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Saturday, November 3, 2012

I'm Not Dead (yet)!

I'm sure the last thing you needed was for me to post something on seasonal depression and then drop off the face of the planet. Sorry! You didn't need another thing to worry about. Poor, cuddly reader!

*gives you a completely platonic internet hug*

This week has been just the teensiest, tinsiest (that's not a word, is it?) bit stressful. And busy. Very, very, incredibly, annoyingly, don't-beat-me-for-abusing-adverbs-ly busy. Most mornings this week I was up before 6, left the house before 9, and didn't get home until after seven in the evening. The end result was a battery of tests, several interviews, a fixed car, and a partial diagnosis for my three-year-old who has a speech delay.

We think that Bug has partial hearing loss. He's had three hearing tests, and now he's scheduled for a fourth. What this will mean in the long term, I don't know. It may mean tubes, or a hearing aid, or just dusting off my old ASL books so I can go back to signing to get him to talk. In the short term, it means my three-year-old joins a special needs preschool on Monday with the hope of having him ready for a "normal" kindergarten in two years.

*pauses to stop Bug from throwing things on the floor to hear the big noise*

For me this meant a week of tears and stress. Bug's life has been rough since Day 1, there's always been something wrong, there's always been another doctor's appointment on the horizon. At one point we were juggling a nutritionist (he stopped putting on weight at six months old), a cardiologist, and a neurologist who wanted to cut his skull open.We've dealt with in-home speech pathologists and sign language tutors. We've spent more hours than I can count traveling to and from speech therapy every week. Despite all of this, I hoped it was truly just a speech delay. Some kids are late bloomers, right?

And some, like my son, are going to struggle for the things most people take for granted.

School is the best possible thing for him right now. He'll be able to work on his language skills, work on his social skills, and burn some of his energy with someone else. I'm still worried. This is a little boy that hugs his stuffed monkey when he's tired or hurt. A little boy who spends most of his time running wild and free, which is messy but very natural for a child. I don't know if he's emotionally ready for a classroom.

I'm not sure I'm ready for him to be gone four hours a day.

Secretly, I think I'm waiting for the judgement to come down, because everyone who meets Bug judges him. Countless times a phone call has been interrupted by a high pitched scream, and the person on the other end will say some variant of, "What's wrong with your kid?" Nothing is wrong with him, he just likes to scream. Maybe it's the only way he can hear himself. Maybe the sound feels funny in his throat. Maybe he's just excited.

He screams.

A lot.

He throws things.

A lot.

He bounces off the walls.


And everyone that meets him judges him. "Something's wrong with him." ... "Have you tried medicine?" ... "Maybe meditation." ... "We'll pray for you." ... "It would be great if you could come over, but maybe you should find a sitter for Bug first." ... "He's too loud." ... "Please, don't come back."

Family, friends, doctors, strangers... I've heard variations of all of those from everyone. Our family doesn't go to sit down restaurants anymore, not even the fast food places, it's curbside takeaway or drive-through window every single time. The looks I get in stores when my son shouts something at me because he wants my attention...I get a lot of comments there.

And I find myself cringing. Waiting to see what the new teacher will say. She assures me she's been in the business for thirty-six years. I know she taught my friend's severely autistic son fourteen years ago (it's a small town). But I'm afraid one of them will break.

Bug is a sweet, caring, helpful, bright boy. He loves his sister. He cuddles her and he cheers for his big sisters and he adores everyone. He can count to twelve, name his colors, and knows some of his shapes. He loves helping in the kitchen, and painting, and climbing trees. He is a wonderful, grey-eyed little boy whose volume control just happens to be set at earsplitting-pain instead of conversation level.

It takes a lot of patience to see the good side of a special needs child who is running amok and not interested in following the norms of society. I'm his mother, I love my son, and even I have days where I simply see an unholy terror reaping a path of destruction through house and yard. All three-year-olds are like this, mine's just a little bit louder than most.




