Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Part Deux.

We returned from our family vacation that summer, and I promptly put off taking Dirty Job in for his checkup. Some time back (before Dirty Job was born) a friend of ours had shared about some research she had found regarding the link between the MMR shot and autism. I had had an extremely limited amount of exposure to anyone with autism, save Rainman and a little boy in our church who was cute as all get out but didn't speak a word, and liked the soles of his feet hit really hard.

Apparently, I had stored her findings somewhere in my brain, because I just kept avoiding going to the pediatrician. And I could easily justify not going, because we have a ridiculous copay. Finally, Cpt Mom asked me if I was avoiding it because of the things our friend had shared. I don't remember my answer, but I remember feeling extremely conflicted internally. Part of me kept thinking about the ridiculousness of avoiding it, that I was being fear-driven. The other part of me kept thinking, what if it's true?

Eventually, we made an appointment to see the pediatrician. We needed one for a referral for his now speech delay. I remember talking with them and everything was just fine, he was on track with the exception of his lack of verbal communication. The office gave me a list of developmental pediatricians to check out, and I promptly called Cpt Mom for her opinion. In her former life, she was a developmental preschool teacher and had worked with many, many different special needs kids AND with therapists who worked with the evaluations of these doctors.

We found a doctor and they sent us their 50 page induction packet. I promptly jumped on filling out the ridiculous amount of paperwork. Why on earth would they need so much information just to refer my kid for some speech therapy? I sent in the packet, and then called to make sure they had received it and to find out when I could expect a call to schedule an appointment. When the receptionist responded that the waiting period for an appointment was anywhere from 9 to 12 MONTHS I about flipped my lid!

I prayed that God would be able to solve such a crazy problem. With a 9 month wait, I figured Dirty Job would be way behind in speech then.

I gotta say that during this time, Cpt Mom was invaluable to me. She was (and is still) so open to answering my questions and so honest in her observations. I must have asked her a least a dozen times her observations of Dirty Job. I remember one day specifically sitting at Chilis and her saying to me that a child with autism typically would not be able to tolerate such noise. Dirty Job didn't have any sensitivities to noise and somehow that one comment calmed any fear I had about autism even being an option. Looking back, I can't determine whether that was denial on my part or the Lord offering my heart a sense of peace in those moments for what I could not change in the upcoming months.

Either way, God really answered my prayer in a big way. The developmental pediatrician's office had had a cancellation for December 19th, and would I like to take the spot? Umm, Y.E.S. It was already November and that gave us the hope that he'd be in speech therapy lickety-split. We practically had the problem solved.

Or so I thought.