Umi-goggles on! Little Bear? You see Little Bear, saaaaaay LITTLE BEAR!
I made the call. But this time it was to cancel an appointment, not make one.
The quote above? From my 2 year old Lewis. He’s not just talking now. He’s speaking, having conversations, and using lines from TV shows and making them his own. This spontaneous phrase combined a line from the Nick Jr. show “Team Umizoomi” with a picture from his Little Bear toothpaste container. He put his arms up to his eyes for the goggles, and tried to look for his toothpaste.
The canceled appointment? His scheduled meeting with the zero-to-three developmental clinic for an autism evaluation.
The appointment had been recommended to us by Howie’s developmental pediatrician when I expressed concerns about Lewis’ language delay. Remember her? She’s the one that called me “Super Mom“. At the time the appointment seemed like the fastest way in to see a speech/language pathologist, but she also mentioned that a full evaluation would be a good idea, considering Howie’s diagnosis.
It took me a long time to send in the paperwork. I couldn’t put Lewis’ picture on the forms. I couldn’t go through it all again.
But I finally put the package in the mail. Without the picture. And two weeks later I received the appointment date and time. March 21st.
In the time since I mailed the papers, we’ve seen an explosion of language and development. And now, I see none of the red flags of autism. None.
I see pretend play as he zooms a car around the house and makes rumbling noises, or pours me a cup of pretend tea. I see the ability to follow first/then commands and multi-step directions when I ask him to get his shoes, bring them to me, and then we’ll go outside. I see tantrums caused by his inability to have a toy rather than meltdowns triggered by his inability to control his body. I see him look me in the eye when we talk and I feel him hug me out of love. I see an understanding of emotions when he draws a happy face and labels it “happy!”.
Yes, he’s drawing. Recognizable faces. And he can make the letter “L”. From following my instructions.
All the “appropriate” developmental milestones for a two year old. That’s what we’re seeing now.
I’m trying so hard to focus on how wonderful that is, and not that we’re still working on many of those milestones with Howie. Our almost five year old. They are almost evenly matched now in the social development area. That’s still hard to face. Because it won’t be long before Lewis moves ahead of Howie in many areas. And then where will we be?
Mom! Mom! Get coat and go Kyle’s house!
This was yesterday. Lewis grabbed his coat and handed it to me, asking to go to his friend’s house. I was bursting with pride. How could I say no? He and I now have conversations, share cups of “hot toffee (coffee)”, read books and sing along to Glee together. The articulation isn’t quite there yet, so I’m still going to have early intervention back when he’s 30 months old, just to make sure he’s on track for his age. Just because I can understand him doesn’t mean the rest of the world can.
Right now, though, I’ll take it. It was so different from where we were a year ago with him. That’s why I canceled the appointment.
Last month, I wrote a post called Mother’s Intuition about learning to trust your gut when something’s wrong with your child. I’m using my mother’s intuition again. This time, however, it’s to say that everything is going to be okay.
I may be wrong. But my eyes are wide open and I will be looking for any and every sign along the way. And if I see something that makes me nervous, I know I’ll have the strength to trust my gut and make the call once again.
“I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day.” – I Can See Clearly Now by Johnny Nash