Thursday, September 29, 2011

ADHD. Over diagnosed or under estimated?

I'm sure it's apparent from reading posts that Devin is not your typical go with the flow child. Unfortunately for him, he's my clone but to the extreme. I'm ridiculously forgetful, I have a hard time doing things that don't particularly interst me and there are times when I feel like my brain wants my body to go ten million times faster than it can. As an adult I've learned how to function (if that's what you call it) and cope with these things. For example: If I have a deadline that I have to meet I will put on headphones and listen to an interesting documentary and have an endless supply of munchies.

Devin was different since the day he was born. While most babies like to sleep the days away, Devin would stay up for hours. He started tracking objects and people with his eyes almost immediately. And the kid didn't like to be still. No, no, no, no, he did not. I would get charlie horses in the arches of my feet from bouncing around all day long. When he learned to crawl he would put his head down and speed towards his destination and at 9 months he skipped toddling around and went straight to running.

Through preschool, he struggled to keep up at the same learning rate of his peers and struggled with self control. Long story short...we found that he had severe hearing loss during preschool caused by otitis media. He underwent surgery to have tubes put in.

I now had "something to blame" for his extreme outburst behaviors and his lack of ability to keep up. His hearing loss had been around a 70% loss. He had missed out on alot and was frustrated with being an environment that he wasn't able to understand or thrive in. His preschool modified everything for him to be sure that he always was aware of what was going on and was expected of him.

Enter Kindergarten. His behaviors were still extreme. I spoke with the principal and teacher enough that year to think that I was the student again. I was at a loss. His teacher obviously did not like him AT ALL. And, he was having hearing issues again. We had to go back for another set of tubes. We struggled through the year with barely getting by grades. I was never so happy for summer as I was that year.

First grade. His teacher was wonderful. But, he still gave her a hard time...not as bad as Kindergarten but still a hard time. Towards the end of the year it was more time with the principal. Referrals for anger problems and attention problems. Suggestions of diagnosis that made my head spin out of control and left me feeling like I had ruined my child's academic career as well as any future visions of a productive life.

After two days of crying and pulling the woahs-are-us deal, I pulled my head out of me bum and got moving. We saw a counselor...went to endless meetings and was promptly referred to medication with no supportive services. While I'm not comfortable with medicine I'm not ruling out that it may help him. However, I know from experience that it isn't a wonder drug. You can't pop a pill in his mouth and expect his whole personality will change. He is who he is and he's unfortunately already learned some non-productive ways of doing things at school. I have since found a new counselor and we are in the process of getting a formal diagnosis and will then be requesting an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for Devin.

I'm not thrilled about it. When you have a baby, you envision them doing normal things in a perfect world. What is the definition of perfect? What is the definition of normal? I think my crazy guy is pretty great. And I'm going to do everything in my power to help the rest of the world see the greatness within him too!

Truly, I was way over dramatic about it. I've always said that I love Devin with a fierceness that is different than my other two children. Maybe it's because I see so much of my former awkward self in him, maybe it's because I see the looks people give him, maybe it's because of the conversations I've heard or maybe it's simply because he needs it. He needs someone to remind him that he's not alone and even when he loses faith in himself, I never will.

1 comment:

  1. Your're right. What is normal? We could all be the insane ones and Devin has it just right. He will always be a special child despite his behaviour. I know you know that =]


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