Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Courage Of a Young Man

Last month I shared with you a fabulous story about my oldest son and now I would like to share with you a challenging story about my youngest son, Cody. Much like his older brother, Cody is willing to drop what he is doing to help someone in need. Uh, as long as the need is not his chores. LOL! But seriously, Cody has been known to help the elderly at the grocery store by taking their items out of the electric carts and putting them onto the belt, or holding doors for people that are behind him. He will even help his fellow classmate with sticky problems on class work. Simple, gentle help that a lot of people just turn their nose up to. Oh, but not Cody.

Cody has always been extremely intelligent, always soaring beyond his class mates. But there was always something a little different with him...he would do his homework but not turn it in until the teacher would contact us...it was the same thing year after year. He would play with one or two kids at school but very rarely play with them after school. He tended to play more with CJ and HIS friends. We often suggested he go play with his friends but he would rather stay in the house.

Last year his attitude began to change abruptly. He became verbally abusive and began to get physically destructive. Paul and I were at a loss. Here was our son who had always been laid back and easy going was losing control right before our eyes; he was a ticking time bomb. We took him to a doctor who suggested he has ADD. After having an evaluation done by a child psychiatrist, it was confirmed...Cody has ADD and ODD (oppositional defiant disorder). The reason for the outrage was due to his age and not being diagnosed sooner. I did not believe he had ADD because he did so well in school...so he would complete his work but not turn it in or we would tell him do something and an hour later it still was not done. We thought it was just Cody being Cody. The doctor explained that kids with ADD either soar above the other kids or they fall far behind. Also, the later in life it is diagnosed, the more complications the child occurs such and major mood swings and destruction of property. Cody was prescribed a medication that, if he indeed has ADD, we would see a difference....we did. We still struggle a little with the ODD but the medication does help.

Just when we finally got him comfortable with the thought of having ADD/ODD and needing to take medication for a while, the doctor pulled Paul and I aside last week to tell us he suspects Cody has Asperger's disorder- a mild form of autism. I didn't believe him. How, after a year, do you tell me this NOW?? First we are told Cody is ADD/ODD now he has autism? The doctor told us that he has been noticing a behavior and pattern with each visit and he didn't want to just make a quick diagnosis. He gave us some reading material and some names of centers here in AZ so we can take him to be tested. I want a second opinion and I do appreciate the fact that the doctor supports me.

After reading about Asperger's and comparing them to Cody, the doctor may be correct. But I can't help but be selfish and ask WHY? Why Cody? Hasn't he been dealt enough in his young life??? We are going to have him tested at the Melmed center in Scottsdale. We don't care about the cost, we just want a correct diagnosis so our son can get on with his life. If he as Asperger's, so be it...we will continue to support him in his plans of being a Quantum Physicist and he will succeed in life.

I didn't share this with you today to feel bad or sorry for Cody. I wrote it so you can see what a strong young man he is and how successful he has been and will be. We are so very proud of him.


Anonymous said...

Cody is truly blessed to have you as a parent. Someone who is so understanding and willing to do what ever it takes to give him the life he deserves. If for no other reason than that, I am sure he will grow up to become what ever he wants. From everything I have read Cody seems like the type of child that can overcome what ever is thrown at him, and I am sure that these problems will help prepare him for the contributions he will make to society. And Great ones I am sure they will be.

Angie Kelly Designs said...

Wow, Laura...what a little champ he is! And you and Paul are his biggest cheerleaders - thats obvious. He is very fortunate to have you and Paul; that you're both there for him and have nothing but his well-being in mind. Kudos to the both of you. And because of you both...he will go on to be a Quantum Physicist. I just know it! Then I can say..."I knew him when..." LOL

I have a friend whose son was diagnosed with Asperger's, but at a very young age. Its an uphill climb, but I have no doubt that your family will rally around you and Cody. He'll come thru this with flying colors!!

Have a wonderful day my dear friend! ♥

Rosebud Collection said...

This is a very interesting read and helpful to others..What a beautiful/handsome son, like your other son..I am glad you are going for more test and your doctor is backing you. Of course he will succeed..how could he fail with two wonderful parents to guide him..

Any Occasion Boutique said...

Thank you, Damein :-) You are a wonderful person and we appreciate your kind thoughts. Cody has done quite well accepting the nutty things that have been thrown at him and, really, all we can do is support him. Though, as a mother, I wish I could take these disorders from him...I would gladly live the rest of my life with them so he wouldn't have to.

Any Occasion Boutique said...

Oh he is a champ, Angie! And thank you so much for being a cheerleader for him, too :-) The doctor told us that AS is usually diagnosed when the child is younger...part of me feels like I failed by not recognizing his "shy" behavior when he was younger as a potential disorder. BUT I know I did not fail him and he will continue to go on and do great things. And YES, I have without a doubt that one of these days you will say "I knew him when...". Maybe if you call yourself Aunt Angie to him he just might buy you something special when he's rich and famous. HAHAHAHA!!!

Any Occasion Boutique said...

Aaawww, thank you Rosebud. This is wonderful to hear that you feel it will be helpful to others to read. I have heard of autism but did not know there were various forms of it. Regardless if he is diagnosed or not, I plan to continue learning more about Asperger's. I can't help but wonder how many children have gone undiagnosed!?!?

Hey Harriet said...

Your Cody will continue to soar regardless of whether he has Aspergers. It sure sounds like he has the strength to deal with the challenge! And of course the love & support of his wonderful family will see him through any difficulties. Thanks for sharing the story. As Rosebud said, I also believe it will benefit others :)

Anonymous said...

Oh Laura, I'm so sorry I didn't get over here sooner. Your little boy who's becoming a man is the wonderful person he is no matter what title is placed on him. Some titles are easier to accept than others such as Quantum Physicist vs. Autistic but they are simply that, titles. We are always the some of our deeds, our hearts and our minds, nothing more than this. I have no doubt that he will go far and live a life filled with the joy of triumphs and love. He has the best parents he could ask for, who love him so much and will be there to support him and praise him every step of the way.

Thank you so much for sharing this deep and difficult subject with us. I know how much courage it takes and the wonderful gift of love and support you receive in return.