Saturday, March 07, 2009

Don't Even Think About Reflecting

Monday brought the promise of Regular Life. School, carpool, yoga classes, teaching, cooking, maybe a few moments for reflection and writing...

...and God said, HA!

"I want to talk to you about Jonah," said my son's teacher one afternoon as I helped her tidy up the classroom. "There are some strong indicators that he may be on the autism spectrum."

Really. I called a friend who has an autistic child, and she said, "No way."

I spoke to Jonah's occupational therapist and she said, "No way."

I called Jonah's pediatrician. The girl at the front desk didn't want to schedule an appointment. "Let me have her call you."

Missed the call while talking to the occupational therapist. Oh, she'll be back next week.

Interviewed with a Waldorf school for Jonah. Felt myself melt when their response to our report of Jonah's unique characteristics was this: "All of that is okay. That's what we support here. This is a healing program."

Unable to control myself, I started to cry.

"Here's a tissue," they said.

I called the pediatrician again to schedule an in-office appointment.

Now we wait to test our child. Is he okay? Is he not okay? What can we do to help him? Will switching to a more suitable school make the difference that we think it will? Will he ever learn to write properly? How could we have been managing this differently had we known there was a real problem and not just a "delay"? Is every day that he goes to his regular, chaotic, fast-paced school damaging him further?

Shit, I need to go for a walk. Maybe I'll take the do-


RRRRRING! Can you sub two classes for me today? RRRRING! Can you sub for me for four days on Whidbey Island? RRRRING! The doctor needs to reschedule that appointment. We need your help with the school auction. Can we meet after school with special ed teacher?

Last night I crawled into the futon bed in the attic and cried until I fell asleep. I hated to do it. It smacked of the Old Depression Days, when this was my default behavior, but there was no way around it. I was saturated.

Today I am reading a book called The Out of Sync Child, because a few people have floated the idea that Jonah may be coping with something called Sensory Processing Disorder. And I keep crying. If only we'd known earlier!

When will we be able to find some clarity? My mind being what it is, I can't do anything properly right now. This morning I tried to load some dishes into the garbage.

All I can do is say no to any requests that come into my life right now unless they have to do with schools and Jonah. I have to slow down. I have to watch my child carefully, give him extra tenderness and space to be himself. I have to hope that stuff will stop happening.

'Cause I'm dealing with Emotional Integration Disorder.


A Day That Is Dessert said...

Oh Susie I am so, so sorry to hear about this!!!! Please, please call or let me know somehow if there is anything at all I can help with. xoxoxo

Renee said...

Hey girl,

just catching up with your blog. God, I'm sorry to read all of this. I know you're swamped but if you feel like going for tea (or a drink) shoot me an email. We can talk about yoga classes or pets or music or just stare morosely into our beverages together.

jane said...

Hello Susie, my dear. Jane here catching up with you right at this moment. You know I have done the school and diagnosis thing with Josie, and continue to do it. Please let me know if I can support you. I loved the Waldorf school and was thisclose to sending Josie there. I also bawled on my visit. You are not alone! And you know Jonah hasn't changed a bit since before someone made the autism suggestion. Same Jonah. Still fine. Needs to find his educational niche, is all. My humble opinion, obviously.

So, I'm here. In your neighborhood. I ride my bike past your house not infrequently. Let me know if I should stop.


susie said...

Thanks, Jane. Stop by! Thanks Lecia. We're mostly happy to make sense of J's difficulites. Renee, yes please.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sweetie,

Jonah is a bright, curious, compassionate and social boy. He has parents that love him and are focused on ensuring his needs are met. I know he's going to grow into a wonderful man.

We each have obstacles we've overcome, and in overcoming them we become stronger and more compassionate human beings. I know you know these things, but can be difficult to remember when someone has pasted a label/limitation on your darling boy.

I am sending positive thoughts and lots and lots of love your way,

Anonymous said...

What is it about teachers mentioning life altering observations when you are volunteering to scrape glue off thier desks???? UGH! I am sorry! I am sure you felt like you had just been kicked in the stomach. Lily's teacher mentioned to me that she wondered if Lily might have ADD when I was in such a position. I was in shock for days...angry and frustrated...I am fine with it if she does but it was the approach that killed me.
As far as Jonah goes, Jane is so right. He is the same kid before that teaher brought it up. He is so bright and sweet. But yeah, why not find the best school that fits him if you can swing it! i have a feeling Jonah is gonna amaze all of us with some great invention someday! I am sorry you are going through this. Keep us posted!