Bobby's initial IU evaluation asked us to consent for a psychological evaluation for Bobby, which we declined. He had such a negative experience at the IU plus he was starting school- we just didnt want to have him identify the new experiences as one giant negative. After 2 months of preschool, trying to get therapists scheduled for him, and his weekly speech, we discussed his case with a friend within the "system" as well as with our pediatrician, and agreed to the psych eval. After four written requests to schedule it, I received a phone call from a woman who sounded quite young but seemed very personable. We spoke for nearly half an hour, and she volunteered to come out to our house for the evaluation; in fact, she asked if she could come to one of our playgroups. She wanted to see Bobby with other children, as well as in an environment he's comfortable with. You could have thrown me over with a feather! I was shocked, especially as it seems like normally kids are evaluated at the main site. I'm hoping this is helpful in her getting a legitimate read on Bobby.
Even though I knew what she told me and was prepared, it was still a shock to hear her say "You realize that I'll be evaluating him for signs of autism?" I knew. Of course I knew. I've been running around in this 'special education circle' since August and people were alluding to the "A" word, but still... I felt the lump stick in my throat. I explained that yes, I understood what she was looking for. She asked about my concerns and I was honest with her; at the end of the day, regardless of what someone else says, it's all about getting your child the help that they need. Even when it is hard for you.
She said some things that I really respected. In discussing the reports she'd read about him and why she'd like to see him in playgroup, she said "I really would like to see Bobby being Bobby; I can't know him just by reading about it." In discussing his special needs and whether or not they could be neurologically based, she echoed our thoughts, "He's young enough that therapy can help him live as normal as possible if he has an ASD but if he doesn't then therapy can only help him acheive."
Regardless of whether or not he has a neurological impairment, a learning disability, developmental delays, or special needs, it doesnt change the fact that Bobby is Bobby. He's still my Bobby-boy. He's still perfect and wonderful, sweet and everything I could ever want. A label that someone gives him wont change that; if he's autistic then it is no different than him having poor eyesight or being tall. It'll just be a part of who he is, like having brown hair, olive skin, and dark eyes is. It's make things more challenging, will require modifications that he might not otherwise have needed, but lots of things that make each of us unique do that.
It still shocks the maternal system, no doubt. I still look at him and want to cry for the changes we are putting him through. But at the end of the day, these moments will help him reach for the stars he wants to grab, whether that be with his hand or a lasso.