When our son was three we began homeschooling his older sister. When he was four the papers arrived from the school district to enroll him in the Universal Pre-K program. His sister had been through it and we loved the teacher, so why was I hesitating?
Jayden is not like his sister, he has different needs. The first years of his life were spent struggling to hear and to breathe. Even though he overcame those issues I didn’t want to scroll them all down on paper to the district. I wanted him to stand on his own, with a clean slate.
There is also something else different about Jayden, he can’t sit still. He is high energy and jumps from one thing to the next, always an event ahead of where we are. I was worried about this trait of his. I was worried that his short attention span and inability to sit still would quickly be labeled with something like ADD / ADHD and soon thereafter be medicated. Whether true or not it seems that the frequently taken road in schools is to medicate because that is easiest, and while I believe it is necessary at times, I was not convinced it was necessary for our son.
This post is sponsored by ADDReferral.com
How I Dealt With The Possibility of ADD / ADHD
Needless to say we kept him home with us instead. As time passed I learned to use different techniques and strategies to help him learn despite the restlessness and lack of extended focus. On any given day you might have found him jumping from couch cushion to couch cushion while doing math flashcards. On other days you might have caught a glimpse of him on the trampoline out back or heard him pounding it out on the dance pads while playing DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) for a short period which we called a “work break”. This allowed him to release some energy and gave him the boost he needed to sit down and focus on school work for short periods of time.
During these years he learned and seemed to thrive at home, without labels, without medications. There were also times that I questioned myself and my methods. Many times I questioned if I was doing right by him, if he was truly thriving or if I couldn’t see beyond myself. Lucky for me I had a dear friend whose day job was School Psychologist. She knew us and Jayden well and assured me that a formal diagnosis or medication was not needed in his case. He was in fact ahead in his academics and found himself at ease in various social settings. Despite any distractedness, he was thriving in the environment we had created for him.
But what would I have done without this friend? What options would I have had for seeking trusted advice concerning his health and well-being?
Options for Seeking Help Concerning ADD / ADHD
- I would start with your pediatrician. If your pediatrician is anything like ours, we chose her because we felt she was best suited to help us through any medical needs our children may have as they grow up. Your pediatrician can offer advice based on their personal knowledge of you and your child and help you choose a path to pursue.
- Your local school district. Your local school district will have Psychologists and Counselors available to talk to. Professionals who are there to help you deal with concerns you have with your child such as ADD / ADHD.
- There is also a wealth of information to be found on the Internet. Sites like http://ADDReferral.com/ offer both information and a means to help you find a trusted adviser to speak with and to help you evaluate the individual needs of your child.
There are no concrete answers when it comes to ADD / ADHD. Each child and situation are different and should be treated as such. What worked for us might not work for you. As far as where our son is now at the age of almost eleven….he finds he has more focus in the mornings, before everyone else is up. Therefore these days you can find him alone in our homeschool room, early in the morning, doing work that used to take him hours upon hours, in as little as just two hours.