A new road for Auggie

My brother’s advice

We left the doctors office (read previous entries for details) with a lot on my mind. All of my life there were people close to me with ADHD and each dealt with it differently. Auggie reminded me so much of my brother (I call him Bubba too) and that was a wonderful thing to me. My mother was thirty-nine when I was born so my siblings were, at the very least, ten years older than me and I adored and admired all of them so much. I prayed for more time with them when I was younger and God blessed me with Auggie, my “little bubba.” Seeing the similarities between them it was a no-brainer to ask my brother what I should do. There are obviously things to consider before administering such heavy medications. My mother tried medication with my brother but at the time he was prescribed, ADHD wasn’t nearly as understood as it is today. He was prescribed a heavier dose of ritalin than a child needed and it took away his entire personality which was a no-go for my mother. Frankly, it was unsafe forty years ago without the knowledge we have today about how much a child should take and thankfully, different types of medicines are also available. After I explained to Bubba what the doctor and psychologist told us he wasted no time in giving an answer. This isn’t verbatim but is very close to his actual words.

“Oh yes, absolutely. When I was kid I didn’t have many friends, if any. They had energy but I had a super power in going non-stop. As an adult I have no issues with that because I’m energetic and always ready. Try the medicine. It’s different now.”

He wasn’t lying about making friends. You’d have to force yourself to not like him and he will run circles around his peers even nearing fifty years of age.

Here we go

So… that’s what we decided on. They started Auggie on a mixture of medicines after more discussions with the doctor. My fears were laid to rest shortly after as well. When I came home from work he was still my Auggie. Working seven days a week I never knew exactly how the medicine calmed him down but his teachers were pleased, his mother and extended family. I’ve been adamant to him that he doesn’t have a problem and that his ADHD is almost a super power. It’s hard for others to keep up with a hurricane.

The first time I noticed him reading, without interruption, tears came to my eyes. Since he could draw, color and read there’s always been an internal struggle in him. He wanted to finish his little projects ADHD his little books but before he even knew it there was something else more important. ADHD isn’t, “look, a butterfly!” ADHD is the thought of never feeling accomplished or complete, never finished, never ready and always ready.

He’s been doing well in school, thank God. The medicine, in his case, has been very good fit his education and when I’m with him in the evenings he’s still my Auggie. Hurricane August.

Next week (I started this entry a month and half ago… life happens. I’m back for now.)

Auggie’s life and my life have had a drastic change over the past couple of months. His mother has decided that she wants a divorce. I’m not going to detail anything in this blog that doesn’t pertain to him and my relationship with him so I’ll not make it about that. I wanted this blog to be a start to present day but I’m going to add in moments past and present that may be helpful to parents with children dealing with ADHD and similar situations to myself. I won’t number them anymore but I do promise to be clever in the title. I’ll try to be clever I’m usually not.

God bless

Jared

P.s. I didn’t proof read much at all. For my sanity I need to get this on here to go over the hump. I need to write more now, more than ever.

Auggie breaks my heart (working title) in the next entry.

Not knowing

Recently, some issues have occurred and I’m not going to present any details at this time but I want everyone to know that I’ll continue writing and eventually get back to a weekly blog. I’m focusing on my family right now and with Auggie being Auggie, he needs my full attention. Of course, my other children do too. They have great big hearts and because of some of the obstacles they face it compounds their emotions.

And I said, “baby, don’t worry”

No worries though. It’s going to be okay. My life has been interesting, to say the least, and every day I’ve been around to live it my God has seen me through. I’m not worthy of His love which is an absolute truth and yet… He loves me.

I’m going to keep writing.

I have a series on another website you can read that focuses on my relationship with God if you’d like to read it. Check out thefishersnet.com and click on the blog button. My blogs will have my name attached. At some point I’ll add them here as well.

Until next time

Jared.

Auggie with ADHD (2)

A hurricane riding an iron tiger

And away we go

Our first visit to the Doctor’s office was a memorable experience especially for my wife. The vast majority of her family did not or do not have ADHD and judging by the waiting room, most of these parents and guardians hadn’t either. There was a few in there that were rocksteady and calm while most others seemed to be at their wits end.

One mother in particular was on the verge of tears as she called her son on multiple occasions to sit back down or get back to the seat or stop running or… That was Auggie and his mother as well. My wife is a tough woman and I thank God for that because having a child/ children with ADHD is a full sprint marathon. The waiting room was quite full with it being the start of new school year. Most of the children were between five and six and in Kindergarten.

    Raising a child or children with ADHD has its challenges but it really only requires one thing. You have to be tough. Oh, you can bend and you can even break but you have to be tough or you’ll be consumed by it. My wife is a tough woman and she has to be. Our children are everywhere instantly, especially Auggie. The frightening part with Auggie is that he has no thought of consequences or danger when he makes a decision. Our daughters will give some thought before jumping from the top step (they will jump but give considerations first). Auggie is on the ground grabbing his ankle while they think about what may come.

    My wife’s family hasn’t dealt with ADHD as mine has. In fact, most haven’t. It’s nearly an anomaly according to doctors at my children’s clinic. Once it got a foothold in our family it decided to stay without paying rent. For Auggie’s first visit we met with a child psychologist first and I kid you not… this man was Mr. Magorium. He even looks like Dustin Hoffman. That made the visit oddly comfortable. He spoke with a voice full of joy that connects with a child unlike anything I’ve ever seen. My wife and I were asked to leave the room so Auggie could be given the intelligence quotient test. I’m not bragging when I say this because I’m not dumb and I know what I see. He tested very high. We had no doubts about his i.q. at any point in time. We met with the doctor next, a very young woman who also had a very nice disposition. Then, we met with a teacher/ counselor who specializes in reaching children with acronyms attached. She wasn’t as bubbly and after hearing that her children also have ADHD it was no wonder (it may be that she just prefers being straight and to the point). Regardless, she has a noticeable toughness about her.

