Friday, January 28, 2000

Alphabet soup

Anyone whose child has special needs can tell you about "alphabet soup," that string of diagnoses that follows the child around like a toy train made out of blocks. ADD, PDD, PTSD, OCD, FAS, FAE, RAD, SID, LLD--I always expect to see LMNOP in there somewhere, and now I've figured out what it should stand for: Labels of a Meaningless Nature Obscuring the Person.

The letters are good for something, usually getting services or getting medication or getting a grip, but they rarely present a complete picture of a child. Which means, of course, that there's always room for more labels, and we parents, those of us on the front lines, might as well come up with them ourselves. In that spirit, Mothers with Attitude humbly submits a dozen brand-spanking-new syndromes, suitable for use with balky Child Study Teams, disapproving tantrum witnesses, know-it-all in-laws, and clueless pediatricians. Read them, study them, memorize them, and soon you'll be saying: "His MTED is really acting up today. I wish I could stop the behavior, but between the ESS, SD, and OPPB it's impossible for me to get anywhere. I swear, sometimes I think this kid is PBD, but the doctor suspects MRTM."

CTD (Creative Truth-telling Disorder)

ESS (Extreme Stubborness Syndrome)

MRTM (Mom Reads Too Much)

MTED (Must Touch Everything Disorder)

NDSG (Not Developing to the Satisfaction of Grownups)

NSUS (Never Shuts Up Syndrome)

OPPB (Obsessive Pushing of Parental Buttons)

PBD (Possessed by the Devil)

PTD (Please and Thank-You Deficient)

SD (Selective Deafness)

TIDD (Teletubbie Induced Developmental Delays)

TTW (Traumatic Toys 'R Us Withdrawal)

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