My youngest son Jake is different. He looks like a regular 11-year-old boy. But he definitely is not a regular 11-year-old boy. When he learned to walk, he would toddle over to the dog and kick him. He was kicked out of almost every daycare we tried due to aggressive behavior. School was such a problem that I ended up taking him out of public school for a year and tried to teach him at home. Some of his behaviorisms are odd. When he was a preschooler, he began pacing. He would pace around and around the living room lost in thought. When he played outside, he would pace back and forth in the yard. Now that he is older, he paces on the roof of our garage/shed. I took the photo of him up there today. He sometimes will talk nonstop and repeat a lot of what he says while he is talking. A few times he has actually followed me to the bathroom just jabbering away – I would use the bathroom and when I opened the door he would be there to continue talking to me. He is very possessive about his things. Recently I got a call from the school because he misplaced his jacket and he was screaming and crying and being disruptive in the classroom (luckily he is in a Life Skills Special Ed classroom with a wonderful staff that take it in stride). He eventually found his jacket, but it took me 10 minutes talking to him on the phone to get him to calm down enough to think more clearly about where it might be (luckily I have understanding coworkers). He has been to many doctors – tested for seizures – tried many different types of medicine – was screened for Autism – goes to counseling etc. So far the diagnosis is this – Jake has ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, a General Anxiety Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disability Not Otherwise Specified (the last one means that while he does present Autistic traits he does not fit neatly into a specific category). Even though he has all these labels, he really is just Jake – a very honest, earnest young man with great creativity who thinks about the world in a different way. He has many interests – loves history, documentaries, science and geography as well as video games, drawing and monsters (especially Godzilla). He can hear music and know what tv show, movie, video game or commercial it is from – he can even identify a specific scene in a movie based on the music. Yes he is a little different, a bit odd in his own way, but that is what makes him Jake. And I love him no matter what – even when he insists on keeping every stick he comes in contact with (he did finally agree to keep them outside). Yep – Jake is Jake and that says it all.