If one more person asks if my son has been diagnosed with anything…

Disclaimer: this may sound like a rant!

Once again, we (both parents) are in my son’s classroom for a meeting regarding his behavior.  This is by far the largest group we’ve met with yet…both Kinder teachers (they have a job share), the principal, school counselor, special education teacher and school psychologist.  I have to admit that I’m totally apprehensive going in to each meeting.  I always assume the worst, that they’ll tell me my kid is uncontrollable and should be on meds.  I’m always ready to defend because I’m convinced that he doesn’t need meds.

At the age of 3 1/2 we were asked to have him seen by an MD for potential physical issues because he wasn’t 100% potty trained! Then a behavior specialist who observed him in school and came to our home.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m open minded enough to take action and get all the suggested help and/or doctors notes requested of me.  I’m just convinced that my son is quite brilliant, knows how to push buttons, and has a mind to only do the things that interest him most.  That just didn’t happen to be sittingstill in a circle QUIETLY for 30 minutes 2x daily with a group of other kids his age.

So as I thought, we were asked to go through all the screenings/assessments/whateveryouwannacallthem again.  I have a slight twinge of sadness with this process but I have to admit, the public school we are at is one of the best in our state, if not the best.  The help he has received thus far has been fantastic and the potential help he will receive going forward is encouraging.  I was most encouraged by the acknowledgement by teachers and staff that he is bright, he is capable, it’s really just a focus issue.

So, as I breathe a little easier, I will process the requested paperwork (still with a bit of sadness) and realize that my son and his brilliance just can’t be contained in the public school system as it is.  Being that we are a dual-income family I’m not about to start down the road of homeschooling (although it has crossed my mind) but I’m grateful for the help and the capable teachers that recognize his intelligence above his behavior.  I came across this article called Unlock Your Fidgety Child’s Ability To Learn and Focus that really describes what type of learning that just makes sense with my son.

The encouraging piece to all this is he will be getting more individualized attention, he’s not the only one (because sometimes as a parent you feel like your kid is the ONLY one) and he is still a brilliant, happy and hilarious little guy that lights up my world.


3 thoughts on “If one more person asks if my son has been diagnosed with anything…

  1. Hello there.. I loved reading your rant just now as many of the things you mention touch a chord with me and my son (now 8). We live in the Netherlands where schooling is mercifully pretty child friendly (no academic ”learning” until about 6, plenty of movement and play based learning etc – but still, in his very short career in the ”regular” school system I was hauled in and told so many times that my child had problems, I had unbelievable diagnosis inflicted on him based on just a few weeks of observation etc – drove me mad. He was banned from the gym for being too ”dangerous” and not listening to rules. He was punnished for disappearing off on an adventure in the corridor (on his 3rd day at school) when he was sent to the bathroom alone. I was called in because he wouldn’t stay sat on his chair, ”rolled about” too much, was always ”dangerously” putting things in his mouth. Because he didnt concentrate or listen to the stories / instructions. ETC..ETC…

    Anyway, my long babble is leading me to pass this book to you – http://www.amazon.com/Out-Sync-Child-Revised-Edition/dp/0399532714 – I eventually had a really wonderful child physiotherapist work with Ash as the school recommended it due to his endless fidgeting (and constantly falling off his chair in class). constant dreaming & apparent absent mindedness, clumsyness, inability to stamp / do anything ”grounded”, slumping on his desk all the time, etc etc.. he was ”diagnosed” with sensory perception issues and loose collagen. So he HAS to wriggle and fidget and stuff things in his mouth to get more physical information as he doesn’t get enough from the regular sensory feeds; meanwhile, aural senses are mostly like wallpaper noise to him, floating in space, and he has to work very hard to concentrate on and catch aural information. Visual information travels to his brain at a gazillion miles an hour and triggers him like crazy… etc… there were so many small details that fell into place once we knew this, like having him sit on a special ”balance cushion” in class to give his body a bit more to focus on so that his mind could stay alert to what it was ”supposed” to be tuned into. Like letting him chew on a special rubber thing for the same reason, and having a jelly snake thing to fiddle with. His concentration and ”presence” improved so much, and we got a series of exercises to do at home to help his muscle tone strengthen which also helps his alertness improve..

    Something pretty straightforward and simple, and no, there is not a quick fix ”cure” but there is a lot we can do to help him get the right information and make things easier for him, and the changes we have been able to implement have really made a big difference – but most of all, for me, just understanding him better has been a godsend. Knowing that n the mainstream, he was labelled very quickly as ADHD, possibly autistic, a problem etc… none of which is the case, but it does seem that some of the issues surrounding sensory processing give off similar signals and can lead to people jumping to totally incorrect and largely unhelpful conclusions…

    OK, I only intended to write a quick line as I saw your post and it resonated with my experience. If it helps, I am really, really glad – I know I was so delighted when I stumbled upon this with my son. And f it doesnt help at all, then delete and I apologise for wasting your time!

    All the best fro you and your family,

    (British, living in the Netherlands)

    1. Vicky, thank you so much for your comment and book recommendation. I will definitely read it! Thank you also for sharing your experience with your son, it is so helpful to hear that we are not on this journey alone! I have learned a lot since my post but am still learning and reading and changing things to find what works best. I hope your son has a great year of learning. Happy New Year!

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