When my eldest child was 2, he was referred by an Asshole Pediatrician (do I sense a common theme among my doctors or what?) to Early Interventions for speech therapy.

He wasn’t talking, you see, and that coupled with his incredible love for the planets–which, I should add, the MD didn’t know about–made for a strange child. It took a couple months for a case worker to be assigned and ages after that to get the initial evaluations done, because like any state program, the need is greater than the ability to provide services.

When he was finally tentatively diagnosed with autism, I will be completely honest, I was relieved. It sounds weird, to be thankful my child has a disability, but it was the first thing about him that made sense to me.

My son had been rejecting me since he was born and my heart was not only broken, it was smashed to bits by his second birthday. He loved my mother, yes, but not me. If I never came back home, I promise you, he’d not have cared.

Ben and Mommy (colon) It’s Complicated.

He didn’t care for me, and while I’d like to say that it was because he sensed that I was an asshole, his brother certainly (still) cannot get enough of me. At some point I finally realized that it’s him, not me, that has the problem. But parents, of course, always blame themselves and it took years for me to be able to see that.

Ben was in therapy for years, many times a week, both speech and occupational, and it helped. My life isn’t a Lifetime Movie, where I’m played by Tori Spelling and Ben is played by that cute kid that I kinda wanted to strangle from Jerry Maguire, so you know that things still aren’t exactly normal, but they’re more…manageable.

Ben and Mom (Colon) It’s Still Complicated.


Today I owned up to my old demons and pushed the fucking denial aside and called to set up a caseworker for Amelia for Early Interventions.


I did it because it’s the right thing to do. Like it or not.

Maybe, like some of you suggested, her extra brain matter was just her Awesomeness being uncontainable in her skull. A sign of high intelligence. I like that explanation best, I think.

It’s the right thing to do. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

45 thoughts on “Second Verse, Same As The First

  1. You totally don’t have to like it. I’m proud of you though.

    I’m still struggling with What To Do With Chipmunk. His end-of-school report? “Watch him.” Which is the interim between YAY and DELAYS. Which is what??! I guess we’ll see how he does with the three-year-olds in the fall.

  2. It’s so hard to hear that your kid has something ‘wrong.’ Ceara was born with no eardrum in her left ear, and is totally deaf on that side. It was hard to accept that. Even harder when the complicated surgery to ‘fix’ it didn’t work.
    But I did all I could for her, and she’s happy and can hear fine from her right ear, so I guess I shouldn’t complain. But it still pisses me off. Why do crack whores end up with ‘normal’ kids when women who refuse even a tylenol for headaches have to deal with this stuff???

  3. no you dont have to like it at all and while Mira’s autism diagnosis was a HUGE relief, I think finding out that any of my other kids need extra consideration could very well shatter me.

    special needs: it’s complicated

  4. Nope you don’t have to like it. Unlike most I was not relieved to hear Noah had autism. Because, well, I was in DENIAL.
    Facing those “specialists” sucked and still does suck.
    Its the fun roads we travel along as parents.
    I hope Amelia needs very little help and is a healthy average kiddo!
    God I never thought that I would think average ROCKS.

  5. Funny. My motto since WG was born has been, “You don’t have to like it, you just have to do it.” Keeping that in mind has helped me slog through. WG is the same way in her attachment (or lack of). We started an intensive behavioral program with her this week and the social worker was amazed that she had no problems separating from us. We just laughed. WG would be happy with anyone. She gave the lady at Lowes a big hug and kiss because she was putting flowers on the clearance table.

    I’m glad you made the call. I’m looking forward to hearing about Amelia vs the EI people. I have a feeling she will give them the run for their money they so richly deserve.

  6. All of us with special needs kids deserve some Ativan (can you really take it while breastfeeding, because, arrgghh) and big ass box of Kleenex with lotion. I get PTSD feelings when I walk into the hospitals or specialist’s offices. I prefer the in home evals so fewer people see me cry. We already got the kick in the ass to jumpstart the mommy guilt and self-loathing, didn’t we? And what is it with crack ho mommies anyhow? WTF? And so. I love our physical therapist. He got Hannah sitting up in just three weeks. My baby sits! At nine months!! Wheeeee! Average does rock . . . I’ll set my sights on average?

