Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Diagnosis: ADHD

So recently my husband and I got the diagnosis that our son has ADHD. 
First off, let me explain that he wasn't diagnosed by a 5, 10 or even 20 minute visit with a pediatrician.  (I say this because I have understand that ADD and ADHD can be overly diagnosed where it may seem the easier thing for the doctors to do, even if that isn't what it is.)
He saw a child psychologist who tested him for two hours on two different days for a total of four hours.  We have a rather lengthy printout of all the tests involved & his performance in comparison to his age group.  So we feel that this isn't one of those cases where he has been shoved into a box by a tired or hurried pediatrician. 
I'm not a total stranger to this.  My brother (three years younger than me) was diagnosed with ADD.  I have cousins (from two of my mom's sisters) that have either ADD/ADHD.  So it does, unfortunately, run in my family. 
This, as a parent, is a new road for me as well as for my husband.  We're just beginning our journey & I know we have a LOT to learn before we get to the end of the journey.  I hope to educate myself on it & on the various ways that my husband and I can most effectively communicate with our son successfully without all the frustration between us all. 
I feel this has been confirmation that God has led us to homeschool.  Many schools right now are struggling.  Even the good ones aren't as good as they should be, they're just better than the rest.  The school system & structure needs to be updated so that it meets the demands of modern times & needs.  With all the economic stresses & school budgets being cut back, many schools are no longer equipped to handle the extra needs of children with ADD/ADHD.  So I feel blessed to be able to give James that extra one-on-one attention that he needs to help him succeed academically.  I know that he's a very hands on learner, so I need to do my best to get him involved with the lessons & interacting with them as much as possible rather than simply presenting him with the material. 
I admit, I do feel a bit overwhelmed at the prospect that is ahead of me.  At times, I even feel under equipped.  I'm currently dealing with depression & so that creates a difficulty & inner struggle on things that shouldn't be.  So this extra curve ball feels more like a foul ball that I've been hit with.  Yes, I saw the signs & could see it coming right at me.  Yet suspecting & knowing aren't the same. 
I've created a small online group of friends of mine from my '06 &'09 birth boards - they are all parenting children with ADD/ADHD as well.  I certainly hope & pray that we will be a blessing to each other & help each other learn more & be a safe place to discuss our daily interactions, struggles, things we've learned, etc. 
So this means that I need to be on top of my blogging more.  For my own sake.  To see what we've done in the past and what has worked versus what has not.  Hopefully more people will read my blog & will have stories of their own to share that will encourage me & inform me as well.  Hopefully more people will read & I can help them by being a sympathetic ear or linking them to an informative article I've found & help them as well.  Especially if they homeschool as well - they can share ideas & sites that are geared towards hands on learning for even the subjects I may not realize can become hands on subjects! 
So for the first time, I'm going to ask you to share the link to this blog so that possibly I can grow a community of support for those of us parenting children with ADD, ADHD and also for homeschoolers.  (Though having both is certainly not required.)

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