Gabriel’s eyes gleamed with excitement when we entered the small room. The lights were bright for such a small room. The walls were covered with pictures of children of all ages. Then, my son’s enthusiasm came to a sudden pause. “Am I getting a shot, Mommy?” “No, not today.” Back to the excitement again as if there had been no interruption in his thoughts. It wasn’t long before the doctor came in.
It had been about four years since we discussed Gabriel’s development with a doctor. At his last appointment, the pediatrician on his case basically told us, “Just keep doing what you’re doing. No followup appointments are necessary, but call me if you have any other concerns.” We contacted him once after the encouragement of a couple of speech therapists, who thought Gabriel should be re-evaluated. They were convinced that he has autism. His doctor disagreed. So, we left it alone.
It has not been an easy road since then. This is the time of year when many of us are looking back, reflecting and assessing. Gabriel has had many improvements in his speech and other areas. Indeed God is good! But, as we turn our gaze forward, we are also left with many questions and frustrations. As far as we can observe, there is still a gap between his developmental age and his chronological age, and at times, it seems the gap is widening. The Lord is reminding me to cast my cares on Him because He has not changed. He is still good!
At this recent appointment, the pediatrician said she would refer us to the specialist, who deals with such cases. This was the same specialist, who did not want to re-test him four years ago. My heart sunk a little, anticipating that we will have to go down the same road again, leaving us with no solid answers. Perhaps it will be different this time. Perhaps we’ll actually get a diagnosis that makes sense. Those tests and evaluations were never easy for Gabriel. Am I ready to do this again?
After the visit to the doctor, Gabriel and I stopped at a store to pick up a few random items. As we walked across the parking lot, he held my hand. I gently squeezed his hand and playfully swung his arm back and forth. He laughed and said, “Do it again, Mommy!”
I don’t know yet what we’ll do next, but diagnosis or not, I already know what my son needs most.
As we walked back to the car, I told him, “I love you, son. In the end, all that really matters is Jesus.”
(Photo credit 1: Morgan)
(Photo credit 2: Rick Harrison)