Last night, Trillian and I sat down for another session of "Rate Your Child." The developmental pediatrician we're going to uses somewhat different forms, so we couldn't just run off another copy of the master we have of the Sensory Profile and Developmental History. Which meant I read the questions out loud and Trillian answered Never, Sometimes, Often, or Very Often; I would mark down her answers, occasionally quibbling with her--often or very often, sometimes or often?
It quickly became obvious to us that these forms are intended to cover a much wider range of children, many of them significantly older than Scooter. I read off all of the questions to Trillian, even the ones for which the answer was obvious. Has he used weapons to attack people? Broken into stores or houses? Is he sexually active?
Then there were the ones that pointed up the divide in our perceptions of "normal" and are a reminder that many of Scooter's quirks did not appear out of nowhere. Does he make noises that are odd or for strange reasons? (He does make noises, but they make sense to me. He copies ambient noise and makes other sound effects.) Is he excessively shy with strangers? (I wouldn't want him to be immediately friendly to strangers. And what's excessive, anyway?)
One that didn't require any real discussion, that it's obvious he fidgets with his hands very often, led to Trillian's description of what he does with his fingers a lot of the time. I smirked a little. "You do it too?" she asked, half question, half knowing the answer. I held up my hand and gave a little performance of one of the things I do absent-mindedly--tapping each of my fingers in turn onto my thumb. I'm not too obvious about it, but I do that or some other hand-occupying thing when not otherwise engaged.
Sheepish grin and a shrug. What can I say?
(And it's too big a topic to attack right now, but I do think a lot about the genetic aspect of all of this, about how much of me--sometimes to a startling degree--I see in Scooter. So in some respect I did cause whatever this is that is tripping him up. On the other hand, it's not exactly guilt that I feel, and I need to unpack what it is that I do feel.)