As one close friend pointed out to me when he read the report, "I don't know much about Dyspraxia, but I do know Moglet Number 2. He will be fine."
He was right, yes there were difficulties, allowances that needed to be made, provision to shore up and provide, but my lovely second born son hadn't changed over night just because we were one giant leap nearer to hanging a label around his neck. He was still Moglet Number 2.
He was still good at all things he had always been good at,just as he was still challenging in all the same ways ! All that had happened was we had been given a little bit more information to guide us on the journey.
Suddenly I began to be aware that although there were obvious drawbacks to a later diagnosis, there were also advantages too.
Without any kind of label Moglet Number 2 had progressed quite happily through his life to this point. We, as parents, had never, within the boundaries of economics and safety, stopped him trying anything he had wanted to do. He loved being outdoors, he loved playing sport, he approach any new physical challenge with real joy and enthusiasm. Yes, it often resulted in bumps and bruises and admittedly he probably wasn't going to win points for style and elegance, but never ever had we thought of stopping him from exploring his physical limits. We had no reason too. Had we known about his dyspraxia earlier would we have been so liberal? In all honesty it is hard to say. I do know that as much as I fought against it, once I was aware of his potential difficulties I was never again quite so relaxed with new adventures. Don't get me wrong I never vetoed anything but my Mummy radar was always beeping loudly. Sometimes I miss the pre diagnosis days of not being the one filling in the extra forms, or quietly briefing the sports instructor. But its like Pandoras box. Once the information is out and known, you , the one who craved it have a responsibility to use it wisely and to good effect. However, nothing I do now will curb my son's desire to be active and adventurous, and thank goodness for that. The first blessing of late diagnosis.
Moglet number 2 has struggled with some things, often unseen , for most of his life. That fact has made me weep and wail, but it has also provide him with a great resilience and an ability to look outside the box. He has found ways to cope with situations quite simply because he had to. His thinking patterns are often different,as are some of his physical reactions. The key word here is different, not wrong. We need people like Moglet number 2 to take us beyond the ordinary and to show us that there are new ways of approaching problems, new solutions that we have not yet seen and that there are more colours in the rainbow than we had ever imagined.
Alongside these struggles and creative solutions Moglet Number 2 has always shown a great empathy for others; for those who are different and quirky and who may be perceived by a wider and more narrow minded community as not fitting in. I mentioned very early on in our chronicle that Moglet Number 2 will always fight for the underdog. He knows what it is like to be on the outside looking in and maybe, who knows, a late diagnosis has helped to develop this special sense of empathy of which I am so proud.
A few weeks ago a question was raised amongst a group of special needs parents about whether they would wave the magic wand. The magic wand we have all imagined on our dark days. The one that would solve all the cares by taking away whatever need our child had. The answers were varied. Some people, possibly those in the midst of a difficult day, week, year, immediately answered "Yes!" And yet, once we began to discuss it further the black and white lines began to blur.
My initial reaction was that I would love to take away the daily struggles Moglet Number 2 has. To obliterate the difficulties he has in organising himself, with remembering, with sleeping, writing. Surely to make all of those things disappear could only be positive? But then I thought what if those daily challenges have made my son the boy he is to day. The one with a wicked sense of humour, who finds something funny in even the blackest of situations. The one with the sparks of creativity and a love of the unusual. What if by banishing the dyspraxia, I dismantled the very personality of my son?
You see I will never ever know what makes my son the way he is. But I know one thing. This thing called dyspraxia is part of him and although the temptation is to see its pit falls and its draw backs, I know there is a positive side. I know that it can teach and mould and give. And that is why I am not prepared to take any risks with any magic wands.