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My Special Boy

February 12, 2009

Today at 3:02 p.m., you could find me banging my head against a cool metal locker in Mrs. Green’s kindergarten classroom. Literally. Today was the 100th day of school, and all of the kindergarteners were charged with bringing in a hundred small items to conduct a place value activity. Lawson is a little on the forgetful side, so we counted out all of his little Legos a day early and sent them in to school, just to be on the safe side. Well, wouldn’t you know that he forgot where he put them in the classroom when he took them out of his backpack? He was the only kid in all of kindergarten (and probably first and second grade, too) that didn’t have his 100 days activity. We found the Legos later this afternoon tucked deep and unobtrusively in the corner of Mrs. Green’s desk. Hence the headbanging.

 

This may seem like an innocent case of a child being a little absentminded, but this sort of thing happens all the blinking time! Along with consistently forgetting to put his homework in the homework basket, and his folder in the folder holder, and his shoes on his feet in the morning, and his dirty underwear in the laundry basket…the list goes on and on and on. Does any of this sound familiar to anyone?

 

Lawson started exhibiting all of the classic signs of ADHD a little before kindergarten. Inattention, a bit of hyperactivity, although not excessive, and impulsivity. I went so far with it as to fill out the form from the doctor’s office, but then decided against actually taking Lawson in for a consultation. I figured that would just lead to a medication recommendation, and I really don’t want to go that route at this point. I’d rather try some other strategies first and see how well they work out, first.

 

I have found an excellent web resource to help parents, children, and teachers with ADD and ADHD. Non-medication strategies—simple things, such as physical reinforcement like the touch of the hand on a child’s shoulder, and eye contact when giving directions—are recommended here. They’re relatively easy to incorporate into your daily routine. If you’re uncertain about whether or not your child actually has ADD or ADHD, check out the “signs and symptoms” link, also given below.

 

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/adhd_add_parenting_strategies.htm

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/adhd_add_signs_symptoms.htm

 

The thing I keep telling myself, every time I reach into Lawson’s backpack and pull out a crumpled homework assignment that somehow didn’t quite make it all the way into the homework basket, or empty out the toy bucket to search, yet again, for a pair of shoes that actually matches, is that he wants to do these things. He really does. Lawson has had a desire to please the people that he loves since he was a baby—this is just one of those things that make him who he is: my special boy. He sits for hours building incredibly detailed vehicles out of Legos; he makes up songs about Jesus in the car…silly, irreverent songs, but songs that show his love all the same; he has the most whacked out sense of humor of any child I know. Despite his inability to connect the dots sometimes, I never want to compromise that part of his personality that makes him so extraordinary.

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