Managing expectations


We have an assessment booked with a Psychologist. It’s coming up soon. I have had really mixed feelings about it. The feelings timeline looks something like this:

  • Sad
  • Nervous
  • Excited
  • Confused about whether or not we need an assessment
  • Silly for thinking we need an assessment
  • Convinced we do need an assessment
  • Nervous
  • Anxious
  • Impatient
  • Confused

And on and on it goes. I’m still not really sure what the predominant feeling is. Every day is a new day, and looks completely different from the previous day. A very challenging day followed by an incredibly amazing day and vice versa.

Eric and I have decided that our only expectation of the assessment is that we hope to leave less confused than we enter. We hope the decreased confusion will help us focus our efforts to support Maddy’s development better.

can'ts into cansA diagnosis might help us do that, but we have no idea whether or not a diagnosis is possible or in Maddy’s future at all. A diagnosis won’t change what Madeleine’s strengths and weaknesses are. A diagnosis won’t take away the things that she finds challenging, and it definitely won’t take away all that makes her amazing and special.

To be completely blunt, Maddy’s delay’s are not really a major concern of mine. A diagnosis in itself is not really a concern of mine. What is a concern of mine is her inability to perform many activities of daily living without experiencing significant frustration. What concerns me are the constant red flags that indicate that Maddy experiences the world as an unsafe place. It upsets me that because of these challenges, our family is really not functioning well as a whole.

We are working towards supporting Madeleine’s development, because we hope that helping her meet more of the age appropriate milestones will help with her frustration levels, and help her to find safety in the world. I don’t really think it needs to be said, but for the sake of clarity, what we’reĀ not hoping is that we will change who Maddy is. We love Maddy for who she is already. We just want her to experience the feelings of safety and comfort that she (and everyone) deserves.

Will an assessment get us even slightly closer to that goal? We have no idea, but we’re willing to try.


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