Being a card-carrying member of the “Parents of Kids with Autism” club, I know what the textbook definition is of neurotypical. I know that my second born child is not neurotypical. My third born definitely is neurotypical. Our first born?? Not quite sure…is there a middle/kinda-sorta NT??
Jake is a great kid. Hubz and I are so lucky. From the beginning, aside from not sleeping through the night until 6 months, Jake was so easy. He listened. Sure, he tested boundaries, but after one or two reminders, he did what we expected. He was slightly delayed with some motor skills, mostly gross motor, and had speech/language delays, but wasn’t that far behind peers. He had friends, and was happy.
The year and a half prior to kindergarten he was evaluated by the district, and he qualified for 60 minutes of speech therapy a week. He enjoyed the games and seemed to be making some progress.
Once he started kindergarten he struggled with pre-reading and math. He had trouble answering questions about stories. He didn’t want to read much. He began to fall behind. He wouldn’t play with the boys in his class much, preferring to play with the girls, or sit alone and look at books. I was so preoccupied with Tate and Cole, who was an infant, that I wonder if I missed something important….
First grade proved to be more of the same…except that he started a reading-intervention program, and things began to click with words, spelling, and reading. He was re-evaluated, and also qualified for OT to help with his endurance and ability to cope with frustration. He showed some sensory-avoiding behaviors. We began to ask about ADHD…he could be so easily distracted and became inattentive. Again, I got wrapped up in all things Tate…and didn’t strongly pursue action for Jake.
When second grade started, I was on the phone with his teacher 10 days into the school year. It took until the first week of October to get a domain meeting. I got rating scales to complete in early November. At parent-teacher conferences we talked about what a great kid he is, and his teacher told us how much his peers enjoy him. Our meeting with the IEP team is January 9th. I am on pins and needles. What is going on with my beautiful boy?
As we get closer, I get more nervous…more anxious. We have already gotten one Autism diagnosis…is another one on the way? Is it merely a learning disability coupled with ADHD? I know he’s immature. I know he is low-average. The waiting is so hard. Numerous scenarios fly through my head. Luckily I am busy enough that I don’t have time to dwell on it all the time…but when it creeps in, I get that all-too-familiar pit in my stomach. My “gut” is telling me something. I want to run…I want to scream…but I don’t. I will wait. I will listen and ask questions. I will get my son help.
I hate the days in limbo. They are lonely and isolating. They cause fear and guilt and uneasiness. I just want to know….