"What a Nice Guy!" Is This the Kiss of Death?


Quick Timeline Update: First appointment at CPRI, March 25, 2013. Length of appointment 45 minutes for a pointless psycho education session. Second appointment Psychiatry appointment June 5. Length of appointment 60 minutes when it was booked as a two hour “full psychiatric assessment. Left with no results from previous rating scales that we completed but an Rx and a promise to get us into the actual Brake Shop “very soon”.

This is me screaming internally…….

So, as it turns out you guys may be right. When a girl tells you that you are a nice guy is it equivalent to Michael Corleone kissing you on the cheek? I get the sense that it may be equally damning when you are trying to access mental health resources. Let me ‘splain.

After meeting with all of my son’s teachers this year to get them up to speed they all pretty much across the board replied something like; he was such a nice kid, no trouble in the classroom, polite, articulate, well liked and they would never has guessed he had TS. From a mother’s perspective that should all be pretty great feedback right? But what I hear is that he isn’t bothering them in their classrooms so they have no complaints and as such they probably won’t be changing anything to accommodate a kid who is already well adjusted. Jump ahead now to our appointment with the psychiatrist. Pretty cool guy. Owen clicked with him right away and within 5 minutes doc says “Well, you seem like a very nice young man Owen. Definitely not my typical patient.” Oh noooooo.
Il bacio della morte

On a sinking ship here and I have a finite amount of time to let this guy know that Owen deserves a resource bone thrown in his direction. If all of these people think he is such a nice guy wouldn’t you think they’d wanna help him out more? Doc even said “You’re TS is definitely not the worst case I have ever seen.” Are we only taking care of the kids that are the worst of the worst? I know the comment was to reassure us by making us feel comforted that things could be worse. And yet, I have heard this before so many times and again with the internal screaming.

Here is a theory that maybe they haven’t considered. Owen has TS, OCD and ADHD-I and myriad sensory proclivities. Owen is ALSO a nice guy. So he has a conscience. He self monitors. He chooses to be polite in most situations. That all takes effort and energy. So when he is overwhelmed by an essay in English class he doesn’t throw shit and have a fit. He comes home and sits in front of the computer and starts to beat himself up. Are we ok with that? In a country where we are heavily taxed so we can enjoy “free health care” is this what we had in mind? Treating only the worst of the worst? Can we just implement some strategies to improve that executive functioning part of his brain that helps him get from A to B. Show him how to manage his sensitivity to certain textures and light. Teach him that when his OCD says it isn’t right so do it all over again he doesn’t always have to listen. Show him that if he resists his premonitory urge to express a tic it will eventually lose strength and he won’t have to do it any more.

Last question. Does all of this mean that you can’t be a nice guy and still get what you need? Well, I am about to get all Ghandi on your asses now. (that should be a thing people say more) Many people claimed that Ghandi used passive resistance. He later spoke to this claim and instead he said that he practised ‘Satygraha’. Which loosely translates to insistence on the truth. I like this. We won’t resort to the no more Mr. Nice Guy tactic because that isn’t who we are but we are going to get some help. I will be insisting that we look at the truth of this situation. A kid is not getting mental health care resources because he’s too nice, too polite and comes off as too well adjusted. Whacked. Jude the Satygrahi out.

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