Having A Child With ADHD

 

I blogged a little over a year ago about suspecting that my child had ADHD. Since then, we’ve moved and my son has attended two different schools. That alone can cause a third grader’s school performance to be a bit low. Unlike adults, school is an emotional thing for a child. By the time we get to college most of us can separate distractions and truly learn despite the setting it might be in. But elementary aged children who attend different schools in the middle of a school year or who are uprooted from one state and move to another around unfamiliar people will most definitely have to work through an adjustment period. Jaydon had to do it twice in one year.

Since we moved to northern Colorado here in November, we quickly got the boys a doctor along with developing some good communication between the boys’ teachers so that I could help with any struggles. About six weeks ago Jaydon started taking medication to control his ADHD tendencies. He’s on the lowest dose right now until the end of June. We’ve noticed that while smart, and while he can recite things he’s learned in school, he doesn’t test well. When we get graded tests back I’ll ask Jaydon the questions he missed and nine times out of ten he gives me the correct answer.

Recently, I’ve noticed that Jaydon still isn’t showing enough improvement in school. I have requested that he wear noise-canceling headphones that he keeps in his backpack in case he has a test he needs to take. We will see if these help at all. 

My son is not on a 504 plan or an IEP (Individualized Education plan) but if he doesn’t show improvement before the end of the year, I may end up homeschooling him for fourth grade. I can’t allow him to slip through the cracks. It’s unfortunate with a kid as smart as he is, that he’s having these struggles. 

So what does ADHD look like? 

Well, to be honest, it looks different on every kid. My child is high-functioning ADHD. Meaning that you’d have to be around him for several weeks to realize he has ADHD. ADHD can be extreme with the inability to focus at all which can contribute to behavioral issues. Or it can be slight like with Jaydon. With Jaydon, you can ask him a question, and he’ll reply with another question about something else entirely as if he didn’t hear you. It can be frustrating. More boys are diagnosed with ADHD than girls, but it runs in our family. I had ADHD growing up, probably only as extreme as Jaydon has it now. It was enough for me to have a little bit of a difficulty learning in school even though I loved school. I loved school just as much as Jaydon loves school now. He has friends but has a little social awkwardness. Every single new friend is a best friend. He is not anxious around new people, he just instantly makes them as close to family as one can get. Which can be awkward when the new friend is overwhelmed by the best friend status. Let’s just say he’s probably the friendliest kid you’ll ever meet. 

Jaydon is hyperactive in the evening hours. He can not sit still. He wrestles with his brother, has to constantly move and he’s very emotional. He easily gets jealous or frustrated. His emotional maturity is lacking. I feel like it takes every bit of energy he can muster between 8:40 am and 3:50 pm to stay focused. By the time he gets home from school, he’s often an unraveled mess. He’s both tired and full of energy at the same time. His kindergarten brother handles the long school days a lot better.

How are we dealing with it?

Before going home after school, if the weather is nice I allow him and his brother to play at the park adjacent to the school for about 15 minutes. Then we get home and continue with some homework and his evening chores and required reading. Giving him this time to play allows him to unwind from being pent-up in a classroom.

 It’s very important that ADHD children have a physical outlet to relieve their pent-up energy. This helps them focus more. One of the reasons I am considering homeschooling is to allow him to move more when at school it’s not appropriate. Another reason is to individualize his learning to him. If he doesn’t understand something, there’s no hesitation to get an answer. He doesn’t have to worry about upsetting a teacher because he has a question, or worry about the mean kid at lunch. He doesn’t have to hold it to go to the bathroom for several hours and he may not need to be on medication at all if he were educated at home. But I do have reservations about homeschooling. I would worry about the lack of social interaction with peers, and that it would eat into my ability to keep writing/blogging for a living. Colorado Connections Academy does have homeschool meet-ups for kids weekly and fun field trips. We researched that alternative educational style when we thought we were going to be RVing for a living and in fact we enrolled the kids at one point but changed our mind on RVing for a living so they never actually participated in homeschooling, but during that waiting period we learned a lot about it and I personally love it, especially as an option for an ADHD child who might fall through the cracks with traditional school. 

 At any rate, I thought I’d share this with my readers because I know we have a reader or two out there whose child has ADHD and I want to let you know that you are not alone. If you have a child with ADHD, what have you done to help them focus during times its most important? 

About Heather Jones

I'm a coffee addict wife, "work at home mom", mother to two boys, blogging about the latest life hacks, recipes, DIY Projects and crazy "momisodes".

Heartfully Heather

 

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Heather Jones

I'm a coffee addict wife, "work at home mom", mother to two boys, blogging about the latest life hacks, recipes, DIY Projects and crazy "momisodes".

12 thoughts on “Having A Child With ADHD

  1. I think it’s great that you’re being proactive in getting your son a good education, even if it means homeschooling. Thanks also for breaking down just what ADHD is. A lot of people may not know, and therefore, miss diagnosing their child and getting them the help that they need.

  2. When my son was younger, people used to tell me they thought he had ADHD (mostly other parents who thought he was too rambunctious). I never had him tested, because he was just being a daredevil little boy. I’m glad I didn’t give in, because I always thought a doctor would just put him on medication even when he didn’t need it. He’s now a super smart 13-year-old who just had trouble sitting still when he was younger 🙂

  3. My husband’s nephew has ADHD it does not show when he was 2 years old. When he turned 3 years old we do have a big trouble with his attitude, we can’t even stop him on his doing so we sought a medical opinion and they said that he has ADHD. At first, we felt sorry but instead of being sorry we decided to send him to weekly therapy as per advice by his doctor.

  4. Thank you for this informative post and sharing your experiences. I am not really familiar with ADHD but this has allowed me to understand it.

  5. I know someone who has ADHD and it’s everything “normal” just a bit “extra” in some ways. I don’t understand when people can’t understand that they are just like all of us too. Thank you for sharing this.

  6. I remember my husband telling me about how all his different doctors told his mom different things, and back then no one could definitevly tell her that he either had or didn’t have ADHD. Glad times have changed since then and there is more support for those kids!

  7. Great post and as an adult still dealing with ADHD after being diagnosed as a child, I know it can be difficult. There are times I feel I still should be on medication for it and when in school, I always forgot to go to the office to take my noon meds.

  8. I have high-functioning ADHD, so naturally, my daughter and oldest son (too early to tell if my baby will have it down the road) have it as well. It has been quite of a journey! 🙂

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