Thursday, June 17, 2010


So. Peter's Early Intervention evaluation was yesterday. I learned a lot. I didn't really think anything could surprise me but a lot of what they pointed out did surprise. Not so much that it was pointed out, but that I missed it to start with. I knew Peter has sensory issues, I knew he was developmentally behind in some areas... but I didn't look at it objectively enough to see the severity of the situation. I guess no matter how much you learn, study, and research you still miss things sometimes. Especially when the subject you are studying is so close to you emotionally.
My little man is 21 months. He's vibrant, energetic, and most of the time pretty happy. He loves Yo Gabba Gabba, Joelene, and being outside. He's my first little boy, and I love him more than my heart can even express. I've been accused in the past of being overprotective and of sheltering him, but I know now that I wasn't making the wrong decisions with him. I let him do things and experience things, just never too far from my reach.
Yesterday the team of 3 specialists came out to the house. I had Peter outside waiting for them so he could see them arrive and it didn't catch him off guard. They came in and we talked a bit while he ran around checking things out. The first thing they pointed out is how unsteady he is while walking. The words they used to describe his walking is "like he's in outer space". He doesn't have any real balance or center of gravity and is constantly bouncing himself off of things.
The next thing they noticed is how easily he frustrates. The smallest little thing throws him into a screaming fit. More often than not it is a high pitched, piercing, screech. He has no other ways to communicate, I get that. He doesn't understand how to ask for something, not even how to gesture for it. He just screeches and screams until we stumble upon the right answer. I already knew that part.
Peter flat out refused to participate in any of the games and tests they were trying. The specialists figured it was because they are unfamiliar people, but I realized without even being told that he never participates. I didn't fully see that until yesterday. He didn't behave any differently during that evaluation yesterday than on a normal day.
Peter has the ability to understand spoken language of a 5-7 month old. I didn't believe this one. I was sure they were wrong... until I tested it out myself. The results of my morning of unofficial tests proved to me that although we KNOW he can hear, you would swear he couldn't. If you visually prompt him (such as holding out your arms while calling him to you) he will respond, and usually favorably. If you just call for him and give no visual indication of what you expect, he doesn't seem to realize that you're talking to him.
As parents, I think we subconsciously see what works for our children... and we make adjustments for that without ever realizing it. In his case, I think subconsciously I knew he didn't understand and I made adjustments by adding visual cues. This hasn't hindered him.... at least he has SOME way of understanding what I need/want/expect from him.
I am doing my best not to sit around and wonder what I did to cause this. I know I didn't cause this. I'm stressed... extremely stressed... given what  their daddy and I are trying to accomplish with Peter, Jolie, and Beth. All three of them have special considerations, drastically different needs, and what seems like near constant appointments. Add into that a newborn and his appointments... and it makes for complete chaos. I'm also dealing with school and work... so yeah. I'm stressed.
It's okay though. I still stand by my perfect imperfect children... and I wouldn't trade or change them for the world....

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