Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Family: Can't Live With 'Em, Can't Figure Out a Way to Eliminate Them Without Being Charged With a Felony

So, yesterday, Mr. WG and D’s DBB therapist – let’s just call her Mrs. Block (for Developmental Building Blocks, get it?) decided that Mr. WG would not join D. in DBB. Instead, Mrs. Block’s assistant would meet them at the car and take D. in on his own. They decided this in a phone call where Mr. WG maintained that it's unrealistic to expect D. to want to play with other kids when Mr. WG is in the room. Mrs. Block, and then later I, tried to explain to him that neurotypical children this age ABSOLUTELY prefer the company of peers to parents. They may check in with the parents, via glances or even hugs every so often, but they do not choose to play/interact with ONLY the parent when there is a roomful of toys and peers.

D. screamed for an hour of the hour and fifteen minute class.

Mrs. Block followed up with an email where she stressed that even though D. screamed, he was never out of control. He never tried to leave the room, and he did participate in part of the group.

It really sounds to me like D’s screaming was more anger, as in, WHAT THE HECK??? I DON'T LIKE THIS AND I DON'T LIKE NOT GETTING MY WAY, rather than fear. I'm going to ask Mrs. Block’s opinion, but if that's the case, then I take it as an excellent sign, because it shows that we are not dealing with fear but with stubbornness, and we all know that I WILL WIN THAT GAME EVERY TIME. Eventually.

Anyway, Mrs. Block also said that she thinks that D. is capable of “quite a bit more than he's doing now.” She said, “My sense is that if a teacher, or anyone, for that matter, is up for the initial challenge, D. would begin fairly quickly to comply with expectations….”

The Amazing Speech Therapist, SuperWoman, concurred. She thinks D. has “a world of potential” and is “right on the edge of a great big leap of growth”

So I was feeling somewhat more positive, and I sent all that to my parents. And got this back from my father – who means well, I know, but… Well. Just read it.

I'm very torn as I read what you sent. On one hand, there's the possibility of hope for improvement in the way D. interacts, socializes, learns what is expected and, if that all comes together, then the chance for learning and understanding is real. But currently, what I perceive as the inability of D. to grasp the most elementary concepts of self/other/join in/relate gives me great concern as to whether/how much more he can progress. Will the brain connections occur which will, for instance, lead to his being able to say, "today we did this"? If it takes five more years for that to happen, that's ominous. If it happens within the next year, that's terrific.

We can keep praying that he's going to progress, albeit starting from a lag time of 2-3 years. And if that's the case, then he should be reaching milestones at an increasing rate. If he stays stuck, however, then, when that's evident, he won't get any benefit from future attempts at schooling.

I’m a realist, but I’m not a fan of killing hope, you know? Or does that make me not a realist?


Ani Od Chai said...

(((((WG))))) Just remember that your Dad is talking about his grandson. Maybe being a little too realistic (or too doom and gloom) is just his way of dealing with his guilt/fear/pain. He had no right to drag you into it. It's just not fair for him to do that to you. For what it's worth, I think D is just awesome, and from the very little that I see, I think he does have great potential. I must totally suck not knowing what is going to be a month, a year, a decade from now. I wish I had words of wisdom.

Anonymous said...

You can be a realist and have hope too. And as a parent, I think you almost have to let hope take over the realism. Because kids are amazingly resilient, and if you don't give them every opportunity to develop and learn then you're doing them a disservice, aren't you? You my dear are a great parent. I think what D's teachers said should definitely give you hope.

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

Your dad has totally pissed me off. Maybe he is reminding me of my dad and I'm channeling...

I can't function if I don't focus on today and doing the next best thing -- if I don't stop comparing -- if I don't work on taking little steps forward. If my goal was ever to have my son act like other neurotypical kids, I would be disappointed -- but my goal is to have my son make the best of his unique talents and abilities and be the best person he can be. And he is doing so well at that, that I could cry. Sounds like D is too.

3MGA mom said...

Hmm.... I suppose it's good that you have a relationship with your dad that you even talk about this kind of stuff, even if he does make his mouth as wide as possible to fit both of his feet???

Anonymous said...

Does WGDad have any first-hand experience with children with Sotos, other than D.? Has he had any first-hand experience with any developmentally-delayed children? If advice is, let go of his e-mail, and focus instead on Mrs. Block and SuperSpeechWoman.

Anonymous said...

Dude, your dad's a super-smart guy, but his specialty is not kids like D. It's just not. Focus on the good things that the trained specialists are telling you. Especially when they tell you what you want to hear. :)

And you are a realist, but you're a realist with a shiny, happy veneer. And that adds up to hopeful, not unrealistic.

Anonymous said...

Well, hummm, not a thing I would like to hear from my dad. He's possibly trying to protect you from too high expectations, but still, it sounds kinda cold and on the dark side of "realism".
I give you big big hugs and keep on rockin' babe. I have a feeling in my guts, D's going to be fine and every improvement, as tiny as it may be, it's still growth, no?


Anonymous said...

Huh. Dad sounds more like a doc explaining the issue to you then he does a 'dad' comforting his adult child. I wonder what's up with that.
I think being a realist has to do with holding an awareness of all the possibilities. And you can be aware of the possibilities without reciting them to yourself regularly, as your dad seems to want to do.

WriterGrrl said...

Oh my GOSH you guys, when I sat down and my desk this morning and saw THE LOVE, I-- well,I'm overwhelmed. Thank you, thank you all.

ADHD Mom, thanks for listening last night. And I'm wearing one of the skirts you fixed!!

Lisa, yes, I also believe that you have to work every opportunity that presents itself.

MPJ, yeah, me too. Love Dad and all, but don't want to see or speak to him right now.

Meghan, my dad has always had that special gift.

Ella, nope, only D. But Dad's a surgeon, so he's used to being right. And you're right, I have to let it go. I'm working on it.

Teej, love you. Always. :-)

Yana, yep -- that's my dad. Preparing for the worst and sharing it with everyone.

Meira -- it's that whole surgeon thing. He can't ever turn it off.

All of you -- thank you so, so much. I know D. is better for having his Internet aunties pulling for him.

Anonymous said...


I'm sorry... I think you have the right idea in that you know he meant well... but it still sucks.

I prefer to think happy thoughts... I'll think some for you. :)

Unknown said...

I just wanted to say thanks for sharing your story. My daughter just got a dx of Sotos. I read your whole blog in one sitting and it's good to know all these emotions I'm having are ok.