Click for a great article on diagnosis of childhood mental disorders and CD.
As a child, College Guy had a myriad of interesting attributes that I thought all stemmed from being born a boy.
Upon birthing my second son, I finally recognized that it wasn't ALL BOYS who acted like he did; He was Uni-Que--pronounced just like that! Since then, I have since discovered the connection between malnutrition and it's influence in cognitive and social development.
I recall our first years of intimate communication--in a language that only Mom could understand. And until the speech therapist intervened, he and I lived in our own little talking world. For him, speech was not delimiting-- his excited, enthusiastic personality burst every boundary.
He fit most of the symptoms of aspergers, but we didn't discover that until high school, so the label didn't limit him. Early on, he was summed up by educators (at school and church) to be-- in one word: Challenging.
As a child he was always learning, searching, thinking outside the box--and then outside the house, outside the yard and down the street. His wandering mind disappeared around the corners, searching and investigating, without any fear or worry about consequence.
Now as a college guy, he still lives outside the box, sleeps outside the dorms, at the cousins' house and who know where else this week (his phone is on the fritz).
And he's off to Alaska to serve a church mission. He had to pass extra tests and the 20 page questionnaire that I completed that had 200 questions verging from serious to absurd.
"Can he brush his teeth?" Yeah, but does he? I don't know. I did my best, but what can you expect--sometimes Mommy calls the dorm and he laughs at the question, thinks I'm not seriously inquiring! "Well, ARE YOU brushing your teeth?"
What More CAN A MOM DO?
Yeah, he has become fully functional, completely capable, diligent and dutiful and I'm sure going to be a positive missionary in every way, but I did wonder at one point whether this one would even be able to clean a bathroom.
Now he can, the question is WILL HE?
I think the key is that because I didn't know anything was different about him, he was treated with high expectations as if there he was abysmally normal.
I hope society's expectations continue to also be that high.
Reality Bite: And if you get the chance before your delightfully challenging child is grown, watch the movie "Temple Grandin". That woman is marvelously inspiring.