Back to our quest for a diagnosis!
We arrived at a hired hall for the OT to complete her assessment. I was armed with snacks to keep Moglet #2 going and a big, thick, engrossing book, allegedly to keep me distracted. My theory was that if I wasn't constantly watching, I wouldn't be second guessing what the final report would say. You see, I might have been stumbling around in the dark for years, but now my eyes were wide open. This meant that, particularly as I worked 'in the field', I was in some kind of over drive, imagining all sorts of issues and possibilities, driving myself more than a little bit bonkers in the process. On that day I was determine I was going to completely hand over my son to his assessment. I wasn't going to watch, I wasn't going to comment, and above all I wasn't going to write that damn report in my head.
I did tuck myself in a corner, trying to lose myself in my novel, but it was completely hopeless. Every time I heard Julia give Moglet #2 a new direction or introduce a new activity my eyes and ears snapped to attention, and I was drawn back to what was happening in the room.
Leaving wasn't an option. I had suggested on the drive over to Moglet #2 that I might wait outside and "Let them get on with it."
No go. For the first time in this whole process, he was anxious about the assessment. I could immediately see was being completely selfish; ashamed, I backtracked. Of course I couldn't leave. This wasn't about me or what I was feeling, it was about my son and what he needed. Once again I needed to get over myself and just get on with it.
The assessment started with gross motor skills and balance. Very soon it was obvious that Moglet #2 was struggling. He wasn't distressed or panicking, in fact he was happy and calm, even having fun. Julia had put him completely at ease, but he wasn't finding it easy. Any worries he had about the assessment appeared to have vanished, while mine were still very much there.
I sat in the corner and set about mentally beating myself up. How could I have not seen the extent of his problems? With balance for example? I mean, look at his core body strength...
The assessment was long, but at the end Moglet #2 was as fresh as a daisy, the mark of a skilled OT.
"All done!" She announced breezily. "That was brilliant! I now have a comprehensive picture of his fine and gross motor skills, plus his sensory profile."
I waited, wanting a few scraps of information to take away.
She looked steadily back.
"Report will be ready in three days, I will email it straight to you."
She was giving nothing away, completely professional, she needed time to crunch the data and draw her conclusions. I knew that, just at that moment I didn't like it.
The next few days passed, the assessment as far as Moglet #2 was concerned was forgotten, any anxiety forgotten too. It takes a lot to worry my second son for long! Any lasting anxiety is usually related to the performance of Manchester City!
Finally the phone rang and it was Julia.
"I am e-mailing the report now. It's password protected. Read it, digest it and then ring me back when you are ready."
I opened the email and there it was, shiny and new, winking at me from the inbox.
I opened it.
In a nutshell, in clear practical diagnostic terms, the report told us that Moglet#2 presented with :
1) Significant problems with motor co-ordination difficulties, consistent with a diagnosis of DCD (dyspraxia)
2) Significant problems processing sensory information in the sensory seeking quadrant.
3) Border line problems in the sensory sensitivity quadrant
4) Clear difficulties with postural control and balance activities. Difficulty maintaining an upright position against gravity. Related to poor processing of information from the vestibular ( balance and movement) sensory system.
5) Significant difficulties with proprioception.
6) Difficulties with bilateral coordination and sequencing.
7) Marked difficulties in handwriting, particularly when 'free writing', i.e. Not copying.
So, Moglet Parents, how do you feel about that?
Until next time...