You may know him as the Leprechaun, my cherub faced, blonde, blue eyed almost three little boy with a cheeky grin, but I’d like to officially introduce you to my son.
My son loves Caillou. (much to my chagrin)
My son loves Cheerios.
My son loves the slide.
My son loves cars and trains.
My son loves his friend Mark.
My son can count to 40, knows his shapes, letters, and phonics sounds, reads small words, and loves flash cards and books.
My son loves the theme to the new Dallas.
My son is funny and fun.
My son also has a problem pushing his friends and his sister.
My son takes toys from his friends without asking.
My son FLIPS OUT at having his hair cut.
My son does not know how to stop something fun without throwing an epic fit. And I mean epic.
My son can not deal with not getting his way without a meltdown.
My son could not finish his preschool year and we had to leave a playgroup.
The last list of things may have you saying, “Well, gosh, he’s 2 what do you expect?” For a while, that’s what I told myself, but then as I watched him and the way he dealt with things and interacted with friends and compared it to the way his peers did I could see something was not the same. Then his school noticed it too.
After many phone calls, doctors who said he was fine, and being rejected for one program, today the clouds parted and the sun came out. He has sensory processing issues and issues verbally expressing himself. In an odd way I want to do a victory dance at hearing that! A four hour evaluation, which was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to watch as a mother, my child frustrated not wanting to answer questions, upset at the play exercises, but I knew it had to be done. In the end, I got an answer and a yellow brick road cleared for help in the form of a learning program and yes, literally the answer to my prayer.
I am sharing this for multiple reasons. One, I try to be transparent with people kind enough to read my blog and I share the photos of us having fun and laughing and those are very real and pretty frequent moments but so are the other things I listed above. I haven’t shared until now because I didn’t have an answer and wasn’t sure what was going on myself.
Another reason I want to share, is that if there is another mother out there going through the same thing I want to say: Trust your mother’s instincts. You know your child. Don’t give up even when you’re turned away. It’s been four long months to get to this day. I too have felt the stares, have felt unwelcome, isolated. And most important, I want to say you are not alone.
Finally, I want to ask that we all remember to be kind to one another as we never know what the other is going through. In these four months I have experienced both the dark and the light that parenting has to offer.
I have received ugly stares when he has an episode in public from others probably wondering what kind of mother lets her child behave that way. The kind of mother who has tried everything. I have received ugly messages from the mother of a child he has pushed. And I get it, no mother wants to see their child hurt. My first instinct was to email back and say, “Lady, you have no idea what we go through every day. You’re not delivering the evening news to me and of course I don’t think it’s ok.” It was hard, but in the end I prayed and decided to give more grace than was extended and apologized for him (which I meant) and told her it was being addressed on all channels (which it was but I didn’t have an answer yet). I am saying this because before I had my son and his issues arose, from time to time I was one of those people who always seem to know best. “How could they….?” “I would never let my child…” It’s very easy to arm chair quarterback.
That was the dark, but now the light. We have had friends who stuck by us and invited us to park play dates because they know he does well there, we had a school go to bat for us and call the evaluators who rejected us the first time and say they needed to evaluate again because they missed something, and we had a playgroup mom that I barely knew not let us fall off the face of the earth and stayed in touch with us as she had experience in the evaluation field and also called the evaluators to go to bat for us. Taking it all in today I was literally moved to tears by those things and the feeling that the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders at finally having an answer.
I’m excited for my son to start the program. The early outlook for him is that he will be in the program for the next few years and transition into kindergarten like any other boy who loves Caillou (or I’m ok if Caillou is a distant memory by then) and mac and cheese. Both the program and time as he matures will help him to express himself and deal with his sensory problems. In the meantime, we have the relief of an answer and we have fun at the park, playing cars at home, the zoo, and other things I know he can do well.
I thank you for reading. I know this was a long one but I felt it was an important one.This gift of motherhood and my boy in particular has taught me this: what really matters, to see both sides of the coin and to be kind because at the end of the day we are all trying to do the best we can.