Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Joshua, Part Two

Part 1 Here

I'm guessing you've never secretly wished that your child is deaf.

Along with not talking, Joshua did not seem to hear us, or understand what we were saying.  Right before our trip back to the States we had dear friends that visited (and observed Joshua) for 3 weeks.  They thought he acted like a deaf child might.  I was starting to get scared about the situation.  What were the doctors going to find?  We didn't think he was deaf ONLY because he would come running from 2 rooms away when Mickey Mouse came on the TV.

Could he BE more precious?

The one thing I was certain of was that he was NOT on the Autism Spectrum.  He made eye contact with us all the time and he was very affectionate.  I also didn't think he had an intellectual disability.  We had observed him doing many things, such as problem solving in various situations, for that to have been a major issue.  I assumed that he had a processing disorder or something along those lines.

However, something in the back of my mind was telling me it could be big.  And scary.  And I think that's why, as I drove him to the audiologist, just hours after landing in DC, I prayed that he was deaf.  That may sound crazy to you.  But if he was deaf, he could still learn to communicate, perhaps get an implant, and live a "normal" life.  He would have challenges and it would be hard work, yes, but I felt we could deal with that.  (If anyone reading this has a deaf child, I am in no way trying to minimize this disability, I am just being honest about my thought process, wrong as it may have been.)

But don't you know he passed that hearing test with flying colors.  Or in the audiologist's words, "That boy can definitely hear."

So it was on to a child psychologist to do a full developmental evaluation. We spent 3 full mornings with her while she observed Joshua, seeming to him like lots of play and games, and I really started seeing the deficits.  My degree is in early childhood education.  Though it's been more than 10 years, I had all sorts of classes on just this thing.  I'm no specialist, but there were lots of things I should have noticed.  Mommy blinders, I guess.

As the hours went by, I got more nervous, more stressed out at what the diagnosis would be.  When it came time, a former Kindergarten colleague/dear friend took off work and came with me to the appointment.  Doing all of this an ocean away from Joe was not ideal. She came to take notes and ask questions that I might not have the wherewithal to ask.  What a gift.  Because really, the only thing I heard during the hour and a half meeting that morning was this:


Part three tomorrow....

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