Sunday, October 31, 2010

Can't You THINK First? (Sorry, this one's longer than normal!)

The majority of us have problems at one time or another, thinking before we speak or act. Slowing down enough to process the results of what we say and do would help us avoid oh so many messes.  ADHD kids deal with this minute-by-minute but they're clueless they're "dealing" with it because they generally do not think it through and process results. Hense the term "impulsive" is one of the top symptoms of ADHD.

I'm in the middle of a pretty deep study on the disorder. Get this. Apparently,  true ADHD children are not just acting out of control because they're really bad kids with inattentive parents. And, apparently not every child who is active is a true ADHD child. What is true however, is that ADHD is a neurological disorder. Their brains look different then those of children who toe-the-line & listen when spoken to. WOW!!

I've learned some fascinating stuff ~ kids can have different levels of neurotransmitters, depending on which kind of ADHD they have (more inattention or more impulsivity), which change their behavior. In particular, ADHD people have a variation on the transporter genes for the neurotransmitters. Yikes, big words that basically tell me their brain is wired differently.  So, if I think that I'm going to change his behavior by just telling him to do something. I'm stupid. Do I quit guiding him with rules, quit following through with consequences & give up on a day-to-day routine? Not on my life! I'm no doctor but from what I've been reading and told by my Psychologist, Dr. Marlow, it seems that I need to carry on with those to develop some new "grooves" in his brain. Wow! The brain is an amazing thing. Meds....hmm, lots of debate out there. Most kids are active. Kids who are just active but don't have the official ADHD label, don't need ADHD meds. Too many kids are labeled ADHD and on meds. These are facts.  However, if I had kidney or heart disease, would I see a doctor for the proper medicines?

I understand that medication is not the "cure-all" for ADHD.  Parents of ADHD kids have a hard battle to fight. We need to roll up our sleeves and get busy. What I know (but don't always do) is that I should be tough without being MEAN. I can be consistent without belittling him (ie "What kind of stupid thing did you do?") I can have strong guidelines but add in lots of fun stuff for high-energy boys! And.....last but not least, I can remember that as his mom I am the one person who can love him for the exceptional kid he is. I can build his self-esteem & hope that my parenting mistakes will be forgotten with tons of positive replacements!

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