Something is off. There have been a lot of times I have felt that with Logan. Staring spells, doing weird things with his hands, lack of eye contact, delayed milestones. It’s not that I didn’t bring this stuff up to people. The standard pediatrician answer was always “don’t worry, he’ll catch up” – (worth noting – not our current pediatrician). Comparisons began. It’s almost unavoidable for a twin to not be compared to his sibling, but we all know that isn’t fair. My biggest problem has always been that with them being my only children…I don’t know where the bar should be set.
Both the boys went through Early Steps, and no flags were raised. Logan actually had quite the vocabulary, even though he wasn’t pronouncing anything right (this was pre-hearing aide). We caught Logan’s hearing loss after I continued to voice concerns about his speech delay. His evaluation at All Children’s for Speech Therapy led to a hearing test, and he has now had his “Magic Ear” for two years. In the past 2 years, his speech has improved considerably, and he completed VPK with no identifiable issues. All of these tests involved interaction with people who would have likely noticed something was up.
Enter Kindergarten. This boy loves school. He is so excited every day, he’s telling me what his schedule is, what he does all day, how he likes his friends. I started getting concerned when he wasn’t learning letters as fast as his brother was, but again – avoid comparison. I started getting more concerned when he started crying every time we try to work on them. Then came an afternoon phone call from the school’s after care – “Logan is really upset and is destroying the library”.
When I got there, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Logan was just pacing in circles, bumping into the walls, pushing paper around, and his stare was just fixed in front of him. I had to hold him against the wall to get his attention, and then he just kind of snapped out of it – promptly apologized to everyone and began cleaning it all up. These types of “snaps” have happened about 6 more times since the first one, which was two weeks ago. Some involve laughter, some involve mumbling, all involve the description of him being “out of it”.
To say these outbursts are uncharacteristic of Logan would be an understatement. Since birth, Logan has been the agreeable one. Compassionate, giving, and sweet. He doesn’t throw fits. Most of the time, he’s kind of distracted and so he just goes with the flow. The natural conclusion to this is that he’s finally finding his way, and inappropriately expressing his feelings when he’s upset. I actually hope that this is the case we just need to work on some coping skills. I don’t think the school staff believed me at first when I said “he’s never done this before”, but even they have seemed a little more concerned the last two times, describing his affect as “not really there” or “out of it” when these outbursts happen.
In complete contradiction, Lennon and I engage in at least one battle of wills every day, generally involving shouting and/or crying. and foot stomping. Lennon at school, however, is Leader of the Month and about 10 sight words away from mastering the Fry 100. SO the need for some better coping skills is valid for both of them (and probably me as well).
So, three weeks later…still a LOT of questions, and unfortunately no real answers yet. We took him to the pediatrician, who referred us to Pediatric Developmental Medicine. I of course immediately called All Children’s, and his paperwork was evaluated this past Thursday. The scary thing is they generally book several months out, which will leave us without answers a lot longer than I want to go. Especially when the Kindergarten clock is ticking away. We called another facility in Tampa, and they can get us in the end of November, so we made that appointment, but the idea of leaving our home hospital for care is scary.
Our school meeting is this Thursday, so I’m hoping we can make some progress on that front as well. While the change in behavior raises the more urgent flags, his falling behind in school is a big deal as well. Hopefully the addition of something in the classroom with spark his mind, and we can start making progress there.
Recently I was confronted with a pretty callous question about Logan, inferring that Kindergarten wasn’t going “as I expected”. The only thing I have learned on my parenthood journey is that nothing goes as expected. That’s actually part of the fun (sometimes). Social Media posts are not always reality. The reality is that my only two desires in life are for my children to be healthy and happy. The reality is that right now Logan is struggling with both in his school setting.
It’s also real that I will get the answers we need to get him to a place where he can be healthy and happy while learning.
Here is JHACH’s description of Pediatric Developmental Medicine. This is our first step.