with your child; they are grounded, passionate. All things had to come to an end; and when Heather and Laura stopped being Owen's therapists, I took it hard...and again, we have gone through this in August and now, today.

Since being at Bethesda for IBI, Owen has had a team assigned to him. A team usually consists of 3-4 regular therapists, but for us, it has been a bit different since August. In August, I was told (in person at home, maybe so I wouldn't make a scene!? haha) that I was going to loose our male therapist, Kevin. I was heartbroken, not only for how Owen loved him and responds so well to males, but for us as a family. Does that sound weird? Here is why it's not; at all. Our therapists are in our home, they know our family in and out. They know the family dynamic, Owens siblings begin to love them. We get affected; and I lost him at the end of August - Owen still asks for him now and then. I hope in the future I am able to have Kevin work with Owen again; you cannot teach that kind of heart.

Today; Owen (and us) loose another. Owen's main therapist, Charissa. I couldn't even look at her too much when I dropped Owen off a Bethesda today; because I got emotional. As I dropped Owen off for his Halloween day, dressed to the 9's as Harry Potter, Charissa greeted us dressed the same, but with her beautiful pregnant belly adding to the costume. Thats' why we are loosing her; she is due in November. My selfishness seems to take over, I want her to stay with Owen - you really have to go have a beautiful baby? hahaha. Charissa and I clicked; her love and compassion for Owen shine when she is with him, she would look at Owen and could tell right away his mood, how he is feeling. She could walk into a room and his behaviours stop; she was an ideal Primary Therapist for Owen, and I hope to never loose contact with her; she was made for this job.

Good-byes in this field are never easy; but much worse when you find a worker that ends up loosing that title of worker, and gaining a title of friend or family instead.

- Vanessa

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