Friday, September 15, 2006

And now the bad news....

I've got an admission to make. I haven't been completely honest about my incredible 10-yr old. There are problems, and not easily solved problems either.

Ever since 1st grade, Jaben has had trouble in school. Not necessarily the work, but listening, following directions, focusing, paying attention. It's been a pretty constant battle, with the exception of 4th grade and I still believe with my whole heart that went so well because the teacher was amazing. In my naivete, I thought we'd gotten things right and he'd be fine now.

Ohhhh how wrong I was.

I got the first phone call from the teacher on the 6th day of school. That same day I got a note from another teacher in the team. And things have been in a constant downward spiral from there. This week alone he has lost a recess and today he served his first detention. I was beginning to think I was raising a juvenile delinquent.

So I decided to put the internets to good use... for something other than messing around and I began looking for solutions, options, ANYthing that would help my son. That's when I came across this:

* Pays little attention to details; makes careless mistakes;
* Has short attention span;
* Does not listen when spoken to directly;
* Does not follow instructions; fails to finish tasks;
* Has difficulty organizing tasks;
* Avoids tasks that require sustained mental effort;
* Loses things;
* Is easily distracted;
* Is forgetful in daily activities.

WOW! A checklist that describes my son!! COOL!

Oh wait... that's the Primarily Inattentive ADD checklist.


Now just so you know, I never once imagined Jaben as having ADD. Never would've even thought about it. But I can't look at this and think he doesn't. The scary thing is, it makes me feel a little bit relieved. I mean, if this is what's wrong, then we can work with this, we can get him the help he needs (I'm pretty much against meds for children so we'd go the behavioral modification/therapist route first and foremost), we can get him classified special needs at school so that he can get the help he needs!!

Oh God what if it's NOT Inattentive ADD?

I'm covering all my bases on this one. Today I saw the teacher - she read the list and listened while I explained his history since first grade (including a visit to the school therapist I was NOT informed about until after the fact, in second grade). And she agrees with me that ADD is definitely something we should explore. So -- she's going to begin filing the paperwork to have him tested thru the school.

The reason I say I'm covering all my bases is that I also made an appt with his doctor for next Friday. I want him to have a full physical, I want his thyroid checked, blood sugar levels, pee test (he'll love that) because I want to be SURE there isn't something physical going on that has his chemicals out of whack and makes all this difficult. Since I have to have the school do the ADD test to get him classified, I'm going to inform the Dr of what's going on and that I want him involved if at all possible. I trust him, he's with me on the "no unnecessary meds for kids" thing, he's known Jaben since the day he was born, and he cares about his well-being. Who wouldn't want someone like that on their side??

I just want to do what I can to make my baby's life easier. It wasn't easy calling the teacher to get an appointment to discuss this, it was even harder talking to her, it's not going to be easy talking to the Dr about it next week... it's like admitting there's something wrong with your child but he's beautiful and smart and perfect... so that can't be right.

But there is... there is something going on with my son that I can't fix.

I hate like hell to admit that.

But I'm going to do everything within my power to make it right for him. When you look in his big brown eyes you can see that he's frustrated too, he wants answers too... and dammit, I'm going to get them for him.

No matter what, I am going to get some answers for him.

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

It is hard to admit there are issues, but good for you for having the courage to do so. Labels aren't always a bad thing. Labels tell us what we need to know to do the very best by children. If there's something that needs to be addressed, better to make the brave choice to acknowledge it and give your son the tools to address it rather than condemn him to a academic career of wondering "what's wrong with me?" when the answer to that is "clearly, nothing."