This is part II of III parts, beginning with last Saturday’s post, “Too Loud“…

I knew I needed to get my son evaluated, so I made an appointment with the pediatrician and explained what happened at the fire house and downtown.  We got a referral to have an evaluation done with an occupational therapist (OT).  We were given a diagnosis of sensory integration disorder (SID).   We started therapy twice a week.  I read one book after another on SID, and there were parts that explained my son so well.

It was actually a relief to get some answers and reasons for his behaviors.  He was getting help, and we were, too.  I joined a support group and got a ton of information from other moms.  One thing that stood out was when one mom told me that SID usually doesn’t walk alone.  This had me thinking about what else could be going on with him.  Did we have it all?  What about his language?

With this in mind, I talked with the OT’s about his language, who also felt something was going on, but they couldn’t say what it was. We needed to meet with a speech language pathologist to find out more.  I placed another call to the pediatrician, and we got a referral for a speech-language evaluation.  After the evaluation, we got a diagnosis of expressive language delay and started therapy twice a week.

We had 2 evaluations that looked at whether he needed both, occupational and speech therapy, but we didn’t have a comprehensive evaluation done.  The ladies in my support group were the ones who guided me as to what I needed to do and where I needed to go.  I made an appointment with a neurodevelopmental pediatrician and a neuropsychologist.  My thought was that by having both these evaluations, we would have both, the mind and body, covered.

Both evaluations took months to get an appointment, and the waiting was so hard, as I wondered all the time if we were doing everything we could for our son.  The research shows that early intervention makes such a huge difference, and I wanted my son to get every bit of help that he needed.  No one wants a diagnosis for your child, but if you are already have one, then all you want is for the current ones to be confirmed or taken away.

Both of these evaluations confirmed what we were already told.  In some respects, that was a relief, as nothing else was added.  We continued with our therapy sessions 4 times a week and tried to help our family and friends understand his diagnosis.

Needless to say, I felt as if I was dragged behind a truck that was traveling across country.  My heart hurt and my mind wandered.

Having been through numerous evaluations where you focus on all the things that your child cannot do, can really take its toll on a mother.  I am usually nervous before an appointment, but fine during it.  Immediately afterward, I feel a sense of relief. The next few days, I feel exhausted and emotionally drained.  Eventually, I bounce back.

During this time of one evaluation after another, we saw less and less of our friends in our play group.  Some people may say that I should have leaned on them more, but I needed to focus on getting my son all the help he needed and make sure my daughter was getting the same attention from me.  I didn’t want her to feel second in any way.  It was a juggling act, but I think any parent with more than one child feels that to some degree.

There was also so much more going on in our lives at that time.  My husband’s job was possibly ending and we were in the process of fixing up an older home.  My son had the therapy he needed, and he was making progress and doing well.  My daughter was happy and healthy, and we were all together, so that is what I focused on and that is what carried me through each day.

to be continued next Saturday…

Have you had to go through any evaluations with your child?  Or, do you have any encouraging words for Maggie?  Please share with World Moms Blog in the comments section below!

This is an original World Moms Blog post by Maggie Ellison.  Maggie can be found crafting at home with her kids or playing on the beach with them in the low country of South Carolina, USA.

Photo credit to http://media.photobucket.com/image/therapy%20swing/jkaternest/Family%20Pictures/DSC00003-3.jpg?o=5.  This photo has been altered in accordance with photobucket terms.

Maggie Ellison

Maggie is so grateful to be raising her 2 children with her husband in the low country of South Carolina. Life at the beach is what she’s always known, although living in SC is new to this NJ native! The beauty of the live oaks and the palmettos takes her breath away on a daily basis and being able to go to the beach all year is a dream for her. Art and music have also always been a part of Maggie’s life, and she is happy that her family has the same love and appreciation for it that she does.
Maggie and her family are also very active. Her husband coaches both kids in soccer, and they like to spend their time outdoors kayaking, biking, swimming, camping, etc. They try to seize every moment they can together, and they feel that it’s not just the family time that is important. They want their kids to know a life of activity and respect for the outdoors, expose them to new things and teach them about the world! Maggie and her family are no strangers to overcoming life's challenges. They've had to uproot their family several times when jobs have been lost in the economic crisis.
They also lovingly face the challenges of having a child diagnosed with special needs. Through all this, Maggie has learned to celebrate the good times and never take them for granted. Her family is everything to her, and she is incredibly grateful for every day she has with them and for every moment she has shared with them. Not a day goes by that she doesn’t tell them she loves them and how lucky she is to be her kids’ mommy. How sweet!

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