Viewing category ‘therapy’

The Same But Different

with Susan Wagner

Susan Wagner is a freelance writer and editor, an avid runner and a mom of two boys. She's tentatively navigating the teen years with her oldest son, who has ADHD and an anxiety disorder (because puberty isn't hard enough already). [Insert blog name here] chronicles her efforts to balance science homework, basketball practice and panic attacks without completely losing her mind. Follow Susan on Twitter and Instagram (@workingcloset) and at her personal blog, The Working Closet

How My Aspie Kid Made Me an Introvert

Categories: special needs kid, stress, therapy

No Comments

It’s Saturday afternoon; Charlie is at a friend’s house. He’s been there all day, playing football and basketball in the driveway with his friend and two other boys from their baseball team. But now it’s almost dinner time and we’re trying to sort out our plans for the evening. I text the friend’s mother and suggest that we come get Charlie. She texts back: Can he spend the night?

Sure! I say. We’ll bring him some clothes.

And then she says, We’re grilling steaks. Why don’t you all come eat with us?

Honestly, I would have loved nothing more. This family always makes everyone feel welcome and loved, and it’s always fun — for Charlie and for us — to hang out at their house.

But going to dinner there would have meant taking Henry to a house that was already full of kids, and it would have been overwhelming. For him and for us.

So we said thanks, but no thanks. We already have plans. Next time!

My husband and I used to be social people; in grad school, our weekends always included dinner with friends or a bike ride or an impromptu evening of drinking beer and watching basketball.

After Henry was born, we made friends with other couples with small children. On the weekends, we would grill while the kids played in the yard. During the week, while the dads were at work, the moms would organize play dates, which were less for the kids and more for us — it was a precious couple of hours of talking to someone who was potty trained and spoke in complete sentences. Those play dates got me through the toddler years, truly.
Read the rest of this entry

Best Books for Moms of Quirky Kids

Categories: children, special needs kid, therapy

No Comments

iStock_000011815793SmallOne night recently, Charlie started throwing up and couldn’t stop. I did all the mom things: made him a nest of towels in his bed, put the trash can within reach, left the bathroom light on — and then I crawled into the guest bed to be closer to his room. At 2:30 am, when he was still up and still sick, I Googled “appendicitis symptoms” because maybe I needed to take him to the emergency room or…something. (Fortunately, it was just your garden variety norovirus, although a really terrible one.)

This morning, thanks to an NPR story on changes to the way the DSMIV categorizes autism spectrum disorders, I spent an hour reading up on new labels and researching assessment tools. Before my second cup of coffee, I had rediagnosed Henry with Social Communication Disorder — which is essentially the same thing as Asperger Syndrome, and which precisely describes my kid’s behavior. I’m an information consumer, especially when it comes to my kids. I want to know why things are the way they are and what — if anything — I should be doing about it.

This is both a good thing and a bad thing; the Internet is there for me in the middle of the night when I just need information, but it’s also the fast track to imagining the worst case scenario. (When he was in second grade, Henry started telling us he was having trouble catching his breath. Google told me he might need a lung transplant. The pediatrician told me he was anxious.

Guess who was right? And guess who lost sleep for almost a week between the Google search and the doctor’s appointment???)

While I”m a big believer in the usefulness of a quick internet search, for everyday concerns — the kinds of issues that come up over and over (and over) again — I rely on books, the old fashioned kind, with paper and bindings and no plugs or lights. There are lots of great books about raising quirky kids, but I have three favorites that live permanently, dog eared and much worn, on my nightstand, within easy reach after a challenging day.
Read the rest of this entry

90 Days, No Worries; Or, Why Therapy Matters

Categories: parenting, stress, support system, therapy

No Comments

Not long ago, I wrote on my personal blog about some advice my therapist gave me: She told me to stop worrying about anything that was more than three months away. (More about that in a bit.) And a very helpful commenter said, “If you can afford a therapist for your first world problems (it’s called LIFE) then you have had a very cushy life.”

Honestly, that made me laugh. I had written, in the same post, about how I was giving up eating wheat and really missed scones, and how a pair of not-inexpensive J. Crew pants were my new favorite thing to wear. Of all the first-world issues to pick on, seeing a therapist seemed like the least frivolous of the things I was sharing with my readers.

From a material standpoint, my life is very comfortable; my husband and I both have good jobs, and we live in a nice house in a safe neighborhood. Our children are healthy and intelligent. We have wonderful family and terrific friends. We are, as my Oklahoma neighbors say, very blessed.

So yes, my life is pretty “cushy.”

Read the rest of this entry

Subscribe to blog via RSS