    Now, don’t take me the wrong way please. Having a child with ADHD does not take a parent’s joy away unless they let it. Auggie is precious human with a big heart and after a day with him, in my mental and physical exhaustion, I’m joyful that I am allowed to be his dad. We left the clinic that day with options. Auggie was diagnosed (after all information was taken into account) with ADHD, ODD and OCD. Our options were to medicate or not to. This particular aspect was my main cause for concern because I knew what the medicine could do and was scared I would lose who Auggie actually is. I didn’t want to lose the boy I love to accommodate someone else, anyone else, who barely knew him. I had to call my brother later that evening for advice. He’s in his forties and takes medication for his ADHD. For some adults, ADHD is like being a superhero. You will run circles around everyone else and have this energy that just seems limitless. I’ll explain further next week. Concerning TL and Bubba, two of my brothers, they are superheroes who harnessed their ADHD for side of good.

My Thoughts…

I know everyone deals with these issues differently and may have a different opinion than I do and that’s okay. We’re all trying to make it out of this life alive. This blog is written to detail my journey, our journey, with a hurricane named Auggie.

***OCD… It’s not a switch. I shouldn’t, because it’s a free country, but I take issue when someone levels a picture or straightens a stack of papers and says, “that’s my OCD kicking in.”

Nope.

If you don’t have OCD then you have a quirk. That’s it. A quirk. The O in OCD means obsessive. Obsessed. Being obsessed with leveling a picture would consume your world. Some people are obsessed with such things and it gives them great anxiety when they cannot fulfill that obsession on a mental and physical level. They can’t stop themselves most times. It’s not a switch. It’s their life. You have quirks or you have OCD. You can turn one of them off. Okay, I’m finished.

God bless,

Jared

P.s. in bold just because OR next week…

The next entry will detail the conversation with my brother and a little on the effect of ADHD on a stay-at-home mother (the way I see it as a father.)

Auggie with ADHD

This blog will be a journey and lesson into rearing a child with ADHD and a few other obstacles. These obstacles, as told to him, are not impassable. Some obstacles have to be jumped over, some you have to go around and some… you just have to break the wall down. Obviously, it’s a process.

Meet Auggie

    August is a ten year old boy with wild dirty blonde hair and hazel eyes. His smile is warming and his laugh is contagious and joyful. He’s a brilliant kid who essentially taught himself how to read by comparing the names written of television shows to how they were pronounced when the show started. As crazy as it sounds, Sponge Bob helped in that area. That may make it seem like he watched television all of the time. No… that wouldn’t be correct. The television would be on but he rarely, if ever, sat and watched it for more than a minute at a time but could explain what was happening on the television show nonetheless. Auggie is also great at drawing, coloring and loves creating wild, robotic super heros. He loves science, history and especially reading and watching videos about games and playing games. He loves riding his bicycle and playing with his sisters and trying every moment he can to hold his infant brother. He is sometimes gale force winds and heavy rain and sometimes a blue sky with a light breeze. He’s my little boy.

When We knew

    Auggie was around three when we (my wife and I) began to notice the major signs. When you have a child with ADHD you’ll often hear, “oh, that’s just a kid being a kid.” That’s true and false. He is a kid… A few things come with ADHD such as defiance, obsessive behavior, rash decisions, ticks (flicking the tongue, clearing of the throat, etc.), frustration, depression and anxiety. That is not the whole list but I hope you understand what I’m trying to explain.

    Auggie couldn’t even stay locked on to someone’s eyes in conversation. Once something caught his attention it became an obsession. It was as if his hearing would even cease to work when his mind was elsewhere. When he became obsessed with something it was (and still is at times) relentless in his want for it. Imagine an adult dog on a leash that’s trying to get to whatever has caught its attention and the amount of force used and lack of care for anything it hurts or destroys to get to it. That’s the physical part of obsession. The mental aspect is not letting go of thoughts that rule the mind at that moment. These issues filled his days and at times, still do.

When the world met August

    After two days in Kindergarten,  Auggie’s teacher requested a parent/teacher conference to discuss his behavior. —Before I continue, please know that Auggie was never purposely destructive or mean and still isn’t. He was hyper and couldn’t control his desires or wants. He simply acted without thought of consequence.— In the meeting she explained (as nicely as an older woman one year from retirement would which is not as nicely as my wife thought she should be but that’s for another time) that Auggie’s behavior was basically out of control. In fact, his hyperactivity was of epic proportions and that he needed to be evaluated for ADHD as soon as possible. We knew this, of course.

*Side note: My mother, father, brothers and sister have or had a form of ADHD. Some forms worse than others. This actually gave my wife and I a leg up in rearing our little boy.  It doesn’t make it easy but wrangling a hurricane shouldn’t be.

    The teacher went on to explain that his grades and progression would suffer greatly if this wasn’t treated properly and soon. Basically, she did not want to contend with his form of ADHD in the slightest. I get it. I really do.  I adore MY son. If you know him then you do too. He makes it difficult to NOT like him. He truly is precious (I’m biased, so what?). I understand a person in their sixties (hundreds really) having a difficult time with him especially if they make no attempt to know or understand him. I get it.  That doesn’t mean I accept it. So… we had him tested and sure enough they began throwing all kinds of acronyms at us and that’s where I’ll leave it this week.

What happened next

    In the next blog I’ll discuss the initial doctor’s visit and the raging feud between a six year old that moves like a hurricane and a hollow, immovable oak tree of a teacher.

*I’m not mad at the teacher. I’m mad that being different is somehow incorrect and abhorrent in individual perception. I’ll address this topic too when the time comes.

God bless,

Jared