Thursday, May 7, 2009

Nine Little Words

Tonight I am crying. I am scared. I am nervous. I am shocked. And if true, and I am not saying it is, I am in denial.

I think these are "normal" stages a momma goes through. If there is anything "normal" about this. But there is most certainly irony. Irony threaded throughout.

Irony because I have been on the other side so, so, SO many times. And I was not as sensitive as I needed to be. Not as caring. Not as compassionate. Not as thoughtful.

And now, as I sit here, on the other side, possibly, I want to call each one of those parents and apologize. I had no clue the bombshell I was dropping. I had no understanding for the fear I began. And no idea to the worlds I crashed with my accusations.

But tonight I typed nine little words in google. Nine. Little. Words. Nine little words that made me swallow. Hard. And blink. Rapidly.

Nine little words that made my stomach flip. And made my heart beat faster. And made me pray, "Oh please God. Please. Let me be wrong."

Nine little words that were ugly to me. And I don't know that they are right. But I typed them. Cause they might be. Possibly.

But I typed, in true to Country Girl style, these nine... little ... words.

Help! I think my son might have ADHD. Maybe.

And then I hit send.

And shut my eyes tight.

And hoped there was nothing there.

A little "Sorry. No one had ever searched this ever before - ever" message. So I would realize that THAT was crazy. An absolute insane thought. And no one had ever been crazy enough to even think it, so I should forget about it too.

But there were pages.

And pages.

So I closed my eyes and the lump in my throat rose and the sting in my eyes began to take over.

And I dismissed it.

Cause sure he meets all the qualifiers. And sure he even had disheveled hair and like lizards. But he is sweet and angelic. And I NEED people to see that. I NEED people to see HIM before they judge him.

I NEED people to know how much he cares. How deep he loves. How strongly he feels. How hard he laughs. How much joy he can bring.

I need it to go away. Cause I don't want to think about it or believe it.

And maybe, possibly, his PreK teacher is wrong. Like I am sure I was wrong about so many of my judgements.

Maybe he needs more of my attention. Or has a food allergy. Or a bad haircut.

Maybe it was a bad day. Or week. Or month. Or move. Or transition.

Cause I am not ready. I need people to see him first. See him. Please.


Jackie said...

Your love and acceptance of him as he is, whether that be an active little boy or an overactive one, is the best way to model to others how to treat him. Some kids have more energy than others. Doesn't make them ADHD. Give him time to grow before jumping to conclusions. It's only pre-K. Plus, you have gone through many changes in the last year or so. He may just need time to adjust and relax. Sometimes nerves can push an active child into becoming an overactive one.

There is no 'one way' for kids to be. There is no 'right way'. They aren't coloring books where we adults get to choose what colors to use. Love and acceptance.

Remember that the very qualities that make them 'difficult' as kids are usually the same ones that make them strong and successful as adults. Nuture their uniqueness. And try to gently help pre-K teacher to do the same, maybe offering things that work for you, etc.

Good luck, Jackie

Ashley said...

Oh CG I am sooo sorry.

I hope I don't hear the same thing when my middle enters Pre-K this year. Because he too is sweet, loving, amazing all those things. But there is just something about his attention span and his sensitivities that has me a bit worried.

I hope everything works out okay. I hear there are many diets you can put your children on to help with the symptoms without medication. No sugar, no red food dye, no caffeine. I'm no expert but I play one on the internet, just like everyone else.

mrscravitz said...

I am sorry, but most all teachers of young children will tell their parents they suspect ADHD! Do not take their word for it! Fight them all the way! It is their way of coping with the lack of discipline in schools, because teachers' hands are tied. They can not even 'yell' at a child for fear of retaliation from a parent! Sorry peoples...but look around you, since they took away the discipline, the cases of ADHD skyrocketed!

There isn't a clear cut MEDICAL test to say for sure, "YES, your child has ADHD." It is all done by a doctor OBSERVING your child and taking notes from a parent! Well if you child ate some sweets before visiting the doctor, the diagnosis will be positive.

I was told to put my eldest on Ritalin. This was back in 1987. Scared me to death! I put him on it for a week, against my better judgment! I did not see a difference.

Then the doctor told me that "caffeine" has an OPPOSITE reaction on children than adults. No I know what Caffeine is. I did not know what Ritalin was, and the reports on it scared the jeepers out of me.

So we did a little test. I allowed my 2nd grader to have a very milked down cup of coffee in the mornings before going to school.

