life Parenting


March 18, 2021

First, work has been a lot. We found out our program filled on Monday (relief!). And very soon, I will find out who will be matching into our residency program (the matchees and everyone else will find out tomorrow, but we get a heads up to prepare presentations and announcement materials etc). I cannot wait to find out who will be with us!

This is the second year I have run the recruitment process and feel incredibly invested in who has decided to come to our program. However, last year this all happened at the beginning of the pandemic, so we were completely distracted.

This time it feels more suspenseful. Honestly counting minutes.

To all those matching, I hope you are very very happy with your result. (Between the two of us, Josh and I have had some happy match days and some rather unhappy ones. It did all work out in the end though!)

Then, there has been home / kid stuff. We received the results of the psychoeducational eval (kid to remain anonymous) and were given a diagnosis (that will remain nonspecified). The diagnosis was one that I kind of . . . suspected, but it was a little bit jarring to hear it pronounced quite definitively from a professional. I do feel like now I have a guide/path and list of concrete things we can start doing to help and that in itself feels helpful. But it’s also a lot to process as a parent.

Obviously, I would love to share more, in part because I recognize vague blogging is annoying, and also because — for better or for worse — I often process things here. Trutfully, when it’s my own #%(*&$, I have no qualms about sharing a lot (infertility! PMDD! etc). But obviously this veers sharply into someone else’s life and private information, so clearly I cannot go further.

(I do feel okay going THIS far, though. And I have to say that on my end my first feelings were of guilt like oh man, what did we do wrong. Even things that at my core I know to be unhelpful thoughts, like: if I stayed home, would things have been the same? But I’ve already mostly gotten past that.)

Rest of today:


Wait impatiently for match list

Some work admin stuff

Viva in her “big kid” class! So far transition has gone really well. She even got to start swim lessons this week!


  • Reply Gillian March 18, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    On the neuropsych eval and diagnosis: I have SO been there! But once you get the intervention and support your kid needs you will all be so much happier! My 13 yo has some learning differences and when they gave us a litany of diagnoses it definitely felt overwhelming. But we have learned the system and gotten him the support he needs and he is doing great now! Happy to chat more privately, just drop me an email.

  • Reply A March 18, 2021 at 1:35 pm

    I’ve never hated waiting so much in my entire life. And today I found out the Deans Office knows where we matched, which did not help my feelings of ARGH LET ME KNOW ALREADY. 22.5 hours!

  • Reply Katie March 18, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    Sarah, I’m a school psychologist (still very early in my career) who loves your blog. Without knowing details of the diagnosis you received, I just wanted to chime in and say feelings of guilt like you describe are EXTREMELY common upon hearing assessment outcomes, but your kid’s unique difficulties are unequivocally not your fault (you know this, but I think it can be good to hear anyway). On the contrary, by getting them assessed, you’ve done something extremely helpful for them. You now have info about how their brain works that will empower you/teachers and staff to give your kiddo evidence-based supports that they deserve – and to help them learn to self-advocate for their needs, too! I know from reading your blog that all 3 of your kids are bright and full of potential. Wishing you best of luck!!

  • Reply Coco March 18, 2021 at 5:17 pm

    isn’t our term of reference #1 task is to worry ALL the time as parents? if we do too much, too little, kind enough, yelling too much, too protective, too let go..etc. when in doubt I try to remind myself that parents play an important role but not determinant of who they will be.

  • Reply Brenda March 18, 2021 at 5:56 pm

    I look forward to hearing more if/when you are ready to share. We have an “atypical” and it’s been a journey. She’s an absolute delight in her own way.❤️

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa’s Yarns March 18, 2021 at 7:41 pm

    Gosh parenting guilt is just the worst isn’t it! I’m glad there is more awareness around issues kiddos might encounter. That was not the case when we were kids. I know my brother had undiagnosed dyslexia for quite awhile that made learning way more challenging. Same goes for my dad. You’ve got bright, intelligent kids. It’s hard to accept how much of their development and potential challenges are out of our control.

    I hope match day goes well! My cousin went through it years ago and I remember thinking it seemed like a cruel process to find out where you matched in an incredibly public way. It’s fine if you get your first choice but if you are disappointed, I wouldn’t want to find that out in such a public way!!!

  • Reply Robin March 18, 2021 at 7:44 pm

    One of my children had a similar evaluation when they were four and it was so revelatory! In my child’s case, one of the interventions involved about a year of physical and occupational therapy and the outcome was remarkable. I had a lot of feeling at the time of the evaluation but I’m so glad we did it and I really hope you have an equally satisfying outcome.

  • Reply Jenn March 18, 2021 at 8:48 pm

    Yup, as an educator I’ll second everyone’s comments – you’ve done an amazing thing by getting your child evaluated. It is so, so, so helpful to have an individualized education plan for students who have certain learning needs and it helps them get the support they deserve that will make their school journey so much better!

