Confession Thursday ~ My Non-Cookie Cutter Child

Day before yesterday, Little B got a 100 in behavior at school.  He was so excited, he called me when he got home and told me all about it:  “I was so so good and guess what? I didn’t touch even one person!  And I walked with my teacher all day and just did what she did and guess what? I was the best outside when we went to the playground.  And guess what? I was even good in GYM!  Are you so so proud of me?!”  “Yes, B, I am so so so super duper proud of you!”  “Mom?”  “What B?”  “Is this the best day of your life?”  “Uh, pretty close, baby!”

Yesterday, he got a zero in behavior.  Zero.  Zilch.  He did nothing right.  At. All.  And he’ll be the first one to tell you.  “I was bad.  I couldn’t remember how to be good.”  It simply breaks my heart. 

This morning, I tried to get him to do his homework to fill his time while I was getting ready for work.  His paper had a small tear at the upper right hand corner of the page.  It sent him into a rage that I cannot even describe to you.  I offered to tape it, but he shouted NO!  I tried to tell him that it wasn’t important, but he grunted and moaned and stomped his feet anyway.  Needless to say, the homework did not get done.  Hell, he didn’t get a belt put on him this morning.  I tried to get him to let me pin a green clover that I cut out of construction paper, all the while avoiding telling him that no green means you get pinched, but he refused.  It was a rough morning. 

Here’s my confession today, and it’s not a surprise if you’ve been reading my facebook posts on the subject:  I fear my son may have Asperger’s Syndrome.  Not all the reported symptoms or presentations fit him, specifically.  For example, he does seem to use his imagination (although sometimes it’s hard to tell, as he is usually just re-playing an episode of Dragon Ball Z Kai, and wants Little A to stick to the storyline as it was written) and he likes jokes.  However, his reaction to jokes is sometimes over the top, a boisterous “HA HA HA!!” comes out all at once, you can almost see the “light” go off in his head moments after the punch line is delivered.  We laugh at him laughing, and it escalates his reaction.  Sometimes after that, he tries to make several jokes himself to get the same reaction out of us. 

But some things are dead on:  He gets frustrated at every little inconvenience and interruption.  If he has something to say, he wants to say it and be heard.  He often stammers and stutters to put anything from a simple to a complex thought into words.  If you try to fill in the blanks and say a word or two for him, he gets angry.  He wants to say it.  You just have to wait and let him get it out.  And usually it is a pretty profound statement.  He’s got insight and is highly intelligent.  And understand that when I say that he gets “frustrated” I mean he gets angry, very upset, or lashes out at whoever’s closest.  Usually, Little A is the person who interrupts or tries to talk over him, and so she gets hit a lot.  This makes me mad, and Little B gets sent to his room, where he destroys anything he can get his hands on.  Since I’ve been reading about Asperger’s, I’ve tried to change my reaction to this situation.  I stop what I’m doing, check to make sure Little A is okay, send her off to do something else, and sit down and talk to Little B.  I let him tell me whatever it was he wanted to say, and then when he’s done talking, I tell him how it upsets me when he hurts his sister.  I tell him that I understand that he’s frustrated when A talks over him, but that next time, I want him to use words, tell A that he’s not finished talking, and then finish saying what he needs to.  This is very difficult for him to control, but you can see that he’s trying.  And when he does do it, he asks if he did good. 

He has no friends, save for Little A.  And even she sometimes says, “I hate B!  He always hurts me!”  None of the kids at school or church want to sit next to him, they don’t want to play with him, either.  I know, because when I fill in at Sunday school, they tell me this right away.  “B is mean.”  “B is bad.”  “B hurt me.”  When he hears these things, he crosses his arms and goes to sit by himself.  Again, very heartbreaking in so many respects.  First, I’ve been handling this all wrong from the start.  All this time I have done more harm than good.  I’ve escalated every situation to no end.  My son feeds off of the emotions around him, including calm.  I have GOT to learn how to feed him more calm.  This is difficult for me, but I hope will be somewhat easier know knowing that I will reap what I sow with him.  The problems only get worse when he walks out my door, into a world that does not understand him, and a world that he wants to understand so badly but obviously does not at this point. 

We have an appointment with a child psychologist on April 12.  I’ve called the school and requested a SBLC meeting (whatever that is), as instructed by the Pupil Appraisal department of our local school board.  I want to do whatever I can do to get a grip on what needs to happen for him before the start of next school year.  That is my goal.  You see, his current teacher has finally learned how to help him in class.  Next year, we will be starting ALL OVER from scratch.  Imagine going to school everyday thinking that you want to be good, but then you simply cannot, and getting yelled at by teachers all day and made fun of by other kids.  Yeah, I’d probably hit someone too. 

