The Diagnosis

I have been thinking about writing this for some time now. If you are a frequent visitor of this blog you would have noticed that I added a new special needs awareness banner and a link to all my posts labeled ADHD.  Now you know what “the diagnosis,” means.

Chris and I have been speculating for a few years now whether or not our little Monkey has ADHD. Shortly before Christmas when I took Monkey to his appointment at the Pioneer Center this speculation was confirmed to be true.  The therapist that evaluated him stated that he is a text book example of ADHD.

ADHD stands for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Children (and adults) with ADHD often fail to give close attention to details or they make careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities. For example, when Monkey is working on a long assignment or test he gives up trying his best about half way through. Instead he just wants to be done with it, which results in sloppy answers. At home, I have to remind him a dozen times to complete a simple task like dressing himself in the morning. When we rush to get ready for school I always have to dress him myself.

When Monkey was little we thought that maybe he had a hearing problem. He doesn’t always respond when spoken too. But after having his hearing checked we learned that this wasn’t the case. Kids with ADHD have difficulty in regulating their attention. They may focus their attention on an enjoyable activity instead of listening to the person speaking to him or her.

People with ADHD are also very hyperactive and impulsive.  This is the one trait that Monkey has the most problems controlling. When we are walking through a busy parking lot I have to remind him to stay at my side. If I don’t he will dart around the lot and run in between the parked cars.  At home, he will attack his siblings or tackle them when they are sitting still without warning. Monkey’s teacher has also observed this impulsive behavior at school.  When they are sitting down on the carpet for circle time, Monkey can not stay in his spot. His teacher has him sit in a chair instead and that helps him pay better attention and keep still.

Chris and I are relieved that this is now official, but we are still waiting for him to get the help that he needs.  I am not in favor of medicating my five-year-old, but this is the most common way ADHD is treated.  I need to do more research on the medications available and their side effects to treat kids with ADHD before we decide to take that route. Monkey has an appointment with a psychiatrist in February and I will respect her recommendations for treatment.

Do you know someone with ADHD?

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