It’s funny when you have a learning disabled child. The whole experience is drenched in so much unnecessary crap, and focus on deficit, that it becomes difficult to disentangle the important bits from the baggage that is thrown at you. It also takes time to step outside of the rigid, inflexible, structure of ‘normal’ child development to accepting the dude you have.
In the early toddler/pre-school days, instead of celebrating the progress LB made, I had a feverish, obsessional focus on what hadn’t happened. I wonder now if there were some thoughtful professionals along the way who tried to point out progress, but were met with a frazzled, semi-hysterical woman who found the fact LB was no longer going quite so crazy ape-shite when I reversed the car less relevant “THAN THE FACT HE AIN’T SPEAKING A WORD YET DESPITE HIS GROMMET OPERATION!!!” All very stressful, distressing and ultimately unproductive.
As years go past, those markers of normal development become more and more meaningless and I chucked em out along the way. I suppose, with hindsight, I wish someone had let me know gently and effectively early on that his would be a different path, with different milestones. I suspect that some professionals thought they were. The paediatrician sort of tried but failed spectacularly with her statement, when he was about three, that we should expect nothing and come back to see her when he reached adolescence to talk about respite holidays. I couldn’t get out of bed for about two days after that appointment.
Anyway, I’m thinking about this today because LB’s progress has shone. First, he spontaneously said “Hello” to us this morning when he got up. Second, he opened the front door to Tom this afternoon and said “Hello, Tom. How was the cinema?” Tom looked as surprised as I felt. I filled Rosie and Owen in with these happenings this evening.
“You going all posh on us LB?” asked Rosie.