Last week, Willy and I went for his monthly check-in with one of his doctors. I had my laundry list of questions ready, and as we sat in the waiting room for 20 minutes (he was running late… as usual), Willy started to get anxious. Anxiety is a relatively new feeling for my boy, and he is not handling it well at all. Usually, when I know ahead of time that he might have to wait for something longer then a few minutes, I come equipped with a juice box, a snack, and his ipad, but since I had just come from work, I didn’t have his juice or a snack with me. But, I did have the ipad though. 

After we sat for a few minutes and he played on the floor nicely with he toys, he walked over to me and asked me for some juice. I softly told him that I didn’t have any juice, and that he would have to wait until we got home. Well, he didn’t like my answer, and he threw his Thomas train across the waiting room, just barely missing a woman’s head.


After I made him go across the room to retrieve the train, he apologized to me, rubbed my arm to show me that he was being “gentle” and he carried on playing. A few minutes later, he asked me for juice again. When I gave him the same answer as before, he threw his train again. This time, I was starting to loose my patience. A woman sitting near by handed me bottle of water (never been opened) and offered it to my boy. It was so sweet of this woman to offer up  a solution, but Willy refused to take it. I could understand why he didn’t want it, but at the time it was a close second to juice. A few minutes after the woman was called, Willy started asking for water. 

(insert forehead slap here)

When it was finally our turn, Willy was already wound up and in rare form. Goody. Usually I wouldn’t mind it so much, but I thought that it was about time for my boy to reveal his true self to his doctor, and BOY did Willy deliver! His doctor listened to me as I was asking questions, but what he was really doing was observing the 4 year old devil that had just walked into his office. He was writing ferociously as we (Willy and I) interacted, and then he watched my boy loose his stuffing over and over again. 

You’d think I would be humiliated to some degree, but actually I was relieved. Sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy or making up stories to his doctor, because sometimes I just can’t believe that this is real life; every meltdown, every tantrum, every aggression! So, I asked the doctor… “what are you thinking?” Because, he was chewing on his pen and had a quizzical look on his face. He looked at me and said plainly, “I really don’t know.”

Great! Just GREAT!

He was supposed to know what to do. He was supposed to have the answers. He was supposed to help me!

He continued with “I need to consult with a colleague of mine and then we’ll be in touch.” Well that just made me feel a whole lot better! He then threw out a new and fancy term just coined by the New England Journal of Medicine, called “Behavioral Dysregulation.” Apparently doctors are now combining Autism, Aspergers’, mood disorders, OCD, and a few other’s into a combined neurological category. 

I snorted. 

It doesn’t make me feel any better about my son’s current condition, but at least Willy’s doctor is using all of his resources in order to help us. In the meantime, we just have to keep chugging along and help our boy cope with the day-to-day’s. I’ll be stalking my cell phone for the rest of the week waiting for this guy to call me back. Hopefully he will 🙂


                                             Water park fun

3 thoughts on “Dysregulation

  1. Validation!! Sometimes those public displays of meltdown serve a serious purpose. We finally got the full IEP evaluation we’ve been asking for when our youngest spent six weeks basically in fetal position at his desk, crying daily at school. Fingers crossed you hear back quickly, and get some answers/direction.

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