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.
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.