Today Tessa is getting an Early Intervention assessment.
But I’m writing this post back on Monday. Right now she is sitting on the floor screaming. She won’t stop. I pick her up and she screams. I try to hold her close and comfort her. She pushes me away. I try to snuggle, she screams and pushes. She hasn’t napped well today so I think it might be teething. I get a dose of medicine for her and she pushes it away. I put her in my lap, cradle her so it’s easier for me to get the syringe in her mouth without spilling and she pushes it away twice more. Then, for no apparent reason, she changes her mind, holds the syringe tightly and puts it in her mouth, sucking the medicine out.
She’s been screaming and crying for a half hour or so. Maybe longer. It’s hard to keep track when she does this because I just want it to stop but I’m powerless to do anything. Every now and then she stops for a minute, distracted by something, then begins again.
I’ve gone back to turning on the television for a 1-year-old. I hate it. But with Graham it was a necessity at that age. It was the only thing that would let him focus on something hard enough to calm down. Finding Nemo used to be on a continuous loop at our house.
I’m not really that concerned about Tessa’s assessment today because I don’t expect it to be the last one. A few days ago something clicked in my brain. Tessa isn’t just my late bloomer. Something isn’t right.
The screaming, there’s that. And there’s some gross motor delays. At 14 months she still doesn’t stand unassisted. She doesn’t walk. There’s communication. She has no words. She doesn’t point or wave. Sure, she can do the physical pointing and waving motions and does them, but her pointing is never to a specific thing and her waving has nothing to do with hello or goodbye. Receptive language doesn’t seem like it’s made any real progress in months. She responds to her name usually, but doesn’t seem to understand anything else.
She doesn’t present just like Graham, but in my mind I’ve already diagnosed her.
I know I could be wrong. It could just be that I am seeing similarities because of the way Graham used to scream when he was that age. But I know what I see isn’t nothing.
She’s stopped crying, finally. I’ve bribed her with gluten-free cookies and a fruit pouch from my Type A swag bag.
She stands at the coffee table, holding herself in place, swaying a little, her eyes still ringed a little with purple, the hair on her forehead still stuck together with sweat.
Graham has just come off the bus. He is upset and a little disoriented because a substitute driver on his bus drove past our house. He does so well but he still struggles with the simplest things sometimes. So do I.
I am hoping Tessa’s struggle, whatever it is, is as easy for her as possible.