Oh, I had such big plans for this summer. I was going to be a pro-active, advocating parent. I would single-handedly fix Young Son's dyslexia! He would be tested and evaluated and diagnosed, and I would work with him on this remedial reading/phonics tutoring program I bought, and it would make everything all better so he would be ready to attack fourth grade with confidence and mad skills. Problem solved.
But first I had to find a tester. It took me a few weeks to locate the lone clinical psychologist in town who could do it. I was able to get an appointment for a few weeks out. Step one: Check!
I was relieved, yeah, but also really nervous -- what if he told me there were other issues? What if he tried to tell me Young Son has ADD or whatever and needed medication? I knew in my heart that wasn't the case, but I'd heard a rumor that all the kids in school who are on meds go to this guy. He's pretty much the only game in town, and what if we didn't like him? What if he was a dick? I couldn't trust this diagnosis, which would affect my son's entire academic career, to a dick. But how would I find someone else who could give us a diagnosis before school starts? Pleaseohpleaseohplease let him not be a dick....
The Ex and I showed up at the appointed time and felt immediately at ease. The doc was not a dick; rather, he was a really nice guy who asked all the right questions. I knew they were the right questions because I had spent several days Googling dyslexia and was now an authority, just as a pro-active, advocating parent should be.
The doc interviewed us extensively about Young Son's entire life. I was horrified to realize that I could not recall the vital stats of my son's early life. When did he start to talk? To walk? Did he hit the normal developmental milestones on time? I didn't know there would be a test -- I hadn't studied! What kind of mom doesn't recall that stuff? A sub-standard one, obviously; not a pro-active, advocating parent. Despite my failings, we felt it was successful interview. My main criteria were satisfied: The doc was not a dick and he asked all the right questions. I could only hope that my answers had contained some kernel of reality and I hadn't just been making stuff up*.
The first testing session available wasn't until mid-July. So far away! I asked the doc if I could go ahead and start the magical tutoring program that would fix Young Son's dyslexia. No, he thought it would be better to wait until we had a diagnosis, since the program might turn out to be inappropriate for whatever issues the testing turns up.
Weeks passed. It was time for the first two hours of testing in mid-July. Young Son liked his 'teacher'. I was afraid he would be frustrated by the testing but he seemed to enjoy it well enough. Two more hours of testing in late July. Didn't quite get through it all, so he needed one more hour, which was scheduled for early August. That's OK, we still had time to get a diagnosis in hand before school starts.
But oh noes, early August came and the doc was out sick. Soonest we could reschedule was the day after school starts. Then, of course, it would take a while for the doc to compile the results and give us the report.
Crap is officially upgraded to shit.
So we will start fourth grade with no diagnosis. No answers. We won't have a report in hand in time for the meeting I'd scheduled, like a pro-active and advocating parent, with his old and new teachers for the week before school The $200 tutoring program is sitting, untouched, in its box in the corner. Young Son's dyslexia remains unfixed.
And don't tell anyone, but I'm still kind of afraid that the diagnosis will be more complicated than I'd hoped, and that there won't be one magical tutoring program I can use to single-handedly 'fix' it.
You know, I'm starting to think this might turn out to be more complicated than I thought.
* Yeah, I do that sometimes. I know you're shocked.