Getting to know my son.

15 May

Max is an amazing kid. Very bright, and unbelievably kind. But with this ADHD, it feels as if I haven’t really gotten to know my son; how he feels and learns. I know he loves the color black, Angry Birds, AC/DC, wrestling, and of course fart jokes. But, sometimes I feel as if I’m speaking a different language than him. And not the same way a parents feels as their child enters puberty, but in a very fundamental way. He literally thinks and feels differently than I do. And I don’t mean in opinions. I mean his brain processes things differently. And there isn’t anything that needs to be “fixed” about that. And I swear if one more person insinuates that he needs to be hit in order to be “taught” a lesson, I WILL flip out on them. Which is honestly why I am so excited about our behavioral therapy sessions. I say our, because Bill and I will also be going and talking and learning about ADHD too, not just Max. We are going to be learning how his brain works, how his processes thoughts, how his actions have no filter, how his temporal lobe is even more compromised and impulse control is basically nonexistent. We will be learning how to teach Max how to slow down, how to filter, how to learn about consequences ourselves. After a few years of floundering in doubt and fear that I am not getting through to him, I’m finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. He’s not to blame, nor I am. It just is. He just is. We just are. And while it won’t be easy, we are already seeing some pretty good improvements and we haven’t even had our first “real” session yet. 

We met with his B.T. (Behavioral Therapist) a few weeks ago, and it was basically a “get-to-know-you” session. She talked to Bill and I, and talked to Max, and even talked to Rory a bit. She watched him interact with Rory, Bill and myself. And at the end of it all, confirmed what Max’s Primary Doctor already told us, he has ADHD. She explained how she will give us the understanding and the basic tools for Max and ourselves so that we can figure out the best approach of any given situation that might arise in our daily lives, so that we don’t need to constantly come back to have her solve our problems. We have started a Behavior Chart for both kids (Rory felt left out) and each have a few “goals” to work on, such as picking up toys, not back talking or interrupting people when they are talking. Each time they do these things without Bill or me telling them, they get a sticker. After a certain number of stickers, they get to pick a prize out of the prize box. We have a few small toys in there and of course gum and candy. So far both of them have gotten their number of stickers, 6 for Rory and 10 for Max, and are working on round 2. 

We plan to spend as much time outdoors as possible this summer as research has said that eliminating screen time and adding more time outdoors helps children with ADHD, and well, I’m sure every child could stand that kind of childhood. We have a State Park not 5 miles from our house and 2 Nature Centers, one with hiking trails and the other has biking trails. We live across the street from a lake, so we’ll be getting fishing licenses this year and will be going fishing often. The Riverfront has a marvelous walk/bike path along with several Riverfront parks. Add in the Art Museum, Music, Museum, Train Museum, Air Museum, and our City Library is having a science themed, weekly event. Further away are a Butterfly House/ Aquarium and other things to discover! Plus we are going to try and head back to Minnesota for the Vikings training camp and visit the Mall of America and the Water Park of America and we have friends and family a few hours away that we really need to visit and maybe go to a theme park! And they have their sports stuff going on throughout the summer. 

I’m hoping that through the Behavioral Therapy, our adventures outdoors and just spending quality time together this summer will help us understand Max a bit more and for him to feel more in control of himself. I have a wonderful feeling this is going to be a great summer! 



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