Friday, June 08, 2007

ADD and my child

I am only just begining what I know will be a long ongoing journey with my youngest son. Rowdy One has always been full of life, full of movement, full of emotion for most of his life. And the name I gave him for this blog fits him well. As he grows it is becoming clearer that he has what appears to be classic ADD. I tend to leave the H out because I do not see the hyperactivity in him that is customary for these children. Rowdy yes but to me he is well within the normal area of activity for a happy healthy six year old boy.

Classic ADD symptoms that he exhibits: is easily distracted; has difficulty sustaining attention span; has difficulty following through on tasks and instructions; has difficulty keeping an organized area; has trouble with time; has tendency to lose things; is forgetful; is restless; has trouble sitting still; is noisy; is impulsive. While some are mild more than half are increasing as he ages. One of my main concerns is his impulsiveness. While he does well most of the time I can not ignore the many times he does not. Many red flags go up on a daily basis with him and I can not deny the fact that as a parent and who I am I must investigate and be proactive for my child and my family.

This is the road I am currently on. Learning more, reading, researching, discussing. Making subtle changes. Becoming more of an advocate for him/us so that our family will be better prepared as he ages.

The statistics startle me. Not that I didn’t know what was going on but that my child has a higher percentage of falling into them.

52 percent of untreated teens and adult abuse drugs or alcohol. (many
times as a way to self medicate)

43 percent of untreated
hyperactive boys will be arrested for a felony by the age of 16.

percent of inmates in a number of studies have been found to have ADD. (75 % in
one study)

Parents of ADD children divorce three times more often
than the general population.

Healing ADD The Breakthrough Program That Allows You to See and Heal the 6 Types of ADD by Daniel G. Amen, M.D.

Labels and statistics can be sticky. Much information is blown out of proportion. Many labels are not used properly. But when I look at the over all picture and take in all that I am reading and seeing it is hard to ignore the facts I see day to day. I do not mind a label that is used to help someone. I have issue with a label given to give someone as an out or excuse. Statistics need to come from several different areas and sides to be useful and balanced. As a responsible parent this is what I am using as my guide for statistic and labels.

My therapist has been telling me that at some point Rowdy One will need to have medication. Not telling me to push it down my throat but telling me so that I have time to get used to the idea. In most of what I am reading I see that she may be right. But there is also a lot my family can do first.

Last week as I sat down to read with Rowdy One I saw up close and personal, and very clearly I might add, some of his struggle. He is a very good reader. He learned quickly and enjoys books. He was reading a story about a frog and a fish to me. He could not finish a page without getting distracted. Not distracted as in frustrated but distracted as in something he read made him think of something else. Fish hid beneath a rock lead him away from the table to look for his rock that looked like what he saw in the book. Frog played hide and seek with fish lead him away from the table to find his Froggy book. And each time he returned he had to find where he was and get back on track. The thought of my child not being able to finish reading a book made me sad. I do not want him to give up on reading at some point because it becomes to difficult to focus. I do not want him to lose the adventures reading will provide him because he can not remember where he was and can’t keep other things from distracting him. That was a crystal clear moment. I have to become proactive. I must.

I am sure I will fill many other posts about this journey. I would love to hear any stories, encouragement, advice or ideas on the subject. Whether it be books to read, diet plans or personal stories. Please fill free to leave a comment or email me directly at njherbst at hotmail dot com.


1 comment:

Tonia said...

It sounds like you are doing very well right now! You are listening and learning, seeing your son with new vision...looking for ways you can facilitate growth and help at home.

Remember it is a long, long marathon, not a sprint.

Also, there is never a "solution"...and ADD mom is a flexible mom. :) The things that worked yesterday, or last year may not work today. I have learned to take one morning at a time, praying for wisdom to face each day's needs.

You are doing a GOOD job!