Before anyone jumps to the wrong (yet probably all-too-common these days) conclusion: No worries, Noah's photo wasn't ganked from my blog or Facebook. TLC is the non-profit organization that has been helping Noah (and us) for years now. It's where he attended the Miraculous Summer Camp of Miracles and The Preschool That Changed Our Lives. He still receives weekly occupational therapy there for ongoing issues with rigidity, self-regulation, social skills, etc. A couple years ago they asked if they could take photos of Noah and his therapist for brochures and stuff, and we agreed. I always forget about it, though, until one of the photos shows up somewhere, blast-from-the-past style.
I don't know how much longer Noah will require OT. (After several ridiculous tussles with several ridiculous insurance companies, we are finally on a plan that covers the weekly sessions without protest, so I am admittedly in no rush to change anything or draw the slightest bit of attention to ourselves.) All around, the reports are good-to-excellent: his teachers, his therapists, even his karate instructors are singing his praises and talking about corners turned, strides made, breakthroughs and maturity and etc. We're firmly in a "flow" portion of the endless ebb and flow cycle that is Noah's unique way of developing. Behavior, focus, flexibility, everything has taken a big leap forward. Even his eating habits have improved.
(You know what's responsible for THAT? A McDonald's Happy Meal hastily purchased at a drive-through while traveling to the beach this summer. He was too busy watching the damn TV in the damn minivan to protest. He discovered that McDonald's cheeseburgers are delicious, and has since been completely willing and enthusiastic to try other new foods in case they are also delicious. This weekend we went to a restaurant and he ORDERED A STEAK. What in the hell of a what, I ask you.)
Before school started, he was worried. He's beginning to sense that he's a little different, and aware that certain things are harder for him. He wants to do good and be good, but just...can't, sometimes. Even after all these years of camps and schools and evaluations and therapy, he's never asked why he goes to TLC or has two classrooms at school, or what "OT" stands for.
And so we had our first real talk about it. About some of it, anyway.
(I try not to hammer you guys with tons of self-promoting links, but this week's Advice Smackdown is more personal than usual, so if you follow Noah's story you might enjoy it.)
A few weeks later, he doesn't seem too worried. He seems happy. I'm happy.
When he saw his picture on the brochure that came in the mail, he didn't ask what it was for or why he was on it.
Instead, he held it up over his head. "Look Mom," he shouted. "I'M FAMOUS!"