Tuesday, August 23, 2011

sChOoL sTaRtS tOmOrRoW ~ YiKeS

Three short months ago we emptied out his backpack into a pile somewhere & began using it for fun summer outings which included camping & fishing. We tossed the alarm clock & fired up the barbecue. There was a family reunion, summer camp & a trip to visit family in Alaska. But suddenly it seems to have come to a screeching halt. Summer vacation has officially ended & school begins in the morning.

Certainly many unknowns lie ahead (who am I kidding - we've been here before. We know exactly what will be happening.) For tonight however, I'd like to hope. I'm hoping maturity kicked in a bit & hoping Bobby makes & keeps good friends. Hoping he "gets" Math just a bit more than last year & doesn't disappear during that class. I hope he respects his teacher even if he doesn't like him every day & I really hope he gets his work done at school so we don't pour over it every night.

A new backpack replaces the old & is loaded with most of the supplies from his list. I'm getting ready to pack his lunch with some of his favorites. Cautiously optimistic about tomorrow & the rest of the tomorrows 5th grade will bring. Love you, Bobby. You're an amazing boy!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Family Reunion Meets ADHD

Months ago, my side of the family began piecing together what looked to be a pretty fun weekend. A date was chosen, activities were planned and the invitations went out. As the weekend got closer I have to be honest, some feelings of fear and apprehension began to creep into my thinking, dampening my excitement just a tad. Social gatherings have already been challenging for our family and I know we're not alone.

This was to be no ordinary reunion as the event would move from one home to another as well as involving a day in the mountains with  lots of outdoor fun together. We knew Bobby would become overwhelmed with the activities, large groups of people, our preoccupation with enjoying family we hadn't seen in ages. Also, we have learned that if Bobby doesn't feel he's fitting in, things can go badly quite rapidly.

One thing that can make or break a large get-together is the feeling of acceptance (or lack thereof). So often families who venture out meet with judgement & harsh criticism. The onlookers may feel the parents of this child should really "work a bit harder at their discipline" and those same well-meaning family members may even dare to offer their advice. (When all this happens, it really isn't a fun place for these special kids OR their parents!) I recommend only attending a family reunion after really thinking out your "plan" & enlisting the help of trusted family who can help spell you off, allowing you time to visit and enjoy activities.

The good news tonight is that we had a fantastic weekend. No question. Was it flawless? Nope. Our son hid under a car at the first house, hiding from cousins. He said a few embarrassing things that fortunately only a few people heard and we "lost" him several times. But all-in-all, the weekend was filled with laughter, learning to fly fish, (thanks to a cool cousin), swimming, eating & having great fun together.

Looking forward to the next reunion!!! Thanks little buddy. Thanks for letting us share you with the entire family! (I love my family and appreciate their support & acceptance. They're awesome!)

Monday, August 1, 2011

"My Brain Is Broken"

Recently I was stunned to hear these words from my son. His statement was matter-a-fact, with no pouting or self-pity. He had incorrectly processed my information on ADHD. I had talked to him about exactly what this whole "ADHD thing" meant. (Over a YEAR ago!) I explained in very basic terms. Terms my doctor had used to help me understand the label. Our psychologist had used a small drawing of neurons in the brain and how that all worked (or didn't work).  I thought Bobby understood as I even went on to explain this in even more basic terms to him. We zeroed in on the fact that many people have this disorder. Girls as well as boys and adults too. I have also worked to make Bobby aware of how much FUN ADHD people are!! They are comedic & exciting to be around. Shouldn't we focus on the positive aspects of our difficulties in life?

Well, unfortunately, Bobby heard "broken" in our discussion about neurons and that's what stuck. I am reminded today of something I hadn't thought of before. I really need to be positive he's getting positive messages!! Great reminder! Son, your brain is DEFINITELY not broken!!! Love you!