  • Reply Marci Gilbert March 18, 2021 at 8:49 pm

    We did a neuropsych eval for our almost 6 year old just last month. It was very difficult to just get to that part and figure out who to evaluate him, and then get an appointment. Hopefully we are on a good path forward to help him succeed, you too! Parenting is tough.

  • Reply Erika March 18, 2021 at 9:40 pm

    I think what you are feeling is 100% normal on the parenting front. We haven’t been through this specific situation, but I can relate to the full circle of feelings as a parent and just wanted to say you’re doing a great job. This stuff isn’t easy but putting yourself out there for your kids and understanding them better is exactly what excellent parenting is made of.

  • Reply Amanda K March 19, 2021 at 7:20 am

    Sending my love. My five year old was diagnosed with Tourette’s in December. She’s amazing! Handles it all so well and I can already see how resilient she is. I however need to cry to my therapist on occasion.

  • Reply Sue March 19, 2021 at 8:02 am

    Sending support! As a mom of four with one of mine having severe ADHD, and having stayed at home, and raked myself over the coals for whatever it was I did or didn’t do, I can say that it’s not your fault. Took me a while to get there! Getting a dx helped us immensely with supporting him. Xoxo

  • Reply Nina March 19, 2021 at 9:10 am

    I went through a similar situation late last year. (Oh 2020!) By the time a diagnosis was confirmed it really was not a surprise but I still really struggled to work through it and there were a lot of tears. Which I’m sharing to say, hang on in there, roll with the emotions and it will all start to work out. Thanks for sharing what you do and to echo others, your kids are clearly awesome.

  • Reply Lana March 19, 2021 at 9:33 am

    I have ADHD, which runs in my family. Mine is mild, but some of my family members have a much more intense form. As an aside, I really even hate the “disorder” part of the acronym, but whatever. We all immigrated from a country where any kind of neurodiversity or mental health differences were highly stigmatized, and I don’t even know if such evaluations were offered. How I wish that they were when I was a kid! Now that I have my own kids – still very young – I am predicting that at least one of them may have ADHD, since it seems hereditary. I’m so glad that we will live in a place where we can obtain the necessary evaluations and support. Finally, some of my most well-adjusted and successful friends have had some kind of learning difference…dyslexia, ADHD, etc. And I’m sure I’m not the only one to have observed this.

    All that said…if only I could somehow delete all my irrational/unhelpful thoughts and feelings…guilt and all.

  • Reply Irene March 19, 2021 at 9:45 am

    Good for you! Navigating the road to an assessment is tough no matter what but during a pandemic it must have been even harder! We have two diagnoses for my daughter and suspect a third will be coming (need a different evaluation for that one). It’s scary sometimes to hear that a problem won’t necessarily be something they “grow out of” because none of us would ever choose for our kids to have a harder path.

    Of course there’s guilt and “what if”s but it’s best when
    I choose to focus on making sure my daughter knows that every one is complicated and struggling with something. I’m doing my best to help her feel that she’s amazing just how she is. I tell her often that out of all the kids in the world I would choose her to be my daughter 1000x over.

    I bet you already do this really well. You are doing everything right and kids are more resilient than we think!

  • Reply Jessica March 19, 2021 at 3:45 pm

    We had one of our 6 children evaluated int eh fall, and while the diagnoses was hard at first, we loved having so much information and data about how their brain works! So much so, that we signed three other kids up for evals this spring. It’s a little bit excessive, but we realized that we are so much ahead in understanding this one child, that we want to be able to understand the others as well, even though we doubt there will be any diagnoses for them. It’s truly such a gift to be able to give them and their future teachers.

  • Reply EmGeneva March 20, 2021 at 12:47 pm

    Hi There – Big Fan of your blog. My child was diagnosed at 2 years with a psycho educational disorder after being rejected from several private preschool programs.They are 12 now and just received an award from their middle school for academic excellence while being in a regular school program (hybrid do to the pandemic but still).

    Interventions work. You got this. You better believe I will send the college acceptance letters to all those preschools.

  • Reply Beth March 22, 2021 at 11:15 pm

    I can see why you love your community so much – wonderful comments precede this one! I do not have any experience with a diagnosis – my children are still very young; however, I wanted to offer a slightly different perspective. I “know” you mostly through Best of Both Worlds and Best Laid Plans; I’ve only read a couple of your blog posts so far. I find your life and work inspiring. I’m truly using it as my mental model of how I can be successful at my career, my family life, and my own personal development. I grew up with a stay-at-home working mother (4 active children is frankly a lot more work than a standard job) and, oddly enough, I do not have a single close friend who is also a full-time working mother. It has been so helpful to hear how you and Laura plan and conduct your lives. Given your news, I wanted to hopefully provide a little encouragement – not only is your work helping those you know and those you see in your medical practice, it is also helping strangers who probably rarely reach out to say so. Thank you for all that you do – it is enriching my life!

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