First he thought he was being cool, and very grown up! Second it was amazing that all his teachers quit complaining. He was more relaxed, but did not fall asleep in class. Just the small amount of coffee, 1/2 a cup with 1/2 cup of milk, NO SUGAR, made a world of difference.

I know that no one will agree with me, but what is the lesser of two evils? CHEMICALS from the Ritalin that doctors are saying, will make your child become a depressive adult and likely commit suicide at some point!? NOT! Or Caffeine which is in most everything you eat or drink anyway!

His diet was watched closely, and sweets were very limited! Fruits were available, and meals included meat, veggie and a starch of some sort, either pasta, or potatoes.

No Cold cereals. Toast and eggs, or oatmeal were for breakfast.

My son graduated, from high school, is married, with two children and leading a productive life.

To many doctors readily toss out drugs to parents of children that are just being kids.

Stop and think about it. No one ever heard of ADHD back in the old days....LOL Everyone had farms to work off their excessive energy.

Janelle said...

Hang in there. I do not have a child with ADHD, but have been teaching junior-high and high school students for 10 years. I have seen the progress that has been made and the great things that have come from bkids being diagnosed - becasue then we know how to help them, and as a teacher that is a great feeling!

Also, I will admit that I have not always seen 'people first' like you said. Then about two years ago I was given the opportunity to get a school counseling master's degree A LONG with a vocational rehabilitation counseling degree for free through a government grant. I knew nothing about voc rehab at the time, and quite honestly, did not care - I just wanted the free masters degree. However, I am SOOOOO lucky to have learned everything that I have AND I have a whole new understanding of people with disabilities. I LOVE to advocate for them and have even considered continuing with MORE schooling after I get my masters to get a special education endorsement.

Anyway, now that I have rambled...sorry! PLease hang in there, and IF your son has ADHD - just do everything you can to advocate for him and stick up for him and make sure he gets what he needs!

I hope some of this has helped!

Lo said...

(((((HUG))))) It will be ok....whatever it turns out to be. I wish I had something more to give you but having not been there my words, other than love & dr. pepper gloss, wouldn't help. Love him like always and he will go where God leads him.

Ambry said...

That must be terribly frightening...I don't have any kids yet, but this bit of info may help you rest easier[though I suspect you know since you mentioned food allergies as a possibility]:
when my little brother was about 4, he was bad. Really bad. Misbehaved in every way imaginable. But after he'd kicked the dog/punched our mom/broken a dinner plate against the wall, he would cry. & cry & cry, & tell us he was so sorry he was bad, he didn't know why, & he wanted to be good. Even at 9 y/o, it was upsetting to me.
That being said, of course the family's 1st thought was ADHD, but my mom was diligent in finding another reason. She did her research & after much trial & error, it was discovered he had a tomato allergy. We cut everything with tomatoes out of his diet[including pizza sauce & ketchup - most kids' LIFEBLOOD], & there was an immediate transformation.
Eventually he grew out of it, & now he's a perfectly wonderful 17 year old boy.
Best of luck to you, no matter what it may be. Your babies seem delightful, & I'm sure whatever could be "wrong" will all come out in the wash.

Allie said...

Oh my goodness! I never comment on blogs, but as an educator and the mother of a K and a PreK, it infuriates me when this sort of thing occurs. My stance is that little children need to be allowed to be just that--little children. Children learn best through play,and I have a hard time with educators who try to slap that label on at such a young age/learning stage. My encouragement, and I am speaking from some experience, is to give it time. I have done a little research myself, and have come to the conclusion that boys simply take a bit longer to catch on to the classroom atmosphere sometimes--but they can and do. I would also recommend that you take a look at the Danish model for the instruction of small children. It made a lot of sense to me, and was a comfort. Best to you and yours.

KinaBolina said...

Awww, don't freak out just yet. (((Hugs)))
I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 4 and my mom worked really hard to make sure I was equipped with the tools to keep myself in working order sans medication.
xoxo Caroline

Mike and Nicole said...

All of your initial action/reactions are normal. At least that's what our doctors have been telling us.
Just remember this; This ain't the end of the world. There is LOTS of help out there. You will probably be surprised at how "common" this is.
We are tackling this with our second grader. As I'm writing this, all three of us are doing "classwork" together. Three days of work that the teacher let him [not do]. A GOOD teacher can make all the difference. You probably know that. Duh!
Reach out and holler at us if you wish.
We'll certainly keep following.

Farmgirl Paints said...

As you were typing your post and I was reading down the list I had this fear in the pit of my stomach that you were going to say "cancer" or something equally as awful. So when you said the ADHD it was a relief, but I know it's still not a relief to you. I'm a firm believer that God will not give you more than you can handle. And if he has this, you will learn how to manage it and people WILL see him for who he is. It will be alright.

