I don't know where to start here, but here goes...
As some of you know, I have been "bringing up" my son (Oliver), alone for the past 4 years. He has always been a happy go lucky child. He has had a few medical conditions in his short life so far (Water Infection, Glue Ear, Speech difficulties due to the glue ear, ear infections and colds almost constantly)
A week or so ago he was diagnosed as having ADHD. This really upset me as I didn't want him to be labelled with this. It also meant that he would be put on yet another medecine, and one which I was a bit fearful of. I cannot argue with the diagnosis as I have had everybody I could think of, involved in trying to help with some of Olivers difficulties. (His teachers, paediatrician, school psychologist, family services and G.P.).
The school are in the process of "statementing" Oliver with a view to sending him to a special school which will cater directly for his needs. (He will not concentrate for more than a couple of minutes, though his knowledge and understanding is amazing) He needs 1 to 1 support in the classroom. I have accepted this, but been told I could be waiting months and months for this to happen. (Why can't it just be accepted that this help is needed? )
It is difficult for me, at times, to understand all that is going on. I have lived with him since he was born. I was with him during his times in hospital, during his vaccinations and every day at home. I see a very happy, lively little boy, and yet all this ADHD business is what everyone else sees from him. It is so, so hard for me to understand sometimes. I love my son more than anything in the world. I am willing to die for him, should the need ever arise. This is why I have sought help from every possible source, yet still ended up with the diagnosis I feared.
Everyone I have spoken to has told me what a great job I am doing and I should be proud of myself as it is such a hard job raising a child. Why do I always feel that I should be doing more for him and am underachieving and afraid of failing him? I am so confused.
I really don't know why I wrote all this. I should be grateful that he is intelligent, happy, funny, relatively healthy and absolutely adores me. It is just another obstacle of life put in our way.
Oh, Nigel, I am very sorry to hear this about your son. Not really for him, but you. I know you don't want to hear this right now, but a lot of kids have this, and with medication and proper schooling, your son should not have a hard time with it. Some kids out-grow it eventually. It's hard to come to terms with, I know, but listen to the doctors, don't treat him any differently, and don't let this get you. He will be ok. It's a lot harder on a parent.."what did I do wrong", "could I have changed this?", so many questions floating around in your head, it makes you crazy. My oldest son, who is now 20, was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome in 1996. It's a form of Autism. He graduated school, now goes to college (getting there and back on his own) and he has a job. All this, and when he was diagnosed, there was nothing medically they could do for it. Not sure about now, I'm sure they have some way to treat it. So all they did really, was put him in the special needs classes, which helped immensely. Other than that, just let him be who he is. He doesn't like confusion and crowds, so basically stays to himself. He doesn't talk much, so me or his brothers will engage him in conversation every once in a while, because I do feel bad for him. But, he's doing ok. (See Nigel, now you're making me weepy ) Just follow what the doctors say. Watch him if he does get medicated, if something seems wrong, tell the doctor right away, any drastic change in personality, be aware. And the special classes do help, hope it doesn't take them too long to fit him in. And don't worry, it will be ok, Nigel. He'll adapt, you'll adapt, he's still the same son as he always was.
Debbie, thank you too. You seem to understand my worries and concerns and offer good advice on how to manage. This is not something I would normally post, it is far too personal and something I would usually just get on with quietly. I was just feeling alone and down at the time and just needed some support. So thank you.
Nigel, I understand it is personal, and you were brave to post it. But we are your friends here, and would help you through anything. Sometimes its good just to vent. If there's anything you need help with, we're here for ya. It's going to be ok.
Thanks Neil. In answer to the above question. Attention Defecit Hyperactivity Disorder
Children with ADHD show signs of inattention, hyperactivity, and/or impulsivity in specific ways. These children:
Are in constant motion. Squirm and fidget. Do not seem to listen. Have difficulty playing quietly. Often talk excessively. Interrupt or intrude on others. Are easily distracted. Do not finish tasks.
On the face of it, you might think "well that is a typical 4 yr old". But these symptoms (in some cases) are taken to the extreme. Without medication Oliver cannot sit still and concentrate on anything for any more than a minute if there are distractions (i.e. other children in a classroom)
Nigel, firstly 'statementing' can take a long time but it appears your doing very well getting all those 'professionals' involved so far. Keep making your voice heard, pursue people dont wait around for them to get back to you. From what you've written you accept Oliver for the person he is. IMO you should not force him to conform with what other people consider to be the standard way of behaving/ acting.
Thank you for all the info Aviator. I had a chat with Olivers teacher this morning to see what progress is being made with the statementing, but there is still a couple of forms need filling in and I will be asked to attend school on Wednesday to read and sign the paperwork.
I have been a member of netmums since I took full custody of Oliver (though not been on site for a year or so) so will have a look in again and have a look at the ADHD link you posted for me.
Oliver has a spoonful of Boots Smart Omega 3 every day now, but have noticed very little change so far, if any. Checking the label it is actually a higher Omega 3 concentrate than eyeQ (which I cannot afford at the moment anyway, Though did have it for 2 months)
I haven't heard of Home-start (except for vehicle breakdown cover) Unfortunately for me, they only offer support for the under 5s (Oliver is 5 on 17th March), however, I have offered myself as a volunteer for them, and they are sending an information pack out to me. I will have to wait til after Easter to get on their training course though.