The first part is here, if
you need to catch up. I have been
reading through a number of articles on child behavioral issues – ADHD,
processing disorders
, oppositional
defiant disorder
, etc. I’ve been
trying to keep my anxiety levels down… it’s just not healthy to get too
stressed, especially over something that will ultimately be a long process of
changes and assessments (at least, that’s what I tell myself when the anxiety
starts to peak). On top of that we are
still trying to get pregnant and I’ve got this whole thyroid thing that flares
when I’m stressed and makes it harder to stay pregnant, yadda yadda yadda, SO…
I’m trying to stay relaxed. (Oy. Don’t know if I’m succeeding.) However, I actually feel a little better
after reading through some of the articles. There are a few things I can rule out, right off the bat. And a few I can consider possibilities, and
one or two of those might be borderline at that. If he is anything other than a very spirited,
strong-willed kid with slower developing social skills. I just want to be informed for Chance’s
upcoming pediatrician visit. 

Our biggest concern at the present is Chance’s
aggression. We just can’t have him
beating up kids, whether he means to or not. I’m not really all that concerned with his energy level or “lack of
focus”. He IS three, and sometimes you
just need to learn coping skills as you grow (and that’s for kids both with and
without ADHD).    

My other big concern, of course, is the whole act of
labeling. No one wants to see their kid

My frustration with these kinds of labels is that sometimes
they draw new distinct lines within the range of “normalcy”, lines that weren’t
there before. I think there is a big
difference between someone who has a neurological or behavioral disorder that
is affecting their quality of life – i.e. trouble in school, making friends,
etc. – and someone who might just have strong personality traits, such as be a
sensory seeker as part of a personality type.  (You know, like I’m sure many athletes are.)  Whereas the realm of normalcy used to be a
broad band of personality types (with the edges of “normal” a little fuzzy),
today it seems much narrower, the extremes (and not so extreme) getting nudged
out and labeled. The tolerance for different types of people seems to be
shrinking. I’ve seen the labels get used
as a smoke screen for pre-judgment. Or
used as an excuse to not put any effort into a child (“that ADHD kid is a lost
cause”).  Or, worse, used as a reason to
be more critical of those kids; pushing harder to “make them fit”. 

This isn’t about conforming or non-conforming. Some conforming is OK. Societal norms keep a lot of bad behavior in
check. You know, not flinging shit at
people, keeping your penis in your pants. I’m fairly certain we would have even more violence and crime than we
already do if most of our society didn’t conform to the law. (And this is spoken by someone generally
considered as pretty non-conformist.)

It’s about not
squashing a child’s spirit! It’s about
letting people be who they are, without facing censure. It’s about finding the best possible
environments to let kids grow and thrive while still being themselves. 

Because I study literature I sometimes get nostalgic for
those eras where often the great creative minds were drunks, or “angry”, or
spacey, or paranoid nutjobs… and people just kind of rolled with it. Personality quirks were just… quirks, and
your overall accomplishments counted for more than whether you “fit in”. Whereas I am so pleased by the great leaps we’ve made in medicine, I am sad that
it seems to be classifying us into test tube people.

OK, warning, mini rant coming.  I personally don’t have hangups with ADHD or
any other disorders – I did grow up with some experience of it, after all* –
and whatever my son needs, my son needs. But I get awfully sick of
other people’s issues. And their smug
opinions about parenting. I frankly
don’t give a rat’s ass what anyone thinks about my parenting, but don’t judge
my three-year-old son. Don’t label him
without knowing him. Don’t lecture at
him when he’s running around just having fun. I don’t care whether you think he’s moving at an inappropriate speed or
not. If he’s not running into anyone or
hurting anyone, worry about your own kid and leave mine the fuck alone. (Can you tell I’ve had this happen?) 

I’m almost certain I will have more mini rants as this
process goes on. Please bear with me. 

And everyone who has offered advice, support, nice comments…
THANK YOU so much!  It means a lot.     – the weirdgirl

*I have two brothers who were diagnosed ADHD while young and
my oldest brother is mentally disabled as well, though it is fairly
minimal. Since I was the kid with
“experience” I also got every special needs babysitting or tutoring job. For the record, some of those “out of
control” kids that the other babysitters complained about really weren’t that
bad. Thus, my cynicism of labels was