OK... The boys' pediatrician has told us something I already know.
EVERYBODY'S GOT THEIR SOMETHING
Last Saturday's Blog > THE MOM THING
We've gone through the process, filled out the Vanderbilt Surveys, had the boys' teachers do the same, and waited for the assessment to learn what I live with every day.
But yeah, it's always nice to be sure.
Both Genesis (12) & Noah (9) have ADHD. Well, that's the primary diagnosis. Again, I already know that. I know that because i live with those jokers and because about 4 years ago, I received the same diagnosis.
ADHD is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) is an older term and is still often used for adults. I actually prefer the term ADD (it's 1 less letter and I say it stands for Attention Deficit Diva/Dudes).
I'm sure you've heard the initials thrown around. And I'm sure you have your own feelings on whether a condition described with symptoms that include extreme distractibility, racing thoughts, impulsivity, and forgetfulness is a made-up disorder in this overly diagnosed /medicated society of ours. Well, the first studies of what later came to labeled ADD/ADHD were done in the early 1900's in the case of "Fidgety Phil". But I'm not a doctor and this is not about convincing you of anything. Promise. (For more info: CDC on ADHD)
Let's keep it real: When the way you naturally function impairs your every day life -- you have to find the way to bridge your world and the world in which you function. Learning there is a reason for the way my brain works the way it does is as liberating as it is maddening. (At some point down the line I'll share my journey but this is about the kids)
And we all want to keep our kids as free and happy as possible...
So while I celebrate my boys' ability to hyper-focus and free-style on tangent after tanget, when I saw my A/B students bringing home Cs & Ds and I noticed how long it took for them to lock in on certain tasks at home and looked at how disorganized their notes were and heard their teachers say things like "needs to focus" and "is not working up to full potential" and tallied the missed assignments and the lost looks they'd have when they couldn't figure out why they couldn't simply do what was being asked of them, the red flags started waving high and wildly - FOR ME. It was my childhood allover again. At the same time, you don't want to project your issues onto your kids, right? So I just did my best to pay close(r) attention. And quite honestly, my husband wasn't trying to hear that there could be something 'wrong' with his man-children. I get it. Finally I just said, "Hey, let's get 'em tested and at least rule it out."
In the time it took to get the assessment forms from their pediatrician, fill them out and get them back in, months had gone by (Did I mention I'm an ADDr?). And in those months the Head Testosterone was able to take a more critical view of his young hims. I also pumped him with books and documentaries so he could see, it's not about something being wrong, it's about how to help the flow. (For even more info:CHADD)
Our boys like school and who wants to risk turning them off at this stage in the game?Elementary school cannot become a stressful struggle.
So here we are. Being told what I already know. And now the conversation switches to treatment: BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION, sure - we have to stay aware of information overload. DIET MODIFICATION, OK - we already eat pretty well, but will be more vigilant (kinda). And MEDICATION, yup - I'm OK with this that too. And I gotta tell you, I wasn't always. But it's biological. If my kid couldn't see, I could sit him closer to the board and ffed him carrots but if I'm not considering prescription glasses - then am I really interested in helping? We'll also be working with a chiropractor. ADHD is about certain signals not flowing in/out of the brain and chiropractic care is about making sure the spine isn't impeding the central nervous system's signals to/from the brain. Yah, I'm on it - the best way I can be.
There are many negatives associated with ADHD, but what's more important is there are just as many positives. We're usually super creative, oddly brilliant, inventive, the life of any party and many entrepreneurs and movers of society are ADHD. And this is part of the conversation I will continue to have with my children (no, I didn't wait for the official diagnosis): There are some things about our lives that are difficult and some things that are SUPER easy ... and that's cool 'cause everybody's got their something. And ours is a gift that ADDs to our unique footprint on this planet.