Ninja Turtle’s Journey Continues part 2

Posted On February 6, 2014

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So, Ninja Turtle had her school district evaluation yesterday.  The results were not exactly unexpected, but still overwhelming at the same time.  For those of you who have not followed along thus far, this is Ninja Turtle.




She is almost 3 and a half now.  The current state of the union is an alphabet soup list, including PDD (pervasive developmental disorder), ODD (oppositional defiant disorder), ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder), and mild to moderate autism.  PDD is also an autism spectrum disorder.  On one hand it feels good to know that I was not crazy and my child does have something going on that makes it so that her little brain does things differently than that of other kids her age, and at the same time it is incredibly overwhelming to try to think about what is ahead of us and what the future is going to hold for her.  

As a parent, we all just want what is best for our children.  We want them to have all of the opportunities we had, and often, the ones we did not as well.  And so, when you are the parent of a special needs child, it is hard to adapt to the knowledge that things won’t always necessarily be the way you pictured them when you gazed at the ultrasound photo, or into the sleeping face of your newborn child.  

A friend suggested I take some time to mourn the life I thought was ahead, so that I could accept what the reality was going to be and I could move forward.  But you know what?  I don’t like that idea.  I don’t feel as though I have to mourn anything.  I feel as though this is a blessing in a way.  

Let me explain.  Most kids learn to say I love you around when they learn to use complete sentences, and often, that phrase is thrown around a lot and often said to a lot of people.  My daughter is 3 and a half and we only very recently heard that for the first time.  To me that means that that “I love you” was earned, and she doesn’t say it to anyone other than mommy and daddy, and she does not say it often.  

Each day, I learn something new.  Each day is full of challenges and triumphs and new experiences.  Each day we learn a new thing about what she can or cannot handle, and each day we find new reasons to smile and take joy in the life we have been given.  


For today, I will revel in knowing that there are things we can do to help her and soon, she will be able to begin school and her learning adventure will begin.


2 Responses to “Ninja Turtle’s Journey Continues part 2”

  1. Uncle Bill

    Speaking as someone with a MEd in special education and a PhD in psychology, she is way too young for an ODD diagnosis and I would say an ADHD diagnosis as well. At her age the best that can be said, Best?, is PDD. This doesn’t mean that she will not fit these diagnoses later on, they are just not usually applied until the child is several years older.

    PDD is specifically applied to those individuals too young for the other diagnoses.

    Hang in there, we are here if you need us.

    • Lisa LaVergne-Pottgen

      Uncle Bill, The ADHD part of it they have actually been telling us she has had characteristics of for about 2 years now, but that the standard of care is that the diagnosis will not be “officially applied” until she is 4, but that sometimes it is blatantly evident in severe cases as early as 3 to 3 and a half but that they cannot treat it until she is 4. They leaned toward the ADHD because she is absolutely 100\% incapable of sitting still at all and is constantly in motion.

      All of that being said though, these are “educational diagnoses” which apparently is vastly different from a medical diagnosis, and I need to get her back in to the neurologist again to further quantify what the school board therapists and psychologists are saying as well. A lot of this is still foreign and new to me, just trying to get a grip on everything. We have an eligibility and staffing meeting in a few weeks and then hopefully I will have a better grip on what exactly we are dealing with, but I can\’t even make the appt with the neurologist until I have the report in hand which will not be until the next meeting.

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