Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Living With Extremes

I've mentioned along the way that Son16 has some special needs. Well, in fact, he is diagnosed with four different syndromes. They each play a part in how he (and we) gets through the day. But special days really turn up the thermostat on some of his issues...and Christmas brings two extremes that are hard to deal with in the beginning and a real joy to observe in the end.

The closer we got to Christmas, the more we saw his anxiety begin to peak. This is typical. He just gets so anxious about what gifts he will get. And he can't just ask a few times a day. Oh no. His obsessive-compulsive disorder won't allow for that! He asked dozens...seemingly hundreds of times a day. Over and over we had this conversation this year as he worried about whether or not he would get a Nintendo DS Lite...

Son16: So am I going to get a DS this year?
Me: Now you know I'm not gonna tell you what your gifts are.
Son16: But I just have to know.
Me: I know you want to know, but I'm not gonna give it up.
Son16: Can you just tell me if I'm getting a gift in the electronics category?
Me: Nope. All I can do is promise you that you'll be happy on Christmas morning.
Son16: So that means I am getting one???
Me: No, it means I'm not telling you what you are getting but you'll be happy with the things you get.
Son16: (huffs and puffs and stomps out of the room)

We had that little chat every day...several times every day. And his anxiety level went up every time.

And just when his head was about to explode...Christmas arrived.

And we see the other side of his personality. And let me tell ya, you have not seen unbridled excitement and enthusiasm until you see a kid labeled as 'severe' on the ADHD scale open that gift he has been wanting! Jumping, screaming, dancing, shouting. And the joy doesn't just last for a few minutes. It doesn't wear off as the day goes along. Oh no. Once again, the various syndromes feed on each other and the thrill of the gift lasts for days and days and days! It is fun to see that!

And just in case you are wondering, yes, he got the DS Lite. In fact, to avoid all the bickering, Daughter13 got one, too! And we've barely seen them since Monday morning!

11 comments:

Dirk_Star said...

Great post...

Family is the best blessing and I didn't know how much so until I married the woman who is the perfect mate.

I do the same thing with the gift talk. She calls me the weasel...

If I shake a gift, I guess the gift. She does not allow me to touch anything until Christmas day.

bardouble29 said...

Being a parent is hard enough, but when a child has special needs it makes the challenge harder. I smiled as I read the blog...family is such a blessing no matter the challenge.

radioactive girl said...

It seems like in this case, his special needs are actually a blessing for him...he gets to stay so happy for longer. My 6 year olds each got a Nintendo DS and they have been super quiet ever since. Who knew that's all it would take to get some time to myself?

Teri said...

Gotta love video games!

Starrlight said...

Sounds like a great holiday! Thanks for stopping by!

Meander said...

i hear ya loud and clear. my jacob who has autism goes bonkers over christmas! it starts right after halloween and hits a crescendo on christmas morning. i love the holidays but there is a sense of relief when they are over!

cyndy said...

I like this post. God bless you and your family in 2007

Winston said...

My own experiences do not equip me for understanding or dealing with this situation. But I can imagine. And I do imagine that you and your wife draw great strength from your children, and especially the one with special needs. You are stronger for it. Thanks for sharing those special moments with us. Wishing peace for all of your family for the New Year that is upon us.

Jill said...

Wow, the sounds really cool. I wish I could stay so happy for so long. :)

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I'm sure they were thrilled and good call on getting them each their own system.

Have a Happy New Year!

abbynormal said...

Yes, thank goodness Christmas finally arrived! We don't want anyone to explode. Loved reading about the special needs from a loving parent's perspective.