Since my blog is titled “Accepting Abnormal” I thought it may be best to talk about what is abnormal about my life. It’s a lot of things really, some requiring more detail then others, so I’m going to do a few separate posts. Maybe 3 parts. Here in part 1 I will talk about my boy, Blu. (I think I’ve been calling him Bear here, but just can’t seem to stick with the nickname while writing)
At 2 years old Blu could only say 5 words, but thankfully he could sign many more, I think it was 25 or 50 around that time. He thought that he was waiting to talk, until he could just do full sentences, because he is that kind of kid. He was tested and admitted into our county early childhood intervention. At the time he was so shy around strangers that he wouldn’t answer their questions, or do what they asked, and he came in as having a developmental delay as well because of it. As time passed Blu didn’t just start speaking full sentences. It took a lot of work and time. Then he would to me, but not to the people who would evaluate him. I had to keep a list once, around the age of 3, of all the things he said after they left our house, it had 75 independent words, we had come a long way.
As time went on Blu never got over his shyness, only it was discovered to be more than shyness. Blu has severe anxiety problems. Unless you know Blu well, or have a child like him you just don’t know what it’s like. Even my Mother says things like “He will do it once he sees his cousins are.” Nope, sorry Mom, it’s just not that easy. We hear things all the time like “Just get on and he will follow you,” or “Just leave and he’ll get over it.” We’ve had issues with all the normal “scary” stuff, getting on his first carnival ride, being in a crowd, and such. Only we’ve also had to battle things like changing shoes at the bowling alley, getting a cart at the grocery store, or even getting in or out of the car. We’ve been to the county pool twice and have yet to actually step in the water. We started working with a behavioral specialist in our county program as well, and it has worked well with the separation anxiety. He now can walk into his speech group without crying, screaming, and making me drag him down the hall (and that was WITH me sitting near him in class!)
It’s also been suggested that we pursue a diagnosis of ADHD or SPD (sensory processing disorder.)
At his most recent evaluation (he gets reevaluated for each birthday) his scores were interesting, but not surprising. His speech come in at very advanced, with vocabulary and word understanding being over a year advanced. All the aspects of speech (there were about 6) he came in with high scores. His overall average was 4 years 11 months, which was 11 months advanced. He has “multiple articulation errors” which means he needs a lot of deciphering by others. I understand him fine, usually, but even my husband occasionally musses it up. His scores for developmental were FINALLY right! He actually did what the therapists wanted for once and his scores are accurate with average to advanced work. Things that are controlled by anxiety, like working in a group, talking to other kids, being by himself, he came in at around 2 years old. So essentially my one child is like having a child who is 2, one who is 3, one who is 4, and even one who is 5. It sure makes life interesting.
Blu is a prime example of abnormal. He has some issues, but besides that he does thing like order V8 from a restaurant for breakfast, or buy books on bridges well beyond his age level. He’s an amazing child, simply amazing, and he makes a better (but exhausted) person out of me everyday.
Does your child, or one you love, have some behavioral, sensorial, or oral motor issues? I’d love to hear your vents, comments, and inspiration in the comments.
Stay tuned to read about our attached parenting, healthy eating, unschooling, how I dress “funny”, and why our 4 year old is getting a queen size bed. Also hear some thoughts about how you combine unschooling and Attached Parenting with the issues Blu has, and why the often quoted unschooling thought “they’ll figure it out in their own time” isn’t a viable option for us.