Getting Services Set Up in Coeur d’Alene

We have now been in Coeur d’Alene for almost 2 months and certainly feel blessed for the opportunity to live in such a beautiful city.  The population is 6 more than the stated on the sign that reads:  44,137 and the metro region is 131,507.  I can seriously handle these numbers just fine.  Compare that to the population of the Seattle Metro region:  3,344,813, and you can understand the appeal of living in a smaller area, just by the numbers alone.

Joshua enjoying watermellon at Hayden Lake

I mention these statistics for the point of showing when you have to transport a child to different appointments, the time on the road is vital, in my view, in how much treatment is able to be done with a child.  The Spokane/Northern Idaho region, at first glance, doesn’t appear to have as much in resources as opposed to the Seattle area.  This may be true in some respects, however, there are a lot of good services over here.

Joshua working hard riding his tricycle

The first thing I did was contact, in person, the Special Education Director with the school district and got the ball rolling on getting Joshua in the best school placement considering his needs.  What is so neat is the school really seems to offer wrap around services for each child.  Granted I’m still on the outside looking in, but I had the privilege of having Cheri Pickering, the developer of the autism program, at the school Joshua will be attending, come to my house to discuss which of three school placement options would be the best for Joshua’s needs.  This will be evaluated on a regular basis, too, to determine if it’s a good fit for him.  One of the attractions of this program is the emphasis on developing social skills, one of the biggest challenges for autistic kids and adults. I love that!  What is also neat is Joshua’s school that he will be attending is only 3 miles away, which should take 10 minutes to get there.  We’ll see how long it takes during the school year, but I’m guessing it will take…about 10 minutes.

Playing at the Dalton Elementary Playground with Michael

Playing with new family friends at Dalton Elementary Playground

I met with the Director of one of the centers that provide developmental disability services and got an idea of what kind of services are provided for autistic kids, both at their center and in-home.  This particular agency works with both the younger kids and the older kids and has a parent’s support group.  The Director was kind enough, too, to hook me up with the gal who leads this support group, who also happens to be doing the GAPS diet.  Once we get the Katie Beckett Waiver, Lord willing, we will be settling on which agency to go with to help provide the Intensive Behavior Intervention and Developmental Therapy that Joshua would benefit from.  There are quite a few to choose from.  I will be busy interviewing each one, in the mean time.

Joshua helping with washing the Yukon

I  got the paper work started with the State to apply for Joshua to receive the Katie Beckett Waiver a few weeks ago, having the joy of first applying for Medicaid, doing so at the worst possible time of day.  We have to do this first before applying for the Katie Beckett and meet with a particular kind of social worker experienced in this type of application process.   When I went into the office to pick up the paperwork, it was the afternoon and only a 15 minute wait.  When I brought in the paperwork, I discovered 11 AM was not the ideal time as I had a 2 hour wait.  Fortunately, I was only 10 minutes from home, so I simply went home for an hour and came back.  Had they not put me on the wrong list, as there was some kind of mix up, I might not have had to wait for another hour.  At any rate, I got the process started so he can not only get Medicaid, but the additional financial support for additional developmental services.

Joshua has found a more interesting target for the hose. If water gets on the car, does it still count as “helping”?

At the same time, I’ve contacted a few service providers and parents of autistic children to determine a pediatrician for Joshua and a DAN doctor, who happens to be a naturopathic doctor and chiropractor in Spokane, Dr. Michael Whitney  That appointment is scheduled for this coming week and I’m “eager” to be filling out the 29 page packet to prepare for this first visit.  Oh, and this appointment is going to take a while to get to because it’s 41 miles away, but it should only take an hour, which should be expected.  Since it’s in Spokane, though, and in the morning hours, it might be a little longer with traffic, but I think I can handle that.

This “washing the car” chore is quite a lot of fun. It’s a good thing Rachel is such a good sport! Sarah sure enjoys witnessing this from behind the camera at a safe distance!

Once we get Joshua in to see his new pediatrician, I am hoping to start him on OT/Speech and possibly, PT.  I’m having to get doctor referrals for this, due to Idaho State rules, from what I understand.  That part is a hassle, but a minor one.  There are some therapists, that come to your house, and I’m definitely interested in checking out if that could work out for us.  This doctor appointment is set for the second day of school for Joshua, which starts after Labor Day.  He will be having a “Meet the Teacher” day on Tuesday, the 28th, so that will be fun.  I should know his bus schedule, hopefully by the end of next week, too.

Mommy and Joshua reading “Pete the Cat’s Birthday Book”, a present from Michael.

In the mean time, I am still trying to enjoy the last week of summer break with the kids.  We’ve been enjoying beach days with new friends, as well as park dates and play dates, back to school hair cuts, and a visit to our new dentist thrown in.  We were blessed to have Dr. Cory Gaunt, who we happened to know from when he and his wife to be at the time, Athena, were finishing up at Western Washington University in Bellingham.  Cory just graduated from dental school in Arizona and he and his wonderful family, now including two beautiful children, moved to the area after getting hired by Loftus Family Dental  Joshua is providing Dr. Gaunt with his first real experience working with autistic kids in the dental chair.  Joshua did quite well, too, handling having his teeth getting pictures taken with a lot of interest and delight, and tolerating the cleaning just fine, with some encouragement from Mom.  What was also neat was that the dental hygienist has a young relative with autism and she, and Dr. Gaunt were so patient with him and his sensory issues .  Next time, we are hoping to try to get x-rays, so we’ll see how that goes.

Joshua is delighted with the gift from Grandma Gamble: The Chipmunks! Now he doesn’t need to use blocks to play as Alvin, Simon and Theodore!

All in all, we’ve been having a fun summer, with one trip back to the Seattle area to celebrate Joshua’s 6th birthday, staying with Grandma Gamble,  and the delight of visiting his God-family, the Petris’ before we headed back to our new home.  We are continuing to adjust and not only enjoying our new home, but getting to know our neighbors and new friends, while getting visits from my sister Fran, who can stop by on her way home from work.  We are blessed, indeed, and so grateful for the continued prayers for Joshua and the rest of our family.

Joshua is playing with his Chipmunks with Daddy, re-enacting a scene from “The Chipmunks” movie.


This entry was posted on Monday, August 27th, 2012 at 7:50 am and is filed under Autism Diet, Autism Resources, Autism Treatment, Sensory Integration Disorder. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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