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...