Thursday, June 22, 2017

Like the Calm after a Storm

When Aksel was 19-months-old, a few weeks prior to his official diagnoses (of autism and childhood apraxia of speech), I received his first speech and language evaluation. It was not good...

With the bold words "severe" and "significant" splashed on its pages (like that of a messy abstract painting), I cried. I bawled! I sobbed the whole drive home...

It was the ugliest, most gut-wrenching cry of my life - to date!

At one year and seven months old, Aksel's expressive language communication age score was that of an eight-month-old. In the area of receptive communication, he received an age equivalency score of twelve months.

And strange enough, after all these years, I somehow found this evaluation today. (I used to be really organized. Now, I'm just hanging by a thread!)

These three pages were so impacting though, especially now looking back, because it was, in late-August of 2011, that, for the first and only time, I "doubted" my child. And myself, as a mother too.

To be clear, I believed, prior to receiving these "sheets of paper," these calculated findings, that Aksel "understood" me. (Specifically, my language when talking to him.) And even though I felt concern and worry for his development (hence the testing, etc.), I took comfort in knowing that I "knew" my child. But these words, these "professional" words, put into question everything I held to be true about Aksel, and his capability.

After reading, and re-reading the jargon-filled pages... there were now limits. There were barriers. There was ground that could never be covered.

And honestly, looking back, I don't know for how long, I hesitated? But somewhere, at some point along the way, my inner-dialogue of doubt, grew quiet, and I trusted again - in both Aksel and myself. Like the calm after a storm.

And today, to see my seven-year-old flourishing, on par with his peers - adding fractions, reconfiguring trapezoids, spelling "America" - I know I needed to feel the fire and pain, to believe wholeheartedly in "us." To push. And nowadays, I take evaluations and tests with a grain of salt. They're no big deal. They're not a game-changer... for us.

I wouldn't change a thing...

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