I went into last week’s reevaluation thinking I’d braced myself for whatever they were going to throw at me.
My son is who he is, we’ve found some great ways to help him, he’s making progress, so whatever they wanted to do with one of the diagnosis, whatever.
And mostly, that was true.
Mostly, what they had to say didn’t really rattle me.
They talked about how everything mostly sounded like Pervasive Developmental Disorder- Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), like we’d been told previously.
And then they started sounding a bit like Charlie Brown’s teacher when they started talking about how with the changes to the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), PDD-NOS would just be in with ASD (autism spectrum disorder- see the alphabet soup, y’all?). And in that case, my son may not fit because while he exhibits some of the behaviors, he doesn’t fit in one of the areas.
They kept trying to latch onto any behaviors he has that may be considered repetitive or a focused interest. Like the Angry Bird that he had to have with him during the eval. But they seemed disappointed when I said he doesn’t always have to have it with him or that he changes which Angry Bird is his favorite. They tried to grasp onto a comment I made about how he lines up his Angry Birds every night to be next to him when he sleeps. But no, they don’t have to be in a particular order- they just all have to be there (cringes a bit remembering when we left Darth Vadar pig at the old house when we moved… we got him the next day and it was all good).
But nothing fit what they were looking for. And the team seemed a bit deflated.
Like if you could take A + B + C then you most definitely had X and they could sound like the experts they supposedly are, but A + B with no sign of C means you might possibly still have X, but maybe not, and maybe it’s Y instead, and they don’t sound so impressive. My son wasn’t an easy fit for them.
They tossed out another possible diagnosis, one that I’ve looked into a little bit, and it does sound like it fits, though in all honesty, to me, it just sounds like PDD-NOS with a different name.
Though to get anything more definitive on that end, we’ll have to go see a language specialist, as the place we went for the reevaluation was specifically autism specialists.
Basically, what they told me was not anything I didn’t already know. Which is pretty much the vague, yeah there’s something there aside from the holy shit ADHD (they laughed at my term), but they can’t really say with total certainty what it was.
For the most part, I just sort of shrug that off. Like I’ve told you before, the services that he receives at school are not from his PDD-NOS diagnosis. It’s all as a result of other factors. So there was nothing truly hinging on this reeval- it was suggested we have it done and I like to know as much as I can about what my child is dealing with in order to better help him.
Here’s what did rattle me about the reeval: their focus on his lead poisoning.
While it was made a big deal of back when his numbers were really high, since they have dropped down below the level of concern, every doctor and specialist and anyone we talked to all just sort of brushed it off as well,that was the past and even though there might be long term effects, let’s just focus on what is going on now.
But they kept asking questions about the how and the history and the effects and what I knew about long term, and gee, wouldn’t it have been nice if I’d caught it earlier. No shit, people.
Don’t you think I struggle with that question all the time? And I go round and round and round with the blame. It’s a big long ladder of blame that starts with the asshole who lied about the house being lead-free and then the blame shifts to me then to my husband and then back and forth between Hubs and I, depending on how far back the “if *this* hadn’t happened then…” game I want to travel.
And then came the questions into how far we are pushing the lawsuit because “your son could have complications for the rest of his life, very expensive complications, and you need to make someone accountable.” Again, I’m aware. Do you know how time consuming and often pointless lawsuits end up being?
So, at the end of a very long day of reevaluation, we really don’t know anything more than we did before, we’re referred to yet another specialist, and let’s add in an extra dollop of mom guilt on top of it.
Sometimes this parenting gig is EXHAUSTING.
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