Dave and I are both looking intently at our youngest son. His condition is perplexing and finally I give life to my fears by asking aloud the question I have had for months:What do you think is WRONG with him?
Dave shrugs. He shares my worry, but is equally stumped. Chase’s symptoms don’t add up to anything we can diagnose on WedMD. I sigh.I just want a diagnosis. At least then we will know.
For the hundredth time, I go through the list of possibilities:
A.D.D? Nope. The kid can sit and play with a piece of yarn for an hour.
A.D.H.D.? Chase doesn’t like to hurry up. Hyper is not a word I would use to describe him.
O.C.D? If I had a dime for every time he left a light on when leaving a room. His obsessive nature is often a pain but it is highly sporadic.
O.D.D.? E.L.D.? S.A.D? S.M.D.? There has to be some disorder we can attribute his behavior to and can take comfort in knowing that we are not alone. Maybe there is a support group?
And then almost simultaneously Dave and I reach the same conclusion. Our son has his own disorder. He has Chase Development Disorder (C.D.D.)!
Sufferers of C.D.D. exhibit symptoms attributable to a number of previously undocumented disorders — not on the severity level or with the frequency to qualify for club membership, but certainly enough to make me bang my head against the wall every now and again. For example, Chase routinely displays any of the following:
- Get Attention Disorder (G.A.D.): The compulsion to zero in on the one behavior that annoys his brother and repeat that behavior incessantly until someone screams.
- Closure Anxiety Disorder (C.A.D.): The lack of ability to turn off a video game or put down a book until he reaches the next level or finishes the chapter, even if the house is on fire.
- Shock Value Disorder (S.V.D.): The need to test the appeal of strange food combinations like Cesar salad dipped in soda.
- Crap Attachment Disorder (C.A.D. II): The tendency to hoard small objects such as rubber bands, yo-yos, playing cards, and empty bags of potato chips in hidden places such as behind the sofa. Related is the inability to throw ANYTHING away, even if it is broken, for babies, or moldy.
- Peace and Quiet for Parents Delay Disorder (P.Q.P.D.D.): Strange urges to belly crawl on the ground military style when it is time to go to upstairs to bed.
- Infuriating Procrastination Disorder (I.P.D.): The need to delay critical tasks that require 15 minutes to complete until we are 3 minutes away from leaving the house.
- Selective Hearing Disorder (S.H.D.): The stubborn illusion that his parents are nincompoops who were put on this earth to request things of him which are not worth doing.
And while we would like to think that Chase D.D. is a unique condition and suffered only by us our son, we suspect that every kid out there has his or her own combination of habits and behaviors that warrant recognition as an official disorder. But alas, most disorders are suffered in silence with no support groups or public information available. And often it’s the families of the sufferers that hurt the most.
Not any longer.
As a service to MoB readers, we are collecting you heartfelt stories here. If your child – or a loved one of any age – is suffering from an unexplained and really aggravating behavior, share their story here. We will even help you name it if you want. We feel your pain – and we’re listening.