Tuesday, December 22, 2009

my true love

We have a mountain of paperwork to fill out. Signing up a kid for public school, especially if they qualify for special services, requires submitting an entire dead tree's worth of paperwork. Martin's educational transition also qualifies him for some new therapy. Getting the therapist up to speed requires even more paperwork. And we've also found out that Martin might qualify for a program through the local board that serves people with mental and developmental disabilities. To find out if he qualifies requires even more paperwork.

Though I'm an historian that likes shuffling through other people's old paperwork, I don't like going through my own. I've been making photocopies of Martin's first neurological report, his first speech evaluation, his first Individual Education Plan, and his recent (and horrifying) I.Q. test. It brings back memories of all the little doctor's exam rooms, waiting rooms, crammed school hallways, and the blood tests. (Yes, many doctors ask for chromosome testing with kids that present as autistic. Sometimes, the kids have a genetic disorder that insurance companies will cover, unlike straight-on, just-in-your-brain autism.) I remember asking Martin to say hello to the neurologist. He wouldn't. I remember wondering if he'd ever make it through the I.Q. testing with the educational psychologist who seemed, at least to me, to need a psychologist of her own. And I remember my husband and I and another nurse holding Martin down so another nurse could draw his blood. That was one of my 10 worst days ever.

The reports stand in stark contrast to the kid I've been hanging out with all day. I'm off work for the moment and the kids have been home all day. We went to the library. We had two friends over to play. We had popcorn and hot chocolate. Martin sang the 12 Days of Christmas to me at least 12 times. He mentioned that he'd like to get his uncle a clock for Christmas. He built a "dinosaur car." He ate green beans at dinner. And tonight, I tucked him into his laundry basket for another night's sleep. It was a good day. Not like anything in the reports.

Doing all this paperwork means that there are agencies and institutions out there that can help us. And for that, I'm very thankful. But I'm even more thankful that Martin wants to get me a partridge in a pear tree.


  1. I find it horrifying that the educational system does IQ tests on children like Martin. They aren't designed to measure Martin's aptitude, they are designed for a specific type of child (ie the kind of children who grow up and make IQ tests). As an educator, I've never found them helpful - perhaps they help get services. I'm still not a fan.

    Have a fantastic Christmas and enjoy those 12 days in song!

  2. You are an amazing writer, and your story (life) is so inspiring.....thanks so much for sharing it!

  3. A very happy Christmas to you and Martin.