"I'm not disabled! There's nothing wrong with me! I hate when you say that, and make things up about me!"
Well, a certain teen doesn't agree with the diagnosis of a renowned children's hospital developmental team, and that's fine. Or the diagnoses (identical) given by several other professionals from other organizations. And the fact that the Regional Center actually got around to FUNDING said teen doesn't mean anything when Elf has been on the list for years with zero help.
And the unnamed teen doesn't care that the (also unnamed) semigovernmental department, that sends a worker out for eight hours a week in our home, seems to agree that he is disabled and needs help. (That's fun, having someone in your home all the time telling you how to parent. The alternative? We could lose all our children if things go wrong and someone gets hurt after a blowup. Yay.)
Oh! Oh! Or the ENTIRE STATE of Missouri. They have consented to fund this particular teen for the Sara Lopez waiver, which basically gives Medicaid services to *just* 200 minors in the state who don't quite qualify for Medicaid financially, but who have needs SO SEVERE that they're concerned the child would be institutionalized otherwise. In this time of cutbacks, please don't think they hand out services to people who don't meet income guidelines *just* because they look pretty like me, ok? :)
So yeah. I enjoy making all this stuff up about his being disabled. I must have that Munchausen by proxy syndrome thing because it's just sooo much fun going to all appointments. Look at how glamourous I am as I enter the center for another session where my parenting is questioned and micromanaged! While I bring all the other children and they get to hear this crap because I have no sitter! The clients are always innnteresting there. But I'm walking the carpet! Snap a photo! Striking a pose -
* Vogue, Vogue *
Ha ha! Ok, y'all just WISH you were me. I'm a star, I tellya. No wonder the teen thinks I'm making it all up! I get sooo much validation and luv from everyone I have to work with on his imaginary problems. It brings joy to my life and gives me purpose. I had nothing else to do. I also think working with the public school is sexxxy and IEPs are hott. Just so you know.
Though our case manager from the Regional Center tells me that all teens are "not disabled." They are all like that. It's disappointing, though, because I thought I had trained my children to accept themselves for who they are while working TOWARD being functional in certain areas. It makes me sad, for instance, to hear Elf pray that he would just be "normal."
And yet... I cannot say I want to take his valid feelings away from him. I look at his going to school next year and think, know what? He can't even cross the street. He can't be left alone in a Sunday School class. He can't follow simple directions in a crowd; it's just all over once he walks away from his siblings or Mom. I'm worried. Maybe he is praying for "normal" because he is worried, too.
So... do you tell your child he's disabled? I don't mean in a constant, belittling way. I mean... do they know what their diagnoses are? And does your kid believe it? Are you the bad guy for mentioning it? Leave a comment here and I'll read it before my next photoshoot.