Do you ever get to the point where you don't know what's "typical" and what's not? I am guilty of this since Austin's diagnosis. I have no idea how to deal with a "typical" 3 year old child ... lots and lots and lots of patience! She has tantrums, screams, tells me off, debates (EVERYTHING), is much smarter than I was at 3, or at 30 for that matter. She can be quite a challenge and I am learning everyday that this is what 3 year olds can be like, Austin was not like this at 3. He did have moments but not like Kaleigh. She is quite headstrong. Don't get me wrong, she is also a very adorable, loving, caring and sweet girl; did I mention smart? Very smart! Austin is very smart too, just is a different way ... smart babies both. What is this supposed to be about then? Well, I had Kaleigh re-assessed. Re-assessed because as you know (if you have been following my blog) that we had her assessed last summer just as a precaution, not that we were worried about her. So, what changed? Well, I will tell you.
Kaleigh has a mind of her own, that is evident. I hear that it is common in girls ... ;) Austin has always been quite passive so I didn't really know if being stubborn or arguing at 2 years old was, well, "typical". I put her in a gymnastics class, she excelled. When we re-registered the age group was the same but on a different date and the class then contained mostly 18 month olds. Kaleigh is quite nimble and has great balance. She is a natural when it comes to climbing and tumbling. She found it hard to stand behind and wait for the "babies" to go through the course. I felt like I was holding back a racehorse. She would wait her turn but I thought she should be more patient. Was this typical of a 2 year old? I had no idea ... I considered this flag #1.
When Kaleigh was waiting in line at gymnastics I started to notice that she would twirl her wrists ... I had no idea what that meant, and well, it concerned me too. I was wondering, sensory? She would run around the house pretending to be a chickadee, flapping her arms and making noises. This was not like the "flap-jumping" that Austin would do, but I still didn't know what to make of it. One day I asked her why she did it and she responded that she was a "chickadee ... a chickadee-dee-dee" laughing and giggling. I asked her to stop and she did. It was not the same motion as Austin but it freaked me out ... she still comes up to me and says "Look at me Mommie, I'm a chickadee-dee-dee" and runs off laughing to get me to chase her and tickle her. She is a cutie. So I felt better that she would stop running around like a bird and it wasn't something that she couldn't control, like Austin's behaviour. Then, the wrist twisting became more frequent ... flag #2.
Kaleigh started peeing on the potty around 19 months. We never really pushed and let her do her own thing. She was still in pull-ups and diapers at night. As time went on, she wanted panties so we explained that she would have to pee and poop on her potty, not in her pull-up. She had no problem with the pee part but the poopy part, well, it was a challenge. She would hold it in all day and wait for her pull-up at night. She was getting constipated. I had to take her to the doctor over and over because of it. I kept thinking of Austin. He would ask me for a diaper, hide in his room, poop and asked to be changed. I was not sure if Kaleigh was heading down the same road ... flag #3. I decided it was time to call the Psychologist and bring Kaleigh back into see her.
I met with the Psychologist who had assessed Kaleigh the year before. She was not worried at all that there was anything to be concerned about agreed to re-assess her. She thought it was a good idea that I was bringing my "typical" daughter in just to check. So, Kaleigh went in and was re-assessed. Everything went well. I was told that she was in a very high percentile for her speech and she was right where she should be as far as visual testing. So, all good! It was explained to me that "typical" people can do things like spin their wrists and it does mean anything. It has to be coupled together with other things to become a concern. I was never concerned about Kaleigh being on the spectrum but even if she was, I would want to her to have help as early as possible. My concern was a sensory issue. I wasn't sure if the wrist spinning was a sensory thing or not.
I received explanations for flag #1. Kaleigh may have had trouble waiting because the other children were very slow and she excelled at gymnastics, oh yes, and well, she was 2! ;) Flag #2, she never did this during her assessment and I am a bit embarrassed to say that I may have jumped the gun since I rarely see her do it anymore ... Flag #3, Kaleigh is completely potty trained. She even stays dry at night, no pull-ups or rubber night panties and does not have accidents. (Thank goodness because she does tend to sleep in my bed quite frequently.) ;) YAY Kaleigh! I LOVE YOU! Momma is so PROUD of YOU! :) OX
So, I have to admit, I let my paranoia get the best of me. I really could not distinguish what was "typical" and what was not. Even though, since Austin was a toddler, I knew there was something different about him, I just didn't know what. I have never gotten that sensation from Kaleigh at all. I guess it is hard to admit but sometimes I feel like I failed Austin. Why didn't I see? Why didn't I know? It is a hard pill to swallow some days and very difficult for me to write down. I did not want to ignore "little" things again just in case. I am glad that I had Kaleigh re-assessed, even though people thought I was overreacting. I feel I was just protecting and loving ...
All the best! *HUGS*