There is nothing that developmental specialist love more than testing!
If your child is ever suspected of having a developmental delay, be prepared for lots of evaluations. Once our family was referred to the CDSA (see prior post), it was time to be evaluated by their office. It seems the pediatrician’s office evaluation was just a small test to see if we needed further testing.
Emotionally I was simply worried. Since no one wanted to say anything of substance, other than further tests are needed, I had no reason to be sad. I was simply confused and overwhelmed by the process of it all. I still had that voice of skepticism in the back of my head that said my kid would grow out of this. My voice of reason, and my husband, reminded me that there was no harm in therapy and no harm in testing.
In fact the testing is generally worse for the parents than the child. The evaluation took place in our home. Which for us means an earnest attempt to get some dog hair out of the carpet, and to put poor Zelda out back. Our coordinator with the CDSA came along with an evaluator.
At first there was a just a lot of paperwork. I don’t remember every detail. However, I can say that there was an endless barrage of questions. Does E feed himself with a spoon, does he babble, does he stack blocks, how many? E was completely freaked out at the experience. I had no idea there was a set number of blocks he was suppose to stack. Who forces their child to stack blocks? At one point E was given a baby doll and told to feed the doll. E was completely uninterested.
Well of course he wasn’t interested. He’d never played with a baby doll. I of course told the evaluator, but I was dismissed. I was on edge the entire time and I’m afraid so was E. E just withdrew from the evaluator’s requests. The more they tried, the more he withdrew. My heart was broken, but I knew it would be over soon. E was only 16 months at the time.
It took a very short time for our initial evaluation report. It was difficult to read. While I anticipated his speech to be delayed. I did not anticipate any other delays. It didn’t dawn on me that my child had any other problems. However, unlike most mothers, my child’s delays and difficulties was in black in white on the page.
My first inclination was to of course argue with the report. That’s not my child! My son doesn’t have problems with eye contact. He always answers when I call him. Why is important that he point with one finger rather than use his whole hand? Who are they to judge my child after spending 2 hours with him. Of course, arguing with type written reports will only eventually only put me into therapy.
Again well meaning people assured me that E was fine. Time would heal all. In my heart, I knew that E was not fine. I could see that E needed help. I just had to be strong enough to get him the help he needed. Part of the process and the strength, came from my loving husband. He reminded me over and over that therapy can only help.
On to the next phase: finding a therapist