That my dear people is the question. See, I can say people. According to my stat counter, I get about 60 hits a week here on this little blog. I don't have that many family members, and I don't keep reading it and posting more that often either, so there are those out there who ARE reading this insanity.
Yesterday I received an annonymous comment. It's under the "The (Not So) Chosen One" post. So I responded to what she, I'm assuming it was a she, said. And then she left another comment. She's right, I don't know who she is, however I would like a name to associate with the comment.
When I read the first comment, I perceived it as she was bashing my husband. When my friend Jenn read it, she perceived as pity for James and his disability. When Jason read it, he said simply "I like James as much as I can like him. Some days that's more than others, however that goes the same for ALL the kids" Which is quite true.
I've never fully explained what James' "issues" are. So maybe it is mis-perception on the part of the commenter about the actual situation. She called it "sad".
See, I don't see my life as sad at all. Trying, frustraing, angering, yeah, those all fit. Joyous, happy, celebratory, yep those too. Hurtful. Enough to make you want to cry yourself to sleep some days. On other days, you just want to throw a party in celebration. Isn't that how EVERYONE'S life goes though?
Now about James. The commenter also mentioned his "developmental disorder". I can see how she could have that mis-conception. After all, I've never explained All About James. So let me do that now. I'll list off the disorders and then I'll explain the, k?
ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disoder), ADHD (Attention Defeceit and Hyperactivity Disorder), Severe Sleep Disorder, SID (Sensory Integration Disorder) Mod-Severe, Mood Disorder NOS (Not Otherwise Specified), Severe Short Stature, Borderline Asperger's Syndrome, RAD (Reactive Attachement Disorder) and he has poor body (all of his body) control.
OK, what does all of this mean. Well the disorders you can look up yourselves. WebMD has a good write up on the basics of both ODD and ADHD. For the RAD, go to http://www.radkid.org/. What you'll find is that with the combination of the ODD and RAD make for a very argumentative and defiant child. Hell, part of the name is defiant. As far as the Doctor and I have been able to figure, the RAD came about from an extended time that James spent with his father where he was fed, kind of, and taken care of, in the barest sense of the word. That's the stark reality of the situation folks, no hiding under the blanket on that one.
James doesn't sleep unless he is medicated. I have really bad insomnia myself, but this is a step further. It's common for kids on the Autism Spectrum to not sleep. Autism? I don't see no steenkin' Autism on that list. Well, no, you don't. You see things that are ON the SPECTRUM. Borderline Asperger's (and the only reason it isn't full Asperger's is because he behaves differently at school and the teachers never see ALL of James) and ADHD are both on the Spectrum. Which means they have aspects of Autism. Sleep disorders, obsessions, ticks (also known as Stimming), and social interaction problems are all there.
James can't be boiled down to a bunch of labels for you to understand him. By the way, the Mood Disorder is a nice way of saying he's suspected of being Bi-Polar. However, a child can't be diagnosed with Bi-Polar until they are a teenager, I'm not sure why this is, but thems the rules. I could sit here all day and write a very long and drawn out post about James and his disorders.
I want to make this clear however. There isn't anything "developmental" in the delay department, in the disorder department, that is going on with James. Academically, Physically (aside from his size), Mentally he's all "developed" where he should be.
There are some out there who would say "take him off the meds, let him be who he is fully". Well, here's the beauty of this, he's MY kid, not yours. We choose to medicate. We have also recently reduced his medications. I don't know if he'll ever be med free, that will be a choice he'll have to decide on when he becomes an adult.
We are homeschooling because of who he is. I understand, from my many years of interactions with the schools, that no matter what they come up with, he will ALWAYS have problems. There will be no "just getting by" for him. I causes him upset and frustration, and me too. Why put both of us through that?
I think that I've just made things clear as mud. Oh well. Just don't tell me my life is sad. Or the situation is sad. Or that James is sad. That's just not the case. Until you have lived a day in these shoes, your perception of our reality will always be, just that, a perception.
And in the immortal words of Forrest Gump "that's all I've got to say about that."