Today we had two things on our schedule. First was the Toddler Class at the library, the first class of the new session. Graham used to go a few months ago but the last one was full so we’ve been waiting to go back. When we started he was just over the age limit, now he’s smack dab in the middle of it.
I guess it was comforting that in a small room with around 15 toddlers and 15 parents he was not obviously different in any way. Okay, let me take that back. He was not obviously wrong or behind or slow. Obviously different? Totally. We get there early as instructed (yes I’m looking at you, parents who showed up late and kept coming in and distracting my distract-able kid and then took our seat). We were told to sit on a cushion. Which I did. Graham did not think this a very good idea. So while everyone is getting settled, sitting happily in laps and reading books, we are walking back and forth in and out of the room.
When I talk to people about our concerns for Graham they ask me if I have a support system, if I have other moms I can talk to. The answer to this is “Not really.” And this isn’t just because we’re new here, it’s because I don’t like going out of our little bubble. Going out of our bubble, seeing other kids, interacting with them, it scares Graham and it depresses me. So we don’t do it much. It is hard to see kids talk, wave, interact, and be all angelic. Especially because I usually spend this time chasing Graham around as he tries to open and close every door he can find.
We are always the first ones to leave, the first ones to have a tantrum, the first ones to get distracted, etc. It is exhausting. Especially when other serene people with their serene kids stand around being all serene.
Today at the library, Graham did pretty well for Graham. No, he didn’t like any of the sitting while books were read. But he finds it fascinating to watch large groups of adults sing songs and wave arms and such. He didn’t smile, but he watched very intently. We didn’t have to leave early even though we had to get up and down a lot. One other kid got up, she seems shy, but otherwise it was just us. Up and down, back and forth. There was one time when someone might have noticed that Graham is not quite up to speed. When handing out scarves, he did not run up with some, nor did he sit and wait with others, instead he stood stock still and then when one was handed to him, didn’t take it.
It sounds small, I’m sure. But it doesn’t feel that way.
The second thing on our schedule was our meeting with Early Intervention. This was finally our full assessment. It doesn’t come with an official diagnosis, just an evaluation of whether he’s on schedule or delayed and whether he qualifies for services.
I honestly don’t remember all of his scores, there were a lot of them. I know he’s a little behind with his motor skills, though that to me seems like more of a Bug eccentricity (he is completely uninterested in crayons) than a serious problem. No, the serious problem is definitely the language. I am pretty sure he scored in the 9 to 11 month range. So he’s basically around 50% delayed. It wasn’t the only problem. There was only one area where he was officially on target. When they were tallying up all the things he could do and all the things he couldn’t, one of them said “Let’s just give him every possible pass that we can.” I know what that means. It means things are not looking very good.
None of that was a big surprise. I do spend all day with Graham every day. I know there are ways where he’s just not picking it up. He does not wave, does not high five, does not respond to his name about 90% of the time. He does not imitate. Not words, not movements, nothing. Except that sometimes when I stick my tongue out, he’ll stick out his. That’s the extent of it. The people who came, who were very nice and listened really well, thought as I used to that he was trying to say “doggy” and “woof woof.” I think by the time they left they were starting to believe me when I explained that he just has favorite syllables of the day and says them for basically everything.
So he qualifies for services. They’ll be coming once a week. We check in with the pediatrician a couple weeks from now. And we’ll definitely still be going to our appointment with the Pediatric Neurologist in March. Along with any other appointments or referrals or evaluations or whatever that we need to.
Tomorrow we have our first “playdate.” It’s with a girl I met at the library and her son, who’s a few months younger than Graham and not a sack of flour. I don’t know how Graham will do, but I am looking forward to having a change of scenery and sitting down and having a chat and hoping we don’t have to leave early.
And to keep this entry from being a total downer, I leave you adorable video of an adorable bug being adorable.