You would think things would get easier with B as she gets older but it's actually harder. It's tough because you feel like with time things should get easier or I at least should get to a point where I can handle everything better.
I think it's because when she was younger I had no idea that she wasn't a "normal" kid. I had a whole plethora of excuses to pin her behavior on: Of course she can't keep her hands to herself, she's just so affectionate. Well she is a messy eater but I'm clumsy and spill things too. Sure she has a hard time paying attention but it's because she's so active, sitting still too long can be tough. I know she has a speech problem but her little brain just works faster then her mouth can keep up. I realize she can't follow directions but it's because she's just immature for her age. I know she likes to sort things by shape and color, she's probably going to be very organized!
I still hold a lot of animosity toward her first pediatrician who I had addressed these concerns with. She basically gave me the same excuses to explain away these behaviors that I would give teacher, family and friends. I realized finally that both her doctor and I had no idea what we were talking about.
So we went to a new doctor. Again I addressed my concerns, again they were brushed aside in a sense and my worries about her development and behavior turned into me looking like the paranoid mom who was digging for a diagnosis. I started to believe that too. But at some point when my frustrations led to many nights on the computer and more tears then I can count I went to a new doctor in the current pediatric office (thinking a fresh set of ears may help) and said "I know in my heart something is not right". I'll spare you the details on the appointments and tests that ensued but I will say the I was right. And to this day we are still undergoing tests and her list of diagnosis continues to grow. We aren't close to done but we have come a long way.
Now as B ages the differences between her and normal kids become more apparent. Simple things like puberty and sometimes remembering basic hygiene is a challenge. Her mannerisms separate her from her peers. Her emotions further build a wall up between her and normalcy. And I do the best I can to deal with it all but it's not easy.
I am constantly second guessing how to handle her. I have no clue how to effectively discipline her because I can't tell when she is doing something because of her disability or because she's just misbehaving. How do you punish or teach a child when you honestly can't pinpoint the cause of their actions? Do you let it go? Do you treat her the same as you would a normal child who does the same? And because as she grows her responsibilities do as well it becomes an overwhelming challenge for us both.
I still don't know what to do. I feel alone all the time and I am so frustrated I cry. But I don't want sympathy. I have a child who in spite of a few problems is healthy, happy and has a good heart. I just need to vent sometimes.