Archive for January 24th, 2008

Bull by the horns.

Something that I have been dreading is about to come to pass. 

Spawn needs to be tested for learning disabilities. 

I think that somewhere within any mother who is worth her salt, there is a little internal warning system that tells her when something with her child is not right.  Personally, my alarm has been sounding since Spawn was about three.  At first a chalked a lot of stuff up to Spawn being three, or four, or five, or hungry, or tired, or excited, or any other thing I could use as rationalization.  But in the back of my mind there was a nagging feeling that all was not 100% like it should be. 

Oh, it’s pretty obvious that Spawn is whip smart.  The kid is a quick study and has a phenomenal memory.  Vocabulary is through the roof.  Affectionate, sociable, creative.  All those things that you want your kid to be.  The grades are good, for the most part; the behavior is not. 

I have long suspected this, and with a more traditional educational setting it’s started to really show.  I allowed myself to be lulled this fall with an assertion by the pediatrician that Spawn was normal and just needed some coping strategies.  We tried the coping strategies; they only worked up to a point. 

But Spawn’s teachers and the school guidance counselor are saying, wait a minute, something’s not quite right.  And I have to say, I agree.  Let’s get the kid tested. 

But of course you know the testing procedures take forfuckingever. 

I’ve got two routes I can pursue.  One is the local school system.  This takes six weeks of just documenting behavior before paperwork can be filed.  Then there’s a referral from the school psychologist, and testing is supposed to take place within 60 days from that point.  The testing is specific and not inclusive.  All of this is at no cost to us, since we are taxpayers.  The second route is private testing, which is very thorough, very expensive, and very hard to get an appointment any nearer than six months out. 

Either direction, the school year will be over before we have definitive answers. 

I’m pushing for the private testing at this point, because I have no faith in the local school system.  If I had any faith in it I would have my kid enrolled in it instead of a private school.  And I want a complete picture, instead of just looking for specific issues. 

I have been on the phone and emailing all morning trying to get this lined up.  It’s frustratingly slow going.  To my thinking, there is a problem, so let’s see what it is and see what we can do about it.  And let’s get it done now.  Now now. 

I am not by nature a patient person. 

The hard part about this is my own maternal guilt.  I’ve pooh-poohed my own suspicions for… how long now?  Spawn’s first grade year is nearly over and I’m just now starting this process?  Why did I not listen to my little voice?  Why did I listen to my husband, who thinks all this talk of ADD and ADHD and the like is just so much hooey? 

Oh, but the guilt goes deeper.  It always does with a mom. 

I don’t even know what the specific problem is, or is not, yet.  But already I’m borrowing trouble by worrying over it, whatever IT is.  Did I somehow create this issue?  Should I have not had so many dressed double cheeseburgers when I was pregnant?  Should I have not let Spawn drink Diet Coke?  Is there a link between this and basic childhood vaccinations?  Is it my fault? 

Logically I know there is no productive outcome in these thoughts.  But just you try to be logical when your kid needs help of some kind. 

I’m trying to act rather than react at this point, but all the waiting waiting waiting for someone to call me back, or email me, or otherwise grease the skids a bit… well, it’s making me a tiny bit crazy. 

That squeaky wheel you’re hearing?  That’s me. 

— Mox

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