Sunday, December 5, 2010

The writing is on the wall.

I kinda felt this coming. In fact, I always joked about it when he was little ... never content to be in one place, barefoot and always running. I swear that kid never heard a word I said, but when he came up with all his love and a smile on his face, I forgot all about it.That kid could never EVER sit still. Always moving, always laughing. Always trying to make YOU laugh. But things have changed. He's having a hard time at school. He's having trouble with other kids. He's having a hard time focusing... and he's not so happy. In fact, little anxiety attacks are arising when I ask him to repeat exactly what I just said.

Little One, now 7, I'm pretty sure has ADHD.

I wish I would have taken it more seriously beforehand. Circumstances as they were, led my son at 4 to live with my parents while we were working on this whole Move to Mexico "thing". By five, he was living with my husband in Mexico while my daughter and I closed out our lives in the States and finalized the move. By six, he was in 1st grade. Complications then were presumed to be a major change in life, language, customs... And by seven, he is in a new school, starting again. All with a smile on his face... my little trooper. Through the last few years, Little One was the most positive of all of us.

And HIS problems, we made plenty of excuses for.

After receiving his report card this term, with surprisingly good grades, I received notes on his behavior as being "distracted and talkative", "disrupting classmates" "not finishing assignments on time" along with " he understands the material, but not following through". Little One had been spending his recesses in the classroom, finshing up work that had not been completed. I was told to focus on games on concentration etc... I replied back,filling a prescription for glasses, thinking that that would solve the problem and asked for more feedback. I didn't like what I had heard.

After an art project at a friend's home, she, previously being a nurse, brought up that Little One had a hard time doing a simple project. He did great if he was being monitered one on one, but if he lost attention, he wandered elsewhere. I knew where this was going...

So, Little One has ADHD. I wouldn't be surprised if his dad has it too. That man can't sit still for the life of him. The two of them are very similar. Very positive. Always smiling. They light up the room. They also can't stop moving.... being engaged at all times. They are passionate, animated, and loving. But they also have/had the same history with learning.

Damn it.

So here we are. These past two weeks, I have begun reading with Little One everyday, a few pages at a time, and then asking him for a summary. The first few days were HORRIBLE. Put on the spot, he had an emotional breakdown. Slowly, Little One has been getting over the emotional part and able to completely read a book and sum it up for me. As for math, we've gone back to going over the basics. Multiplication for another day. (can you believe they learn times tables in 2nd grade here?!?) I'm also going to make an appointment with his teachers and hopefully come up with a better learning situation for my pumpkin.

Wish us luck on our new adventure.


On Mexican Time said...

Good luck amiga - I wish I
could offer advice, but I can't!

I do know, that you are a great mom, and little one has a fantastic support group in your family!

One day at a time, right??

Ritamg said...

I have students in my classroom that have the same issues. I walk a fine line between trying to keep these students in sync with the other students by reprimanding them, or overlooking some of their distractive behavior.

With that said, make sure that when he does well he is rewarded. The structure of schools makes it difficult for students with ADD or ADHD to cope. I hate to see a young child with anxiety.

And the most important thing to remember is NOT everyone in the world should fit the same mold. Different styles, learning methods and personalities should be embraced. This is something I try to keep in my perspective every day.

Laura said...

Good sounds like you're being very supportive of him which is so important.

Jackie said...

My daughter has been diagonised with ADHD so I can understand what you're going through. She's 8 years old and last year went through major anxiety. It was so bad she pulled out all her eyebrows, eye lashes, and sections of hair. I felt so, so bad for her. She looked as though she had cancer. Her school tried to expel her and so went to SEP. We also go with a pediatric neurologist and changed schools. I'm happy to say that the anxiety has gone away and her hair/eye brows/eye lashes have all grown back. It was amazing how many people would ask her what had happened to her face. We've actually been dealing with this since she was 3 years old and one of the reasons we left Vallarta and moved to GDL was to get her help. I even had another baby because everyone said part of her problem was because she was an only child. To end this long comment (sorry), try to remember two and patience. Lots of both. And you're not alone.

Ms_Q_Overseas said...

I don't think he has ADHD. I have been a teacher for some time in and out the states, teachers can be so quick to label a child with having a "problem" when in reality he could be just bored or correctly acting his age.

Everything you said, all the changes he went through in his life at his age, new school, new environment, new language, new everything. All the "problems" his teacher is saying he is having sounds normal - there are kids who are labeled with behavorial issues, I see it everyday but I also see kids who are too smart for what is being taught so they get bored, bother other kids, create distractions, act out. Kids who are not completely understanding the material, so they do the same, or kids who just need attention or need to get out the classroom like we as adults sometimes need after working in an office for hours, and having been up since 6 in the morning.

I know for a fact that you are a good mother, keep working with him but don't label the whole ADHD thing just yet. I have seen kids on those pills, they act catatonic, easier for the teacher but I do not believe in modern medicine where a kid is so out of it he no longer has a personality.

Refried Dreamer said...

Thanks guys for the feedback.

Some good news, I guess. I had a meeting with Little Ones' teachers and they were surprised to hear my suggestion. They don't see that activity with my son at all, and they feel that while he's a bit antsy and emotional at times, he's a normal 7 year old boy...esp. after all the stuff that he's been through the last couple years. We did chat about issues that he's having a harder time with and came up with a plan to work at home as well as not putting him up front "under the gun" in the classroom.

While I appreciate the teacher's opinions, (and it makes me feel a whole lot better) after reading so much about ADHD, I, as a mother, see some characteristics that my son does have. Whether he needs to be labeled or not, I feel that knowing that some of these actions can be molded and handled differently. For his anxiety and messiness, daily checkups of his homework and backpack will keep him prepared. A consistant schedule at home makes him feel more at ease... not so "on edge". High sugared juices and cereals in the morning have been replaced by more mellow breakfast that he is not over-energized at school. Reading is now included everyday and sugar has pretty much been eliminated. We're also looking at swimming schools or soccer to keep him active during the week. So far, he seems pretty content and happy. We're gonna take this one day at a time and make changes as need be. :D

Vieja said...

So wish I had come to understand what you have acknowledged so soon. My son is eighteen and to graduate soon and has experienced all the same issues. His smile and good nature had us all distracted from his inner turmoil. Now it will be up to him to continue to he becomes an adult..I have recently found him a male counselor who is helping him recognize and change behaviors to slow and manage his speeding brain..Thank you for your honesty

About Me

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I've been living in Mexico now for about a two years with my hubby and 2 kids. Not exactly by choice, but we're here nonetheless. Luckily, I live with quite a few of the accomodations that i was used to in the states. In spite of those convienences, we also have a water tank with asbestos, outdated electricity, massive amounts of dust, caterpillars that burn your skin, and thousands of windshield washers on every street corner. My kiddos and I are learning to speak spanish and adjust to life away from our family and friends in the States.


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