  7. Laughing at the (colon) It’s Complicated… my life would be so much better if Joel McHale would follow me around and narrate for me. I could use it right now especially.

    You are doing the right thing, I hope it goes well with the EI peeps.

  8. I like the extra brain theory. Very fitting.

    And hey, she could very well pass the evaluation with flying colors.

  9. Where are you people getting all your drugs? What am I doing wrong? No one ever offers me xanax or ativan or valium. Either I don’t complain enough (doubtful) or I need a shadier doctor.

    Anyway, I see where the IEP thing can be a label that you think won’t come off, but if you find you need help in the future, won’t it be so much better to have everything already in place? It’s like planning or something. I have no doubt that Amelia’s awesomeness cannot be contained by a mere skull, but hey, why not expose some people she wouldn’t otherwise meet to said awesomeness?

  10. That’s the biggest thing I’ve learned in the 4 short months of being a mom (I know, not long experience, but deal with it). A good parent is one that does the hard stuff when they don’t want to, but know that its needed.

    Like showering. And changing the stinky diaper of the poo-pocalypse. And asking for help from the ones that should be able to help in ways that you can’t.

    Sending prayers for you.

  11. I spend a lot of my time feeling sorry for myself and boo hooing over my son. But, aside from the constant grief, my life isn’t complicated. My heart goes out to you. Being pushed aside by your son, regardless of how he is, has to be hard…for anyone. I know how jealous I get when my MIL and daughter are together…or the fact that I’m not worth a hill of beans when Daddy’s home. I can’t imagine your shoes. As for your daughter, as hard as it is to make the right decisions, sigh. It still sucks. I’m sorry for you. I’m sorry that you have this heartache to bare.

  12. i HATED early intervention; they came as a result of prematurity/NICU stay, i don’t even remember if i had to call- the hospital may have arranged it. whatever. thank god none needed ongoing therapy, cause i may have gone fucking bananas. good luck with that, and good for you…i hope c-girl doesn’t need anything.

    (ps- i’m glad you think i’m cute cause i was hoping you didn’t think i was a total freak for mentioning your hot-mama boobies the other day…)

  13. Having a (now) 13 year old son who was diagnosed at 6 with Asperger’s Syndrome (on the autism spectrum) I know very well the feeling of relief. I was a single mom and was convinced the problems he was having in school with achievement and behavior were a direct reflection on my crappy parenting. I must be doing something wrong when my first grader has a MAJOR meltdown because school has an early release. A meltdown so significant the school has to call me to pick him up because he won’t leave until it’s “time”.

    I hated to have to give him a label to get the services he needed. Hated it! Hated it! Hated it! But it was the right thing to do, so I did.

    You are doing the right thing, and you’ll probably never like it.

  14. Yeah!
    And I like the notion that the extra brain matter was just her extreme Awesomeness and Intelligence.

  15. Good for you. Facing your fears totally sucks, but you gotta do it. And I think that explanation about her brain being too awesome for her skull is GENIUS!

  16. Becks, you’re an awesome mom. To be able to handle the kind of shit that gets thrown at you, you HAVE to be awesome. Sure, a little Happy Happy Oblivion Pill every now and again takes the edge off, but woman, you ARE my Mommy Brained logo in the flesh. Cape and all.

    Oh, and Tori Spelling would NOT play you. As if. I’m thinking Tina Fey, since she’d keep her sense of humor through it all…

  17. Damn. That sucks. But she will thank you. Motherhood is filled with things we don’t really want to do but have to (i.e. have our vagina ripped to shreds by a HUMAN BEING). She will thank you for it, and you are a brave, brave mommy.

  18. We need to start a network of kind hearted and competent doctors called “DOCTORS THAT AREN’T ASSHOLES”. Just think about the demand for that service. . . our phones would ring off the hook. The only problem that I see is that we could probably only find three doctors, nationally, that fit the requirements.

  19. Gotta love that mommy guilt! Totally different but kinda the same. I didn’t want to put Zilla in all day kindergarten, but it was the right thing to do. You are doing the right thing, as much as it totally suck hairy balls!

