Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Great Checkup

Well, back to the original intent of this here blog thang.

Today, The Boy went to see his psychiatrist for a checkup. Since he's seen her, he's been having a very mild time of it. (Thank you, God!) I have to say that it was a very nice checkup. She asks him lots of questions. Today, she seemed to be gauging his anxiety levels. He's not a huge worrier but he does tend to worry about things more than most 6 yr olds. It's hard to describe. He's not an anxious kid. But if he needs something to stick to a regimen or schedule, he really needs it to stick. Example: today, we had his doc appointment at 9am. So that meant missing morning school. He asked me when he'd get to school and I said probably some time around 10:30am. He immediately did a mental check of his class schedule and realized he wasn't sure what the class would be doing at 10:30. The class schedule had recently changed and he got pretty upset over the fact that he wasn't sure what they'd be doing at 10:30. Now, if an adult did that, I'd think they had serious problems. When a six yr old does that, I think, wow, they're headed for quite a rigid scheduled life. Anyway, I assured him that he'd find out what the class was doing once he got there and he shouldn't worry about it. He calmed down immediately. And what was so interesting about his self calming? I watched him - it was like he made a mental decision to calm down. I mean, honestly, he was so upset that his fists were balled up and his whole face was scrunched up in that panicky freak out expression we get when we're about to lose it. I thought he was going to flip out. But I watched him get a hold of himself and it was like he said, ok, I can deal with this. And he just calmed down. I thought that was interesting. I wish he could do that every time he was upset. Are you kidding? I wish I could do that every time I was upset!

The only other stuff going on is the continuing exaggerated blinking. It's not real bad these days. And he has this new verbal tic. Hard to describe. I need to start finding a way of embedding sound clips on this site. But it's like, while speaking, he's subconsciously doing this quick blowing out of the mouth but he'll flip his tongue in a way that...I don't know how to describe it. It ends up sounding like if you were pretending to hock a loogie but very softly. I have no other way to describe it. As his doctor pointed out, it's not so severe that you're taken aback. Most people don't seem to notice it. And, those of you that have 4-6 yr old children in your life know that they're all making some kind of noise almost constantly. It's a very experimental age. With most kids, you can tell they're just trying stuff out. With The Boy, you can pretty much tell that he doesn't realize he's doing it and he can't control it. But hey - it's a very mild tic given the spectrum of tics.

The doctor asked if he had been making any progress in his maturity development. He is quite an interesting little guy. He's brilliant and that is very apparent when you meet him. But being incredibly smart doesn't always mean you're mature. And I think that tends to be a problem for The Boy. People meet him and note his ability to communicate way beyond his age. He can read texts that you and I might struggle with. Granted, he won't know what all the words mean, but he can read and write better than a lot of high school students I know. He can add and subtract the most ridiculously large numbers. His hobby is making multiplication charts on the computer - and not using a calculator - using his head. And not just 12 by 12 but 15 by 15 or larger. People experience these things in him and accidentally classify him as an older person than he is. He's so smart, we expect him to be able to function with the maturity of a junior high kid. But he is the quintessential 6 yr old. He loves burping and farting and slapstick humor (wait...that describes most grown men....hmmmm). He loves to dance with wild abandon. He loves to run around large areas until he falls down. He likes to spin until he falls down. He loves Care Bears and could care less how many boys tell him they're just for girls. He will get right up in someone's face, introduce himself and start asking them their name, age, house number, etc. He has no boundaries like an older kid would have.

His doctor said something very interesting today. She said The Boy lives in a very happy world where people are nice and friendly. Where everyone is helpful and loving. It's a beautiful world he lives in. When the real world (or negative aspects of that world) intrude on his world, it's still hard for him to deal with at times. That may be where the anxiety comes in. But we discussed how it's a lovely world The Boy lives in. And it's sad that, some day, he'll need to realize that not everyone is part of that world. I love that part of him because it's part of what makes him so generous and loving. But I fear his world because it's what makes him trust anyone. As his doctor put it, "He knows no strangers." We're teaching him. But I still see the confusion for him. When we try to explain dangers of strangers, why he can't play outside alone, why we can't leave him in the car alone, why he has to stay close to us, why he can't open the door when the doorbell rings, he'll accept our rules. And he'll accept that we're saying there are people out there who aren't all that nice. But I can see that younger mentality wrestling with - how can anyone be mean or dangerous? Everyone is so NICE! It's a normal part of growing up. But I think the point here is, most kids in 1st grade have a much better grip on that caution with the unknown. Not all. But most of the ones I know are not still as trusting as they were when they were 4 or 5.

Boy I'm really rambling here. I don't really have much direction in my thoughts today. I guess The Boy's duality still amazes me: his brilliance that rivals kids much older than him and his youthful trust in the entire world that speaks of a much younger kid. It's wacky. And I love it.

Anyway, I'm thankful that the TS tics are minimal at this point. And his anxiety seems to be at levels that he can control himself. His doctor says she won't need to see him until July 2007 unless something comes up in the mean time. That made me pretty darn happy.

Pray big. Expect miracles. Yah baby!


Trish Ryan said...

Yay Liam/Yay Lynette! Praise God for answered's to more in 2007 :)

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad the checkup went well! And, that was great that Liam was able to calm himself down. You're right - I wish everyone could do that!

Liam's belief that the world and everyone in it are nice and kind and lovely seems like a very special "problem" to have. I know that, for his own safety, it's important that he develop a more cautious view. But, I just keep thinking that Liam sees people like God does - that there is good in everyone and that everyone is deserving of love and capable of giving it in return. I wish I could see the world that way.

Kristen :-)