G., my five-year old, has weekly therapy sessions. Right now we’re using therapy to help manage his ADHD symptoms but I’m also hoping that it’s able to help with his inability to express his feelings or relate to other children. My husband recently sent me an e-mail mentioning that G. asked when N., my two-year old, was going to start going to therapy.
G. doesn’t know that he’s different. 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 ADHD.
T-ball is a prime example. Yes, I know. They are five. Attention spans aren’t exactly what your average five-year-old is known for. But when his team is on the field, the other little boys watch the ball and chase after it while G. lets it roll on by because he’s staring at the sky…or picking grass…or laying flat on his back in the outfield.
Routine does not work well with G. Requests with multiple steps do not work with G. Trying to get him to focus on anything for more than a few minutes does not work with G.
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 I know that he does well with women he likes. I also know that Kindergarten is packed with activities which means that 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 still, I worry. I worry that he can’t tell me the names of any of the students in his class. I worry that he’s 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 were so much harder for him. My brother is doing fantastically now. He’s working on his Master’s Degree. He’s 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 that I am not alone. I know there are other parents out there dealing with the same issues with their children.
On the bad days, however, it doesn’t make it any easier.