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Saturday, June 11, 2011

ADHD curse or blessing?

As any mother who has a child with ADHD can tell you, it's not an easy ride raising a child who has this. It starts out in the early years, but most doctors will not diagnose it until the child gets into kindergarten or 1st grade. This is mainly because the way ADHD is diagnosed is kind of difficult. There's this questionnaire you get to fill out to rate your child's behavior in different situations and mom and dad get to each fill out their own form. This way the doctors know if it's really ADHD or just one parent is struggling. But along with that the school teacher needs to fill out the same kind of form as well because in order to get a diagnosis of ADHD your child must be misbehaving in more than one situation. See ADHD effects more than just one area of a child's life. So if he is just being a brat at home, then maybe mom and dad need to discipline more or change tactics. If the child is having problems at school as well as at home then there's something worth looking into. That's the way it was with my wild child.

I knew from the beginning that he was going to be an active child, even in the uterus he kicked and thrashed and moved around a lot. The only time he slowed down was near the end when he was running out of fluid and space. Even then he stretched and pushed for space and a few nights he kicked up so hard that he hit my stomach and caused me to toss my cookies! Yep, I knew he was going to be a challenge....he even came out fast! Everyone told me it was common for a first pregnancy to have a long labor but mine was 5 hours and 10 minutes. As a baby he was determined to move, he wanted to be on his feet very early and was perfectly content to stand in your lap bouncing up and down over and over again. I have a photo of him at 2 months old standing at my mother-in-laws coffee table by himself! At 4 months old his favorite game was to pull himself to a stand in his crib, let go and fall over backwards flat as a board. He would crash and giggle then do it all over again. Once he tried it on the outside of the crib from the floor...that was not as soft of a landing and he didn't laugh...but he also never tried that stunt again unless he was inside the crib lol He loved to bounce in his Super Bouncing Buggy ( one of those play saucers but it was shaped like a truck) and he bounced and bounced and bounced. He rarely napped or slept, I would hear other moms talking about their kids sleeping through the night yet I was still waiting, heck he just started really sleeping through the night in the past six months and he's going to be 11 years old in September!  He's very active, always doing before thinking and even worse, speaking before thinking. He just blurts out whatever comes to mind, he has no ability to filter at all. He just can't control his impulses. Impulse control is a big part of ADHD and we are trying to learn to deal with it.

Of course ADHD isn't all bad, there are some things about it that are actually good. He never tires so you never have to worry about him not having enough energy to do fun things. His energy seems to give him a vast amount of happiness and he laughs out loud a lot. It's such a wonderful sound, his laughter, and it's contagious so anyone around him will find that they too can't help but laugh. Of course when he's pushing the limits of your patience and your can't help but laugh because he's laughing, well then it's not so good. I love that he has an amazing imagination and can still use it even though he uses electronics and watches tv, I love that he is learning to deal with his ADHD and understands why he needs the meds. I love that he loves life so much and has so much fun no matter what he is doing. His constant desire to seek joy and happiness is going to take him places in his life, his ability to argue and fight is going to be a wonderful trait someday. His abundant energy will be helpful when he has to meet a deadline and has to stay up all night making it. Yes, he is going to be an amazing adult because he gets to spend his youth struggling to gain the control over the ADHD. By the time he gets to his adult years he will be the master of his own body, his own life, his entire destiny. When that day gets here I know I will look back and feel so proud of his accomplishments.

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