I love my children.  And I’m sorry that this one has been getting such a bad rap all this time, if, in fact, my suspicions are true.  Even if it’s not Asperger’s, it’s clearly something he has little or no control over, and he needs some help.  He is, at the very LEAST, a non-cookie cutter child.  There’s no clear “right answer” to any of this.  I’ve been praying for strength, clarity and patience so that I can give him what he needs, and that he can find his place in this world, with a lot less anger and a lot more understanding. 



About zohrbak

Zohrbak is an old email username I had a while's a made-up twist on two characters from Spaceghost. Zorak and Brak. I'm a geek. I am a married, working mother of 4 children, ages 4-15. I also have interests outside of my children, but I can never remember what they are.
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10 Responses to Confession Thursday ~ My Non-Cookie Cutter Child

  1. YaYa says:

    I definitely think that you are on to something with this topic. Little B and you are always in my special prayers!

  2. I sure hate to hear that. Hope you guys figure everything out soon! Will be praying for y’all.

  3. Taking little B to a psychologist is a good idea. I am sure that you will get a lot of insight there, and that it will benefit your son.
    However, only a doctor can diagnose Asperger’s Syndrome. or a mood disorder — which is another possibility. ( I mention this because a student of mine who I was convinced had Asperger’s turned out to have a mood disorder.) I strongly suggest that Little B also be seen by a pediatrician, who may decide to send him to a child psychiatrist for assessment.
    Consider asking Little B.’s teacher (or someone else from the school like a Learning Support Teacher or administrater) whether she would be willing to write a letter explaining what she has observed in the classroom. This can supply important information in addition to your input as parents.
    It does sound as if he is an unhappy child who doesn’t understand himself why he does the things that he does, so for that reason alone, seeking professional help is a good idea. I hope that things improve for Little B. soon.

    • zohrbak says:

      I acknowledge that I cannot diagnose my child. But that doesn’t stop me from looking for answers, as you well know about me by now. The pediatrician, who we did see last week, is looking to make a referral to a child psychiatrist if the psychologist doesn’t “pan out.” To be quite honest, I don’t know which one does what or exactly what the difference is with all that.

      Good idea about the letter from the teacher. I will see if she’s willing to help me out with that. Thanks, Jodi!

      • I wasn’t concerned about whether or not you were trying to diagnose your son, as I would do exactly the same thing: look up info, etc. My point was meant to be that technically the psychologist isn’t supposed to diagnose medical conditions because a psychologist isn’t a medical doctor.
        A psychologist is someone with a degree in psychology. Usually someone practicing pschycology has at least a Masters degree in psychology. If she has a Ph.D, she may be entitled to the title of Dr., but she would still not be a medical doctorm and so cannot diagnose or write prescriptions. (Dr.Phil fits this category.)
        A psychiatrist is an MD who is a specialist in psychiatric conditions (problems with brain chemistry), in the same way that a cardiologist is a specialist in the heart. They are usually have far more training in this area than a family doctor, and are particularly well-versed in treatment and medications for these conditions.
        A lot of people get confused about the difference, for obvious reasons.

    • Miz Tiz says:

      Yes, probably needs both pediatric specialist and psyche eval. So sad, because I’m sure he is a wonderful, loving little boy……….but obviously, so frustrated and confused.

      SBLC (school building level committee)—–a good thing. It is convened to handle sticky problems. Principal, teacher, guidance person, + an at-large person will meet with you. (I run the schedule for SBLC at my school, and always serve on the committee.) Mostly we use it to discuss whether a kid with excessive absences but passing grades will pass, but there are lots of reasons for convening the meeting. I hope your meeting sheds light on B’s problem. Remember also, if he is evaluated and given a “status” like 504, then certain modifications will be worked out for him and given to the teacher. The teacher is mandated to follow them, and cannot refuse. That is your leverage……………along the years, you will probably encounter at least one teacher who won’t do what he/she is supposed to do for B, and you will have this legal information to support you.

  4. spiceblogger says:

    It’s a heartbreaking story. I can imagine little b sitting by himself in the corner, wanting to play with the other children and not understanding why they don’t want to play with him. 😦
    I hope all your research and meetings pay off, and you can find a workable solution for him.
    You certainly have a great conversation going here. I appreciate the notations on differences btw psycologists and psychiatrists.

    Keep your head held high and keep hugging and loving on that little boy. 😉

  5. Aimee says:

    Ben is in my prayers, and I have faith that he will be fine.

    On a less sincere note, perhaps they will give YOU some drugs to help with HIS problems. 😛 Then, you can share.

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