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Balian Poindexter 

I’m a 10-year-old proud military brat named Balian. My hobbies include tumbling, playing drums and any outdoor sports. I enjoy spending time with my family, gaming, remote control cars, pretend play, eating pizza and cupcakes. Loving and caring for animals is also something my family and I enjoy. Everyone knows me as the boy who doesn’t talk, but thankfully they still call me over to play. Having my very own service dog well help me better handle my severe anxiety.

Between ages 2-3, I was still non-verbal even after having a normal ABR test and began to learn sign language. From ages of 3-5 years old I was diagnosed with Selective Mutism, Apraxia of Speech, Crohn’s/IBD, Tourette’s and Social Anxiety. At age 6, I was diagnosed with ADHD. In my short life things changed quickly with new medications and a diet. I have a voice and I can speak just like other kids my age, but when others outside my home are around, I can’t seem to get anything out. My body limits me so much until I can (rarely), I can’t explain it. Exposure therapy is what I work on every day, but it’s extremely hard for me. It seemed my parents are explaining to every new person I met how I wasn’t trying to ignore them nor be rude; I just couldn’t. Hiding, whispering, looking down or freezing became a normal thing when we were around other people. Although my parents use exposure therapy with me, I’ve made a little progress with my anxiety, school isn’t easy for me. I have a very hard time focusing on my assignments and can’t seem to complete them at times. Being a well-mannered student isn’t enough when all I seem to think about is how anxious I am feeling with little changes. Often, I feel my body twitching or a cold feeling all over which causes me to tense up so much I cause myself pain. Regularly I visit the nurse’s office because of these situations. My parents finally gave in last year and opted to start me on anxiety Rx, however the medicine increased my anxiety and caused my tummy to hurt. My conditions are not limited to school, I experience them every day. The truth is being around extended family and family friends is just as difficult.

 Thank you for reading my story.

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