Is it a teenage thing or a special needs thing?

A few weeks ago I popped over to see Wonderfully Wired’s blog as they had liked one of mine and I found a post which really made me think.  WonderfullyFi asked “Is it a boy thing or is it something more?”  Now, unlike WonderfullyFi’s sons, my son does not have Autism or ADHD.  In fact, his disability doesn’t have a diagnosis apart from microcephaly which basically means “small head”.  He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was 5, yes we had to wait until he was 5 for that, incorrect as it turned out, diagnosis.  Whilst the Boy has many traits associated with CP – his muscles used to go into a slight spasm, he would sometimes walk (and eventually run) on his toes, he dribbled (*a lot*) and still doesn’t always have control of his muscles – he doesn’t actually have CP.  Anyway, I digress.

WonderfullyFi got me thinking about some of the stuff that we have been through with the Boy and I started to wonder if some of it was a boy thing, a teenage thing or something else.  Let me give you an example, when the Boy doesn’t want to do something he growls at us.  Typical teenage behaviour?  Maybe, especially when you add in the fact that one of the staff who works with him told me earlier this week that the Boy “huffed” at her when she told him to do something.  I said that she would be getting the growls next (she knows about them he just hasn’t subjected to anyone apart from Dad and me to them).  However, we also get growls when he gets frustrated because he can’t make himself understood.

Also, if there are things left on the table which shouldn’t be there, he will play with them rather than eating, eg at breakfast time he will play with the sauce bottles and salt pot rather than eating his cereal and drinking his tea.  I have to move them out of the way so that he will concentrate on what he is supposed to be doing.  He gets everyone else’s bowls, plates, cutlery and mugs out before his own even though he is the first one to leave the house and needs to be finished first.  It gets frustrating but we are slowly amending the routine to allow for the new quirks to be added in.

This is the joy of life with my gorgeous son and the uncertainty of not knowing what is going to happen next.  As we don’t have a diagnosis of a syndrome, disease or disability other than “learning disability” we don’t even know what to expect, or not.  As he gets older the Boy seems to be adding more quirks to his repertoire and I don’t think I’m going to be able to say “seventeen going on six” much longer as his behaviour, mannerisms and understanding are not those of a “normal” six year old (his school level is the same as a child in year 1).


2 thoughts on “Is it a teenage thing or a special needs thing?

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