We met with a new child psychologist this morning. So I spent last night organizing and re-filing the mountains of old paperwork we've collected over the years. Old evaluations, assessments, treatment plans, progress reports, IEPs, re-evaluations, insurance rejections and appeals and God knows what else.
Something old, something new, something photocopied, something blue.
(The cup. The cup is blue. The cup is also full of vodka.)
Reading through those old files is both oddly inspiring and completely masochistic. On the one hand, how far he's come! The things he says and does! The mind-boggling number of victories, both large and small (and medium and miniscule!), that we've celebrated since that fateful day when I took my non-verbal almost-two-year-old to the pediatrician. When that pediatrician cocked his head to the side and asked, "Does he walk like that a lot? On his toes?"
He did it. We helped. I have no doubt that the things we've done and the people we've worked with have absolutely helped. There are miracle workers in that pile of papers. Bona fide.
And yet. Ugh. The mistakes are all there too. The consent to discontinue services form I signed for Early Intervention. The progress reports from the mainstream preschool he never should have attended. The very first psychological evaluation that revealed a child buried so deep within himself, that made me wonder if we'd ever be able to pull him out, that made me wonder how in the world I'd missed how serious things were. Noah wasn't just "challenging." Noah was...well, something with an acronym. Something with a diagnosis, a code, something that probably wouldn't just vanish at the end of the "terrible threes."
(And the money. Oh my God. The money.)
But then this morning, we were asked for that diagnosis. And for the millionth time we sighed and shrugged. It's complicated. Little from column A, a little from column B, a little from column Planet Quirkozoid of the Weirdo Nebula. Nobody will commit to Any One Thing and there's always an asterisk after every evaluation. He's Spectrummy and Inattentive and Hyper and Uncoordinated and Anxious and Rigid. He's also Smart and Imaginative and Verbal and Affectionate and The Type Of Kid Strangers Watch At Parties And Declare That There's Nothing Wrong With That Child, So Why The Hell Do You Have An IEP Again?
We talked with her for close to two hours. We probably could have talked for another two, easy. At the end, I handed her the freshly organized binder, full of the Old.
I'll pick it up next week, when we once again start something New. He'll visit and play and talk about his feelings and fears and what it's like to live inside his head. They're going to do some yoga together.
In with the New, onward, ever upward, packed to the gills with hope and optimism. He can do it. We can help.