Monday, April 30, 2012

the unknown

A few months back, I had a parent teacher conference with Will's preschool teacher. We went over each of the steps an (at the time) almost 4 year old should be meeting, and Will was lacking in many of them. He wasn't able to write his name yet, he didn't recognize letters, had trouble telling shapes, could not count past 2 or 3 and had no interest or care in any of it. Will's teacher did not feel Will was quite ready to move on to the next preschool class. When I heard her telling me all of the ways my child did not measure up, I started to cry. In my head, I was putting all of this together with the thoughts I have had of Will since he was a tiny babe. He screamed from the moment he was born until he was 3 1/2. He can't stand having his head touched and will smack away those that try. He screams and puts his hand over his ears when music is too loud (and by loud I mean NOT AT ALL.) It takes him an EXTREMELY long time to warm up to people. I could go on and on. All of his little idiosyncrasies , all of the funny feelings I have had about Will's quirky personality for years, they all came flooding to the surface. Is Will more than just quirky? Does he have a learning disability? A sensory disorder? Am I just overreacting?

I expressed my concern to his teacher. She referred me to a professional in the school district who, along with a behavioral AND occupational therapist, evaluate kids in such situations. I had to call and explain my concerns. How do you say, " I think there may be something wrong with my child?" It was explained to me that there was a preliminary test and then a further evaluation if thought necessary. After letting her know my worries combined with his preschool teacher's thoughts, it was decided to jump straight to the evaluation. That right there was a little disconcerting.

In the meantime, we registered Will for the next class. Theo is just 16 months younger than Will and will be beginning the 3 year old preschool class in the fall. We felt by keeping him in the same class again, this could also bring up issues (if not now, then possibly in the future) of self confidence for Will if in the same grade as his little brother. Plus, we are not exactly sure of what is going on and his teacher let us know Will could always switch classes if we felt differently later.

We made the appointment. The soonest they had was 6 weeks out. So then we waited, and in that time, some things changed. Will turned four. Will began to show interest in his name and can now recognize W-I-L-L. He can spell the last three letters and writes the w as one long m. He can now count from 1-5 with some prompting from me. However, as I work with him more on letters, the comprehension is just not there. I realize it is not going to be immediate, but I am seeing signs that he is struggling with comprehending the information. Is he just a boy doing things on his own time? Or is he truly struggling? I go back and forth.

We finally made it to the evaluation last week, and are now currently waiting on the results from the team that evaluated Will. I am pretty nervous but I also realize that if something IS wrong, NOW is the best time to have resources to help Will. No matter what though, my little guy will always be perfect to me.


Marianne said...

Whatever the results of the tests, I have come to learn that children learn things when they are ready. No matter how hard you push them, they can't really grasp something if they themselves aren't motivated by their OWN self somehow- and I'm not sure there are an exterier factors you can control to change any of that. Society creates these 'guidelines' like having to use the potty by a certain age, having to know letters, etc. He'll get there. Let the school etc focus on his shortcomings, let his awesome mama focus on all the ways he comes out ahead... in sweetness, in sensitivity, in any small or big way. Will is great and you're doing everything right.

Marianne said...

PS - the poor kids does have a 'W' in his name, one of the hardest letters. It is not like you named him Abc. That might be easier.

Karen Knight said...

I love Marianne's advice. So, so wise.

We've had Jack (he is 5) evaluated twice to see if he qualifies for early intervention services through our school district- both times because someone else told me that he seemed delayed in something or because his many quirks seemed an awful lot like [fill in developmental/sensory disorder]. Follow your intuition and pursue what you feel is best for him. It could be that he needs a little boost, or it could be that he is just his own little person and he will always do things his way and in his time.

Hugs to you. It IS a difficult process to sort through.

ck said...

This is one time, when I really *can* say "I understand." It is an emotion filled journey, for sure. No matter where it takes you, hold on to the last sentence that you wrote - that is one thing in this life that will never, ever change :-)

Dawn said...

Last year when the littles were evaluated for preschool through the district, they did okay, but not high on some of the tests. At the end of the day, I was really aggravated, realizing that what they are expected to know now at 3, before they enter preschool, is what thet USED to learn in kindergarten. I don't know what will happen this summer. A lot of it for us is that they are at the end of the list of kids in the family!

Jasmine Hope said...

We're all gifted in different areas and weak in other area. I agree with Marinna "Let the school etc focus on his shortcomings, let his awesome mama focus on all the ways he comes out ahead..". Perhaps find things he excels at and let him flourish in those areas!