Saturday, August 11, 2012

Needless Anxiety

Palms sweaty, heart racing, breath short, and self-doubt. Sound familiar? Anxiety. It can be helpful. Just a little bit before a big presentation or performance and you're good to go. Too much of it, and it clouds your judgment, brings you to false conclusions, and just overall sucks.

A little background:
At 14 months, Max's therapists scheduled an evaluation. We had two choices, one more detailed than the other. Always hungry for more information, Sean and I requested the more detailed one, which they called, "The Michigan."

So what's the Michigan?
Through a series of little tests, or performance indicators, The Michigan determines the developmental age of a child in a number of areas including: cognition, fine and gross motor skills, and language (both receptive and productive). Jennie, Max's developmental specialist, warned me (not Sean; he's not emotional like me) that some parents find these results upsetting and choose the less detailed evaluation in its place. But I thought, "Jeez. I'm a strong woman, and I already know  that Max is delayed. I'll be fine."

Boy was I wrong. As Jennie and Rebecca (Max's speech pathologist) explained the results, tears poured down my cheeks.

Max's 14-month results were:
Cognition: 9 months
Receptive speech: 11 months
Productive speech: 10 months
Fine and gross motor: 7 months

It was those 7-month results that really got to me. It was obvious that Max was delayed. I mean, except for rolling, he wasn't even mobile yet. But, I felt terrible.

Fast forward six months.
A few weeks ago, when Jennie said it was time for another evaluation I was anxious. Once again we had two choices, but I couldn't decide. Finally Sean came to my rescue and chose The Michigan again.

When the dreaded day came you can't imagine the anxiety I felt. The evaluation took about 2 hours, and watching Max helped to calm me some. He was doing so well. Even so, I was prepared for the worst, but it turns out, I had nothing to worry about.

Max's 20-month results:
Cognition: 18 months
Receptive speech: 14 months
Productive speech: 12 months
Gross motor: 10 months
Fine motor: 17 months

Cognition at 18 months? He has Down syndrome--how is that possible? I'm not questioning it, just happily accepting it, and we're doing everything in our power to nurture it. In the next weeks I'll be writing about some these efforts. I hope you find them interesting.

No comments:

Post a Comment