The Case of Eddie


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The Case of Eddie

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The Case of Eddie

Eddie, age 9, has been a difficult student in school for years. Eddie’s school requested that he be evaluated by a child psychiatrist due to the difficulty school representatives were having in controlling Eddie. He has been suspended twice during the current school year. His teacher complains that he is so restless that his classmates are unable to concentrate. Eddie is hardly ever in his seat and roams around the class, talking to other children while they are working. When the teacher is able to get him to stay in his seat, he fidgets with his hands and feet and drops things on the floor. He never seems to know what he is going to do next, and those around him fear that Eddie may suddenly do something quite outrageous. His most recent suspension was the result of Eddie’s swinging from the fluorescent light fixture over the blackboard. The class was in an uproar because Eddie was unable to climb down again.

Eddie’s mother says that Eddie’s behavior has been difficult since he was a toddler, and that at the age of 3, he was unbearably restless and demanding. He has always required little sleep and has always awakened before everyone else. When he was small, his mother stated that he got into everything, particularly in the early morning, when he would awaken at 4:30 or 5:00 a.m. and go downstairs by himself. Eddie’s parents would awaken to find the living room or kitchen demolished. When he was 4, Eddie managed to unlock the door of the apartment and wander off into a busy main street, but fortunately, he was rescued from oncoming traffic by a passerby. He was rejected by a preschool program because of his difficult behavior, and eventually, after a very difficult year in kindergarten, he was placed in a special behavioral program for first- and second-graders. He is now in a standard classroom for most subjects, but spends a lot of time in a resource room alone with a special education teacher. When he is in his classroom, Eddie is unable to participate in games because he does not have the patience to wait for his turn.

Eddie’s abilities have been found to be average through psychological testing, and his achievements are only slightly below the expected level. His attention span is described by the psychologist as virtually nonexistent. He has no interest in television and dislikes any games or toys that require attention or patience. He is not popular with other children, and at home he prefers to be outdoors, playing with his dog or riding his bike. If he does play with toys, his games are messy and destructive, and his mother states that she cannot get Eddie to keep his things organized.

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