Warp Drive

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Psychoeducation: Preschool

This hand written letter (which I have copied word for word) predates my entry into Orchard Dale Elementary by two years. It appears to be penned by my maternal grandmother, Allene. It paints a clearer picture of my childhood emotional state. I previously assumed the problems to have begun in elementary school. In fact, my wave of destruction began much sooner. For example, I drove a car into my grandmother’s house at the age of two.

November 20th, 1985

Michael and his mother live with maternal grandmother. Mother and father do not live together, but at the present time are together on weekends and sometimes during week. Grandmother takes care of Michael while mother works three and occasionally four days a week. Long days 8:30 to sometimes 7:00 or 7:30. Maternal grandfather had a sudden heart attack December 22nd, 1983 after sitting and holding Michael all day December 21st (as Michael was sick). Michael was too young to understand why he never saw his grandfather again, but I'm sure it affected him. Grandmother and grandfather started babysitting him when he was three months old.

Problems: Michael runs most of time instead of walking. Constantly moving from one thing to another all day long. Never stays with one thing very long at all (does watch TV - Sesame Street and Mr. Roger's Neighborhood some). Throws (small) toys constantly. Knocks over chairs and table, foot stools, etc. Even throws flashlights! Has damaged furniture quite a bit. One table (coffee table) that grandmother's three children didn't damage hardly at all has many scratches and dents. Has damaged many things, thermostats, etc (tears up his books). In other words, Michael is quite destructive.

When 2 1/2, put automobile in gear and drove it into the house while mother had back turned to front, finding his car seat. He won't leave anything alone he can get his hands on - like salt shaker, etc, spilling salt, etc. Has been wetting his pants quite a bit lately - also doing number two in pants when he very well knows to go to the bathroom. Mother and grandmother are worn out from all this constant activity. Grandmother took Michael to YMCA preschool for awhile.

The teacher's observations: a) He has no attention span. Won't listen to her when she is telling little stories or singing songs. Won't sit on mat for a short time like the other kids. Always moving around. Cried about swim. [I was extremely afraid of deep water] b) Preschool teacher mentioned his motor development as he didn't hold the scissors like other children - but I've always thought he had good coordination. c) She thought he did better when grandmother stayed occasionally with him, so that will be tried again. d) She also mentioned he doesn't talk as well as the other children.

Mary Ray, the preschool teacher, gave me these observations after I asked her if she thought he was hyperactive. She didn't think he was - but - he is certainly not normal. Anyone who comes to the home to visit say they've never seen a child act up like he does. He always causes problems no matter who comes (maybe jealous - who knows?). He acts like he doesn't want anyone to talk to grandmother when someone comes by. All visitors think he is hyperactive. He is talking better lately, but certainly not talking as well as he should be for his age. He seems to hear very well. He understands everything. Grandmother has osteoporosis, but he doesn't seem to have a hearing problem. If that is so - why doesn't he talk better?

In two years, Michael will be starting Kindergarten. He will be the biggest child there, the biggest baby, and perhaps with more speech problems and attention span problems than any of the children. Doctor, what do you suggest we do to help this sweet little boy? We need help, as soon as possible.

-Allene Moore (Grandmother)

I still do not fully understand death. All I really know is, we leave this state of existence never to return the same person again.

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