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This has been a post that I've put off for a while, because I don't really know how to write it. It may come out like a journal entry - but here we go.
Isaac is our first-born; he's almost 4. This year he's had a bit of a journey, and has taken Tathiana and I along for the ride. It began when his pre-school, which we think is great, suggested that their school psychologist observe Isaac a bit. We agreed and she proceeded to spend several hours over the course of several weeks observing. Afterward, Tathiana and I sat down with her and proceeded to hear that it might be worth consulting with a clinical child psychologist because Isaac does present some signs of potential risk toward a learning disorder, or an even more severe issue like Autism or Asperger's. As you can imagine, that was not easy to hear. We knew he likes to be alone sometimes and is a bit rigid, but hearing from some professionals who seem to really have genuine desire for Isaac's best interests motivated us to seek some help.
We began weekly therapy with a very well-recommended child psychiatrist/psychologist who specializes in early intervention here in Belo Horizonte. We have enjoyed her interaction with Isaac, her interest in helping us find other means of intervention, her instruction to Tathiana and me in how to interact with Isaac, and her explanations to us in parent conferences about what she is observing. We feel very confident with her and in her desire to help Isaac develop.
These weekly sessions have been ongoing for 6 months now. There are good times and bad times for us as we wade through the haze of just what God is doing and how Isaac is developing as a little person. We have received some second opinions and, also, involved Isaac in complementary group sessions and speech therapy.
To sum it all up, if Isaac does present a learning disability or other issue, we are calmed by the fact that he has been responding well to therapy and the consensus is his signs are mild at most. Everyone has commented on how intelligent Isaac is, and how he is sensitive to others - so there no real concern for any lack of mental capacity. We have appreciated that the professionals aiding him have been hesitant to give an official diagnosis due to his young age and mild signs. We have decided to establish only 1 language at home, Portuguese, to help him gain some independence in his language skills in preparation for actual school (which he will start in Feb of 2017 per Brazilian law). Lastly, God has given us some unexpected opportunities for Isaac to interact with more children, and time away from our apartment to be free to run, play and even argue with other kids. He is still using diapers, so there's still some things to work through - even if in our own hearts.
This has all been an exhausting journey both emotionally and financially. But as any parent will say, we'll sacrifice anything for the good of our baby boy. We have made it this far with a positive perspective for our little boy and his future. Kids are resilient, parents not so much! These next 6 months will be interesting as we welcome another baby into our home, and as Isaac likely begins school. We appreciate any and all prayers now for the next season that awaits the Elam's in Brazil.