I’m the first to admit that my two intense kids take the majority of my energy. The Dervish and The Girl are younger and well, they are “intense”. Virtually every moment is a challenge.
However, I didn’t think I was ignoring the Pie … the oldest, mr. stability, mr. dependable, mr. 12 going on 25.
Unfortunately, that seems to be exactly what happened and I think I know why.
It all started a month or so ago when I was looking for a “chore chart” online (something we were trying that didn’t work – again… but that’s another post). In my search I found a site that had charts for every imaginable thing and one of them was an add/adhd checklist.
I don’t know what prompted me to look at it, I had no conscious concerns for any of the kids at that particular time but I did look at it and was shocked when I realized that I was answering yes to virtually every question with regards to my oldest son! Don’t people usually look at and find add/adhd much earlier than 12 years old?
So I talked to The Dad about it and we looked at the checklist together and sure enough, we both had to admit that as hard as it seemed to be to believe, it looked like our oldest, our “normal” child, had been wandering around with undiagnosed add or even adhd!
The Dad discussed it with our Doctor before we talked to The Pie about it and he said we’d have to have his teacher fill out the same checklist before they would make a diagnosis so I emailed the teacher, explained just what I said here and attached the checklist. A day later the list came back – validating my initial idea.
Now for the fun part! After getting the letter from the teacher and my own check list to the Doctor with The Pie in tow, the Dr. says he has to see a specialist! I didn’t even know there were add/adhd “specialists” but apparently there are and The Pie has an appointment with one such guru in DECEMBER! In the mean time, do nothing.
This just doesn’t seem acceptable to me. Originally I had thought that the timing of this sudden noticing of symptoms was great. It was nearing the end of the school year so it would give us the summer to deal with treatment options and hopefully, by the time school started in the fall, we’d be all set and The Pie might actually have a good school year! Now it looks like that’s not going to happen.
So why did it take us until he was 12 years old to discover that he was demonstrating so many add/adhd symptoms?
Well, first of all, no one had ever suggested it was a concern. In the 8 years of formal education, not one teacher even hinted that there might be an issue. Of course, there were always ‘issues’. He fidgets, doesn’t stay on task, spends too much time talking with his friends, gets out of his seat too much etc., etc., etc. and ya, now it screams loud and clear but in the moment it was always accompanied by ‘he’s so popular’, ‘he’s got so many friends’, ‘everyone always wants to chat with him’, ‘social butterfly’. So we saw these as discipline and self control issues related to his personality – the teachers liked him, his classmates liked him – disruptive? ya, a little, but in a class clown, charm your socks off kind of way.
Then there’s the comparison factor. Standing beside emotionally intense Dervish and The Girl, The Pie looks for all intents and purposes, like the golden child. What’s a ‘fidget’ beside a child having a major meltdown over being asked to put her socks in the laundry?
So as it turns out, the challenging kids not only vacuums the attention away from the ‘normal’ kids, they also change the perspective in which you look at your ‘normal’ kids.
What’s next? Well, I think I have to push the dr. towards considering some interim treatment and of course, I am looking at alternative treatments as well.