So the next step was to see the Occupational therapist. Having a report to back us up from the Ed Psych meant that, in theory, we could have requested and achieved an appointment with a NHS OT. But once again we felt that time was short. We felt that we had lost so much precious time stumbling around in the dark, that the thought of being added to what I knew to be a long waiting list, filled us with dread. At this point, let me stress this was not about us having no faith in the NHS OTs. I knew through my work how skilled and dedicated they were. It was far more about me have having lost faith in my own skills. How could I have missed this? Guilt, meant I couldn't bear to wait.
So once again we opted to pay. I know we were so lucky to have this choice and believe me I was,and remain more, than thankful.
The OT recommended to us lived a goodly distance away, but she turned out to be worth the travel time...and more. Her name was Julia and she was practical, calm and empathic.
Moglet Daddy and I drove through the beginnings of a snow storm for our first meeting. She had asked to meet us alone, without Moglet #2, to get to know us and our concerns. On this occasion there was no holding back! Now I was too fuelled by anxiety, peppered with occasional relief, to care about being or even appearing vaguely normal!!
She listened, asked more questions, made notes and finally dropped the bombshell.
"From what you are telling me and from what I have read in his Ed Psych report I think there is a high chance that Moglet #2 has dyspraxia. However I can't diagnose that."
Cue stunned silence.
"I beg your pardon?"
"Only a paediatrician can diagnose. They have to rule out any other possible neurological causes."
Cue terror. Other neurological causes? I had never considered that there might be something more serious and fundamentally wrong.
Moglet Daddy's turn.
"So are you telling us we should be seeing a paediatrician?" More that a little weariness in his voice. We have drive over an hour in the dark and snow on a 'school night'. A wasted journey is not an option.
"No, I am telling you that you WILL need to see a paediatrician. After you have seen me."
I can tell Moglet Daddy is not happy. "Why don't we just go to a paediatrician now?"
What he means is "Cut out the middle man!"
Julia remains calm. "Because without evidence, like the concerns of a qualified OT, the paediatrician won't see you. Or they will see you but the first thing they will do is refer you to the OT"
So we stay. We talk, explain, share. She tells us that the next step is to see Moglet #2 for a full motor assessment. She will also assess his sensory profile. The assessment will take 2-3 hours. We set a date.
As we leave she recommends a book to us. It is entitled simply "Dyspraxia- the Hidden Handicap ." By Dr Amanda Kirby.
"Read this" , she says. "But be warned it is very comprehensive."
I look at her, puzzled.
"Isn't that a good thing?"
"Yes. But dyspraxia is complex, far reaching and each diagnosis is individual. Read it with your son in mind."
It was the best advices he could have given and the wake up call I needed.
Yes, we were on a journey.
Yes, we were discovering and re-evaluating.
But Moglet #2 was still Moglet #2.
I needed to remember that.