Friday, May 12, 2006

Whatever Tomorrow Brings, I'll Be There - With Open Arms and Open Eyes, Yeah

Anytime I have a problem in my life, I make jokes about it. And I laugh at improper moments because that's how I deal with stressful situations. Because if you can't find my life funny, can't find the humor in it all, then you need to go get your head examined.

So, yeah, I've called Darwin a one-eyed cretin; I've complained about his food allergies (and that was before we got the comprehensive test with more than 250 items and he was allergic to all of them); I've cried over Griffin's behavior before he was diagnosed this past fall.

I don't talk about it much, but Griffin has Sensory Integration Disorder. It basically means he doesn't process touch, sounds, smells, etc. the way he should. Having a diagnoses has been great in helping us understand him and interacting with him. Yes, it is still difficult and we all have our moments of not coping, but knowing what's going on is a big help.

Griffin's Occupational Therapist keeps pushingpushingpushing us to get him evaluated for autism. And "autism" is a difficult word to process when someone is using it to describe your child.

By no means is Griffin autistic in the sense that a lot of kids are -- he interacts, he loves to be held, I can get him to calm down and sometimes I can even reason with him.

Regardless if Griffin his "high-functioning autistic" like his OT thinks he is (and she claims that he has the intelligence/reasoning abilities of a nine year old, but the body control of a two year old and she thinks his IQ is "off the charts"), he is by no means your standard-issue child.

At four years old, other kids don't "get" him. They have a hard time interacting with him, as do a lot of adults and even family members.

It's hard. It's heartbreaking.

And all this helps explain why I spent six hours making him this today...

17 comments:

lera said...

Very lovely. Six hours well spent.

So sad to hear of your problems.

LLA said...

Oh honey - that is so lovely... you've got me sniffling a little...

Your ability to see the humor in all things, even the not so fun stuff, is just one of the reasons why I am so glad that I stumbled across your blog.

As far as the SID - I'm so glad to hear that you've already got him working with an OT - it really does make all the difference in the world. (remember, I am a recovering preschool teacher)

And I know that there are days when it must be unbearably hard, and heartbreaking - but what a gift you've got in that little guy (in both of them!)

Are you going to get him evaluated for autism? 'Cause from my layperson's POV, it doesn't sound as if he is autistic. SID is such a broad, far-reaching diagnosis, and can encompass so many different behaviors. It might be worth the peace of mind to get him evaluated for autism, just to rule it out!

Amy said...

You are giving me chills -- some for the worry of a child with challenges but most from the love. Happy Mother's Day.

marshamlow said...

I hope you guys are feeling better!

Your boys are so lucky to have you.

Bitterbetty said...

I love that quote.
Your collage is fantastic.
Use what info you can from the doctors and experts but take a deep breath and trust your own gut. No one knows him better than you do.
Griffin sounds like a gem... With your support he is bound to flourish.
Unusual children often grow into the amazing adults that change the world for the better.

Alicia A. said...

Laura,

You are a terrific mom. Have a wonderful Mother's Day, sweets.

Ali said...

The message behind you lovely artwork says it all. You are a strong person - It's hard dealing with a child who doesn't match up to 'normal' expectations. My eldest is certainly at the end of a spectrum. But you are bang on in your attitude for dealing with it in my opinion. Happy Mothers Day.

Julie said...

You seem to me a GREAT person/Mum and you definately make me laugh!!! Your piece for Griffin is lovely and shows how much you love him and care.
xxx

kristi said...

I love that collage! It's perfect. And Griffin is a remarkable kid. If they do eventually diagnose him with high-functioning autism, I doubt the treatment would change much ... you are already working on his speech, social, and sensory issues. That "autism" umbrella is so damn big, isn't it?

cheryl said...

That is just a gorgeous work of art - and would you believe one of my favorite quotes of all time?

My best friend's son has aspergers syndrome, also 4, VERY brilliant child but is completely socially inept. I have known him since he was a baby so he loves me, and I him. Something for which his mom is so grateful because others have a hard time getting him. :-(

Your son is lucky to have a funny, brilliant loving mom to support him.

diana said...

Laura,
You are a greaT MOM.. no hurry on the eval....your OT is outta line and I think you know that..What did the speech path say ???if there is a need in the future then you can do it... he is making great progress now and that is awesome.
Happy Mothers Day to you and thanks for reminding all of us to laugh.

Jenijen said...

that is so beautiful! happy mother's day to an amazing mom.

(also, check out thepapermoon.org sometimes, she does paper collage i think you'll really like)

kisses!!

Emy said...

Your collage is lovely. We love Dr. Suess in our house.

I agree about laughing at stuff. Its the only thing that keeps me sane. I feel like if I stopped laughing, insanity would take over. Plus its better to laugh than cry.

I have a friend whose son has SID as well. I think the diagnosis alone was so helpful for her to know that, yes something is wrong. He's getting therapy now. I know its still really hard for her though. I know how hard it is when they start throwing the scary words at you. When I was pregnant the doctors were saying things that made down syndrome look like a good thing. I hope your son is fine. It sounds like things are hard enough!

Have a great mother's day! You deserve it!

autum said...

Your ability to face lifes challenges with humor and grace is such a gift. Your boys are luck to have such an amazing mom! Happy mothers day. The collage is beautiful.

Bessilu said...

What a wonderful tribute to your little boy and to you! It's perfect.

Mia said...

OMG. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful.

I have chills.

What lucky boys to have such an awesome mom~!

Did I mention that was just beautiful? The simple message says it all...

lindiepindie said...

Oh my! That is beautiful!!! You are so talented with this - what do you call it? A collage? You've got a lot on your plate, sweetie - I'm glad you were able to finish this.