Upside Down

Upside Down

Yesterday, I did a bunch of grown up things I didn’t really want to do.

My butt and legs are sore from the workout, but I’m glad I did it.

My teeth are sparkly and I got no more bad news than I was expecting from the dentist.

I had an IEP meeting for my youngest son, who is three, and who the early intervention team thinks is autistic.

I just don’t know what to do with that.  I mean.  Really.

The possibilities:

  1. He acts a lot differently at home than at school.
  2. He’s mimicking behaviors of his older, diagnosed autistic brother.
  3. He is a shy but independent and definitely goofy child and he doesn’t fit in their box at school.
  4. He’s autistic and I have on rose-colored glasses.

I don’t know which of those, or which combination of those, are accurate.  I don’t even know how to tell.  It’s not possible for me to observe how he acts without me in school.  I can’t know how his learned behaviors would differ if he didn’t have an autistic brother.

I think his current teacher is not great.  I think she’s not particularly effective or professional — and I know I’m spoiled by the expectations I have from my older son’s amazing Pre-K teacher, who is probably about the best teacher ever.

I think the team who did his evaluations is competent and impartial.  I think that he is not functioning optimally in the classroom and he needs some help.  And I think that unless he gets all the help they are offering, he won’t get any.

I think that he is a quiet, shy child.  I think he is self-conscious of his speech delay and so he whispers.  I think his current classroom is rowdy and he doesn’t like that.

I think that when my older son’s Behavioral Services Coordinator comes next week, I will ask her to tell me off the top of her head whether or not she thinks the little one throwing up red flags.

When my older son got his autism spectrum disorder diagnosis, I felt a large measure of peace. Sort of like, “Ooooooh, yes.  That is right.  That is what this is called.”   I just don’t feel that way about my younger son.  The boys are just so different.  It doesn’t seem sensible to affix the same label.  I’ve heard the saying, “If you’ve seen one autistic kid, you’ve seen one autistic kid.”  But really, his seems totally off to me.

I really don’t know what to think.

I could get him tested independently but I feel like I’d only be doing it to prove them “wrong” and I don’t know if there’s a point to that.


And, I don’t really know if it matters.

He’s a super cool kid.

As my genius husband said, “Every kid has problems.  Theirs just come with paperwork.”


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