I never used to understand the emphasis or importance of ‘diagnosis’. Even as a second grade teacher, I hated the thought of labels, and how they instatenously put someone/ a child into a certain ‘bracket’ or box. Even now, the thought of labels doesn’t sit well with me. But I’ve been floating in this land of increasing frustration, never ending questions and total lack of answers now for a good year and a half. The laughable part is, there hasn’t been anything ‘good’ about it. It’s nothing short of debilitating. This land I speak of? The land of the undiagnosed.
As a parent, you know your child better than anyone. And it isn’t an easy feat to firstly admit to yourself that something isn’t quite ‘right’. But it’s another thing entirely, to put it out there in the world, especially to medical professionals. It’s equally as hard as it is frustrating when those questions and thoughts you have regarding the observations you’ve made of your child go unanswered or played down. It’s a feeling of defeat, which quickly turns into questioning your own parenting ability.
‘Maybe I just have no patience ?’
‘Perhaps he’s just acting like regular threenagers?’
But deep down, you know. You JUST KNOW. Let’s call it mothers intuition. Or maybe I’ve just been around enough children in my profession to know when your own is ‘spirited’.
You see the thing about my spirited one is; he’s brilliant, but thinks he knows EVERYTHING, even when he doesn’t. He’s intelligent, but conveniently forgets all the ‘rules’. His vocabulary is exemplary, as is his back chatting skills. He’s relentlessly persistent – which will be handy in years to come, but not right now when he’s persistent in pissing us off. He’s infuriating, but can also be such a delight. He can push EVERY.SINGLE.BUTTON, yet never the button you have asked.
You would think that would be the worst of it? Wrong. The worst part is we don’t have answers, we don’t have any concept of how to deal, we don’t have solutions, suggestions or a starting point. We really have nothing, but him, and us. Navigating our way through the unknown.
The land of the undiagnosed is rough, it’s a wave of never ending storms, with the odd rainbow of highs, but a lot of dark lows. For now, we may not have answers, but I know that the storm clouds will eventually pass. My gut tells me that whilst we may never actually have a ‘label’ (which may actually turn out to be a good thing), we will figure things out. We will learn ‘our way’ and our little free spirited one will have his chance to shine. He may not do things our way, but that may be the lesson in all of this; we shouldn’t tame these special spirits simply to ‘fit in’ in this world, but the world should transform to embrace the free. 🌿