July 29th, 2010
It’s dangerous to be a kid now. I’m not just talking about the pollution, imminent water crisis or threat of terrorist attacks; I’m talking all the developmental and psychological disorders that seemingly didn’t exist when I was a toddler. Now, I’m not being so naïve as to say that they didn’t actually exist then, or that they’re made up now – what I am saying, is that if I was a toddler right now, my mom would have been in serious trouble.
My son, Mr. Adorablepants, is something of a lone wolf, of course – he’s two, so it’s sorta hard to tell if that’s an actual personality trait or one I’m just wishing upon him. I’m kind of a lone wolf in my waking life; I don’t ‘hang’ out with people unless they happen to be The Husband or Mr. Adorablepants.
So when Mr. Adorablepants’ daycare lady told us we should get him checked out because he likes to play by himself, my first reaction was “pfffttt….good.” Then later that night in an insomnia driven panic, I started looking up symptoms.
I should have stopped at ‘pffftttt….good’ I have currently found several developmental and psychological disorders that I’m pretty sure both Mr. Adorablepants and myself would be diagnosed with. Of course, the big scary in this is Autism. When someone tells you they’re afraid your kid is spending too much time by himself and he isn’t socializing properly, they’re pretty much hinting that he might be Autistic. After looking up the symptoms, I’m pretty sure I’m Autistic – which is actually a hopeful diagnosis….I mean really, it hasn’t really bothered me so far.
The symptoms are all over the chart – I picked a few of my favorites:
• Seems to be deaf at times.
• Seems to hear sometimes, but not others.
• Throws intense or violent tantrums.
• Has odd movement patterns such as flapping arms or shaking body, especially when excited.
• Seems hyperactive much of the time; is always “on the go.”
• Is often uncooperative or oppositional during daily routines.
• Seems to prefer to play alone.
• Gets things for him/herself only without asking for help.
• Is very independent for his/her age.
• Seems to be in his/her “own world.”
• Seems to tune people out.
• Repeats what he/she hears rather than using words on his own.
• Is a very picky eater. May eat only 3 or 4 different foods.
I’m no doctor, but this seems to describe pretty much every toddler I know. It actually describes me with the exception of the picky eater and the fact that any hyperactivity I might express is caffeine driven. So I kept looking.
• Social withdrawal
• Hostility or suspiciousness
• Deterioration of personal hygiene
• Flat, expressionless gaze
• Inability to cry or express joy
• Inappropriate laughter or crying
• Oversleeping or insomnia
• Odd or irrational statements
• Forgetful; unable to concentrate
• Extreme reaction to criticism
• Strange use of words or way of speaking
Maybe we’re Schizophrenic….I mean, I make odd statements pretty frequently, and just the other day Mr. Adorablepants ran up to me and declared ‘Dinosaur Rawr! Bear Duck!’ then laughed hysterically. This actually covers ‘Odd or Irrational Statements’ and ‘Inappropriate Laughter’ and ‘Strange Use of Words’. Three strikes……
Keep on googling symptoms….sleep with come (see ‘insomnia’ above):
• get distracted easily?
• have difficulty concentrating on one thing at a time?
• tend to be disorganized?
• have a hard time focusing or paying attention during conversations, listening to others, or while reading?
• often forget things like appointments or obligations?
• have trouble following directions that have multiple steps?
• have difficulty starting and finishing projects?
• tend to procrastinate?
• have trouble prioritizing information?
• get impatient easily?
• often feel restless and antsy?
• lose track of time and have trouble with time management?
• often misplace or have difficulty finding things at home or at work?
• act before thinking through consequences?
• speak or blurt out before thinking about the impact your words will have on others?
• tend to have lots of racing thoughts?
• get bored easily?
• tend to make careless mistakes when you have to work on a tedious or difficult project?
• take risks frequently?
Oh dear, I think I have ADD, I’ll leave Mr. Adorablepants out of this one, he always remembers his appointments and hardly ever procrastinates. Now I’m not so worried about Adorablepants, but I’m pretty sure that they wrote this list by tailing my movements for a week.
Of course, there are other options…..I am pretty thirsty, I hope I’m not diabetic, and the next time I have headache, fever and stomach pains I’ll be googling Ebola before the weakness sets in…..
My point is this – diagnosis should not be left to the Internet. After a long night of google, I have decided that Mr. Adorablepants is a completely normal two-year old and diagnosed myself with Attention Deficit Autistic Schizophrenic Diabetic Ebola. I don’t know what the cure is, but I think it has something to do with turning off the computer and going back to bed…..