I don’t have a keyword or an image for this post. It might be a little bit of whining. Feel free to skip it. Or don’t.
I’m beyond frustrated. I hurt. I wonder how much of it’s my fault.
I went to visit my son’s speech pathologist today while he was in preschool. We were having a visit because my son’s preschool provider brought up some concerns last month. She hinted at autistic spectrum disorder… even though she, of course, could not actually suggest that. It’s outside the scope of a preschool provider’s early childhood education degree to diagnose or even suggest.
When autistic spectrum was even hinted at, I was crushed.
The simple fact of the matter is that, yes, Norton can be an absolutely maddening and frustrating child. But I’ve always thought that if he’s misbehaving, acting out, or is difficult to manage, that it’s a parenting issue. If I were a better parent, it wouldn’t be like that.
I’ve been quite certain for the last three years that any difficulty I have with Norton is my fault.
I don’t see these signs that the preschool is concerned about when we’re home. His speech pathologist doesn’t see them when he’s in the language delay play group.
I don’t care about a label. Or, more specifically, I don’t like the idea of this label being applied… but any label will not change who my son is. He is still Norton, regardless. He is still my baby boy.
He’s not stupid, or somehow mentally deficient. He knows his letters and his phonics. He taught himself letters and numbers in French and English with a toy, for Pete sake. We’re doing sight words. He can count. He’s showing some pretty creative thinking.
But he’s difficult. How much of his difficulty is being three, being smart, or being different is beyond me. How much of his lack of interaction with his peers is because he’s self-aware enough to recognize that he’s not completely like them or because he’s a natural introvert like his father is unclear. How much of his being difficult is because I’m doing something wrong is also up in the air.
He’s being referred for assessment. It can take six to nine months for it to happen after the referral is submitted. In the meantime, all that I can do is just keep on trying.
How does one cope with the knowledge that their children are different?