Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Reality of Not Catching Up by 2

Don't worry, preemies catch up by age 2. 

Well, that's what they say anyway. I've been struggling with the fact that Cohen, in theory, should have been "caught up" by the time he was two. He will be three soon and he's not caught up. Oh sure, he's on the charts now and when people ask us if he's "normal" now, we generally say yes. Because he is normal to us. 

Last month we took Cohen in to the doctor to express some concerns we have with some of his behaviors and lack of fine and gross motor skills. Today I was wandering through the notes from his pediatrician and there it was...sensory integration disorder and developmentally delayed. For some reason, it hit me hard. Really hard. It's a hard pill to swallow. We've known that Cohen isn't where his peers are. Knowing it yourself and then seeing it there in black and white is different. His doctor has recommended that we take him in for a comprehensive evaluation, which we will be doing in June along with a few other appointments prior to that. 

My sweet, sensitive boy who has overcome so much is delayed. Trust me, I know it's not the end of the world. I know that things could have turned out so differently, I don't need to be reminded of that. The labels don't make a difference to us. It's just hard for this mom's sensitive, protective heart to see those words. To see confirmation of what you've known but have been hoping you were wrong about. 

Cohen has always been "delayed". This is why preemies are given an adjusted age, to account for the fact that really they weren't supposed to be born until weeks or months later. But remember? "They" say he was supposed to catch up by two. And yet, here we are. He lacks a lot of motor skills. He grunts or yells at kids, even though he has the words, he can't always seem to make sense of them or use them appropriately. Some days, everything is a battle. Not just because he is exerting his 2 year old need for control, but because in his brain, he can't focus and can't process many of the things around him. I struggle with knowing how to help him. 

As parents, we just want to protect our children. We don't want them to get made fun of on the playground or feel like they aren't good enough. We are starting to realize that the things he was supposed to grow out of as he became an ex-preemie, may be things that he struggles with for years to come, maybe even a lifetime. I don't need Cohen to be the best at everything he does. He doesn't need to have straight A's or be the captain of the football team. I just want to be able to teach and guide him to be the best Cohen that he can be. However that looks, if he catches up now, in the future, or if these are things he will deal with his whole life. 

1 comment:

  1. Watching your kids struggle is HARD. You guys are doing such a great job with Cohen, I love the little man that he is and wish we lived closer enough to come over and play! Good luck with your upcoming appointments, I will be praying for you all :) *hugs*