Probably, but that's where I was this week. That's why there wasn't a Runner 5 post. That's why I have written 500 words and edited only 1 chapter this week instead of being done with EVERY HERO NEEDS A VILLAIN's edits and triumphantly holding a rough draft of EVEN VILLAINS GO TO THE MOVIES. I hope you'll find it in your heart to forgive me. And, if my editor is reading this, please don't kill me!!!

How was your week?


  1. Hugs Liana. We have friends who's son operates on the same volume level, so I can identify. I hope that things go well with preschool, and that you get a diagnosis that helps you to move forward.

    1. A diagnosis will be wonderful. It's so hard to test kids at this age though. How much is hearing loss, and how much is Being Three?

  2. *zen hugs* My two best friends both have sons with ADHD. They tend to act something like Bug does - short attention spans, loud voices, tons of energy, generous natures, don't appear to listen well, have trouble learning - and one had a cleft tongue when he was younger so it's taken several years for him to learn to speak clearly.

    It takes a lot of patience to deal with both of them although they have gotten better as they have grown. Both have been on medication, with varying results. So I can empathize with you.

    I lost the hearing in my right ear when I was five or six. So most of my life has dealt with learning how to concentrate on what people are saying so I could understand. I had the other kids make fun of me when I was young because I would repeat what I heard and since I heard it wrong, it come out wrong. I still need to ask people to repeat what they say and once in a while I run into someone who speaks at just the right frequency to sound as if they are speaking gibberish.

    It's not easy explaining that to people who hear perfectly. I had people think I was stupid because my speech wasn't clear and my answers could be weird. *grins impishly* It was great to see the astonishment on their faces when they saw my marks.

    There is a lot more help out there compared to when I was Bug's age. Hopefully they will figure out the issue soon and then he can get the help he needs to learn how to compensate for himself.

    1. Bug has been tested for ADD and ADHD. He can concentrate very well for his age, but only when interested. Today he helped fold laundry and mop. He can be good, but most the time he's a very high energy kid. All of mine are like that. *mutters darkly about energy vampires*

      But if you talk on his left side, he sometimes acts like he can't hear you. Sometimes he sees you and turns. Sometimes he's oblivious. We think he has partial hearing in the ear, but is losing certain volumes or tones. His age makes a diagnosis difficult.

      *hugs back*

      Thank you for your support.

    2. *chuckles* Any kid/adult can concentrate well when interested. The difficulty comes in getting them to concentrate when not interested.

      If he turns constantly to talk with you when you are on his left then he probably does have some trouble hearing on that side. It's what I do when someone is on my deaf side.

      I know I find hearing tests boring but since they are important I pay attention to them. So I can imagine how boring they are to an active four-year-old. Hopefully they can determine more with the next test.

      In the meantime, try to stay on his right or if you are on his left get his attention before talking. It should help ease some of the frustration.

  3. You sound like a very sensible mom!

    They can and will diagnose. Don't let go of them until you get it. And if it doesn't sound right to you--get another opinion. Bug sounds like he's ready to take on the world--he, and it, will come to terms. You're taking a great step toward his learning to communicate appropriately. Go, you!

    Unsolicited advice from a much older mom of an ADHD boy: Take the four hours. He'll be in a safe, caring place, with a trained teacher. You will get a little break to spend with the baby. Or to write. Or to have a cup of tea with a friend. You can do it. He can do it.

    Big hugs.

  4. Real life and family ALWAYS come first! *HUGS* He sounds like a wonderful, beautiful child.

  5. A lot of stress going on right there. Books can wait, family can't. You take care of you and yours!
    Bug will be fine. Wanna know how I know? You'll make sure of it. You've done so much for him in his short three years so far, I have no doubt that you will continue to do for him and your family.
    You rock, Momma. And screw the judgementals. Bug rocks too.

  6. Very sorry for your stress. My wife and I have very similiar issues with my children, particularly my daughter, so I can appreciate how relentless it can be.