The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Yesterday. Wow! I wouldn’t like to do another of those any time soon. I’m still exhausted, and feeling a little sick. Forgive me if this isn’t the most peppy of posts today.
Yesterday morning was Cubby’s screening by Early Intervention. I was worried I’d called too early. He has a lot of language, but there is something a little off about it. That was my main concern. During his last assessment at Kennedy Kreiger, he showed some atypical and repetitive speech patterns that gave the researchers cause for concern about his social communication. He passed the EI screening for language effortlessly. There is such a broad range of abilities at this age. They moved on to screening other areas. No problems until we got to problem solving. He failed both tests, and launched straight into a tantrum when he couldn’t do what was necessary. It is pretty typical behaviour for him, but I just hadn’t perceived a problem in that area.
The good news then, is that he will now go ahead to the eligibility panel and probably to a full evaluation.
The bad news is that there could be a cognitive delay, or at least motor-planning difficulties.
The ugly was when I had to go immediately to collect Pudding from school. Her teacher, Ms. S., greeted me, told me about Pudding’s day, then asked how Cubby was doing. She was greeted with the ugly cry from me. A couple of quick hugs, some consoling words, and we were on our way once again to Pudding’s speech therapy.
My day wasn’t over though. Cubby had cut his finger pretty badly on a tin of beans that he retrieved from the recycling. It stopped bleeding fairly quickly, but when the bandage came off it started up again. I tried to call his pediatrician, but the line was engaged. I decided to go straight there, and was promptly berated for dropping in. They took a look and sent me straight to the ER for stitches. After 2.5 painful hours of paperwork and waiting, the good was that they were finally ready to do the sutures. Trying to keep a toddler from touching anything for that length of time while simultaneously keeping Pudding out of trouble (hooray, once again for the iPod!) is not the easiest of tasks. My phone had fallen out of my bag, of course, so I wasn’t able to call on anyone for help.
The bad was that the doctor wanted me to keep Pudding away while the procedure was taking place. They strapped him down, and Pudding and I paced the corridor. No, that isn’t true, Pudding bounced and span and shouted and touched. I did my best to distract and contain her.
The ugly was that at that time I resented being with her. My little guy needed me, was screaming for me, and once again, her needs took priority. It is a very ugly thought, so my mind quickly banished it, and replaced it with the Autism Monster. The Autism Monster- vortex of pain and hatred I was trapped in when we first saw the signs in Pudding. I would blame it for every problem we had. Telling myself that autism was a blight on our lives, but we would fight that monster. Once the initial pain and hatred started to wear off, autism didn’t seem like such a monster. I love my daughter’s wonderful quirky mind. Who would she be without autism? I don’t know. I just know I couldn’t love her any more than I already do, just as she is.
I’m going to have an ugly time with Cubby’s Autism Monster too, until I reach that same state of acceptance. I know it will come easier this time. We know what we need to do. We’ll find out what is going on with him, and we’ll give him everything we can to give him the best chance in life. We love him too, exactly the way he is supposed to be. There’ll be good, bad, and ugly days, but every single one will be worth it.