Monday, we had Kittyboy's BIG long evaluation with the school district. Since then, I have been pooped. So I'm writing it down now.
I suspect that when he has his first IEP (individual education plan, or words to that effect) December third, they are going to say, "Oh BOY does he qualify!" I'm actually kind of laughing and shaking my head about it. I've said for at least a year that he is a distilled, purified collection of all the quirks in my family. When you put them all together, you get the social worker who talked to us saying, "I don't know, some of this is pretty well 'on the spectrum'," but if she met everyone whose genetics he shares who's said, "Hey, I did such-and-such", she would see it as more coincidental than alarming.
One of her concerns was my answer to whether he plays with a group, or by himself, when with peers. I'd already said he gets along GREAT with older kids. I pictured the preschool crowd after church, and said he'd be wherever the toy he wanted was - but playing with it solo, not partnering with anyone else. Unless it's a chasing and squealing game, of course (duh). Her forehead looked concerned at that, so I explained that it's not that he doesn't like the other kids, he interacts happily with anything chasey-squealy, it's that he knows how HE wants to play with that dollhouse (yes, dollhouse) and he'd rather just be the one playing with it than have to work it out with another kid. He arranges stuff, points to it and says stuff, then lays down on his tummy to survey his work. It got to be a long and clumsy explanation, because I kept avoiding phrases like, "He has all the 'play' laid out in his head" and other such terms that might REALLY imply something wrong. But that's what it is, and I know, because I did that. I DO that. She didn't see that explanation as comforting. Isn't she glad I didn't mention his phase of assaulting other toddlers that Misty theorized had something to do with eye contact and a first-strike approach to making sure the other kids kept their distance (but he smiled big and wide the whole time, because he wanted to be friendly, which was actually more disturbing from a horror movie standpoint than if he'd looked mad)? I mean, I could have told her some really weird stuff. She should thank me for not having done so.
She described him using our favorite adjective, "scattered", meaning that no one told him you're supposed to learn things in a certain order, and so he isn't, or perhaps someone did tell him and he just laughed, which is actually more likely. She also said his definition of sharing ("I give you this, you give me that thing you have that I want!") is not sharing. It's bribery. We laughed and said that's why we call it the Sharing GAME. He's two, seriously. Sharing is a game, and it's how you get what you want! She didn't have much of a sense of humor. We, on the other hand, kept finding things to laugh at. Like she asked about his temper - we said he will go along quite amiably and pleasantly so long as he wishes to, and when he no longer wishes to, he doesn't. And then I started giggling again. "So is he stubborn?" We said, "When he wants to be!" and of course I giggled at that too. Had she never met a Boss Child before? (the phenomenon of Boss Children will be its own post at some point)
When the three therapists who had been following Kittyboy came back, I described the odd clumsiness we see sometimes, that I thought they wouldn't see because it seems to be more of a problem in places he knows better (where he then pays less attention), and they said they had definitely been wondering about that. They also said they wanted us to have his vision tested. They couldn't get him properly "conditioned" for the test, so they can't really say if he failed or not, but he didn't do well, he blinked and squinted a lot and then did better when they brought the card up much closer to his face. Considering that when Grandma was in the hospital in Missouri, Kittyboy was playing "Where's Waldo?" with crosses - there would be a crucifix by a reception desk across a large lobby and he would see it - and his scalpel-sharp vision for anything church related or anything that interests him (anything Veggie Tales, anything Winnie the Pooh), I attribute it to processing, not mechanics. I'm sure his eyes are just fine, just like all his hearing tests that showed him hearing better than I do, back when he was playing deaf in therapy. But we've got an appointment for him New Year's Eve to rule out a very early need for glasses. The more we rule out, the clearer the real issues become.
Monday, we had five people besides ourselves - nurse, social worker, OT, ST, and psychologist. December third, we will have eight. It just gets curiouser and curiouser!