No, I am not talking about the debate.
I am talking about The Assessment. The one which was done three weeks ago and the results of which just graced my presence.
The boy? He has The Apraxia.
In other words: Teh boy don make no sens.
Okay, that's not entirely true - just a family joke. He makes sense to us, sometimes. But perhaps only six people he knows can actually understand him at all...and still....just sometimes. His family, his speech therapist, and two highly gifted friends of mine who remain my very best friends because they claim to hear (and understand!) him say complicated things which are usually run together very fast.
One indicator of apraxia is a large discrepancy between receptive and expressive language skills. As it became more and more apparent to me that this is what his delay really was, I was told repeatedly, "But not the only indicator! You can't go just on that!"
True enough, but Bubbles meets nearly all of the criteria used to diagnose apraxia, so I have been more or less convinced of this possibility being a reality for the past few months.
And then came the report.
(sucks breath in)
Start internal dialogue: Ooooookay. This is fine. You knew this was the reality!
But ZOMFG my baybeeee. He's got a NEUROLOGICAL ISSUE.
Oh my god listen to you - we have already gone through this - it's a neuro-processing disorder, okay? It's not a fucking brain tumor. His brain is malleable. With the right help he will learn to use that part of his brain and, albeit, with challenges, he will be able to communicate!
But OMG what about the kids who never become verbal communicators? What if someone suggests alternative communication devices to us?
Settle down, woman! You got him into speech at two yearsold! He is already communicating verbally. He shows signs of improvement and the desire to be challenged and to learn to communicate with his peers!
But what if......
People will think he's retar- mentally challenged! The world is gonna shit on my baybeeeee!!!
Shut up. Seriously, you are crying now and that is so emo-over the top. I cannot believe you are reacting this way. How many times did you say yourself you knew it was apraxia?
Waaaaahhhhhhhhhh. Oh, sniff sniff, YOU shut up. I can have one fucking moment to grieve and be fearful, so stuff it.
That was that.
I am now far more composed than I was one hour ago. Far more.
Really. I am okay. He's going to be okay. Well, let me get back to you on that part specifically, because there are many variables, the biggest one right now being the school district and what they will offer him for speech therapy at his IEP (which will occur in the next four weeks, before he turns three).
But he will be okay. He also has the personality to compensate for his funny sounding language. I just hope that it can't be crushed by his frustration.
His receptive language skills ranked in the 63rd percentile, which means that he actually tested slightly above what is considered 'normal' for his age range.
His expressive language skills tested in the 16th percentile; a significant delay and a substantial discrepancy between the two skills, which generally develop in a harmonious partnership.
His expressive language is developmentally appropriate for a 26 month old.
When I think back on the behavior issues with which we were dealing, and the tantrums...and I feel so sad for him. How frustrated he must have felt, and no wonder we were all experiencing over-the-top terrorist two year old.
In the past two months, Bubbles has turned his first (rounded) corner. He now volunteers the use of complete sentences: 'I want shoes off. Help, please.'
Of course, only some of it comes out as completely intelligible, but he is actually practicing words he already knows and has been working hard to learn, so most of it is somewhat clear. He's not trying to say things like: 'Look, Mama - another Obama sign! HAHA that rhymes! Can we please stop for jamba juice??' ...or any of the other things he hears his sister crowing as we roll along!
So, there's the update.
A large dose of reality, plus a touch of sadness and fear, with a side of hope.