On Thursday, as I (LeMira) drove home from the appointment with the psychologist, I had many thoughts. Above all, this thought pelted me: Why did I go? Here are the answers I gathered.
1. We have a diagnosis and an explanation. Yes, my child has PDD-NOS (Pervasive Development Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified). It turns out that my son's delays are NOT due to prematurity. In fact, I was told to throw that excuse out. It has NOTHING to do with my son's issue. PDD-NOS is, in fact, hereditary. J.R. would have had it even if he hadn't been premature. I can even tell you that it comes from my husband's line.
2. I was validated. All of the little tactics and ideas I've had that have popped into my head to try were right. Everything I've been doing to try to help my child are just what he's needed. I'm not too involved in my child's life; I'm not a bad mom. My instincts were right, and I was not grasping at straws. To be honest, when I was telling the doctor why I felt my child needed to be tested, he looked at me without expression. (I swear psychologists must have to be able to do that in order to get their degrees.) His expression encouraged me to grasp at everything and anything that I saw in my child that seemed quirky or odd. In the end, he told me that all of my concerns were exactly what PDD-NOS is.
3. I have some strategies that I can use. I can't remember them all, and that's why the psychologist will be writing up a report with recommendations on it of what we can do.
4. I have confidence in my abilities as a mother and knowing my child. Yes, there are days that I feel completely inadequate to be my child's mother, but I now feel some power and confidence in being my child's best advocate.
I can not tell you the relief I felt when the doctor officially gave the diagnosis. I physically felt a burden lift off my shoulders. This is something I can accept, something I can work with. I have answers and now I have a definite direction.