Yesterday Puff and I took Frodo to a specialist for his first assessment. We are trying to find out if, or more accurately, where he sits on the Autism Spectrum.
Frodo was lead off to one room where he would be examined by a specialist who would observe and ask him questions as he played while Puff and I were taken to another where we were asked questions about our son. The questions were about how he has developed so far, and pinpoint his progress so far. It was... enlightening, I suppose, although one could also say disheartening. It drove home just how far behind he is.
Does your son engage you in conversation? For instance, if asked will he tell you about his day? No.
Does he use verbs in their ing form? As far as we know, no. (to be fair, he actually began using 'ing' verbs that very day on the way home.)
Does he parallel play with other children? He used to. He doesn't now. Oh, so now he fully interacts with the children? No- the opposite. He does not interact with them at all.
Does he have any friends at school?
And so the conversation went. The woman was nice to us. At no point did I have any sense that she was judging us, but she didn't have to. I was judging me. With every question and every 'no' answer.my judgment against myself grew harder. How did I miss all of this?
Things are getting tougher for Frodo. He is now on his third Kindergarten teacher- it has nothing to do with him, but for some reason the school keeps transferring his teachers to other classes. The current teacher has strongly suggested to us, through her assistant, that it would be for the best if Frodo only attend for the morning. They so little want Frodo there they objected when Puff agreed to pick him up during the lunch break, when the kids were on the playground. Could she not pick him up before lunch began? When asked why, the assistant became evasive. It's like they don't want to be bothered with him any more. He doesn't mind being picked up early, though. He hates school. In that he is advanced: it took the girls until grade three before they hated school.
A few months ago I took Frodo to school. As we were walking in A little girl walking with her mother squealed and pointed. "Look there, Mommy! That's Frodo! That's who I was just telling you about!" The mother looked rather embarrassed and quickly hushed her daughter and forced her arm down before she hurried the girl off to another part of the playground.
What will happen when we get the assessment? Will we be able to get him the help he needs, or will he just be written off as the autistic kid? I hate that this is not in our hands, and yet, as I listened to the long list of questions, I felt that I failed him when he was in my hands. But this isn't about me or my feelings. It's about him and the help he needs.
We take him back for his next assessment on Monday.