When my son first came into my life, I knew, in my heart, that we probably weren't going to have normal. Someone will say, 'How could you know?'
Well, it's pretty simple. I've never had normal. And, as much as I *LONG* to give my child the most normal life possible, I just knew that we were probably going to have a huge uphill battle.
I don't think I realized, back then, just what kind of battle I really was going to have.
Now, let me say before I even get into this---I am so, so very grateful that my son can walk, can think for himself, can learn things, and by gosh, this kid is SMART. I'm grateful for all of that, because we all know it could be worse.
My journey with my son started about a year ago. We began testing for hearing, and at that time, I was very rudely told that my son needed to be talking, and something was wrong. Maybe it was what I needed to hear, because from there, we started with Early Intervention. They've been coming since November, and they have truly opened up the floodgates. If you have ANY concerns about your child, please, please get them into EI. There is no financial requirement. It's a free service through the state. You can make tons of money, or no money. Just please call.
I took him for his two year checkup to his local doctor here. She walked into the room, and immediately said ''He's a normal two year old, you're just going through the terrible twos.'' Then, ten minutes later ''This child needs to be EXAMINED. You need to have him looked at ASAP. ''
If you think I didn't walk out of that office crying, you're crazy. And if you think I'm ever going back?? Not even for emergency care. I'll drive an hour, or go to the emergency room.
At that point, I'd already had him set up to be examined at the Development Center in Mobile. That day, we scheduled at noon, thinking that by the time we got there, he would be ready to play. And, for the most part he was. Until she started sticking things in his face. Then, just like last time, he freaked out, started screaming, and started ''flatlining'' as I call it. He lays on the floor and just goes limp. While he's screaming his little head off.
So, I'm sure that didn't go well. We were supposed to come back in a month for the Autism test, and we did. He basically acted like he does around new people--throwing things, not really interested in anything, except her bubbles when she started blowing them. I, once again, had to carry a screaming child out of that office.
I'm telling you all this to tell you that I NEVER go to a doctors' appointment (even mine) with him without a freak out. I am not sure if it's what is going on with him (autism, etc) or if it's just that we have hours long appointments. Maybe, hopefully, all this changes later.
My normal is this. Freak-outs at every doctor appointment, freak-outs in the grocery store, freak-outs almost anywhere. They're my normal, but they're not normal for this society. I cannot tell you how many times I get ''the look''--moms, y'all know what I'm talking about---''You can't contain your CHILD??' What is WRONG with you??''
Someone posted a post the other day that referred to first time moms suddenly becoming experts. Well, let me tell you, I AM an expert with my child. And, for the most part, I can control with him, but there are times, I just cannot. Nothing I do, you do, or God coming down from above, is going to change anything.
As I type this, I can hear banging sounds coming from his bedroom. He ''rocks'' on his couch. The couch I'm about to throw away. This is another form of stimulation for him, I'm not sure what or why, but you know what? It's ok. If that's what makes my child feel better about his environment, go for it, son. I hate I've got to pitch the couch, but springs are coming out of the back and he's destroyed my window casings and other furniture.
My son is, and will always be different. I think I knew this way before I had kids, that my children would be different. Now, I don't want him to be a robot, or a cookie cutter, but my biggest fear for my child is that he isn't going to have a normal childhood/teenage years/adulthood. That he won't get to go on playdates, that he won't get to go on field trips, that he won't get to go to dances, proms, etc. That he won't get to date. That he won't get married or have kids. These are the fears I have at night, even in the daylight hours. But mostly, when he's sleeping and the house is quiet.
I wrote all of this to tell you, as you're reading it, first and foremost if your child is 'behind', please get Early Intervention involved, at the very least. Please, please DO NOT WAIT. My doctor didn't recommend this, I did it without her recommendation.
I also wrote this to tell you that I sometimes long for your normal. For your child who goes to sleep in their own bed, who pottys on the potty. The child who colors normally, without throwing them, eating them, or rolling them. The child who plays quietly, or nicely. The one who likes other children. The kid who eats with a fork. Your child who gives hugs when asked. The child who, isn't constantly screaming for something 24/7 because they're non-verbal. The child who doesn't constantly throw things.
Yes, I'm grateful for my beautiful, baby boy. But somedays---oh, there are days, that I just want normal.