I have spent the past couple days trying to analyze, synthesize, and otherwise make sense of this week's appointment with the developmental pediatrician.
The pessimist in me wants to pick up our AmEx bill and proclaim dramatically, "How much did we spend to learn nothing new?"
The realist (because there just isn't much optimist left in me, it seems) is able to look at this in a more balanced manner. The short version of what I learned in the hour plus of talking with the doctor is that we're doing what we need to for Scooter and our parenting instincts have been spot on. So while I didn't come away with any grand revelation or definite diagnosis, the whole appointment was extremely affirming.
Trillian and I have heard that we're doing everything Scooter needs so many times now that it tends to ring hollow. But it did help to have the doctor lay out the two things he feels are most important for Scooter's continued development: occupational therapy and a structured peer environment. So now we know the two things to concentrate on lining up for our move to Springfield.
The part that I keep turning over in my head is the sum of what he said: Scooter's in a gray area. But close enough to one side of it that it's unlikely he will be diagnosed with autism or even with a significant enough developmental delay that he'll qualify for services through the school.
"This is a good thing," the doctor said several times. And I know he's right. And it doesn't change what we will do for Scooter (just who's paying for it).
There's one other thing the doctor said, something I realized I really needed to hear. He remarked on how the pattern of issues facing Scooter is a profile he's seen many times "with bright boys." And he understood that one of my biggest frustrations is that, because Scooter technically falls within the range of "normal" for all evaluations, most people have been willing to leave it at that and not make anything of the discrepancy between the tests and his intelligence.
In the end, the doctor's sense about what we're looking at with Scooter matches what has been my gut feeling for a while now. The biggest challenges facing Scooter are his sensory integration issues. If we can address those and help him get them under control, all of the other stuff, will sort itself out. He'll always be a little odd, always look at the world from a different perspective. But truthfully, I wouldn't want him any other way.