It wasn't too bad - the Boy was in his portion for about an hour, while I sat with the social worker and answered a bunch of pretty detailed questions. My husband stayed with the Boy so things didn't get too out of hand.
And now, we wait. It's pretty much a given that he will qualify, and that's good, even if it isn't official yet. It does take a while, since there are so many other kids in need of these kinds of services as well.
This preschool is designed to pick up where the Early Intervention Program left off - to work with him on his speech and his remaining sensory problems, so that by the time he's ready for kindergarten, he'll make a smooth transition and (hopefully) we'll never know he had any problems.
Back in February, when we first explored the option of Early Intervention, I was terrified that his therapists were going to tell me he is autistic. When I mentioned it, not one corrected me and told me I had nothing to worry about. All said it was entirely possible. And I have to admit, it scared me.
When you find out you're pregnant, you begin those grandiose plans. You have hopes and dreams and intentions (and it's moot whether the child will even be remotely interested in those hopes and dreams and intentions - you have them and that's that.) And you don't really think about the bad things that can happen, you focus on the Kodak-moment-type things.
But sometimes the Kodak-moment-type things just aren't meant to be. And in the months we've spent working with the Boy - teaching him sign language first, then words, helping him work through his sensory issues - I've learned a lot not only about him, but about me. This was not what I saw when I first laid eyes upon him. Not one bit. I didn't see the impatience and the frustration and the two steps backward for each step forward. And I found that I can be infinitely patient sometimes, and not so much other times.
When he was initially evaluated last February, one of the therapists asked me what my goal was, what I wanted him to do. Well, that was simple enough. All I wanted was to hear him call me Mommy. That was it.
I got that wish this summer. And the little boy who wouldn't talk a year ago is now a bright little chatterbox who never stops talking. The experts have pretty much ruled out autism. But even if they hadn't, we all learned we could deal with his problems. They weren't the end of the world. Not even close.
So now, as I wait (impatiently, really) for the official results, I find I don't really mind the waiting so much. The end result will be completely worth it.