• Dana L. Butler


Dear Ones,

I’m sitting this morning in the front office of our county’s electronic school — a brick-and-mortar office with a classroom where Isaac is able to come one morning per week for a blended class with all the elementary kids, about 15, who are in Douglas County’s electronic school program.

This is only his second Monday being present here (we’re allowed to connect virtually if he needs to for anxiety purposes), and thus far he’s actually enjoying it, for which I couldn’t be more grateful.

Our GoFundMe campaign has taken off really beautifully, y’all. I’ve been in awe of how God has moved through you, our friends, to begin to meet our financial needs in this season. We’re already at 1/4 of our goal — it’s blown both Stan and me away.

I wanted to give you a brief update on our diagnostic journey at this point.

We begin part 2 of Maia’s 4 part evaluative process next week. Upon beginning this evaluation with her, we found out that it will actually cover everything that would be covered in a complete developmental evaluation also, so we don’t need to have the number of evals for her that we’d initially expected.

This is awesome from a financial angle, as well as just being easier on Maia emotionally and mentally. We’re relieved on multiple levels.

Isaac’s electronic schooling has thus far been a mixture of wonderful and very challenging. Like I mentioned above, he’s enjoying his Monday morning class at this point, which is huge. The fact that he can go into a classroom and sit and learn a little while with other students, without me being in the room (he does still need me to remain in the building), is amazing.

However, doing his schoolwork at home has been incredibly challenging. His teachers (who’ve been so understanding and supportive) have already abbreviated the curriculum for him in light of his attention difficulties, and it is still just barely cutting it for us on some days… and other days we’re not doing okay at all.

Sorry to communicate on the vague side here — it just would take me ages to share details, and some of these challenges with our boy are also borderline sensitive.

At any rate, on Wednesday of this week, I have a meeting scheduled with the interventions team at his school, at which I believe the possibility of more of an official “special needs” track for Isaac will be explored.

I would love your prayers over this meeting, friends. For wisdom and peace for me, insight for the team, etc.

All of that said, the fact that Maia is now only requiring this one more expensive evaluation (instead of the two we were expecting) is opening things up for us financially to go ahead and move forward with obtaining an up-to-date developmental evaluation for Isaac, for which I see his need more and more clearly by the day. We have got to get more clarity on his precise diagnoses so we can more accurately address his needs with therapies, etc.

AND– in light of the fact that, looking at the overall picture of Isaac’s day-to-day life, his anxiety around going places (lots of places, not just school now) is getting worse and not better, Stan and I are beginning to seriously consider trying to obtain a service dog for him.

I have also looked into the possibility of having our dog trained as a service dog, which would honestly be best case scenario, and Rocky has the personality to be an absolutely incredible one, but having him trained would cost thousands of dollars according to my initial research, and our financial need is already so great.

What we’re hoping is that with this impending updated developmental eval for Isaac, a diagnosis will come that will qualify us to potentially receive a service dog from a program here locally that trains service dogs for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities.

Know someone who'd appreciate this?

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