I came to a realisation in the wee early hours this morning when Pudding was slumped next to me on the sofa snoring. (Yes, more vomiting. And yes, I’m fed up of the smell.)
I was thinking about the fact that he has possibly acquired some different labels without us even being aware of it.
When he was first given the ‘development delay’ label, I found it very difficult to take on board. It was confirmation of something that I had been worried about for a while – that he wasn’t progressing as well as his peers. It meant he was walking a different path to what I had always expected from my children. And although I had wanted to find out what was going on and had sought help, it was hard to hear those official words. But on the plus side the label also carried with it the hope that things might change – that he would catch up at some point.
Of course he was then given his primary diagnosis of Hunter Syndrome affecting the brain. We have no idea what his potential is under the clinical trial or if gene therapy ever comes available. But he is unlikely to ever catch up with other children his age. Any development he makes will be slow and achievements will continue to be hard-won.
Now he is five years old, health professionals may now be more likely to use the term cognitive impairment or learning disability. And the difference this time is I don’t mind at all. My true realisation as I’m writing this is that it just doesn’t matter. This time it’s the label that is catching up with my acceptance rather than the other way round.
He’s my Pudding, whatever the label.