“D” is for Ducky
“Hey, what are you doing?”
This is “D” and when I work at the day treatment school, I oftentimes find myself smack dab in the middle of D’s world. I can’t remember the disorder that D has but it has something to do with him being an 18 month old in a 6 year-old’s body. Oh ya, and he is classic ADHD.
He’s rowdy and rough.
He’s playful and sweet.
He’s inquisitive and impatient.
He’s everything a two year old should be but he’s not-he’s 6.
D will have entire conversations with you and the only words you can understand when you walk away from him are “hey, what are you doing?”. That’s it, everything else comes out all jibber jabberlike.
I feel for this kid though because he is somewhat of a mystery. D doesn’t always get a good wrap because he runs at 100mph and he is super rough-like if you turn your back he will try to dog pile you and then when you pry his hands off of your head, he scratches your neck. He doesn’t know it though. He just likes to play with his older brother at home so that’s what he does with his peers at school too. Sometimes, he will surprise attack you by hurling a book at you from across the room. But, I have found, if you just find a seat near him and say to him, “hey, D, can I have that?” Eventhough he is technically nonverbal, D will carefully bring you the book and say back to you, “heee you gooo…”
So, something inside me always feels like I can crack the code. I want to see progress and I always believe it is possible to someday get D to function more at his age-to see him sit a table and color, draw pictures, or do puzzles. Right now, he doesn’t do any of these things. He doesn’t EVER sit. He runs around like a Tasmanian devil and demolishes everything in his path. And just when you think he’s tired, he does it all over again.
But then, just when you want to give up, he goes and surprises you. He will sit in a stroller ( a stroller! I know!) and look at a catalog with you and away from the group. You turn the pages and he jabbers on.
That is when you start to notice a wee bit of a pattern to D’s code. Nothing too major but as you turn the pages, he starts to point to things. At first it seems like random but then you notice the random is more like rubber duckies. Throughout the catalog there are pink duckies, pirate duckies, farm duckies, neon duckies, and on and on. You turn another page and say, “where’s the ducky, quack, quack?” And there he goes picking out the duckies among the dozens of other images.
And just when you think you might have just completely cracked the code, you notice soft snoring noises and look down to see that little kiddo has gone and completely run out his battery. He’s asleep, all balled up in that silly stroller.
And, for a second, D seems like a normal 2 year-old. But he’s not. He is 6.