Today I took Liam for an evaluation by the Poway Unified School District Preschool Assessment Team. As expected, they noted that he needs further evaluation for his speech. So in two weeks I take him back again for a half hour assessment where they give him a speech test and then they will write up an IEP and get speech services started for him.
While I was waiting for him to get his assessment another mom came and sat down beside me and asked me what my child was here for. I told her speech, and she told me that she brought her son to be evaluated because...and I quote here..."he's not normal". She went on to tell me that he won't wear tennis shoes and so he can't go to preschool. (Here in beautiful southern CA it is not allowable for kids to wear sandals to school.) She told me that she has been told that he may have Asperbergers and she was really hoping that she brought him to the right place. She wanted to find out what was going on with her son so that she could get him help. I could tell she needed to talk, so I tried to just let her get it out. I told her that I have a little experience with Aspergers and I don't feel that it means there is something "wrong" with a kid. I truly believe that EVERYONE has some sort of disablility and the disability is part of what makes us special. I don't mean to downplay the struggle and grief that families whose children have "diagnosed disabilities", but rather just hate to see any child carry around a label of DISABLED. As if that is the only thing about them that matters. I spent 13 years working in the developmental disability field and I met some of the most truly amazing humans around. They did things despite their disabilities, and taught me how much potential is in every human being.
I hope that the mother I met today gets a diagnosis so that she can get help for her son. Even though I have never met this woman before I wish her the best.