Shut up, Clark

Been there, done that, made the t-shirt.


His positives come to mind quickly:  he is creative, passionate, and funny.  For every “negative” trait associated with ADHD,there is a corresponding trait of awesomeness to celebrate during ADHD Awareness Week. It is often the same with my son Clark’s “co-morbid”condition, Asperger’s Syndrome.

The negatives aren’t hard to remember either.  He is unfocused,/distracted, relentless, attimes insensitive, and always impulsive.

The distractability can drive us to, well, distraction.  But we laugh about it.  One time our daughters Marie, Liz, and Susanne madet-shirts for all of us to wear with Clark’s picture on it, captioned with”Huh?” and “What?”  Yep, that’s it, at the top of this post. Distracted.  Definitely. 

Another time as we rode the Maid of the Mist at NiagaraFalls, the Boat Captain advised us that if we saw anything out of the ordinary,we should report it to the crew.

“Should we tell them about Clark?” I teased.

“Huh?” Clark asked.

See how  the negativedistraction can turn positive at times?  Go Mom,getting away with that little comment.

Clark is funny.  He is very funny…sometimes.  By the sheernumber of impulsive swings he takes at the ball, he is bound to connect.  By the will of his relentless pounding, he occasionally scores a homerun. Or not.

“What do you want to do tonight, Daniel? I want to gosee Harry Potter and the Butt of the Monkeys,” he announced to the thin airone day. 

This made no sense, but lefthis sisters laughing helplessly for days every time he repeated it.  And repeated it.  And repeated it.  But the girls repeated it too.  It’s still a way to make everyone in the family laugh on cue.

More Clarkisms:

“I like cheese.” (Repeated 7,000 times a day for 3 years)

“I’m a dog.” (Repeated only 5,000 times a day for 2 years)

Often he  misses theball by a mile, leaving us befuddled, bemused, or uncomfortable at hisunfunniness.  Sometimes evenwounded.  Like when he blurted out,”Why can’t we talk about our summer vacation in front of Liz?” (right in front of Liz) when we had told him that she wasn’t getting to go with us on vacation because she was visitingher mother.  He is sweet, he doesn’t wantto hurt any feelings, but he is missing the “social savvy” andempathy genes.

Take the issue of race, for instance.  Clark is very comfortable with people of all races, and he finds humor in race where other people feel awkward and uncertain. Meanwhile, I am an employment lawyer and human resourcesconsultant.  I live in terror of hiscasual comments. 

Like when he wasplaying Scattergories with his girlfriend and her parents and sisters.  His girlfriend is Black, or, Blasian as shedescribes herself on her Facebook profile – her father is African American andher mother is Filipino.  [Clark could not look more Caucasian if I painted him with Sherwin Williams “Reflective White.”] As an answer to”things that are black” beginning with the letter F, Clark’s answerwas The Fosters.

Yes, their family name is Foster. 

Luckily, they all thought he washilarious. 

He is missing a good set of antilock brakes onhis brain and mouth.  When he gets theurge to speak, when he feels the need to indulge his own funny bone, absolutelynothing will stop him. 

Nothing.

“It doesn’t get any funnier if you say it ten times,Clark,” I advise him.

“Shut up, Clark,” his sisters shout.

“We’ve dropped that subject an hour ago.  Let it go,” Eric counsels him.

Clark is passionate about football.  He is obsessed with football.  Not playing football – strategizing aboutfootball and watching it.  And talkingabout it.  Endlessly.  This makes him a lot like many other guys,while totally different at the same time. My husband and his oldest son have a love for football.  They both played football for years.  Yet Clark’s questions about historic footballminutiae and obscure facts about current practice squad pro players, posed ashypotheticals with 73 follow-up questions, floors even them.

I started this blog, though, talking about the positives.  Clark’s worst ADHD/Asperger’straits are positives to him.  Theytranscend their “disorder” label, especially when he is regularlytaking his meds, which enables him to SLOOOWWW DOOOWWWNNN and utilize some of the skills he has (sort of) learned, and even more so since he hit magical age of slightly lessenedsymptoms, which for him was 16. 

If you turn Clark loose on a topic in which he has aninterest, then you had better stand back and hold on to your bum with bothhands, because he’s about to rocket launch you into lunar orbit.  Aside from football, Clark also loves publicpolicy, he laps up computer science, he devours world history, he churns throughwords, he lives for games.  Don’t expect him to waste histime on grammar, pre-calculus, or chemistry, but if you want to see aprotostar, a dark nebula extraordinaire, shout “Resolved: The UnitedStates federal government should substantially increase its exploration and/or development of space beyond the Earth’s mesosphere,” and assign him theaffirmative case.   
He will laser focus. He will employ all of that creativity and passion as he relentlessly,and, yes, insensitively, pounds you with his arguments, sometimes forcefullypushing the first point that enters his mind rather than the best one.  His girlfriend, who also is a CrossExamination debater, adds that he will intimdate you. 

You will forget about his “disabilities.”  You will marvel at his amazing”abilities.”

And you will want to shout, “Shut UP, Clark,” outof intimidation.

But you probably won’t.

You might cheer or pump your fist, however, instead.

“Go, Clark,” you might yell.

Meanwhile, I am whispering in his ear.  “Please, Clark, please my amazing boy, remember: never, ever, ever let anyone shut you up.”

Until next time,
Pamela, aka Clark’s Mom

Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes the Clark Kent Chronicles on parenting ADHD wonder kids, thanks to the crash course given to her by her ADHD son and his ADHD father. Pamela is the author of the book The Clark Kent Chronicles: A Mother’s Tale of Life With Her ADHD & Asperger’s Son, and many others, like How To Screw Up Your Kids and her bestselling, award-winning Katie & Annalise mystery series, led off by Saving Grace. Visit her blog, Road to Joy, where you can buy her books in any form, anywhere. Pamela is passionate about great writing and smart authorpreneurship, as well as her husband and kids. Like Clark Kent, she also leaps medium-tall buildings in a single bound, if she gets a good running start.

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adhd symptoms, ADHD teenagers, attention/focus, CO-MORBIDITIES, Pamela Hutchins ·

About the author

Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes the Clark Kent Chronicles on parenting ADHD wonder kids, thanks to the crash course given to her by her ADHD son and his ADHD father. Pamela is the author of the book The Clark Kent Chronicles: A Mother's Tale of Life With Her ADHD & Asperger's Son, and many others, like How To Screw Up Your Kids and her bestselling, award-winning Katie & Annalise mystery series, led off by Saving Grace. Visit her blog, Road to Joy, where you can buy her books in any form, anywhere. Pamela is passionate about great writing and smart authorpreneurship, as well as her husband and kids. Like Clark Kent, she also leaps medium-tall buildings in a single bound, if she gets a good running start.

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The "ADHD Mommas" are not medical or mental health professionals, nor an ADHD coach. Any opinions shared here are just that, opinions. I, and the other "ADHD Mommas," are sharing our experiences with our own ADHD children. Please do not re-post or publish any content or photos without a link back to {a mom's view of ADHD}. Have the courtesy to give credit where credit is due. Copyright protected. All rights reserved.

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