In the weeks since our conversation with Maggie’s teachers, we’ve been visited by a home support person and will meet with one again. Today we’re meeting with the speech therapists at the local children’s center. The wheels are in motion.
There was an event I didn’t mention because at the time I was still too stunned to talk about it. Maggie, captivated by the Olympics, expressed an interest in the events. Despite my hesitation, I signed her up for an introductory toddler gymnastics class anyway. This was after our meeting with the teachers and in the process of scheduling an observation at school.
In short, the class was a disaster. Without boring you with details, my view from the parent waiting area brought everything into razor-sharp focus. We knew from meeting with her teachers that something was off, but the class snowballed out of control. It wasn’t just regular toddler overstimulation; it was beyond her comprehension and ability to process what was going on. We were asked, kindly, to withhold registering her for a full class. It was shocking to behold, and the question that had been building inside of us finally clanged to the forefront, ugly and blunt: “How? How did we miss this? How could we not see?”
She’s fine. She has no idea that the class went, from a safety perspective, went poorly. I was and am still a mess. Maggie is my baby, my heart, and right now my heart is walking around with a big raw “?” over it. Aside from a lovely email conversation with my friends K & G, I had to stop talking about it with people; if I knew how I would close comments on this post. People are just…well. They’re people. They mean well, I suppose, but good intentions aren’t enough to keep stunning insensitivity from hurting.
And then I read this today:
Oh. My. God.
Someone needs to take the internet away from me, or I’m going to build a protective bubble around my house and never let Maggie out. I don’t think I realized the vulnerability of her position until now. How could she tell me if something was wrong without couching in her scripted code? She couldn’t. I physically became ill reading this.
We’re getting help for her. This is going to be okay. I would not choose to “cure” her if she does have a diagnosable condition, save to help her learn to verbally communicate as clearly and effectively as possible. We want to help her enough to be able to advocate for herself and be independent; in that respect, she’s well on her way.
But oh, I need the world to show a little restraint for us right now. Just…please. Don’t send me articles like this. Don’t make jokes about the condition to cheer me up or tell me, like you know my child better than I do, that she’s just a quiet late bloomer. Please.