I'm starting to get better at comparing Alanna to other kids her own age. Many times, I'm able to accept where the kids are developmentally, and accept where Alanna is developmentally and how she does many things a normal kid does, albeit sometimes in a very different way. However, I've got to confess, I did lapse into my self-pity again this week. A very sweet little girl I know who is a little younger than Alanna saw her Dad after about a 45 minute separation, saw him, and came running shouting "Daddy, Daddy!" only to be picked up in his arms and swung around... naturally she had a big grin on her face. After I got over coveting that simple interaction I realized that Alanna does that with me in her own way. She might try to climb over me, smile, or press her body against mine. If I'm really lucky I might even get a nice hug! It is her way of telling me she missed me.
While I'm confessing, I have another thing to share. My wife sometimes reminds me not to try to plan too far in the future (I am very much long term, forward looking person). With Alanna, it is so hard to tell where she is going to be. Some days, I feel happy knowing she will be herself (and develop as far as she can) and that's good enough for everyone, including me. Other days, I worry myself thinking if I don't keep pushing for the best interventions, she won't make all the gains she could make... and have the best life she could have.
Case in point: transition to school. Alanna probably has a few years before this becomes an issue since she is not yet even three. But when the time comes, do we spend $58,000 a year (how we would even get this money is beside the point) on a designated ABA school like New Haven, where Alanna will certainly learn more skills designed to get to be as independent as possible? Or, would I use that money to save for her future (RDSP) or another a savings vehicle to provide her with lifetime care? Yes, she will probably make some gains in the public school system, but she would make probably greater gains in a special school. However, spending $750,000 until she turns 18 (assuming I had this money) to fund this education vs. saving it for a lifetime care fund is going to be a tough decision. Some argue once the critical intervention time has passed, intensive intervention is not needed. This is the refrain of the Ontario government, which stresses constantly that IBI is "time limited." I am not sure I agree. However when it is your money and you are responsible for the life of a child, it's not such an easy decision. I wrack my brain on this stuff.
So perhaps I should "cross that bridge when we get to it", as my wife likes to remind me. I'll really try. Let's see how long I can put it out of my mind!