Friday, 25 October 2013

Achtung Baby - Everything ADHD Part 1

October is Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD Awareness Month.  In order to help promote awareness and education to parents, teachers, caregivers or anyone touched by ADHD Jaime-Lynne is providing some much needed information.  This interview is from the perspective of a parent of a seven year old who has ADHD.  Jaime-Lynne is  mother of 3.75 boys (baby boy four is due any second now) and is apparently a master of time-management as she was able to provide amazing and thoughtful answers to me in short order while managing her brood of little men.  This is a multi-part series, so stay tuned...

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

How did you find out that your eldest son had ADHD?
We had a hunch that something was going on with T so we approached his Senior Kindergarten Teacher (who had also taught him the year before).  We were curious as to whether or not issues that were coming up in the classroom on a daily basis could be a result of ADHD.  She gave the matter some thought and said yes, so we looked into how we would go about testing and found out that we could have the school board do the testing (which is free in Canada as it's deemed a special need). 

What was your experience with the school board testing?
In Ontario they wait until Grade 1 and then put the child on a waiting list (depending on when you get on the list you could wait anywhere from one to three years), which we weren't willing to wait for since we wanted to find out how we could help T sooner.  We felt these delays would be frustrating for us and T.

So what did you do instead?
So then we looked into private testing - We took T to a pediatrician who specializes in ADHD.  During our first meeting and assessment the doctor looked at me and said " I don't usually like saying this the first time, but if you need ANYTHING before you see the child psychologist, let me know!"  Our hunch seemed to be correct. 

We were then referred to a child psychologist.  We then met with her and alongside his teacher we filled out information forms on his behavior at home and school for review. When we met we had one on one sessions including us as parents as well as sessions with just the child psychologist and T.  We met with her one on one and she assessed T on his own before she diagnosed him with: Combined Inattentive and Hyperactive ADHD, with an anxiety disorder and signs of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). 

What was your initial reaction to the diagnosis?
My initial reaction wasn't really anything because we were the ones that were seeking out answers, it's different for others who are told, "this is what's going on with your child, now deal with it "  but we were the ones that were looking to figure things out and help him in every way we could.  It actually explained a lot of things.   In the past we just thought it was him being a difficult child.  We also learned that it's not just ADHD - there's almost always a co-morbid (in conjunction) with it and that's what was hardest and I say I because as the primary caregiver I'm the one with him 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I had to learn all about anxiety disorders and how they effect not only kids, but kids with ADHD and then I had to figure out what the hell ODD was - and once I did, a light bulb went off and I was like " YES! that's why he does this and this and this" while also trying to figure out how to parent a child that laughs in the face of authority.

What are some major challenges you face on a day to day basis?
The hardest thing about it is trying to always remember that this is how his brain works.  It's not his choice, although some of the things he does are 100% in his control, and we never let him use it as an excuse.  There are many, many things that aren't (in his control) and we have to remember that.   It's also trying to deal with everybody else that either chooses not to see what's going on behind the scenes and blames it on him being "bad" or that it's just "lazy parenting".  If they lived 24 hours in my house, they'd understand what it's really like.

Want Multiple Momstrosity updates on Facebook click here

No comments:

Post a Comment