mama whose curiosity knows no bounds

Posts tagged ‘daycare’

Journey with K: 18 months to diagnosis #3

While waiting for speech evaluation, we changed daycare, and my husband and I took K to a retreat – basically graduate students and faculty members go to mountain cabins with a conference facility and present their work either orally or by poster.  I didn’t have to present, but my husband did.  K and I walked along the lake and played.  He didn’t like to interact with me although he did respond to my call.  He preferred to play alone.  He particularly liked watching leaves waving in a wind.  It was fall, so he also played a lot with fallen leaves.  Just throwing and watching. By that time, I was very seriously worried about him having serious developmental delay.  During the search, sometimes the word “autism” appeared but it wasn’t a perfect match.  Rather, “mental retardation” matched what K did.

We brought a very spicy dish (stir-fried bean thread) with us. K liked VERY spicy food.  He could take spicy food that was too spicy for even me.  He ate some jar food, but definitely prefers curry or chili flavored dish.  In fact, during the meal time, he ate ONLY that spicy bean thread.  There were a lot of food that toddlers could eat and the cook and server were asking if K needs specially processed food, but I knew he wouldn’t eat any of them so I declined, feeling so sorry for them and myself.

In the cabin, I tried to teach him to use a puzzle (a wooden box with various shapes of hole and a matching wooden block).  K didn’t get it.  I was so irritated and scared then yelled at my husband “K may be mentally retarded.”  At this point, my husband had no concern at all.  He was very irritated that I had such a negative attitude.  He scolded me that K was absolutely normal and it was me who were wrong.

(Note: I am fully aware that the use of R-word is totally inappropriate, and I oppose the use.  However, this was the direct translation of the Japanese word I used then (2001).  Please forgive me if you feel upset about my language use.  I was one of those who “didn’t get it”).

The appointment of the speech evaluation was two days after I finish my Ph.D.. My mentor had planned a party for me.  I was doing final printing on cotton paper, taking the copies to professor’s room, getting signatures from committee members.  Two emotions were going on simultaneously – elation that I’m completing my Ph.D., and fear/worry/devastation that K has a developmental delay.

To be continued.



Journey with K: 18 months to diagnosis #2

While K had a referral to hearing and speech evaluation, the relationship with the head teacher at the daycare went sour.  She was very irritated that K didn’t take a nap with everyone else.  Of course for the staff, that’s the only time they could have a break, so irritation was understandable. I thought if the teacher hated K, it wouldn’t do any good to K, although the daycare center was so convenient for me.  It was located in the same student family apartment complex and it was about 30 seconds from my apartment.  Still, I started to get sick with the head teacher’s attitude, although in hindsight, it was probably full of concern.  But at that time, I didn’t understand and thought the teacher and staff were simply lazy.

I started looking for a different daycare.  It was a sort of first experience for me.  I first went to City office to obtain a directory and started calling.  I made appointment after appointment to visit the daycare, mostly home-based.  They are pretty good.  But when I told them that K didn’t take a nap, I could see everyone’s face stiffened.  Then I realized that not taking a nap was THAT bad. I kept calling. One time, I called the daycare that refused K again!  I was losing track!  I had to extend the search to larger area.

Then I found it. This preschool/daycare (14 kid capacity) was run by a very sophisticated and educated lady from India.  Her husband was from Nepal and taught agronomy at UC Davis.  I knew a few professor at agronomy department though I didn’t know him in particular.  But this made me relax a bit.  When I told her about K’s napping problem, her response was that everyone was different and we as a society were pushing children too hard to perform.  And that performance included a nap at the same time!  Since this daycare has zero-to-five, there were kids who didn’t have a nap anyway, and she assured me that it was absolutely fine if K didn’t take a nap.

Although it wasn’t close (about 10-15 minute drive from my apartment), I really wanted him to be there, being cared by this caring lady.  So we signed up.  I wasn’t exactly nice when I left the previous daycare center for the last day.

Both my husband and I took turn to drop him off and pick up.  K (and my husband and I) was much happier, but he didn’t talk and he didn’t play, either.

And the deadline for my dissertation was quickly approaching.  I had shown the draft to all the thesis committee members and had a good feedback. But printing 250 page thesis for many copies and revise it and printing again occupies the lab printer.  So to print freely, I started working at night.  It also helped me focus.

While I wait for printing, I surfed the web and made reservation for Disneyland trip (and staying in Disney resort hotel) as a reward for finishing my Ph.D..  At the same time, I searched for speech delay and K’s symptom.  “Mental retardation” and “Autism” were the things that was frequently found.  And by this time, K’s behavior changed a lot.

To be continued.


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