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I drew a monthly calendar and listed every appointment and therapy session.Depending upon the modifications you can make to your work schedule (start later in the morning, leave early, take an unpaid day once a month, work 4 longer days instead of a typical 5 day work week, win the lottery) you will need to schedule medical appointments around your schedule and often schedule multiple appointments for the same day (this will often require sucking up to the medical office secretary or occasionally begging).It has taken a long time for me to realize it, but the friends and family who made these comments simply did not know what else to say and they really did think they were offering up helpful or kind wisdom.Since you have no partner to complain to about these inane comments, find the friend who says, “Well, this sucks” and complain to that person.My stock answer over the years has become that if people are not given more than they can handle, then why do we have fully booked mental hospitals?I would get angry with these platitudes or the all-knowing sentiment that “everything will be just fine.” Since I saw no one with a crystal ball, I pretty much summarily dismissed these comments.In the perfect two-parent household, one parent often becomes a stay-at-home parent to manage the ever growing list of doctors and therapists.As a single parent you likely do not have the luxury of quitting your job so that you can attend to all of this. What helped me was getting a really unattractive and enormous whiteboard that I mounted to the front door.
When your child is first diagnosed you will realize that there is no partner in the room that you can look to and say “what should we do? The good thing about making the decisions on your own is that you don’t have to deal with another parent who may think that a procedure, therapy or evaluation is unnecessary.Other single parents of special needs kids are more blindsided by their child’s delay or disability.Some delays, disorders or disabilities didn’t show up until early infancy, the toddler years or in some cases, not until the kids are school age.Kind of like you managed to launch the Normandy Invasion all on your own.My daughter, Eliza, was born at 26 weeks and 4 days, weighing 1 pound, 4 ounces (to put this in perspective she was about the size of a small bottle of water).
If your child has multiple specialists, I preferred one-stop shopping and had all of the specialists at the same hospital.