Thursday, February 09, 2006

Not a good day.

I am so sad.

I just don’t know how to help Coram.

He has had eight good days in a row at school – and at home. His behaviour has been sweet and positive, and excited.

He’s been singing the song his class will perform at the school play next month, and counting on a really big field trip that’s coming up Monday.

He’s earned his Friday privileges, his daily stickers from school, and his piece of his computer puzzle at home.

But today at school, out of the blue, he refused to copy the words from the black board onto his paper. This lead to throwing his paper, tipping his desk, rolling around on the floor, running from one end of his classroom to the other, and taking running kicks at the family worker who was with him.

They are ready to boot him out of his program.

His teacher said to him, ‘ Coram it looks like you don’t want to go to this school anymore.’ And he sobbed and sobbed that he does want to go there. This is the first time he has heard that his behaviour might cause him to be moved to another school, and I think that might motivate him. He loves it there.

And yet, I think it might be too late. There was a supervisor there when he was tantruming, and I think the wheels are already in motion for him to be moved. He doesn’t’ seem to get the chance to change his behaviour now that he knows what’s at stake.

And they don’t want to take him on the field trip. Not to punish him, but because they don’t know if they can keep him safe in that environment, should he tantrum.

So…eight good days, and one horrible, violent day undoes all the good work.

Is Coram ever going to understand that everyone can have a relatively bad day and get another chance, so long as they contain the bad mood? I know that he left the house unhappy this morning because we were out of the bread he has in his lunch every day. But where another child might be grumpy about it, Coram simply cannot cope with life for the rest of the day, and his unhappiness builds up until he is ready to throw things and kick someone.

And after one bad day, he has to face all that he has lost. He will be heartbroken to miss the filed trip. He will be even more heartbroken to leave the school, his new friends, and the upcoming spring play.
I am heartbroken for him

Monday, February 06, 2006

Ruminating...

Today I put my plans on hold to take my 7 year old to emergency.

Why?

Well, he twisted his foot, and since the same foot has recently been broken and he was in extreme pain, I decided it was worth having a look at.

How did he twist his foot?

Walking. Sort of.

See, this boy isn’t capable of walking. Every step he takes has a skip or a hop to it. He can’t just move, he has to move in the most energetic way possible. And that makes him more accident-prone.

Such is the life of my ADHD child.

If only I were a farmer and could open the door and let him out to run in the fields, herd cattle and train the sheepdog. That is the kind of life his energy level needs.

That is the kind of life humanity lived for thousands upon thousands of years.

We were created to hunt, to forage, to fight for survival. We were given energy to protect and care for ourselves, and the people around us.

Now, we are expected to sit still, focus, read, print, type, listen, concentrate, and so much more. Oh, and if we are lucky, the schools will work in a half an hour of exercise three times a week.

Is it really any wonder that we have so many kids with this ‘disorder’ we call ADHD?

And is it, really, a disorder? Or is it perfectly normal, and our society has the disorder?

And, if that is true – how is a parent supposed to handle it?

I mean, if in my heart of hearts I know there isn’t anything really wrong with my son, and that in fact he is blessed with a good dose of energy to take care of himself and his family… then why would I allow him to be labelled with a disorder and medicated for it?

Ad yet, in my heart of hearts I also know that he doesn’t fit in. He can’t focus, can’t sit still, can’t be successful in the society that he exists in. I may wish we didn’t live in this modern, sedentary world, but the fact is that we do. If medicating makes him able to meet the expectations set upon him, and not medicating him essentially sets him up for failure and disappointment, how can I not allow him to be medicated?

I would like to think that I can change the world. That I can forge new understanding, change the education system. Find ways for individuals who still have the energy required to farm and forage to get different education that uses that energy, to be successful given the tools they have.

But I can’t. And who am I really helping if I deny my son the means to be successful in the system he is in?

I am so confused.