Thursday, February 15, 2007

A day of appointments

Tomorrow is my doctor's appointment at the campus health clinic so that I can get a blood test and get more definitive information on where I can go for the rest of my prenatal care. Yet it's not even the most anticipated part of the day.

Just after I made that appointment, we got a call from the Toronto Preschool Speech & Language Services--the people I had contacted about getting Scooter and his speech development assessed. At the time, back in December, they had told me we were looking at an 8-10 month wait. Magically, there was an opening a week Friday. I have no idea how we managed to be high enough up on the list to merit a call for a cancellation spot, but we weren't going to question it. It requires a little juggling--I'll take Scooter and Trillian to the appointment, stay for the first 30-45 minutes, and then head back to campus. They'll take public transit home, and we'll all regroup at home to compare notes.

Before dinner, Trillian and I went over the parent questionnaire, answering the questions as best as we could. It's hard to remain neutral and not play either the optimist, whitewashing any concerns, or the pessimist, convinced that the questionnaire can't begin to capture all that is wrong. After a section dealing with his social interactions (he prefers to play alone or with adults, doesn't like other kids determining the activity), we then got the question "Is there any additional information that you feel would be helpful to us?" Our first couple responses continued our previous answers--prefers being home with us, slow to warm up to new experiences. And then we realized that there are other things that might help them--the fact that he started learning the alphabet and numbers at 18 months and his phenomenal memory, for starters.

I am hopeful that Scooter's appointment tomorrow will give us a sense of where we're headed, a sense that we're close to an answer. I think one of my biggest fears is that this process will lead to a label that will become his identity, that people won't see the boy behind it. I also worry that the goal of any treatment might involve trying to stamp out some of what makes him such a special boy. I would never deny his imperfections (though Trillian might say I downplay those that most closely match my own), but I also recognize that the flip side of his meltdowns and tears, the side that I treasure and want to preserve, is his sensitivity.

So that's the next goal I'm setting for myself: figuring out how to help my son overcome whatever language challenges he has while defending him from any potential spirit squashing.


Sandra said...

Sooooo terribly behind on everything. Firstly a proper enthusiastic CONGRATULATIONS on the two pink lines!!!

I hope all goes well at your appointments.

And I have to (in a possibly completely inappropriately unrelated note) pay you enormous compliments for your Wednesday feature. I have been reading them through bloglines since I have been gone. I am both motivated and inspired. Bravo.

bubandpie said...

I keep meaning to come back here and recommend MOM - Not Otherwise Specified (she's on my blogroll if you want the link). She's a wonderful writer and, moreover, she's a really inspiring model in the way she advocates for her son, resisting labels and celebrating who he is. While her son's issues will be different from yours, I think you'll recognize some of the traits (I certainly do). I see from the post right after this one that the speech assessment went well (hooray!), but even so - it's worth checking out.

Mouse said...

Sandra--Thanks for the encouragement. And glad to have you back!

B&P--Thanks for the recommendation. I'll be checking out the site. You really touch on an aspect that's important to me: even though I want to help Scooter improve his speech, I don't ever want to change who he is.

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