Well, actually the appointment itself isn’t so bad; it’s the pile of paperwork that comes beforehand that can cause parents like us to lose our minds. Pages and pages of circles to fill out on our child, things like “fill in the words your child is saying” or “what concerns you most about your child?” or “what is your child’s strength?” and a plethora of yes’s and no’s as to what our child is doing.
I suppose if your child were a genius this wouldn’t be so bad, but when your child is what they’d call “behind” his peers, filling out this paperwork isn’t what I’d consider fun. It’s a reminder that our son is indeed not like other three-year-olds (not that we needed to be reminded, all we need to do is leave our house or look out the window).
On Tuesday we saw Elijah’s developmental pediatrician and besides all the paperwork that came ahead of time, the appointment was really, really good. He got to see Elijah’s dancing skills, which made him laugh with joy. He told us he was really worried about Elijah the first time he met us because of his self-injury (which, by the way, has almost completely resolved).
He also mentioned that he wasn’t so sure Elijah even had cerebral palsy when he first met him, but then looked me in the eye and said, “He does have cerebral palsy” as if we haven’t known this for almost three years. “Functionally, he’s doing really well,” he said and I’d have to agree. Elijah has never seen his MRI and doesn’t seem to realize that he had a massive injury to his brain.
Can I just stop here and praise God? Elijah really is doing so, so well.
Not to minimize Elijah’s struggles, as Elijah has his fair share. His doc pointed out that Elijah tests below the 1st percentile in all areas, which means that we shouldn’t have anyone squabble as to if he’s eligible for services.
I don’t put much credence on developmental age, but Elijah is around the 17th month level, pushing 18 months. It doesn’t really mean much, as his skills are scattered all over the place and 17 months is just a median. We’re actually excited by this news. He seems to be developing more play skills and it’s so thrilling to see. There are so many other changes in our son that cannot be charted or graphed, but it’s nice to see that some of the changes are actually appearing on the charts.
The doc also said that we have a really good treatment plan in place (which is a mixture of ABA therapy, preschool and some supplemental OT and speech this summer). Lots of stuff going on and Elijah is thriving.
He asked if we wanted to see him in another six months or a year.
“A year,” we said. Yes, I think that will do.