Sunday, January 8, 2012

Keep on keepin on

I believe last week was an attempt to see how many doctor visits I could make.  Quinn was not acting himself.  He is usually quiet, mischievous and funny.. but I suddenly found him waking a lot at night, throwing himself backwards in crying fits.. so we spent Tuesday evening at the doc.  He has an ear infection.  Poor baby.  The antibiotic is helping a lot and he's trying to get back to his little old self.

Mr. Pants really wasn't acting any differently than he normally does, but he just had that "look".  I'm sure any of you mothers know what I mean.  He just looked not right to me.  He started coughing a lot at night which is always a key that something is going on.  He has a mild asthma that only acts up whenever something respiratory is happening.  Thank God he doesn't have allergies.  Anyhow, took him to the doc on Thursday and turns out he has a massive sinus infection and needed some more albuterol for his nebulizer.  The doc had to show me the inside of his nose because I just couldn't believe it.  He had no drainage, but one look with the right tool and holy cow.  YUCK!  He is also on antibiotics now and is doing his breathing treatments twice a day. 

The Dude is hanging in there.  I hadn't posted this previously because, well, we had so much other crap going on...

He had been tested in Kindergarten for some academic markings - and through that we found that he learns at an accelerated rate.  He just "gets it".  Sometimes he can't tell you how or why (as in showing you his work on math problems), but he gets the right answer every time.

Throughout elementary school we struggled to help communicate this to his teachers.  He would whiz through his work, finish early and then have zero realization that other kids were still learning, working or taking their test.  This turned into teachers giving him extra work, busy work or simply getting onto him about being irritating.  It made it unpleasant at times for the poor kid.  He survived though.

Now we've come into middle school.  And he hates it.  He is bored to death.  Not in the I'm so smart and I know everything sense.  But in the I-hate-block-scheduling sense.  His classes meet every other day and when they do meet they are almost 2 hours in length. 

Here is where the new issue arose.  After realizing something wasn't right, we took him again for specialized testing with the same professionals.  Turns out he has a very atypical form of ADHD.  (I rolled my eyes and was totally ready to dismiss this at first).  ADHD-Predominantly Hyperactive/Impulsive type.

I remember sitting there shaking my head "no" as the clinicians were showing me their 12 page report of findings.  But then I stopped and actually listened to what they were saying.  And then it all made sense.

The Dude learns at such a fast pace that block scheduling is killing him.  The clinician told me that The Dude learns something in 20 minutes for example and then has to sit in class for another hour and a half.  It's like slow death for him.  Unfortunately his teachers don't allow him to move ahead to the next assignment, the next chapter or whatever.  They tell him to find something to do that will keep him busy.  Which then turns into him getting antsy, impatient and impulsive.  He starts doing things out of boredom without really thinking them through.  There is no realization of a consequence.

I told the clinician that the only familiarity I had with ADHD is that 1) it's way over diagnosed, 2) medication is pushed on those kids, 3) those kids can't control themselves and run around slapping everyone.

She reassured me that it is sometimes MISdiagnosed, that medication is in fact an option for SOME kids, but NOT mine.  She explained that the medication is mainly for kids who have the more typical form which involved the inability to focus or pay attention.  The inability to filter out distractions.  She also reassured me that not all ADHD kids run around slapping people.  Sorry, that's just my humor in dealing with this.

The challenge the last couple of months has been getting his school district on board with the accommodations he needs.  They are slight/minimal, but for some reason the school doesn't care.  It seems they aren't concerned because my son does score in the above average range on all of his standardized tests, with the exception of writing.  They don't seem to care because he, by all outward appearances, is a well-adjusted kid.  They also don't care because he maintains high average to above average grades.

Which makes me want to shake someone.  I probably sound like an overbearing crazy woman.  But I see his struggles.  He is my first baby.  I pushed him to do everything because I thought that's what I was supposed to do.  It's what is common in so much of society.  Crawl early, stand early, walk early, talk early, read early.. do more, do better, do it younger.

Now he is suffering the consequences of my actions.  He can read at the college level.  He can infer often times what the meaning is.  But he doesn't have nearly the understanding he might have if the focus had been on comprehending instead of rote memorization of letters, words and sounds.

I hope I can help fix this.  It's really challenging to undo so many years of this.  I was a public school kids and so was hubs.  In an upcoming post I will talk about my thoughts and feelings on education in this day and age.

I'm sure we will figure things out.  Will post more later.

1 comment:

  1. I can't imagine sitting still for 2 hours. Or anyone else sitting still for 2 hours.

    I'm a little concerned about the "undoing" bit. We can't undo any part of our past...just build on it and learn from it.

    I'm dyslexic. I spent my first 10 years of school (various private church schools and boarding school) being told I was slow, stupid and disruptive. I was certainly not the first two but I was disruptive. Because I was frustrated as hell. And it wasn't until my one year in public school when I was finally diagnosed. And I had someone explain that it wasn't a disability. I simply see the world different. All it took was one teacher (a public school teacher) to tell me I wasn't stupid or slow. I was 15. I started to thrive in school.

    Your son will be okay. You will be okay. The struggles make you all stronger.

    I still can't add or spell in my head. But I can work out at least 20 different ways to solve a problem. I can pull out patterns everyone else misses. I can look at a picture of something and figure out how to reproduce it in another medium. My brain is just wired differently. I'm perfectly fine with that. I'd still like to go back to my 8th grade math teacher and strangle him for calling me stupid.