Yesterday we received J.R.’s report card. Basically he earned all C’s (well except that “A” in P.E., duh!). Average. Okay give me a minute to breathe that in. Average.
J.R., unlike an average, average six-year old child, has been graded from a very early age. When we wondered why he couldn’t put two syllables together at two-and-a-half, he was given a speech evaluation. His scores were off of the charts, and I don’t mean in a good way. Even when re-evaluated every six months, he barely qualified as “low scoring,” because as he got older the tests just got harder and harder. He couldn’t win for losing.
When we couldn’t figure out why J.R. was bouncing off of the walls, experienced debilitating anxiety, and played the shit out of anything that had wheels, we did the doctor circuit. I don’t have to tell most of you how NOT fun that was.
No professional was able to tell us anything conclusive. J.R. couldn’t possibly have autism because he was able to do x and didn’t show any y. By definition, his true diagnosis suggests he’s in a sort of limbo. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about PDD-NOS:
Because of the “NOS”, which means “not otherwise specified”, it is hard to describe what PDD-NOS is, other than its being an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Some people diagnosed with PDD-NOS are close to having Asperger syndrome, but do not quite fit. Others have near full-fledged autism, but without some of its symptoms. The psychology field is considering creating several subclasses within PDD-NOS.
Before J.R’s eczema was so bad and he had to wear long johns in the sweltering summer, we had him tested for every allergy imaginable. The results? A possible slight sensitivity to certain allergens. Nothing registering as remarkable.
One of our final ventures into the world of useless examinations came when we dabbled with the DAN protocol. I am not kidding when I tell you we spent THOUSANDS of dollars on testing (well the $600 fee to send his poo to France helped us get there), and NO TEST gave us any real answers.
Even when his “levels” (and forgive me, it’s been so long since we did this I forget the correct terminology) registered “within normal limits” the doctor would rain on our parade.
“Even though this blood / piss / poo / spit / whatever / test reads that J.R. is not deficient in blah-blah-blah, we’d better keep an eye on this,” said the man with the Gucci shoes. Take a wild guess what the DAN doctor suggested we do next….RE-F***ING-TEST! He promptly wrote out another script with his Mont Blanc pen.
My point in all of this? Until I printed out that beautiful first grade, first term report card, J.R. had never scored conclusively in the middle of ANYTHING!
Language Arts, 78, “tries hard.” Woop woop!
Mathematics, 71, “great effort.” That’s what I’m talking about!
And here’s the kicker….Science, 75, “motivated student.” With a score of 70-79 being a “C,” that puts J.R. RIGHT SMACK DAB IN THE MIDDLE OF AVERAGE. HIP HIP HOORRAYYYYYYYYYY! GO J.R., GO J.R., GO, GO, GO…..
Okay I know some of you are thinking I am smoking crack, and that is fine. I do know that many of you get it. And that’s why I write.
I am not at all basking in mediocrity (well maybe a little); my simple point is that for once my son REGISTERED. He may be slightly missing his mark, but at least he’s on the map! No more pussyfooting around in grading his abilities, inabilities, blood count, or poop color. And fewer and fewer will be the days I read the term “emerging” from his school reports. J.R. is officially poised on the top of the bell curve (requesting he race his scooter down). Let’s just hope he turns right.