Saturday, August 28, 2010
Apologies for being such a reluctant blogger. It's a family first home, the House of D, and we've been living the transition high life since school started on the 16th. Oh, change. Isn't it fun? For anyone? Anyone?
This post has been in editing for almost a week. It is the single most difficult post I've written in five years of blogging. For those of you who know me IRL, please take this into account the next time we talk.
For four years, I've been loudly and proactively advocating for my kids' needs based on their genetic or congenital condition/s. It's one of the many activities I signed up for when I chose to adopt kids with known medical needs. In that time, I've also spent a fair amount of energy trying to educate our community (family, friends, schools) about the impact of institutionalized care and displacement/s on children — my children. The day my blondes were declared legally blind was a relief because the diagnoses meant that we could receive more, and more directed, support from our school district in optimizing their learning environments.
But, PTSD? That's been difficult to approach. For whatever reason, having my child declared disordered by triggers that mimic pre-verbal stresses has me waffling. Even here, you've read that we will/will not be seeking treatment specific for PTSD.
We will. We have started the ball rolling with an adoption-medicine clinic nearby. During the initial conversation I was almost willing the doctor to say, "Oh, that's nothing. Just feed him more fiber." But, she didn't. She agreed with the therapist we've been seeing since early last year, that it's time to move into true diagnosis so that we can create a more supportive environment for my Boy. For his safety, and for ours.
It was unnerving to say out loud what I'd been thinking for months: Maybe my son would be better suited for our school's Special Day Class. Whatever it looks like, we hope to have more support from the school in creating a learning environment that fits his needs beyond speech therapy.
So, I say it: I want my kid to have another label attached to his file. Adopted. Cleft Affected. Foster Care Survivor. Chinese. And, now, PTSD (and, perhaps, SPD).
He's a joyful soul, our Boy, a delight to know and to love. But, in terms of creating relationships it's as if he's been asked to build a new house and every day he goes at it with a broken hammer. Each day he uses the only tools he has, and they aren't working. He isn't connecting to friends, he isn't finding joy in the learning process. The more he's sidelined by the process, the more violent his reactions to the triggers of alienation and abandonment. If we don't stop it now, he may not be able to complete a reasonable education. If he doesn't find a way around the triggers, he cannot have an honest relationship. Even with us. (Dang, it hurt to write that.)
On Monday, I'll call the first referral from the adoption-medicine clinic. (Coincidentally, this man's office is down the street from my mom's house.) Then it's the rest of our lives. The rest of our lives with a boy who desperately wants to connect but can't do it healthfully.
Will this change everything? Will the small group of friends and family who have stuck with us through our process still be with us after the diagnosis?
Will it change nothing? Will everyone understand that this is a battle internal to our Boy and its impact mostly internal to our family?
If I label him, will that stop parents from letting their children be his friend? Because, I don't think our hearts could handle that. At least, not right now.
And I guess that's the point.
Posted by mama d at 12:25 PM