Sunday, December 14, 2008

Knowledge Is Power

Have you ever had those times when you start to toy around with an idea or concept, or even conclusion, and then God uses numerous people and experiences to verify that you are going in the right direction? I really do love it when that happens, even when the conclusion might not be what I wanted to hear.

As of yesterday evening, I have a pretty good sense that what Brayden might be struggling with could in reality be "Inattentive ADHD". God Bless Stephanie and Travis for being so observant of our kids and so willing to act on their behalf - as yesterday at Dairy Queen we talked more about it and Steph shared how she had looked up ADHD on the internet, found this "classification" - went through the "checklist" with Travis, and lo and behold, it really does describe our boy. I've always avoided this conclusion in the past (for a number of reasons, "stigma" being a big one) mostly because Brayden doesn't fit the "hyperactivity" aspect of ADHD. But, upon researching it, hyperactivity doesn't necessarily have to be part of the equation.

There are some definite pros and cons that come when you fit under a "label". Obviously, the cons include the above mentioned stereotype, the automatic thoughts that that's "just an excuse", and of course, the admission that Brayden's brain is working quite right (but, then again, who's really does?!). However, on the flip side, knowledge really is power, and already I find myself empathizing so much more with my son in recognition of what potentially could be going on in that fantastic brain of his. From the little I know of ADHD - distraction in sorting through the constant barrage of thoughts is quite an obstacle to overcome. I feel like I've reached this "ah-hah, it's all starting to make sense" moment. And, for me, that's huge.

I already ordered three books from Amazon (had to reach $25 for "Super-saver Shipping"!) that are well-reviewed and look to be incredibly helpful and insightful on this subject. It really is great timing as I believe we will be able to go into the rest of the school year come January with a truckload of strategies - and armed with new expectations on how we'll really, justifiably need the school's assistance in this matter. If I've learned anything through my time not only as a teacher, but as a parent in the public school system, you can't expect anyone to advocate your child more than you. So, we will be very proactive.

Finally, to think that we could overcome this (not cure it, but overcome) is huge. John is not inclined to go the "prescription" unless it is a last resort. I agree. I've heard "bio-feedback" can do amazing things in helping, Christy used to work in that area, so I'll have to consult her. But, for now, just understanding is going to be a mighty first step. To recognize that his failings aren't necessarily because he doesn't care enough to obey us, and certainly not because (as he said), "he's an idiot" (which of course, we never believed). On the contrary, it's probably only because Brayden is as bright as he is that we haven't come to this conclusion earlier. But, I guarantee, were we to "let the chips fall as they may" and not try to correct this current path - his middle school and high school years would most certainly end up being quite a disaster for us all.

So, there you go. We'll keep you posted. At this point, nothing is definitive, just speculative, but I'm feeling pretty good that we're headed in the right direction.

=) Challenge, Day Fourteen: I can't go into much detail as it is a Christmas secret, but I can guarantee some smiles on both Michael and Michele's faces today as they make preparations for a grand Christmas surprise - and I helped to get the ball rolling...

7 comments:

JustMe said...

Very interesting, Steph. My friend Courtney is struggling with her son who is in kindergarten, who she has to grab by the face after an hour of getting nowhere, lay down the law, and THEN he will finally stop messing around and work on the alphabet he is waay behind in learning. She is frustrated because she knows he's smart, and she knows he can do it, but getting him to DO IT is driving her and the teacher nuts. Yesterday we were just discussing that he doesn't seem full on ADHD, but more like "a touch" ADHD - I'll pass on the info to her!

JustMe said...

Update: looked at the criteria, but Creed pretty much won't sit in his seat either and gets in trouble for talking, so I think we're looking at classic ADHD...and I think like a lot of moms she's scared to go down the road of a formal diagnosis, of something being "wrong" with her son. I know you can relate.

StephieAnne said...

At this point, I've got to admit - I'm kind of excited. After recognizing the limitations that Traig has had in learning to read, later realizing he probably has a mild form of dyslexia which primarily only affects his spelling at this point - it's helped a ton to see that there's a reason for all the struggle. In the same way, to feel like we're not beating our heads against the wall in frustration over our son being too lazy, or not caring.... and instead, work with him with strategy, that's a big deal. However, perhaps at kindergarten, I wouldn't have been ready to come to this conclusion. Now, we're to the point of "time is running out", so it's a different story.

Thanks for the support.

Bring on the snow - this cold front is moving down, Lake Oswego is blanketed, as we've driven south, we paused long enough in Woodburn for it to catch up with us and to witness the temps quickly drop from 38 to 33. Hopefully this evening we'll all witness the white stuff!

LiteraryGirl said...

Hmmm, kinda been wondering about my daughter as well. Might have to look into this...

beeeeeeeee said...

Stephanie -

I am the last person to jump on the ADHD bandwagon, but when it is the reality I agree with you - it is much better to know. Because then you know what is going on and you can actually *do* something about it rather than pulling your hair out and, in the kid's case, feeling like a terrible kid!

I'm so glad you are open to it and are willing to try differnt things to address it and to help your son be able to address it! You are an awesome mom!

Beverly said...

I think Bonnie said it well! Way to go in looking outside the box for what your sweet son is struggling with.

I wish I could send you that giant easy button from the Staples commercial...

Colie said...

Steph-
I just read this. Sorry! I've saved in on bloglines because i wanted to read it but just hadn't gotten around to it. If you'd like I have the diagnostic manual for these type of behaviors and I could copy ADHD and mail it to you. There are two distint types one w/ hyperactivity and one without. I will also talk to a few people I know in the field - I know diet it HUGE with this. I won't do much unless you tell me to. It sounds like you have some great books to start looking at. I'm praying for guidance as you learn more about ADHD. Sorry again this is so late!