and the results all point to the fact that there are no real results.
Overall, the trip out to Penn State was very good. Rob and The Boy enjoyed some much needed father-son time, and their style would have been seriously cramped if all the womenfolk had come along. They ate pancakes for dinner, saw the Nittany Lion, bought souvenirs, listened to loud music in the car, and scratched themselves with abandon. (I'm not completely sure about the last one, but I'm willing to put money on their usual M.O.)
From a medical standpoint, it all boils down to this: The Boy is in the right place, and that is good news. The tests are all overwhelmingly on the side of occupational therapy for his problems. The doctor thinks that The Boy's troubles stem primarily from motor planning delays and less from visual perception problems. She was charmed by him, and she commented more than once on how articulate he is. I guess that twice a week speech therapy for a year and half really did the trick!
She didn't end up telling us too much that we didn't know. We did find out that his prescription has changed, and that we can now add farsightedness to the mix. Luckily, kids glasses are super cheap these days . . .
The doctor said that he has no problem with comprehension and knowledge retention; he is currently operating on the level of late kindergarten/early first grade. His difficulties seem to stem from his muscle weakness and his apraxia. I've talked about apraxia around here before, and, on a very basic level, it means that he has the knowledge and he has the desire to accomplish tasks, but his brain is not wired to tell his body how to do anything. It's a long road, my friends. The doctor did give us some specific visual exercises to do with him, as well as some suggestions for his occupational therapist, but other than that, the visit ended more with a pat on the back and cheese sandwich and less with an official diagnosis.
So that brings us back to the very beginning, which is that we know his symptoms, but there is no name for what causes these symptoms. Frustration has become our permanent house guest.
The boy's neurologist had warned us that we may never know what he "has," and that maybe, twenty years down the road, there will be name and a cause to rally behind. But we are here. Now. The best we can do is to keep on keeping on, stumbling our way towards answers to an unknown question. We seem to be getting pretty good at that.