He had his Cognitive assessment Friday afternoon. They told me it would be 1 1/2 - 2 hours and it took 2 1/2. After all the things that were brought to my attention while filling out the paperwork, that wasn't very reassuring. Many of the items on their lists were things that I assumed were just normal for an 8-year-old boy. And I suppose they are, but not when they all occur in the same person nearly every day.
In a way it will be a relief to finally have some answers, but it's never easy to hear something is "wrong" with your child. I didn't think it was a big deal; I thought I only wanted a name so I knew the enemy I was fighting. And I do. But I also don't want to know, because what if we can't fix it? I would rather believe that the way he acts is just because he's a little boy and he'll grow out of it and everything will be okay. As we get closer, I get more nervous. Last weekend, I wasn't nervous at all, and on Sunday, without thinking as much as I should have, I asked a friend if her child was autistic. I was just trying to help her and her child and because I knew there were solutions out there, I didn't stop to think how that question would affect someone who hadn't had time to prepare for the possibility. I did apologize later, but I still feel bad for being so thoughtless. Not because of what I said, but where and when I said it. What's ironic is that now I'm the one who isn't sure about anything. It's one thing to think something may be, but to have someone impartial confirm it is a whole different thing.
Apparently there are people who think I'm this really organized, super-dedicated homeschool mom. I am organized in my own weird way. I try my best to do what's best for my children and at this point in time, I happen to believe that homeschooling is the best thing for him. But there's always part of the picture you don't see. The part where I listen to him scream at his 2-year-old brother for the 20th time that day and wonder if I can lock them in separate rooms. (They haven't been locked up yet.) The part where he argues with absolutely every word that comes out of my mouth until I want to scream myself. (Apparently the constant arguing may be part of the disorder.) The part where I want to cry in frustration when he says something, then when questioned 30 seconds later says, "I didn't say that" because he really doesn't remember. (I'm not sure where the memory thing fits in, but it's gotten dramatically worse over the past month or so.) The part where I swear that if he doesn't stop tapping on everything around him, I'm going to run away from home. (That one hasn't happened yet, either.) Sometimes I just can't take anymore and I yell at him to stop doing something I know he has no control over. That's hard on him, me and our relationship. I'm very fortunate that he forgives, forgets, and continues to seek out ways for us to spend time together.
Mother Theresa: "I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much."
Me: "Yeah, what she said."
Don't get me wrong; it's not all bad. We laugh, we read, we snuggle, we talk, we watch TV, we play games on facebook (he really likes Family Feud and The Price is Right). I'm just a mom like most other moms and it just seems overwhelming sometimes. The literal "bouncing off the walls", the compulsion he has to check the front door every few minutes to make sure it's locked, the constant talking, usually saying the same thing over and over, the way he has to touch everything in the house as he spins by, the noises he says he has to make. Living in his imaginary world 90% of the time and expecting everyone else to be there too, which includes believing that toys and inanimate objects think and have feelings. It doesn't sound like much here, but imagine living inside a tornado all day every day. The incessant motion and noise can get to you after a while. So at the end of this process, I want him to be okay and to able to function like other kids (and, eventually, adults). I also want our relationship to be better. And my sanity to be intact.