Marchelle said...

i HAVE seen him. and you know what i saw? A. LITTLE. BOY. a spirited, silly, high-strung little boy, which is what almost ALL little boys are. including my own.
i have already anticipated this type of thing with mine. i just signed him up for pre-school today in fact. i will not put him on ridalin if/when "they" tell me i should. but i am a jenny mccarthy fan and believe what she says about some vaccines and autism. not that either of those issues has anything to do with the other. i just wanted to burn my bra and fly my freak flag for a minute and announce my 'anti establishment' status.

my point is, drugs are bad mmmmkay? ok, not all drugs. bc like some people are bipolar and there are drugs that really help stuff like that. but i think the drug companies and the drs are too quick to push stuff down everyone's throats, and also the teachers hands are tied like mrscravitz said so they figure they will "label" them in some way to make excuses for why they can't "fix them"

this stinks for you though. you just got ET all happy and squared away at her new school and now this.

but you know what? its a hair flip. its whatever. you just flip that hair and you cool again. MT needs to grow his out so he can flip too.

Kathy said...

I'm sorry Country Girl!! It is so hard to hear about YOUR child. You want to yell "its not true! He's not" then you wonder if thats just denial and ofcourse you'd say that. It must be your fault and you must have DONE something or noe done something and...but what if he is ADHD? Don't know many little boys who aren't ADHD :) (wink)

Little boys that age also don't fit well in a classroom. Neither do lizards, and nerf guns.....

Those qualities that make him "HIM" have their good and their bad. Some we praise. Some we accept.

I haev four sons. They make no sense to me. Im glad. I live with them, train them, nurture them but have not turned them into girls.

Molly said...

Hey Cg!! My baby brother has ADHD and we have tried all sorts of things, diet, routine, etc. We unltimatley had to resort to medication, but I will tell you he is not drugged looking or tired at all. It will take alot of patience but you already have that (the worms in the tub HAHA). I really could care less about what other people think when he sometimes "acts" out because others think that is not "normal" but it is OUR "Normal", not there's. There will be alot of people being critical and trying to tell you what you should do, but you will know in your heart what the best solution is for your child. And please don't get me on the subject of cochlear implants, people gave us HELL for that but as I told one lady who yelled at my mom so bad it made her cry, I said ," If your child was born blind and there was a sugery for them to be able to see, wouldn't you do anything for them to have a better life and to have the chance to see?". You will have to fight but in the end it is what you and your family think is right and what is best for your little one. I will keep you in my prayers and hope for the best solution for you. Have a great weekend!!!
~Molly P

Holli said...

Unfortunately, I have the opposite point of view I do have an 18 year old with diagnosed ADHD. It is a side effect of a pre-mature birth. I fought this diagnosis and fought it to the bitter end. I was told he was the worst behaved child in 1st grade, I did not see the things they did. He is a boy and we all know boys learn differently from girls;it goes on and on. By 3rd grade he had no friends and school was as painful as it could possibly be. This child is so intelligent-he should be going to Harvard not a community college. By 3rd grade, I gave up and put him on ritalin. It changed his life. He had friends, he was able to his assignments, etc. The damage done in his 1st 3 three years of school because I did not listen to what the teachers told me has proved to be irreversible. He has HATED school and each year has been a painful struggle for both of us. This may not happen to your son. What I recommend is get him tested by a trained professional. There are non medication treatments and strategies to employ. Please email me if you need more information.

Dana and Daisy said...

My sister had this same proclamation by her son's KG teacher, even thought he might be autistic. He was held back too. And she took him to a great doctor, not an md, but I think he was a phychiatrist and they did a lot of thorough testing, I know not what all they did but the result: he needed more consistent parenting and for dad to meet him on an adult to child level, not a child to child level.

A rather cute moment happened one day while I was keeping him and his sister. She taunted him that he had to do KG again, and he looked at me and said, "But Aunt Dana, it's not because I'm not smart enough it's because of my behavior!" Aawe! I hugged him up tight and said, "Well, what are you going to do different next year?" He said, "I'm going to behave!" Then I gave his sister the what for about teasing him.

Breathe in and out, get him checked out, and know that it is not the end of the world if he is. We all love him and so will others.

krystall said...

