It's no secret that Brady is really struggling with speech, so I knew his report in that area would say he's not meeting goals, but everything else would be great. Which it is!
Both the boys are regarded as extremely good natured, kind and even polite. Jax will most likely graduate from OT and PT this year - Awesome!
Now, of course they are typical 4 yr old boys who bounce off one another and can be totally naughty and make us pull our hair out, but overall, they're great and we're so lucky! I mean, they've never even had a tantrum at school, or had a fight with another child, or anything like that... so that's why I felt like I was totally hit by a bus when I was given "the talk".
The teacher, the speech therapist and even Jax's Occupational therapist all sat looking at me in a very kind way and gently told me that they all suspect the boys to have ADHD and would like me to have them further evaluated by a medical team.
I felt like the room was spinning, and while I didn't have the same sickening feeling that I've had in the past when a doctor would give me bad medical news, this still felt like a punch in the gut. I found myself starting to grasp at straws and telling them that they just told me how great the boys were and how they weren't sassy or had tantrums... I felt like the mom who refused to believe something 'bad' about her kids and I was immediately aware that my defensiveness looked ignorant. So I just sat there.
They said I had the wrong idea of what ADHD was, and that while some children who have it may have disruptive outbursts or be aggressive, that's not how all children with it are. Also, this was not a diagnosis, but rather their referrals for further testing because they all suspect it.
The main reasons for their concern are their impulsiveness. They feel that the boys will jump up and plow through everything and anyone to get to the next activity without regard to their own or others safety.
Also, attention - which I honest to God thought they were pretty good. They said that when they sit knee-to-knee with the boys to work with them, the boys can't focus on their face and the shiny object in the room always wins out - even when specifically asked to look at the teacher.
Ok... that all sounds like things that need to be worked on. But does that mean a developmental disorder of ADHD?
They asked if there were any particularly tough times at home that reoccur and the only thing I could think of was dinner time to bedtime is slightly chaotic. The boys are totally bananas and talk, yell and run so much, that Jason and I just can not have a conversation - but isn't it like that at everyone's house with two four year old boys?? Yes, we repeat ourselves NUMEROUS times and many times they act as if they have no idea what we're saying or just said, but again.. I assumed it was the age in addition to their delays. Do I sound naive to any of you reading this? Please tell me!!
I was told that they may have calmer demeanors because of their diet and routine at home, which are actually two factors used to treat children with the disorder. I can't even wrap my head around this for some reason... I mean, I know that food dye and fake sugar are major behavior triggers in children and we really limit all of that, but... but... omg, I just don't know!
Now, I know that we're in a heavy "find out what's wrong" phase right now, and obviously we want to know so we can help the boys be the best they can, but I really didn't expect this one. Even when the Geneticist told us last week that the boys were in the high danger zone of having learning disabilities and/or ADHD, I just felt sad about that thought of a learning disability - I swear ADHD wasn't on my radar.
So... is ADHD the end of the world if it is something going on? Of course not - but in my world, it's a total blow to us right now. The boys have SO much going on to overcome to even be on the same playing field as their peers (even being held back a year) that this is just one more possible hurdle that breaks my heart into pieces.
The boys will be evaluated at the Child Development Center over the course of the next two months (remember all those set appointments?) and this center specializes in all of this, so clearly it will be addressed by them. The teacher and the therapists said they'll be filling out the paperwork from the CDC, so they didn't want me to be surprised to see their suspicions of the disorder without this prior discussion.
So we'll see. Clearly a developmental pediatrician, pediatric psychologist and the reports from school AND HOME will all figure out the puzzle. The school speech therapist told me that I need to be prepared for a dx of Apraxia from them, which I am prepared for. She said that she's so proud of Brady for getting the 'mmm' sound out, but clearly, after 2 months of work and getting one sound out, he needs a lot more help to start being to effectively speak and communicate some day and the days are counting down to 4k quickly.
Which lead us to the discussion of an 'Assistive Technology' referral. Brady will be evaluated to see if his classroom can have an assisted tool to help him speak and communicate. The therapist told me of a few apps that I could purchase to download on an Ipod or Ipad that Brady could use. He would learn the program to push buttons with pictures, and it would speak for him. I checked out the apps today and they are rather pricey, so we'll see what the Assistive Tech person suggests. The therapist gave me a hug and told me she was so proud of me for considering the tool because Brady really needs it, but sometimes parents have a hard time accepting its necessity (because it's seen as such a 'special needs' tool).
On top of this, I received a call from the Endocrinologist department for an appointment. We were able to find a day that wasn't already filled, so that's set for mid-December. I think my family may run away come February.
Yup, you'll find us on a beach somewhere.
So, I have two question for all of ya'll out there. Are your kids 'coughing' more this season? Brady is on his third cough this fall already (they both started colds today) and I just find it odd.
And second - do I sound crazy in this post?
|Good job Brady! (he drew Daddy)|
|I had to draw the circle for Jax, but you can tell what he was drawing!|