I joined the Army in the '80s when the mantra was "Be the Best That You Can Be". I still sing that ditty from time to time. I know it sounds ridiculous, but that mantra really defined the way that I decided to live my life. And this now extends to my dear son. Quinn has always been different. I remember the caregivers at daycare comment when 6 month old Quinn reacted to other baby's cries--he was incredibly empathetic and would cry as well. As he became mobile, he would never take risks. We knew he'd never fall down the stairs, fall off the bed, or find himself in a precarious situation. He was a very cautious toddler and I was always confident that he wouldn't make any risky moves. Of course that's very comforting, right? He was an observer--he thought through crawling. When he decided it was time, he just did it--no army crawl, just full blown crawling. When he decided to walk--he just stood up and took steps. Potty training? 2 days and he got it. His skills at observation allowed him to perfect the skill in his head first, then physically. It's fascinating really.
As he moved into pre-school, it was clear that this perfectionism was crippling to him. He does not practice--if he can't write his name right the first time, it isn't happening. He started calling himself names--dumb, stupid. I have no idea where he got these; he's never been called this in our home--these are words we don't even utter because they are so mean. His Montessori teachers are nurturing and loving and supportive. I began to see the spiraling cycle that would ultimately create a child riddled with anxiety and a lack of confidence. I knew exactly what he felt like. I could see me growing up through him. I get it.
I don't want him to feel this way; I decided it was time for an intervention. So we made an appointment to get an evaluation at Children's Hospital Occupational Therapy. We recently completed that evaluation.
Let me tell you, I was BLOWN AWAY. My little Quinn is an incredibly bright child who suffers from things most 5 year olds don't. Gravitational insecurity (not having at least one foot on the ground), environmental sensitivities, and processing differences. This doesn't make him a freak; it doesn't make him sick, nor does it make him special. There's no label--he's not autistic, he doesn't have ADD, nor does he have "fill-in-the-blank" syndrome. It just makes him Quinn.
We've had 1 occupational therapy session, along with the evaluation.
Here was Quinn on Saturday at Parker Days:
Sunday, as part of his homework, we went to a park. Isn't it awesome to have homework to go to a different park every weekend?! Right now, per Quinn's request, the park has to be empty. Fortunately, this one was.
Quinn even joined hip hop at school--he's declined and even cried before to avoid all organized activities.
I want Quinn to Be All That HE Can Be. And now I feel like he will gain the necessary skills to get one step closer. I'm so excited to see Quinn use his new skills--watch out world!!