I mentioned last week that we'd magically fallen into a special playgroup for Scooter this week. And it's been very good for him. There are two other kids in the group, one girl and one boy, and they quickly meshed. Not in a "best friends forever" sort of way, but a "you're fun to hang out with and I can be myself" sort of way. All three have sensory issues and some degree of language delay. In addition to the structured socialization, they're learning some skills to evaluate their own arousal level, which is the first step towards self-regulation. (And the 14-year-old boy in me is sniggering over 'arousal' and 'self-'anything.)
The flip side of all of this is that I'm spending a couple hours each morning in the waiting room with two other mothers. They both have boys who are around 2-years-old, so much of their time is taken up by supervising their play. But we still have ended up chatting a bit. One of the mothers is a bit loud (and her son is louder, even for a 2-year-old), so it can be taxing for me to interact with her. She's the one who, on the second day, filled us in on all of her son's details and the frustrations of not having any coverage for the sensory issues (although there are other things her daughter is covered for). She loudly lamented that one doctor was willing to pursue something on the autism spectrum, but that her doctor is "so obviously not autistic" and "why would I want to stick her with that label." I bit my tongue--I really just wanted to get my exams graded and I've had that conversation way too many times recently.
Then this morning I ended up in the waiting room with only the other boy's mother for a little bit. She asked first about my graduate program, since I'd mentioned I was a student before, and then we talked a little about our sons. I finally said something about being on the waiting list for evaluation and my suspicion that Scooter's mildly autistic. And then she told me that her son is on the same track, slightly ahead in terms of when he got the referral and such, but that we're looking at very similar things for our sons. We didn't get a chance to talk much more than that, but it was a moment of recognition and a momentary break in the isolation.
Tomorrow's the last day of the group, and I have to admit I'll be glad to have a return to our normal routine for a few days. Sure we're headed to the grandparents' next week for all sorts of schedule interruption--but at least we can leave Scooter with the grandparents a few times and let them deal with the crazies.
Cute side story: Trillian mentioned to Scooter this morning that we would be moving closer to his grandparents and asked if that sounded like a good idea. He enthusiastically said yes and then started to gather a few toys and asked if he could bring those. Over the next half hour, he added a few more things to that list, despite our reassurances that we weren't leaving immediately and that all of his toys would come when we moved later. But I found it really touching that he was so eager to go now that he was willing to leave most of his stuff behind. And encouraging--because I think that the transition of the move may not be too bad as long as we have the grandparents nearby.