Sometimes God sends people across our paths. This one could have been an angel sent to minister to me or she could have been simply obedient to His purposes. I don’t know. Sam’s appointment with the speech pathologist was filled with treasures of insight and wisdom and healing.
Although we both knew his oral motor skills were just fine, she gave me some really good ideas of what might be happening and what to discuss with his pediatrician. In addition, this woman has a lot of experience with children on the autistic spectrum so we had the opportunity to discuss Anna.
As some of you may know, I have always carried a certain amount of responsibility for Anna having PDD because we started this journey with her failing to thrive as a baby. I’ve always blamed myself for her not getting the nourishment she needed when she was little because I was nursing her. Not blaming myself exclusively, mind you, but I always held on to a certain amount of responsibility. Many people with good intentions over the years have told me that I couldn’t blame myself, but their words were taken as intended..with good intentions..but they were empty because they held no authority.
As the speech pathologist and I were talking, she told me that 99.9% of all the children she has seen and worked with on the spectrum have oral motor problems and that especially considering how dramatic Anna’s were that she was certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that her oral motor problems as a baby were only a reflection of her spectrum disorder that she had been born with, not a cause of it.
The grief experienced by parents of children with special needs is a funny thing…it pops up at the most unexpected times. I can go for years thinking I had come to a point of peace and acceptance (and I have) only to break down crying at the oddest moments (like the time I went to see my niece at a dance recital and realized that Anna would never be able to participate because by the time she had acquired the gross motor skills she would be too old).
It was like that yesterday. I didn’t realize the weight of the guilt I was still carrying until Someone had come along and taken it away.