Do any of you lovely parents have experience with severe ADHD? I have some questions and would really appreciate hearing any wisdom you can share.
First, a little about my son-
Jason is 9-years-old. I first noticed something was “wrong” when he was a toddler/preschooler. We weren’t around other children very often, but whenever we were, it was always painfully apparent that the other kids were way ahead of Jason developmentally. He wasn’t speaking on their level. He took much longer to potty train. Etc. As a parent, I was always embarrassed. I kept wondering, “What am I doing wrong?”
I told myself that kids learn at their own pace and each child is different. I felt, if he was behind, it was only because he was an only child and we lived in an isolated area. Once he got into school and could be socialized, he would catch up and do better.
Jason grew up and got into school… and that’s when our challenges really began. He has always struggled with his attention span. He’s easily distracted, and while I wouldn’t call him “hyper” because he doesn’t run around and jump off walls or shout- he does have an obviously lack of control physically. He absently touches his face, chews on his fingers, falls out of chairs, etc. If he is watching TV, even if it is something he likes, it is normal for him to migrate around the living room, standing rather than sitting in place. He also tends to watch TV with his head at an angle.
It’s worse for him socially. I think, even if he were developmentally normal, he would have a hard time fitting in because kids around here are allowed to watch/read/play things that I don’t find even remotely appropriate for children. So- for Jason, on top of just not liking what is “cool” and coming across as immature for those reasons, he has his quirks to deal with.
When he was in Kindergarten, I put together a big birthday party for him and had him hand out invites at school. No one came to the party… Not ONE kid… Same thing happened again in first grade. I was so devastated on his behalf, I stopped planning big parties and would only invite families I knew would come and we’d do something small.
I kept pushing off evaluations- because I really believed he’d outgrow the quirks, that kids were just mean and into bad things here, and that he was just bored academically because he already knew the stuff he was being taught.
But the teachers kept begging me to get him seen/evaluated. I had a lot of fire put on me… and I finally broke down and took him to his pediatrician.
(to be continued…)