Friday, October 22, 2010

His Normal

Gabe had his weekly therapy session yesterday. Right now we're using therapy to help manage his ADHD symptoms. I'm also hoping that it is able to help with his inability to express his feelings or relate to other children.  My husband sent me an e-mail last night and mentioned that Gabe asked when Nick was going to start going to therapy. And it made me cry.

He doesn't know that he's different. And I hope that he never does. We're taking the necessary steps to help him at an early age. But it is hard. It's hard having a child that behaves and reacts to things in a way that I don't understand. I know that some of it, of course, is his age, but a lot of it has to do with the ADHD.

T-ball is a prime example. Yes, I know. They are five. Attention spans aren't the best to begin with for your average five-year-old. But when the team is on the field, the other little boys are watching the ball and chasing after it. Gabe lets it roll on by because he's staring at the sky or picking grass or laying flat on his back in the outfield.

I am the type of person who likes routine. I want things to go the way they're supposed to go, and get stressed or anxious when they do not. I realize that is my issue, and I'm working on it. However, routine does not work well with Gabe. Requests with multiple steps do not work with Gabe. Trying to get him to focus on anything for more than a few minutes does not work with Gabe.

I know how swimming lessons and gym class have gone. I know how he has responded to soccer and T-ball. School is still a bit of a mystery to me. I know he's a sweet and charming child, and does well with women he likes. I also know that Kindergarten is packed with activities, so the kids are never at any activity for too long, although the lessons of the day are repeated throughout, just in different ways. So it's probably ideal for him.

But I still worry. I worry that he can't tell me the names of any of the students in his class. I worry that he is not learning what he needs to be learning. I worry that Kindergarten may be the easy part, and next year first grade is going to throw us for a loop. I worry because that's what I do, but also because of who he is. I've been worried about school from the first day I suspected that he had ADHD.

I worry because I watched my brother grow up with ADHD, and I watched him struggle. Things like school and making friends came so much harder to him. My brother is doing fantastic now. In fact he is working on his Masters Degree. He is in a career suited to his interests and personality. And he is still best friends with his best friends from fourth grade. One of whom was the best man at his wedding.

I know I am not alone. I know there are other parents out there dealing with the same issues with their children. However, on the bad days it doesn't make it any easier knowing that.