Yesterday was really tough. And for more than one reason. I actually thought about sugar-coating it because I feel like lately I have been posting such bad/sad stuff. But if we can’t be honest in our blog what hope do we have!
A guy that I went to college with committed suicide last week and the funeral was yesterday. Tuesday night the whole gang from college got together. It was one of those moments where you haven’t seen each other for 10 years and all of a sudden you are best friends again. It was wonderful. And I stayed out way to late to soak up every last second with them. This old mama was out until 2 a.m! I don’t think I have done that since I was with them 10 years ago. I kid. But still, I felt awful when the alarm went off at 7 am for Cooper’s speech therapy appointment and evaluation by the child psychologist. We were told my Cooper’s therapist that this Dr. would observe and give us ideas to make transitions easier. And hopefully make life a whole lot easier.
The appointment started really well. The Dr. introduced herself in the waiting room and she was very friendly. I like friendly easy-to-talk to people. They put me at ease right away. Cooper’s therapist Toni came out and Cooper went gaga for her as usual. Ran up to her, hugged her and grabbed her hand to go play. We all walked back to the open area and Cooper went right to the computer to play with Toni. The Dr. stood by us and chatted. She gushed over and over again about how cute Cooper is. She also said she was really impressed with his sweetness and eye contact.
Toni said to prepare though because it was time to transition away from the technology to a non-technology game. Cooper did okay. He got mad and whined and then moved on. Score. He played an animal game for 2 minutes or so and then wanted to go back to the computer. And all HELL broke loose. He threw the animals, pushed a chair, screamed and freaked out. I stepped in and helped him transition into the therapy room. Again, score. Toni got out the iPad to do picture recognition and Cooper saw the Thomas the Train app and all hope was lost. Toni decided to let him look at the app together and my perfect angel returned. He laughed and pointed and made eye contact and sat with Toni like his world hadn’t just ended. The Dr. recommended removing some of the technology from Cooper’s life. He loves it too much and isn’t at the point where he can handle the transitions.
I snuck out of the therapy room and went into the observation room with the therapist and my husband. She asked a few questions about Cooper. Jamie and I are done sugar-coating stuff and we answer honestly. She then came right out and said I see some autistic traits. I see a few sensory things and I see the extreme behaviors. But what I don’t see is issues with his social behavior. And as a Dr. who diagnoses Autism, I have to see social issues in order to tell you that he could be on the spectrum. His eye contract is great and his need for a reaction is exceptional.
First, my heart stopped beating. My face got hot and panic started setting in. I wasn’t here for a freaking autism diagnose. Who said anything about autism??? I want help with language. I want help with getting Cooper from the tv to something else. That is it. Second, she was speaking the truth. And I knew that deep down.
So what now?
She wants to see how he interacts with other kids and would like to observe him in his daycare setting next Tuesday. Fine. Ok. I’m sure he’ll do fine and I am going to try to not worry.
But can someone tell us about why our son doesn’t talk?
So, let’s say for the sake of conversation that Cooper “is” autistic. Fine. He is definitely high functioning. And high functioning kids talk. So, why the F doesn’t he talk? Nobody seems the need to talk to us about this. Do we need to go see specialists and big fancy doctors?
I feel really blind sighted by this visit from the psychologist. Instead of answers we get more questions.
And to follow-up that appointment I went to a funeral for a 31-year-old man and listened to his friends and family tell stories about his amazing love for life. Life isn’t fair. I hate it sometimes.