The House of Doo

The House of Doo

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Special Needs or Just Special?

I have hesitated to post about this because I am sure someone will say that I am wrong, but I am going to post anyway. 

A while back, it was suggested that we take Colt to a pediatric neurologist and also a pediatric development specialist to see if there is a reason he is so far behind.  I spoke to our pediatrician and he agreed that it was a good idea.  We made the appointments, which are in February and March, because the neurologist is so busy and there is only one pediatric development specialist in Chattanooga at this time (we're going to call her a PDS because I am already tired of typing all that!)  I mentioned this to a health professional working with Colt and she told me that I should get a second opinion on whatever this particular PDS said.  I just kind of laughed and said "okay."  Fast forward about 2 months later, which was about 2 weeks ago, and it got brought up to someone else working closely with Colt.  A professional that I trust.  She suggested that we cancel the PDS appointment with our doctor here.  Basically, this is what she said off the record.  "This doctor WILL diagnose Colt as autistic.  She diagnoses every single child I have ever sent over there with autism.  Colt is not autistic (also what our pediatrician said) and she will say that he is.  You don't want him to have that label attached to him when he enters school, because they will put him in classes or with children who are and he won't fit in.  If they label him as autistic, he will NEVER lose that label.  Labels are good when they fit, but he will not fit but he'll never get out from under it." 

So.  We will not be going to see her in March.  We can always reschedule it in a year or two if there is still a problem, but for now, we're not going.  We are, however, still going to the neurologist.  Children with severe speech delay and multiple eye surgeries sometimes do have a neurological problem that links the two problems.  Dr. Peterson, Colt's eye surgeon, has told us from the start that his eye problem is really a brain problem, which is why the surgeries weren't working.  The last one "worked" because it made it hard or almost impossible for his brain to move them the wrong ways. 

Being around Colt alone, I honestly didn't realize quite how far behind he is.  Last week, we went to the playground to play and swing and get away from the house.  There was also a little boy there with his mom, but he was much smaller than Colt, though that isn't odd. ;)  Anyway, the boys were swinging side-by-side so I asked the mom how old he was.  He was a year old, about 4 months shy of 2.  So about 6 months younger than Colt.  When the boys got out to play and run around, it was super evident how far ahead of Colt he was.  He chattered and talked and climbed the steps and slid down the slides and jumped and ran.  Colt is VERY cautious in an environment like that.  That day, it just hit me really hard.  I know a lot of it is his eyes and the fact that he lived his first two years with almost no depth perception, but it's still hard to watch him in comparison.  I want to fix it.  I want to catch him up and make him be able to do what the other boys do.  I know he will get there, I know this.  When I got our paperwork in the mail the other day from our speech therapy group, it had Colt listed as "special needs."  That bothered me for some reason because I don't think of him that way.  Maybe he is, maybe he isn't. 

Honestly, to me, he is just special. 


  1. I think you're making the right decision! Coop's a little behind in speech and Dr. Meredith told us to give it another 6 months and see how he comes along (due to him being a preemie). You're such a proactive mom that you'll always do the right thing for him!

  2. I also compare Cooper to other kids and about drive myself CRAZY... especially with all my nephews. I know I can't do this because he's so tiny and was premature, is the 1st born which makes him farther behind his cousins his age, and is just his own little person. It's very easy to do it though and then become discouraged because you worry so much about them and their development. I'll be praying for you. Pray for me too, I'm going through the exact same kind of worrying that you are!

    1. I can do that! Dr. Smith said that by 2 they usually say between 10 & 20 words. We officially have zero. Sigh. Boys do what they want, I suppose.

  3. You are one of the most amazing mothers I know, and you and Ryan are raising a phenomenal little boy who is going to do big things. Keep your head high. You have a sweet boy and an awesome support system. God is already using your little family in so many ways. :) Love you all!!!

  4. Jessica, You are a wonderful-involved mother and teacher to your handsome SPECIAL son!!! I will be praying for you and Ryan! ;)