September 7, 2013 by vlittle528
Life has been hectic lately. I have a plethora (big word of the day yay!) of topics to write about, and when my life is hectic this is usually the time that I enjoy writing the most. However, every time I sit to write the to-do list floods through my head and I my mind goes blank. Not the best way to write an effective post.
With all of the topics to choose from, I decided to start with the one that this blog was started for, my son and his ADHD and being gifted and talented. We have been on quite the ride. As is typical with ADHD, the meds eventually even out and need to be reevaluated, which is why it is important to check in with your doctor at least every six months. My son was doing well, but the anger was still there. The mornings were AWFUL. We would have to wake up at least a half an hour early, and that half an hour was spent waiting for his medicine to kick in so his little brain could focus on what we were asking him to do. And try as he might, he simply couldn’t control the feeling of anger. I don’t want to just medicate my son and make him a zombie or not feel those emotions, I simply want him to be able to control them while we teach him ways of dealing with the feelings he has. So after a long discussion with the doctor we decided to keep him on the same dose of the current medicine but add to it one that he takes at night. This medication will allow him to both get a good night’s sleep (which his active brain wasn’t getting), wake up in the morning and be focused enough to get the day started, and help control that anger so when he is upset he can recognize the feeling and learn how to deal with it effectively. So far it is working. But I HATE the thought that we now have more medicine in him. I ultimately want less, not more. I don’t do well with not knowing when this will happen. But this whole things is a trial and error, a guessing game. And I have to remember that the person we are doing this for is the person it is hardest on. So I have to be the calm in his storm.
And the good news, the best news of all, is that my son has been officially identified as gifted before the typical time the school usually does it. This is so big in so many ways, but the biggest of all is that we are now able to get him on his own special learning plan so that he is actually progressing rather than just waiting for the rest of the kids to learn what he already knows. I am not in any way saying that these other kids are not smart, are not learning, or are holding my son back. But when you have a child that is highly gifted, it is important to make sure they are learning as well, not just maintaining the knowledge they already have.
I had a friend ask me recently how I knew what to do. How I knew the lingo, how I knew it was time to push to get him tested when schools don’t seem to want to push for this. I didn’t know. All I knew was that my son is extremely gifted and I am the only advocate for him. I knew that he was beyond bored in school and wasn’t learning he was just reviewing. I knew that I had to do something. And I am lucky that my son attends a school that is willing to listen to me. This isn’t to say that I didn’t have to push. And my son had to do a LOT. There were a lot of tests, a lot of paperwork, and it took a long time. And there are many many many gifted kids out there that will be just fine with the typical enrichment classes that are available. My issue was that my son needed more in all areas that they are currently learning, with the exception to science. I had the opportunity to watch him in class one day while he was learning science. He just came alive. His eyes sparkled, his interest was peaked and he was truly into learning.
A long-winded way of saying that no one really knows, particularly if this is their first child they are doing this with. You just have to learn. You have to do your research. You have to join social media groups. And you have to persist. You will know what is right, what isn’t and when you have reached your goal. It is a lot of work, but it is so very worth it!