Vincent Van Gogh once said, “Great things are done by a series of small things that are brought together.” Well I certainly hope he is right!
This week we finally had our comprehensive evaluations for all three kids. If you’ve ever had a battery of testing done, then had to sit down with a physician to hear the results, then you’ll somewhat understand what this was like for us. We spent almost 7 hours of our week just listening to the team break down every test, every observation…. what it all meant, how it affected our kids and how they could help. There were three doctors from different fields of study in this meeting explaining basically every fiber of each of our kids. We listened, took notes, asked questions and recorded the conversation (thank goodness!). After the meeting, on the drive home, we couldn’t formulate the words to even talk about all of this information. We needed to digest and process all that they said. It’s been 3 days since and I’m still wrapping my head around it. We have so many questions, so many concerns and so many doubts. But at the same time…..it all makes sense! All of it. While we may not have understood the science behind it all or how the testing could pinpoint such intricate details, we do see how it all relates to our kids! And each kids’ results were different but spot-on when you look at his/her behaviors/thinking/reactions/etc.. You know that thing you notice about your kid that’s a little different or unique? You think it’s just something you notice, maybe a little quirk about him/her. You keep it to yourself, but one day someone else notices it too. When they mention it to you, you say, “YES!!! I THOUGHT IT WAS JUST ME THAT NOTICED THAT!” Yeah, that’s pretty much what I was thinking the entire time. So much of the things we notice (or don’t notice) aren’t just quirks. There’s actually a scientific reason for it. These doctors not only pointed our these nuances, they explained the why behind them and then how they could make it better.
I’ll be honest, after hearing all the testing results and then analyzing what every sub-category means for your child, we left feeling a little sad. So much of their struggles, beyond academics, have now been explained. So much of what they do/don’t do that drives us crazy are things they can’t help. Cue the mom-guilt. I can think back to hundreds of times I’ve been irritated, aggravated, confused about things they have said or done, or things they haven’t been able to do. It makes no sense! Until now…. now it all makes sense. Now I see that they weren’t being lazy, defiant, distracted, negative, slow. They actually couldn’t help it. Poor kids. No wonder they did that…… it broke my heart a little. However, to the credit of TMC staff, they were quick to discourage us from feeling any kind of guilt. That’s not the point. The point is to fully evaluate my child, find their deficits and find a way to help them. The OT said something that resonated deeply with me regarding senses. She said, “I would never tell a parent their child doesn’t have any vestibular, proprioceptive or interoceptive senses at all (more on those big words later). It’s just not working efficiently.” That’s encouraging and if we can keep our eyes focused on that, it will make all the difference.
Leaving the meeting wasn’t all sad. We left with a better understanding of why we are here. We’ve found the deficit, now let’s help them overcome it. There is hope in knowing that a clinic that can identify such things can also make them better. They are shooting us straight in all areas and giving us realistic expectations. Some seem a bit reaching but we are hoping for the best. I now understand what each discipline (speech, language, Occupational therapy and psychology) is doing for my kids. How this trans-disciplinary approach merges and intertwines together for the overall result??? I’m not really sure. But like Van Gogh said,”Great things are done by a series of small things that are brought together.” Let’s press on!