Thursday, April 16, 2015

What Does ADHD Look Like for Us

The brain is the most complex organ of the body.  There are a great deal of things we still don't understand about it.  Our brains react differently to a situation as we go through different stages of our life.  That makes it very difficult task, even for medical professionals,  to pinpoint something that is out of sync in the brain.

ADHD is a well known term in the USA.  I believe that is is often over-diagnosed, or misdiagnosed.  Parents even claim their children are ADHD without a formal diagnosis.  This means that when you explain to others that your child has ADHD after he acts out of control in a new situation, they start to treat you differently.  You're looked at as one of those moms who simply can't control her child.  The mother is found to be lacking.

My Bumblebee is ADHD.  He has been formally diagnosed by a neurologist.  Bumblebee is a mixture of the two types of ADD: hyperactive and inattentive.  Here's why I sought the diagnisis, and what it looks like in him.

I looked to the doctor for help when he reached 5yrs old and barely recognize his own name.  I can work on a letter of the alphabet for an entire week in our homeschool and at the end, he still can't identify it, or tell me what sound it makes.  This makes him frustrated to the point of meltdowns.  And, I'll admit, it frustrates me as well.  I spoke to our pediatrician about a possible learning disability, and he referred me to the neurologist.

Dr. Jones is a wonderful and caring doctor.  When I went to her office, I expected to be told that Bumblebee was on the autism spectrum, just like his brother.  This isn't what happened.  She told me that beyond a doubt, Bumblebee has severe ADHD.

We chose not to medicate.  Understanding what you're up against can be half the battle.  This lasted until he started to become violent towards other children.  He wasn't intending to be mean, he simply acts as though there are no consequences.  And then when punishment is issued, he goes into disbelieving shock.

Hyperactive and inattentive  ADD war with each other.  For Bumblebee, this means that it is difficult for him to complete a task that helps get the energy out because he's distracted by something else.  He may be jumping on the trampoline when he sees the sidewalk chalk, and suddenly that looks like much more fun.

Getting dressed also takes a great deal of time.  Just yesterday, it took 30 minutes just to get a pair of pants and he tried to put them on top of his pajama's.   The shirt and shoes took another 20 minutes.

There is no fear of what his actions may do.  He will run into the street and be nearly hit by a car and doesn't understand why you are scared and angry.  Climbing to the top of a 6ft tall bookshelf and jumping off is nothing.

This is simply the tip of the iceberg with his behavior.  I'm am termed a helicopter mom, this means that Bumblebee doesn't lack for correction, or love.  Not all ADHD looks the same; but, the struggle is the real for them all

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Autism Awareness Day

It is April 2nd.  Autism Awareness Day.  So many people coming together to cure autism.  But there is something to consider; do people on the spectrum need to be cured?

So many look at the negative sides of autism without ever seeing the positive.  There are positives, many of them.  These special people will never fit into any box, so they must invent ways of helping them cope.  They are some of our greatest innovators and inventors.  They can see a need in places that others avoid.  When they find a passion, they can achieve a level of focus that "normal" people can only dream of.  And though a great deal of them have difficulty showing their love, their passion runs deep and is integrated into the core of their being.

Why do we want them to be like everyone else?  As I have said before, my oldest son has High Functioning Autism Disorder, or Asperger's.  He amazes me.  He is a great gift from God.  Before he was born I was told that I would NEVER be able to carry a baby to full term.  Why would I want to change what He gave me?  Yes, I try to teach him ways to function in a world that doesn't understand; but, I also show him ways that his differences make him special and unique.

I want to share 3 of the things that make my son so special and unique to me.  I would LOVE to hear how your child is special to you, even if they are not on the spectrum.

1 - Capacity for love.  Expressing his love took years, but it's there.  He is now very verbal about how much he loves his family.

2 - Logic skills.  He does algebra in his head and makes factual connections that would never have occurred to me.

3 - Focus.  There are very few subjects that hold his interest for long, but when he finds something interesting, he learns absorbs every piece of information he can find about it.