Thursday, January 13, 2011

a new year

A new year and an old problem, unearthed again.

Today when I picked Little Guy up from preschool I received some unpleasant news from the specialist that works with him -- Little Guy has been having some issues. The notes sent home to me had painted a rosy picture, highlighting his successes. Today's frank discussion of problem areas was a bit of surprise, and it dashed my fragile hope. Standing there in the lobby already blinking back tears I worked up the courage to ask if she believed he should have a full evaluation for autism. She unhesitatingly said, "Yes. He is very high functioning, but yes."

I have danced around this since we first discovered Little Guy was severely delayed in the area of language, about a year ago. The thing is that Little Guy falls in a gray area. Some things he does are considered flags for autism, but he also does very well in many areas autistic children do not. That he is behind in language confounds everything. It is like assessing someone in a foreign language -- the results do not necessarily measure the persons abilities so much as their grasp on the language.

Of all the early intervention personnel and medical staff in contact with Little Guy, no one ever broached that issue of autism. But because of the language delay I did. His doctor said maybe, but probably not, noting the gray area I mentioned before. The director of Early Intervention advised me that they offered a full evaluation for an educational diagnosis, but no person ever indicated that they thought he might be autistic and should be tested. Until I asked his teacher today.

For a long time I did not want him tested. Because of the language delay I did not feel any test would be a fair assessment. I also thought that even if he was autistic having the label served no purpose. Finally, and not least of all, I did not want it to be true.

I still don't want it to be true. But now I just want to know. I'm tired of gray areas. I'm tired of wondering. I'm tired of weighing each success against each failure, looking for proof of whether or not he is "normal".

He is my sweet wonderful boy. My first baby. He is so much of my world. I will love him beyond measure no matter what.

But this whole stupid thing is like a razor blade to my soul.

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