by Jenna Maddix
Something I don’t know very much about and recently started thinking about is respite services. What exactly does that mean and is that something that I could do for Noah when I need some time here and there to do the things I need to do, without him having to tag along? Would Noah even qualify for something like that? I’m not sure and I don’t know where to begin.
One of the biggest frustrations for me is having to go places with Noah. I say that because he never wants to sit still. He will not stay by my side or stay in the cart without wanting to get out. I constantly have to chase him down or upset him by telling him he has to stay in the cart while I shop. He lets me know how much he dislikes it, as well as, letting everyone else around us know. Being in those situations is not fun for me as I do not seek out attention so when Noah draws attention to us, I want to leave immediately. However, there are times when we can’t just simply leave.
Noah is a very curious, sensory seeker. If I let him go, he would take off and go absolutely everywhere, including all the places he is not supposed to go (like behind the counter or the employee/office area of a business). He is constantly looking and observing things. While I do like that he is very a curious boy, it does make it hard to go places with him. It’s a reason why I’m seeking out behavioral therapy too. I’ve been told that may help for situations like this but we haven’t started yet. There is a six month waiting list at the moment.
Today, I find myself in a bind. My daughter is a Girl Scout and she has been anxiously awaiting her turn to do a cookie booth. We are signed up for one tomorrow morning and while it’s only for two hours, this is now a problem because my husband has to work and cannot be home with Noah.
If I knew I could bring Noah and just sit him in a chair with an iPad to keep him entertained, I wouldn’t find this a big deal. But I know he won’t so this is when I wish I had more people to call on when I need help. Especially those last minute, I need someone now, times! We have to give Noah so much attention for all kinds of things that the little we can afford to let our daughter do, I want to stick with it but at times like this, it can be hard.
We do have family on my husband’s side and they do help us, however, they are not always around or home when I have these moments and need a little extra help. (Cue in the, “I wish I was rich and had a nanny” whining)
It’s not that easy to find someone who feels comfortable watching Noah.
I think people are scared because they aren’t sure what to expect with Noah and afraid it might be too much for them or they won’t know how to handle something with him. Other than the fact he never stops moving, the only thing anyone needs to “worry” about is closing doors to rooms they may not want a very active and curious four year old to go exploring in. Yes, he’ll get upset when you tell him, “no” but honestly, what child can’t be that way when they are testing their limits?
I have not looked into respite services before because I didn’t think that would be something Noah would qualify for. He does have developmental delays but he does what you can catch most toddlers doing and doesn’t require round-the-clock care, so I’m not sure where to begin or looking for something that more down Noah’s alley when it comes to a service like that. Does it even exist? I suppose it won’t hurt to look into it and talk to someone who might lead me down the right path to get a little extra help. I guess I’ll start with Google and see where that takes me!