As I was driving yesterday afternoon, a thought came to me unbidden: I had in my possession a business card for the child psychologist who was part of E.'s evaluation team. The one that told us to come back in a year and see where he was then. The impression A. and I had at the time was that the evaluation team was split and that she might lean towards the diagnosis.
In any case, we were back in the queue for the re-evaluation. When we called this summer, we were told we would need to fill out the paperwork again, go through the whole process. This didn't seem quite right, but we couldn't remember any explicit promises that there'd be a shorter line for the re-eval, so we did as we were told.
So I called the psychologist this morning to let her know about the recent rough patch and get some suggestions. Which boil down mostly to the fact that the adults around him need to know and understand his communication limitations. While we need to do some advocating, the main key will be getting his teacher to communicate more fully and on a regular, preferably daily, basis. I suspect this will be harder than it looks on paper since most of my communication with the teacher so far have left me unsatisfied; she never provides all the information I'm looking for and is not so good on following through. It will take a lot of effort on our part.
There was, of course, an ulterior motive in making the call today, and I didn't have to do much of anything to get movement in that direction. The psychologist pulled up E.'s record to remind herself of the assessment. I answered one of her questions that we were in line for the re-eval, but didn't have an appointment set up yet. She mentioned that she didn't see why we should have to go through the whole process again since he's already an established patient and they have his history on record.
Turns out that there was a change in the administrative staff this past summer, so our status of re-eval was not handled properly. We got a call this afternoon to schedule our appointment--not for a little over a month, but better than what they'd been telling us before.
I don't think a diagnosis will be a cure-all. But, as I explained to the psychologist, I think it will give us better access to services and some terminology that will lead to a better understanding of the cluster of issues E. has--or at least sound official enough that a teacher might take heed. Currently, there are several things his therapists are sneaking in without them being part of his IEP; with an autism or Asperger's diagnosis, he would change categories and these issues would be addressed head on in his paperwork.
We've still got an uphill battle. We need to address the current problems now and not let them go any further. And I already know it won't be easy. But I'll take the small victory for today. I'm too exhausted not to.