Maverick

My Story

My mother’s wish was to have a boy and a girl, and here came me another boy.

I was the child that my mother did not want and tried to abandon. She was outraged that I was

another boy and that I had mental health problems. I even think she hated that I was ten pounds

and weighed more than any of her children. Being a child with significant learning delays

brought stress upon my mother which meant a multitude of abuse for me. I felt like a stranger

living with my mother and her family because she didn’t treat me like a child she loved.

Growing up, I was diagnosed with multiple disabilities such as autism, attention deficit disorder

and had multiple seizures.

At age five, I was diagnosed with autism which was also associated with the other

disabilities I had. I had abnormal behaviors such as hand flapping, rocking, hiding, not

responding to my name when called, and refusing to be touched. I arranged and rearranged

objects and sucked my ring finger. I avoided social activities with members of my family and

stayed away from them as much as possible. I repeatedly flushed the toilet because the sound

fascinated me. My autism also caused delays in brain function. Consequently, I was two years

old when I started walking, six when I began to sit upright, ten until I learned how to tie my

shoes and I was seventeen when I finally learned how to grip a pencil correctly. Because of

autism, I repeatedly made towers out of blocks and opened and closed doors. My mother, aunt

and a few teachers made me feel worthless and useless because I had autism and would bully or

make fun of me because of my disability.

Along with the autism, I displayed many significant symptoms of attention deficit

disorder when I was in elementary school. Behaviors included a short attention span, difficulty

focusing and paying attention, easily forgetting things, anxiety and depression. When something

was too hard for me to understand, my body would shiver, my head would hurt, my heart would

pound, and I felt like passing out. I looked down at the floor for long periods of time, to stop

people from looking at me having a nervous breakdown. My teacher would think something was

wrong with me, but I did not want to say anything because of my speech impediment.

Another problem I had growing up was seizures. This came about from either being

thrown or having multiple disabilities. My symptoms included blacking out, falling, shaking my

body, twitching and jerking. I even had milder symptoms such as a blank stare, and small hand

movements. The seizures I had were both severe and moderate. It was scary to have a seizure

because they are unexpected and a terrifying experience. My mother and aunt thought I had a

brain disorder because of my frequent seizures. When I recovered after having a seizure, I would

have a bad headache with sharp pain going through my body. I couldn’t think straight after

having a seizure or remember what happened before I had it. Having a seizure was one horrible

event that occurred in my childhood.

Due to all of the mental disabilities I was diagnosed with, I was placed in special

education. My mental condition was too severe that I could not be in a general class setting.

Starting at age two, I received occupational therapy for mental retardation and autism. Then, at

age three, I was placed in Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities for almost three

years. This program is an early childhood intervention that provides services for children with

special needs. The preschool program demanded speech services and for me to see a

psychologist, neurologist, and various other mental health doctors. I was one of the only students

that was supervised regularly by school staff and repeatedly hit with a rubber band for my

behavior. I was in special education and received these services until I graduated high school.

I felt that my disabilities would have been enough of a barrier to overcome without the

abuse. Special education and having multiple disabilities has made me different and

unique. I need special attention and services because I displayed behaviors that were abnormal. I

always stood and was referred to as, “That silent weird kid!” The support from my older brothers

(Maynard and Marcus), younger sister (Shaneka), Dr. Loston, my professors and staff at St.

Philips College, and many others have always had confidence in me to be successful even with a

disability. Because of their support, I myself gained confidence to strive to greatness while

undergoing obstacles. I learned that having a disability does not make you ineligible to become

successful. Multiple disabilities and special education has made me realize that I’m different and

to always be different in a good way. It helped me to see that I was a special person and to

always believe in myself no matter who tells me otherwise.

Maverick