Congratulations! Your son has ADHD!

Well, ok they didn’t quiet break it to me like that. I always knew he was special, hes the most happy and awesome kid ever. Hes just a little hyper!

When Quantum (yes thats really his name) was younger, this was never a problem at all, as he got older, for the most part, it was ok. Keep him in a routine, keep in good touch with the teachers. I pretty much had worked it out by the time he was 7-8 years old what the problem was (probably earlier in fact).

The thing is, I was raised with a sister who was handicapped, and as far as kids went we didnt really understand the implications of that, and so treated her just the same as anyone else. We teased her (sorry sis!) and gave her hell and made her probably do things she shouldn’t have been. Living in a smallish community meant that most people grew up with her and she was just always like that (She had Cerebral Palsy) . She grew up constantly proving doctors wrong who always had a poor prognosis about how she would never walk, be a vegetable, etc and other equally dire predictions. Shes now got mega degrees and is some sort of genius, living in Switzerland working at CERN and other really cool things.

Sorry for the diversion but this is relevant i swear! The way I figure it, everyone is different, the way they act, react, and feel about things. This is what makes us special. So to me, my son was just different, just like everyone else was different, only maybe a little more extreme.

And just like a normal person, his idea of the best way to do things, wasn’t always what worked for others. As a result, hes now 10.5 years old and the most amazing and smart boy out there.

10 months ago, we moved from Auckland to Cambridge. It was a fairly life changing event, and major for everyone. At this point Quantum just went off the rails, he was not thinking, couldnt concentrate at school, no self discipine etc. It was a really hard time, but i understood his routine had been totally changed. After a couple months he settled down. His new school was excellent and i always made a point of explaining to teachers what worked or didn’t and they were fantastic about coming up with ideas and things to help him fit in and get along.

Moving up a bit to 4 months ago, i got the date for surgery to donate the kidney to my brother. This stresed Quantum out a lot, the idea that my life might be in danger really scared him. This was a turning point when i googled up more about ADHD. Not so much for he problem at hand, but i was worried that this could well affect his learning through his teenage years, and could potentially be a problem.

I already knew that stimulants were primarily given to help out and was curious to know if there were natural alternatives (we’d already tried diet, Omega 3 etc and no luck). Coffee came up time and time again. Now coffee, on a hyper kid, it was something that I had always kept him well away from (think Hammy from ‘Over the Hedge’ here!).

Thus we decided to perhaps try him on No-Doz (Caffeine pills) . Wow talk about a difference! he could focus at school, he was less hyper, it was excellent! So this was what we used whenever he got too bad. For the most part, we prefered not to give him any medication or caffeine, only on days which were particularly bad. This also prompted me to make an appointment at the Doctors, and get a referral to the Specialists.

So today we heard the news, not entirely unexpected lol, but yep he has ADHD . I dont think it changes how we treat him, or how we will medicate him, though we will probably switch the occasional caffiene to whatever the Doctor gives us. For the most part, I still think that everyone is different, and needs to find what works for them. Some things are hard for some, and easier for others, and this is what we all battle, ADHD or not.

For the record, Quantum is a maths whizz, he constantly does above and beyond at math and shows incredible inteligence at anything he puts his mind to, and great understanding. He reminds me a lot of my overachieving sister in a lot of ways.

He does still however struggle with things like basic co-ordination problems, Trying to remember to sit still, elbows off the table, eating with mouth closed, and holding knives and forks at a level below stabbing somebody in the eye is always a challenge. Just the other day he poured a cup of water, dribbled a bit, so got the cloth, picked the cup up and wiped the bench and the bottom of the cup, tipping the entire cup of water on the floor. Hes the kinda person who can tell you exactly how something works, even if he has no idea!

For the most part, we all have a laugh when he slips up and messes up, but there are times when in school and he struggles to keep his attention span on what’s going on or what hes learning, even though he’s desperately trying his hardest. More often than not he will be the first to put his hand up to answer a question, only to forget what the question was by the time the teacher has got to him.

Hes above all, the kindest, smartest, absent minded kid ever, and I love him no matter what 🙂