14 July 2001
Since Thursday Dan and I have felt this incredible sense of relief. Not only did we get everything we needed for Damian (except the two hours of Heidi time, but I do think the insurance company will okay that), we got more. He will have twenty hours of Floor Time therapy, and we don’t have to do a single bit of it.

It’s not like we’ll suddenly drop that way of thinking, pushing him to interact more, to respond and then respond again: "Damian, what’s this?" "Red." "Red what?" "Red gummy bear." "That’s what it is, that’s right. I forgot. Thanks for letting me know. I’m really hungry, I think I’ll eat it." "I want gummy bear!" "Oh, you want it? Hmm, okay, I guess you can have it, then. Which hand is it in? Yup, there it is. Good for you, kid. Enjoy your gummy bear."

It’s a way of life. But now we don’t have to also be thinking every time we sit down to play with him (or get up and run around) about whether we’re introducing enough symbolic play and if he's expanding on our overtures, and if not, how can we entice him to, and oh, he just dropped the horse and picked up the car, how do I connect the two toys? It’s hard work, Floor Time, at least it is if you do it right. We’ve gotten burned out. But since the IEP meeting, that’s changed. We’re having more fun playing with Damian because we know we’re not the be-all and end-all, the alpha and omega of his therapy. His progress doesn’t depend on whether we do a Good Job. We can let go of all that stuff floating around in our heads and just have fun with our child.

Ironically, amusingly, miraculously, we’re probably doing more pure Floor Time with him now as a result. We’re certainly closing more circles of communication and in more lively, interesting ways. But we don’t have to. We can enjoy our sweet boy. And that’s the beauty of it. The IEP folk gave us a true gift.

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