  20. Aunt Becky.

    I have emailed pictures of my very cute child. distract yourself with our baby pictures.

  21. Better to get going on it and find out later that your baby IS perfect and doesn’t need it than to not do it and be trying to play catch up later.

    You totally did the right thing.

  22. Ok, if Tori played you I totally would not watch. Plus that kid you mentioned must be like 25 now! Hope that little distraction helped.

  23. It sucks that you have to, but it’s good that you are.

    I’m inclined to agree with others about her being so full of The Awesome that her head just could not contain it all. You should tell her that story, when she gets older.

  24. i couldn’t walk a mile, let alone a foot in your shoes. you are a strong and brave woman and you should know that already.

  25. My younger son has Asperger’s, and before the diagnosis, I noticed he had sensitivities to certain foods. I researched the Feingold diet (long before I had the internets) and it helped. I came here to thank you for your comment on VUS. I don’t feel very amazing at all. But thank you.

  26. Here’s hoping Amelia tells the Early Intervention people to go Fuck themselves in extremely clear verbal words. Because I expect her to have learned them from you. Maybe you could also teach her how to punch deserving people in the balls?

    I hope you know I am rooting for you and your kids 110%. Just because I didn’t have these problems with my kid doesn’t mean I can’t empathize with you and yours. And I seriously adore you and your kids, sweetie.



  27. It is a hard thing to do, but you’re right that it is right. A lot of the time, the right thing is hard. I am sending you loads of hugs.

    Her awesomeness being uncontainable in her skull–love it!

  28. Just started reading you, but I’m hooked 😉 Will have to learn more. I do love Violent Femmes tho, it pulled me in! And your blog name kills me ;D

  29. I completely understand how a diagnosis can be a relief. My son wasn’t diagnosed with autism until he was almost 5, because his asshole doctor convinced my for years that he was a “late bloomer”. When he finally became concerned and I called Childrens Hospital here for an eval, the waitlist was a year and a half, and the waitlists for various therapies are pretty much the same. (We ended up driving to another hospital hours away to get the eval…we’d still be waiting!)

    So….I got carried off on a tangent there. GAH. The point was, I get the “relief” part because it feels like finally someone has acknowledged the problem. For a long time there were whispers behind my back about the way my child behaved. I bet those people (they know who they are) felt like absolute shit when he was diagnosed. It wasn’t just me being a crappy mom.

    This is getting rather long, but one more thing….it’s so much better to have the intervention set up and NOT need it than to need it and have to endure the long wait. I have my one-year-old on the waitlist, just in case. You totally did the right thing, even though it does totally suck.

  30. wow. I’m floored. That’s huge. If you were in my city I’d get this round. It’s going to sound all weird, but I do in fact feel inspired by what you did.

  31. My LittleRed Riding Hood never said mommy either until long after talking in repetitive paragraphs (row row your boat for 6 straight hours anyone?) One of the (many) development psychologists helped my mental state immensely when she told us that Red wasn’t rejecting me – instead, she didn’t differentiate me from herself, and therefore had no need to “name” me; that she was so confident that I would always be there that she didn’t feel the need to acknoledge me. Total BS? Maybe – but I ran with it. And those lines of perfectly aligned toys. G-d forbid that one of the toy horses with an invariably broken leg should fall over – I shudder to remember. But now , where we are going ?- college hunting. Don’t know how we got there exactly, but appreciating every minute… And Amelia and early intervention – they’ll spend so much time cooing over her adorableness that they’ll forget why they’re there! And you’ll get to bask in her glory.

  32. I think you should try.
    With you and the Daver by her side………….she can’t go wrong!
    We all suffer from uncertainty in our parenting skills……One thing I see through all your posts is the deep love you have for each of your children. …..

  33. Amelia is going to sail right on through those evaluations. You did the right thing by calling them, Becky. You are an awesome mom, and don’t let anyone tell you different. Or I will go medeival on their ass. 😉

  34. Sometimes being The Mommy sucks.

    You’re a good one, though. I think Amelia is going to rock her way through life no matter what, but hey, sometimes we need to take any help we can get, right?

    I’m hugging you through the Internets right now, Becks.

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