Friday, July 15, 2011

My Warrior


This kid has been through more crap in his 13 years than most people go through in a lifetime. He was born in the usual way; on a hot September morning. The pregnancy was normal. Cravings, prenatal care, and morning sickness included. He was an observant baby. Except he didn’t really smile. He was observant and would analyze his surroundings. Then he became mobile and that was when the “fun” began.

When he was 12 months old, he used his toes like monkey paws to climb out of his crib…Every night! (Which is why I now co-sleep)

When he was 15 months old, he used a kitchen chair, a phone book, his booster seat, and the countertop to construct an amazing tower…to get to the Oreos on top of the fridge. (I thought for weeks that very smart mice or WyrdDotD was getting into them…she hates Oreos…another story for later)

That same age, he could get a full gallon of milk and pour himself a glass using the floor as balance so he could dunk said Oreos.

When he was 20 months old he started sneaking out of the house by undoing no less than 3 dead bolts…because he wanted to play outside at 2 in the morning. I started sleeping on the floor in front of my apartment door because he would still get out of bed by crawling over me. It was then he also started reading books that I had never read to him before.

When he was 2 years old, he used 2 pumpkin-carving saws to open a locked car in the parking lot……he wanted to honk the horn. It wasn't our car. :/ He did it again 3 weeks later because Mommy locked HER keys in the car :/. I let him honk the horn as a reward...might as well.

When he was 3 he cussed out his teacher because she was FORCING him to sit in Circle Time to learn his colors. And I quote, “I can SPELL my colors, you BITCH! Y-E-L-L-O-W! Yellow! I’m going home!” He managed to sneak out of the classroom, made it down the hall, out the main door, across the parking lot and across the street.  He then walked the 3 blocks home. He was halfway up the stairs to the house before they caught him. They took him back to school and called me. I had to go get him anyway because he was cussing out the Principle.

When he was 4 he was showing signs of altered mental processes. He would never color outside the lines. He would get very angry if he couldn’t form his letters correctly during manuscript lessons. If someone used an exaggeration, he would start to cry. Example: “Raining cats and dogs”. He was unable to use any form of his imagination. If you asked him what if cars had square wheels he would simply say, “They don’t.” If you asked him to draw a house with no windows, he would refuse because he said it would fail building and fire codes. But he could complete a 1000 piece adult puzzle in 5 minutes and was learning multiplication and division.

Of course, I was highly scrutinized. I was a single black mother with 3 young children. I had little higher education outside of high school and I was underemployed. No one really focused on WyrdKidG. They just thought I was a lazy parent. He would not get completely diagnosed with all his mental illnesses for at least another 10 years.

Jump ahead to 2010. After many tests and evaluations, in home workers, therapies, and school suspensions, my learning to advocate for not only WKG but myself as well, paid off. His support team got bigger. We got smarter. And the mental health professional community finally listened and determined that my brilliantly intelligent and emotionally delayed child was, and is, one of a kind.

WyrdKidG has, to date, 5 **co-morbidities, 4 of which I can describe here:
I Asperger’s Autism:  Asperger’s is a lifelong developmental disability that affects the way a person communicates and relates to people around them. People with Asperger’s have difficulties with everyday social interaction. Their ability to develop friendships is generally limited as is their capacity to understand other people's emotional expression.

II Bipolar-II Disorder: Bipolar disorder is an illness that affects thoughts, feelings, perceptions and behavior ... even how a person feels physically (known clinically as psychosomatic presentations).  

III ADHD: Children with ADHD generally have problems paying attention or concentrating. They can't seem to follow directions and are easily bored or frustrated with tasks. They also tend to move constantly and are impulsive, not stopping to think before they act. These behaviors are generally common in children. But they occur more often than usual and are more severe in a child with ADHD. Adults and teens with ADHD may have difficulty with time management, organizational skills, goal setting, and employment. They may also have problems with relationships, self-esteem, and addictions.

IV ODD: ODD is a condition in which a child displays an ongoing pattern of uncooperative, defiant, hostile, and annoying behavior toward people in authority. The child's behavior often disrupts the child's normal daily activities, including activities within the family and at school. Many people with ODD also have other behavioral problems, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities, mood disorders (such as depression), and anxiety disorders. Some children with ODD go on to develop a more serious behavior disorder called conduct disorder. With conduct disorder, more violent acts are performed such as harming other children as well as destruction of property.

WyrdKidG is fully aware of all his illnesses. Most times he thrives, or even just gets by, on the love he receives from us, his family. Other times, when it gets bad, he’s crying and raging, destroying everything in his path, all while wishing he was “normal”. We hold him, kiss him, and love him and explain that no one is ever truly normal. We fight the good fight every day until we win. That’s why we are Wyrd…and he’s my Wyrd Warrior.

I love you WKG.


** Thank you WebMD for providing straightforward objective definitions to the conditions listed here. (in other words, please don’t sue me.)

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