That’s MY Kid

November 26, 2008 at 8:07 am Leave a comment

Yesterday morning, I woke up feeling like someone or something had jammed bales of cotton up my nose, into just one sinus cavity and down my throat.  Apparently this fiber was generously dotted with pepper, because I couldn’t stop sneezing either.  My husband took one look at me and said, “I’ll take the kids to school today.  You can’t be sick for Thanksgiving.”  Who can argue with logic like that?  I set up shop on the couch, armed with my pillow, a blanket, some Day*quil, the phone and several recorded episodes of The West Wing.

At a few minutes before 11, the phone rang.  It was D’s cellphone.

“Hey, I’ve got some bad news,” he said with the sound of a sniffling little guy in the background, “I’m bringing Max home.  He freaked out and I couldn’t get him to calm down.  Sara is having a fantastic day, so she’s staying.”

“Ok,” I said.  I immediately hung up the phone, sat down the couch, held my head in my hands and started to cry.

WHAT THE FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK? Why can’t my KID just have ONE, JUST ONNNNNNNNNE good day at school????  I’m DONE! He’s coming OUT TODAY…or something like that went through my head.

D and Max got home.  Max’s face was still damp and he was still sniffeling, even after the 20 minute drive back to our house.  I picked him up, hugged him as tight as I could, told him I loved him and made him a promise.  “Baby, I don’t know what is making you so upset, but I’m going to find out.  Soon.  I promise.”

“Okay,” he said and nuzzed into my neck like he did as a baby.  We just sat there for a few minutes.

For about half an hour, I sat on my couch, watching my boy play with his trains, read through books, color with his crayons and examine our Christmas tree, only pausing to use the bathroom.  At one point, he turned to me and said, “May I please have some milk, Mom?”

How could this very-typically-acting-three-year-old at home become such a beast at school?

I remembered our upcoming appointment with a child psychologist on the 3rd and realized he was my lifeline.  He’s a doctor who specializes in children birth to six years old, he’s funny, receptive and was unfortunately unavailable until almost mid-December when I initially called.  I rang him yesterday and told him I was desperate.  Something was wrong, or at the very least NOT right, and I needed help.  He sympathized.  He reassured me he could help.  He said, “Could you bring Max to see me tomorrow?”

“Ummmm, are you serious???”

“Uh, yes?  Is that a problem?”

“NOOOOOO! I’ll be there with bells on, if you want!”  I realized I was shouting when Max ran into the room and looked at me like I’d just sentenced him to a day-long time out.  “Sorry buddy, ” I whispered to him.

“Good.  I’ll see you tomorrow at 2pm, and bring any evaluation information you might have on your kiddo, ok?”  Something about him calling Max “kiddo” set my mind at ease even just a little bit more.

He asked me a few questions about what exactly had happened at school and what issues we’d been facing with his behavior.  After I listed out most of the problems, mentioned Max’s uncanny ability to come out of almost any meal spectacularly clean, how he hates when he spills something, how he crumbles in panic at the mere suggestion of a haircut, the doctor briefly speculated, “Well, I don’t know Max, I’ve never met him, but from what you’re telling me, sounds like we could be dealing with some sensory issues.”

“Like sensory integration issues,” I asked.

“Just like sensory integration,” he reaffirmed.  “Let me ask you, is he a different kid at home?”

“Oh MY G…yes!  Yes, he is!  That’s the one thing I’ve been trying to get across to people.  He is a different kid at home than at school.  Why would that be?”

“It’s likely because the swirl of activity and input from school may just be too much for Max to handle.  But, at home, it’s safe and familiar and not so overwhelming.”

Immediately after I hung up, I of course went straight to Google.  The things I found were stunning and surprising and, oddly, right on the frackin’ money.  I read some stories and my eyes welled up.  This is my kid.  THIS is my kid.

Certainly, I’m no expert and by no means is a Google search anything more than interwebical hearsay, and obviously that’s why I’m consulting a real, living-with-degrees-on-his-wall doctor, but I can’t help but feel optimistic and a bit giddy even, at the prospect that my kid ACTUALLY might get some help.

Think of us around 2pm today, as it may just be the day that changes our life.

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Entry filed under: Autism/Aspergers or Something Like It, Momma Drama.

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