Progress

I went to Reed’s Parent-Teacher conference this afternoon. I’ve been looking forward to it ever since I signed up at the beginning of the school year. I love the staff at Reed’s school, and they always go out of their way to accent the positives during conferences. It’s about the only time I am guaranteed at least some good news in a meeting about one of the kids.

Today was no exception. His wonderful teacher greeted us at the door, and chatted with Reed and Owen while I filled out a survey. They she pulled out his test scores, homework pages, and notes. She started telling me what a joy he is to teach. How he is surprising her every day with his accomplishments. How well he gets along with the other kids in the class. He is social, engaging even. Wow! Then she pulled out the results of his reading tests.

He is reading between 6th and 7th grade level.

Yes, you read that right. My just-turned-six-year-old first grader is reading at a junior high level. His comprehension is lagging behind that a bit, but at a 3rd – 4th grade level is clearly not something to be concerned about. Her biggest concern is keeping him challenged. There aren’t many books she can offer him that will challenge his reading ability, without the subject matter being way over his head.

If I don’t watch out, he’s going to be smarter than me before middle school.

The Plot Thickens

I won’t bore you with the details of where I’ve been the last month or so. Suffice it to say it’s been a long couple weeks.

I thought Owen was going to be the lucky one here. The neurologist has declared him to be autism-free for the time being (although she recommended another eval after he turns 3 when it can be a little easier to spot Asperger’s). He has been discharged from speech therapy, and although he has started OT, he’s making great progress. Fast forward to Tuesday’s follow-up with the neurologist. I was expecting just a quick visit to update them on his progress since his visit in May. Imagine my surprise when she tells me she has finally been able to access his MRI from last November, and found something abnormal. He has been diagnosed with a Chiari Malformation. My first thought is to be completely terrified. Especially after she writes the order for the pediatric neurosurgeon and explains that he may need a surgery called a “decompression” in which they will enlarge the opening at the base of his skull. My next thought is to be really furious, because he had this MRI a year ago and they told me at the time that it was all clear. Why didn’t someone catch this last year? It turns out that this is the most likely cause of all his developmental delays, his feeding trouble, and his recent unexplained bouts of inconsolable crying (he’s probably having headaches but can’t tell us). My poor baby has been suffering, and it’s because they didn’t properly read the test. Seriously, why even DO the MRI if you’re not going to catch these things?

We meet with the neurosurgeon on November 27th. In the meantime, I’m trying really hard not to research this too much, because I don’t want to freak myself out too badly until I know what we’re dealing with. I have asked a few on-line friends who are dealing ith this condition for their recommendations of questions to ask and tests to request, but other than that, I’m trying to leave it be. Yeah, that’s not going to last long, lol.