I debated blogging on the pitfalls of losing the nap for my 3 and 5 yr olds…..I debated blogging about Caleb’s (5 yr old) screaming tantrums….of which are reaching epic proportions…..i even video’d one. I chose to blog about Cory….my 13 year old. His “issues” are always on the radar but since he is 13 I really try to not bring more attention to them than necessary for many reasons….that is until i read an article on CNN that a mother had written to her son’s principal. Immediately i posted a link to the article on Facebook to share with everyone. Reading the article all I could think about were the parallels I could draw between her son and mine. Thinking about the obvious opposites as well. Her son struggles to read…..Cory is a voracious reader….elementary children were tolerant of her son’s odd behaviors….NOT so with Cory. So the story of Cory begins…..
Donald and I married in 1995…immediately decided to start trying to have a child….miscarried in May 1996 and struggled with unexplained infertility for a couple of years…..EVERYONE was pregnant….we were not. Finally in April 1998 we found out that we were pregnant with Cory. I had a turbulent pregnancy…..work pressure….family issues….the gamut. Cory came 6 weeks early…Initially at the time I went into labor the doctor felt that we were only 4 weeks early….after birth it was determined we were actually 6 weeks early. Overall Cory was healthy at birth…and only required a 4 day stay in the nursery…never had to visit NICU and that was a major blessing.
Around 3 years of age we moved Cory from his school in our hometown to a home based childcare center near my new job in another town. This was a bad decision. The rules were lax…and Cory needed structure. By age 4 we had moved day-cares 3x. Cory was very outspoken…very impulsive and very manipulative. This was also about the time that we went for our first psychological evaluation ….he was not ADHD as every teacher from age 3 on had insisted….he was not ODD as one “play therapist” had suggested…..he had an ANXIETY DISORDER…..that would be treated with medication in the same manner as ADHD since most of his symptoms mirrored that of ADHD kids. No one ever suggested that adderall could/would stunt his growth, cause or exacerbate aggressive or hostile behavior, cause tics etc…..WE DID NOT KNOW 😦
By 2nd grade, Cory had basically stopped being invited to birthday parties. We still invited everyone to his and most of the kids usually came but over the years he was down to family friends. By age 12 Cory had basically withdrawn from sports…..he loved basketball but felt he was too short to play…..he loved baseball but was not as strong as the other kids and had no tolerance for their lack of understanding of the game….he has always been very athletic. He quit scouting. He did not enjoy going on camp outs where others were intolerant of his “wayward” behavior…or his impulse issues. He just quit. He came home from the last camp out that we had literally forced him to go on and told us that he quit taking his adderall and that he did not want to take it any longer. We agreed to try that for the summer. Cory gained weight and grew! He became a much more pleasant person to be around. He found tennis! It was an absolute miracle to see my sweet boy…that i knew all along had been in that body, burst forward for everyone to see. Then 6th grade.
Cory had been on adderall since he was 4…..8 years…..formative years where you learn how to study….he NEVER studied….he ALWAYS had A’s and the occasional B….now he had C’s and D’s and an occasional B or A…….and because he was unfocused in class he was acting out. Blurting out answers, interrupting people, forgetting his homework, losing his homework in his locker, acting out because he would get in trouble for the homework, which then caused problems elsewhere….he would be bullied and then retaliate…. he would be basically ignored or picked on…there was never a happy medium….7th grade….people (kids that we know) would clap when he got off the bus….he never said a word to me about it ~ accidentally I found this out 6 weeks after it had been going on…..for 6 weeks straight….the bus driver apparently thought it was OK until I found out and immediately conferenced with the assistant principal, superintendent and head of transportation. Then and ONLY THEN did the driver put a stop to it.
Winter 2010 Cory bonded with a neighbor boy during SNOWMAGEDDON in our hometown. They became fast friends, hanging out all the time —–we were thrilled. This was Cory’s first outside family friend in years. They maintained their friendship until Summer 2012. The loss of the friendship was hurtful to Cory and devastating to me. I wanted what I have always wanted…..for people to see Cory for the bright, energetic, fun kid that he is…..Cory is so fortunate to have wonderfully faithful family friends and I will never forget them standing beside him as they have done since they could walk… They know who they are. They know Cory is not perfect but who is?
Cory has started a new school…following in his brother’s footsteps and he is elated! He dreams of when he can join the tennis team for workouts and play for the team next year..right now we are working hard to find an answer for his academic struggles. The lack of focus, the lack of real study skills, the rushing through his work…etc are all piling up on him…yet he continues to try. He is making friends and playing basketball. (pick up games after school but its a start).
I know that there are answers for Cory. I know that he is a kind and sweet boy. Adults in church and elsewhere tell me all the time how very sweet he is with his younger siblings and other children. I just wish that everyone saw and knew the boy that i see and know. The boy that will grow into a kind man, a loving man, that will treat women with respect, that will be a wonderful father and great provider. That is the Cory that I know he IS and will GROW to be. Time will tell and I will continue to thank God every day for the blessing that he is to his mom and daddy and siblings.
Maybe next week i will write about the Tantrum King Caleb.
Peace be with you!