Wow we are in the exact same stitution! My sons Kindergarden teacher came to me and said now that they are gearing them up for 1st grade independent work my son can not focus on all the directions to complete the work. So off we go to the behaviorist and she does IQ tests, personality test and 200 questions for us and teacher. Results ADHD! This is on top of his sleep apnea and asmathma. Poor thing.
I felt the same way. I wasn't upset with the other diagnoses but I was heart broken over this. Why??? I wish I knew.
He's been on the meds 2 weeks and his teacher can see a differnece but honesty we can't. He's the same sweet, hyper, loving little boy. If his teacher thinks it's working I'm leaving his dose alone. I have been surprised by this and grateful it hasn't changed him.
Now if I could get over the stigma that I think is associated with it we'd be ok.
I pray for your journey it's not easy but neither is motherhood.

Alice said...

Oh, the joys of parenthood. Well I can tell ya for sure, you are doing more than some parents, you are trying to educate yourself before you do anything. Way to Go!! I am a teacher and a parent. My son was "diagnosed" with ADHD in first grade. And we have been on a roller coaster ever since, but who doesn't love roller coasters? This can actually bring your whole family closer. We have found a great med. that works so well for us. It is a simple blood pressure medicine called Clonidine. None of the side-effects like Ritalin, but just calms our son down. I didn't want to "lose" our son's wonderful personality, but I knew he needed something or he would hate school. Ask your Dr. about it. Remember-Knowledge is your true weapon.

Transparent Mama said...

Just remember that YOU are his mother and YOU see him and YOU are his advocate when nobody else will be. And God will give YOU wisdom if you ask.

~Kim said...

So what CG? You know your son way better than any teacher or doctor! And so what if they think he needs a few letters added to him.

It's all going to be fine! If there is any momma out there that is ready to tackle ADHD head on, it's YOU!

Maybe your little guy does meet all the indicators, but if he didn't they would be concerned that there was something else going on.

Love him for the little boy that he is....enjoy him! : )

You will make the best of any situation...I just know it!


J said...

Honey, I feel your pain. My oldest son (who is now 11) was diagnosed with ADHD in preschool as well. I dismissed the idea and felt that he was just an active child. By 1st grade our physician convinced me to put him on medication. He turned into a zombie with zero appetite and impeccable handwriting. In the matter of two weeks he lost ten pounds...ten pounds he absolutely did not have to spare. I immediately began the process of weaning him off the medicine and refused to try something else (as in a different med). He's active, that's who he is, and he is just fine. Your little guy will be too. Eventually they learn different coping mechanisms or strategies to remain focused when necessary, it comes with age. MT will be fine regardless of the diagnosis.

Steve said...

My better half swears I have undisgnosed ADHD! And so do many other friends. I don't know I've always been me. But I survived! Hope that didn't make you cry even more!

Dana and Daisy said...

Hey I came back to read some of the comments. I realized mine might have sounded like I was saying something about your parenting, which of course I am not. What I meant was kids are complex creatures and I just get suspicious when they label kids at school. I know they see lots of kids and can identify the symptoms, but they shouldn't offer the diagnosis. In the case of my sister, they needed to adjust some parenting. In your case, maybe it is something totally different. In any case, I think each child should be treated as an individual with individual needs to be met. Praying for you and your family. Love all your twerps!

Anonymous said...

Or maybe he's just a normal kid and preK teachers are quick to dx a disorder!?!

Regina in KY said...

Your post made me think of my best friend and her son. Yes, he does have ADHD. I babysat him from birth and new he did, and bless her heart, she DID NOT want to hear it.

Your pains of wanting people to "see" your child the way you do are so understood because she and I felt the same way about Seth. Sweet, loving, all-boy. Teachers have been hard with him, but understanding parents, friends, and others in his life will help him and you. It is NOT the end of the world. Don't assume he has ADHD. Try the coffee idea that Mrscravitz above told you about. That could be the little bit of magic you need, honey.

So what if you find out he does have ADHD....just one more thing to make him even more special than he already is and he has a wonderful mommy to go thru it with!

The woman said...


It's never something any of us want to face when our child doesn't fit the 'typical' mold.... but really who wants our child to fit a mold.... I have two special needs boys.... one that has ADHD tenancies but there are natural ways to treat it...... There is a FANTASTIC herbal product called Focus from Native Remedies in the US .... I would have it shipped to Canada monthly. Type in FOCUS and ADHD in Google and it will pull this product up. Within 4 days of my son being on it there was a HUGE difference!! And NO SIDE EFFECTS!! I really hope you read this because it changed his life and how he was able to focus at school but it didn't change him.... him angelic personality. I hope this helps.

Marchelle said...

i just came back to read the comments to make sure nobody thought i was a psycho nut job.


Dana and Daisy said...

that is funny! marchelle, I did the same thing! ha!