Still Talking About Not Talking
September 17, 2008
What was I saying about those boys of mine and their little pussy head colds? AW, POOR BABIES. EIGHT MONTHS PREGNANT. YOU'VE BEEN TRUMPED.
Well. Uh. You know what else trumps your pussy head cold? EIGHT MONTHS PREGNANT WITH A HEAD COLD. Oh, God. The agony. The pressure. The postnasal drip.
(Or...am I NINE months pregnant now? I am IN my ninth month, but have COMPLETED eight months? Are you only considered nine months pregnant right at your due date or do you get to whine dramatically about being NINE MONTHS PREGNANT WITH A HEAD COLD or NINE MONTHS PREGNANT AT THE GROCERY STORE or NINE MONTHS PREGNANT AND STILL EXPECTED TO TIE MY OWN SHOES for a couple weeks before that? I can never really follow the pregnancy math, but I would like it to work out to my optimal whining advantage.)
Last night we attended our very first Back To School Parents' Night Thing at Noah's preschool. I was a little bummed, frankly -- I thought there would be punch. Maybe cookies. Instead we got handouts and sat around perched on teensy little chairs and discussed our Educational Goals, Wishes and Dreams for our not-quite-three-year-olds. And the policies on birthday cupcakes. I learned a few things:
1) On the very first day of school, Noah was the first and only child to spontaneously request to go potty, and he started a small wave of peer-pressure-induced lining-up to go potty, including his non-potty-trained peers. I think this means we Win, and that I should get a Dora sticker.
2) The new obsession with pirates and talking like a pirate? No, he didn't get that from school, and as such, it remains a total mystery. Arrrr.
3) Other kids talk about Noah to their parents, but Noah simply refers to everybody and everything that he encounters at school as..."school." His teacher is School, his classmates are School, the paints are School. The playground, of course, is FUCKING AWESOME.
4) His social language continues to be a problem, as he doesn't really understand how to ask or answer questions or talk about anything that isn't going on right in front of him, in the present tense. Ask him about what happened earlier in the day and you'll get nothing beyond confused silence, since...no...he's NOT painting right now, why are you talking about painting? There are no paints. You're boring me, and I am going to wander away now. He rarely attempts to converse with other kids, except to mimic their speech or roar at them like a dinosaur. Or a pirate.
5) His teacher has a son in elementary school with a PDD-NOS diagnosis. She became a preschool teacher while advocating for him during his early childhood education, since she found she needed to literally be with him in his classrooms in order to make sure his needs were being met and understood.
After Jason and I left and went off to search elsewhere for some damn punch and cookies, we realized we'd both come to the same conclusion, and after picking Noah up from school today and I went and upped his enrollment to five days a week.
The other kids in his class are...wow...way beyond Noah in terms of their verbal abilities. I know I'm not supposed to compare him to other kids; I know he moves at his own pace; I know he's special and gifted in his own quirky little way, but...wow. I'm not neurotic (much), but I'm also not fucking deaf.
It pricks at my heart to see him wandering on the outskirts of the group, reciting entire books and and vaguely comprehensible stretches of movie dialogue to himself, and I get a little angry at myself for being so easily comforted by some damn standardized test scores that allowed the county to hand Noah his "graduation" papers and leave us standing here scratching our heads because...well...SURE he did great on a standardized test. They sat him down with one other adult and showed him pictures of dogs and balls and toothbrushes and asked him to say dog and ball and toothbrush. They told me his articulation at the single-word level meant it was okay that he's impossible to understand when he strings several words together. They told me it was okay that he couldn't ever accurately tell me what he had for lunch earlier or what his dog's name is if his dog is not right in front of him. They told me it was okay that he just roared at other children and couldn't possibly tell me about his friend Chase or Michael or Eva because...Jesus, I don't even know WHY he can't tell me.
Early Intervention's official report states that Noah's delays and developmental difficulties would "not impede or interfere with his ability to learn in a mainstream classroom." So. We're counting on that part being correct. Five days a week with the kids who can talk and the teacher who thankfully, blessedly, seems to understand our little question mark of a boy.