Last Friday was Parent/Teacher Conference with Danny's teacher and it went pretty well. There were no real surprises. I knew he was excelling in the academic areas; he has known his shapes, letters, and colors since before he ever started preschool. In fact, I just realized that Charlotte who will be three this week still hasn't mastered her letters and even some of her letters, but by this age, Danny had.
I knew that he does well with routines and has been following the rules. I was worried when he entered a regular class, with many more students than in his special ed. class, that he would be prone to overstimulation. Overstimulation for Danny often leads him to yell, push kids and run into others and become really crabby and hard to calm. Also, he tends to have difficulty focusing. So far, these behaviors are not manifesting themselves, at least not in the classroom. Home is another story, but I won't get into that here.
The one major concern Miss A. has is his social interactions. Apparently, at school Danny will initiate play with other kids only on the playground. In the class, he tends to do more parallel play and rarely initiates play with other kids, but if another kid initiates it, he does join in. I have noticed during playdates with one or two kids, he does sometimes initiate play, so I am wondering if he is just a bit shy/reserved/overwhelmed with all the kids in his class. Am I just making excuses? I don't know.
I did ask Miss A. if she thought he would improve in this area, since I can't seem to help myself from seeking reassurance from the "experts." She wouldn't offer it; instead she was noncommittal and said she couldn't make me any promises. I can see where she is coming from, but it also annoyed me. What exactly did she mean by that? I don't know, but since he seems to do well with small groups, I have decided not to worry about it. He has made such amazing strides in the last few years, it stands to reason that he will continue to do so. He has never regressed, but has just progressed at a different pace than the average kid.
I suspect my sister thinks Danny has autism, even though he has been tested for it and was found not to be on the spectrum. She has made a few remarks to me and others which leads me to believe that she disagrees with the diagnosis. A couple of people (always people who are virtual strangers to us and who have only seen Danny once, and who are not in any way qualified or even knowledgable on the subject) have remarked that they think he is autistic. It makes me wonder if I am missing something. Am I fooling myself into believing he isn't on the spectrum? The doctor we took him to came highly recommended and she really seemed to understand Danny. Could she have been wrong? Does it even matter? Even if he were found to have autism, his therapy and treatments would mostly remain the same, so does he need to be labeled?
I know I said just a minute ago that I wasn't going to worry about it and here I am worrying. Sorry about that. I just have so many questions and so much confusion. I worry that Danny isn't getting sufficient therapy even though his OT says he is doing great. We work really hard with him and he is making tremendous strides. We regularly get him to do exercises at home that he refuses to do for his OT, so something is working, right? Last night, I talked to my good friend from MyShore about my financial worries and she gave me some great advice about gaining perspective. That is probably what I need to do about Danny right now. I am just not sure how to gain that perspective. And I worry that if I am not vigilant, I will miss something critical. Does any of this make sense?