Holy cow, I've really got to find a way to hide my dashboard thingee. Every time I get the idle thought to log into this thing and jot down a few random thoughts, that NUMBER is there, and I get all panicky-like. Almost 900 page views is WAY too many to attribute to my mom hitting the refresh button a bunch of times just to boost my ego. Either I'm not as bad as I thought at this, or you people are really, really bored.
Let's go with the former and move right along, shall we?
I'm just going to go ahead and warn you that I'm probably going to sound like a whiny B tonight. Dealing with the school system never puts me in the best of moods. I almost feel kind of guilty writing about this, but I'm gonna do it anyway.
Tuesday was Special Services Reevaluation Day. The day, once a quarter, that we bring little C to the always positive and full-of-perky evaluators for special services through our school district. This day, my friends, never fails to suck.
Here's how it usually goes: C knows SOMETHING is up. Daddy is gone, therefore not taking him to school. Mommy is home, not dressed in her normal going-to-work clothes, and is looking anxious. By the time we get to going left instead of right along our usual driving route, he is dead silent in the backseat of our car. This could go one of two ways, folks. Holiday Day = probable fun day. Testing Day = BAD. Maybe.
When we pull into the parking lot of the testing center Tuesday, C's hands are planted firmly over his ears. His face is wary, suspicious, but he is reserving judgement still. This is the place of the Hearing Test of Which We Will Not Speak, but it is ALSO the place with all the toys and the nice ladies who clap for him.
Only the Direction at the Top of the Stairs shall tell.
So, we walk across the parking lot, up the stairs, check in, annnnnddd....head straight ahead.
SCORE! He is happy now. Bubbly and chattering and FLIRTY, I swear. For the next thirty minutes, he stacks blocks and identifies objects and beams at the lavish praise the evaluators heap on him. I sit in the corner, analyzing the furtive glances the ladies pass back and forth and half suspect they think I'm a secret hypochondriac, just making up this autism thing.
I'm torn between pride and sadness. Pride because they're right - he IS doing well. There were only a few hiccups in those thirty minutes, not enough to qualify us for a thing. They look at me as if I should be ECSTATIC over this. Part of me understands - I am sure, in the course of their typical day, they see kids who have a much, much harder time of things than my baby. We are lucky. We've come a long way. And I AM thankful for that.
But these days always serve to remind me, not just how far we've come, but also how far we've got to go. My heart broke a little when Lady A started throwing out non-concrete questions.
"What do you do when you're tired, C?"
There is a moment of silence in which he searches for the answer - any answer - that will fit into this new box.
"Happy!" he declares, beaming. He is WILLING this to be the right answer, and he stares expectantly at his questioner, waiting for applause.
"What do you do when you're hungry, C?"
"Sad." This time he does not look at her. He is growing confused, knowing these are not the "right" answers, and he is not at all comfortable with that feeling. Meanwhile, my heart is hurting - so many questions answered correctly, yet these two just killed me.
We finish up - paperwork is signed, follow up appointments are made, and Lady A and Lady B are oh-so-positive. "We'll keep monitoring him," they promise. "He's doing great."
I've been assured his conversation skills will come - just like object identification came, and "Mommy" came when I was abjectly terrified that it never would. And I know it will. It just breaks my heart when he has to work so damned HARD for things that come so naturally to every other kid. I ache to know what's going on in his head (other than spelling). I want to have this kind of conversation * with him. I want to know his favorite color, and which girls at school he thinks are cute.
I guess, in the end, these are MY wants, and this thing has to be run at his pace. He's just not there - yet. And maybe that's okay right now.
*TPGTA is doing a series of interviews of people from all ends of the spectrum, all month long, here. Same questions, unique responses. Fascinating stuff.