Mother’s Story: Emotional Stages Before and After Diagnosis

Posted by asiadmin - May 13th, 2016

mother-and-child-sculpture-1527087I had a well-mannered son who was handsome (and still is), a sharp dresser, smart, and driven. He was crawling at five months and walking at nine months old. He was reading by the time he was three years old. Eace was ready for kindergarten. In addition to reading, he knew his colors and numbers. He had good reasoning skills and by second grade he was writing his own books. In the back of a book, called The Turkey Trot, there was an Interests or About the Author section and he said he wanted to be a doctor. He liked swimming, skating, competitive games, riding a bike, playing basketball, and working with manipulatives such as Lego’s, building blocks, numbers, letters and puzzles. I concluded that he was on the right path.

Eace was in gifted and talented classes in elementary school. I understood the school-to-prison pipeline. Basically, prison projections correlate with third grade reading scores. My child was not at risk. In third grade he was at or above a third grade reading level. In high school, due to one specific role model, Eace aspired to go to college and become an architect. He was excited and responsible when he got his first, and only, car.

We were extremely close and he was exceptionally respectful to me and others. From my perspective there is nothing like the bond and relationship between a mother and her children. Eace had it all, including the girls. I often told him when he was in high school that he could be a model. Joy flowed in abundance and he possessed all the blessings that God had to offer him. That is why I became confused when his behavior and appearance changed drastically when he was around sixteen years old. As a mother I instinctively knew in my heart that something was not quite right, something was going terribly wrong. He was quickly deteriorating. He demanded that I stop calling him Eace. “My name is Maleke!”

Confusion

In middle school my son began to have trouble with his stomach and digestive system. Even then he gave me a hard time about taking his medication. As a junior in high school Eace aced the ACT, SAT, and state exams with no problem. During his senior year in high school, I took him to take a test to be a manager of a store. I noted that it was taking him an exceptionally long time to process the answers. When he didn’t pass, I was told that the test-taker had to score at or above a designated grade level. Now I was really confused.

In addition to cognitive, and health and wellness changes, I noticed behavioral changes. Eace began to walk differently, more like a Neanderthal. He began to slack off with his appearance. Small tasks like holding a fork, carrying a plate, and cooking became complex and overwhelming. His behavior became moody, compulsive, aggressive, and excessive. For instance, he would put twenty packets of sugar in a small cup of coffee. He would verbally attack me, my mother, and others who loved him. His moods, rude outbreaks, and low emotional intelligence were all baffling. His judgment and focus became blurred and all of a sudden, rather than an architect, he wanted to be a rapper. I knew that something devastating was transforming my son. What mysterious, foreign, frightening condition could this be?

During the early stages of his illness, I began to take him to doctors. However, the doctors did not discover anything wrong with him. I could not give up. I was desperate. I was a relentless mother in search of answers and solutions. Having worked as a results-driven, high-profile educator at the classroom, school, district and state levels, I was not ready to accept that I could help other people’s children but not my own child. Taking the example of a brain-injured person, I decided I could re- teach Eace basic independent living skills. I was confused but I knew that something was definitely wrong. Something had gone through my son’s brain and reasoning skills like a forest fire.

Eace was just as confused as I was. As though he needed reassurance, he started asking me if I was really his mother. He must have been hallucinating when he shared with me that the catfish and fries on his plate were warning him that the broccoli was poison and not to eat it.

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