Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Still here - no worries - post about my kids

I have two kids.  My oldest is 17 and he is very bright, but suffers greatly with ADHD. He was just at the pediatrician's office yesterday for an immunization booster and a physical to fulfill his university forms.  That pediatrician is fantastic and she knows ADHD very well. I think one (both) of her boys have it.  She asked how he did in school and my son told her that he graduated with about a 3.1 unweighted.  She was really happy to hear that as yes, kids with bad ADHD don't tend to do that hot in high school. Without ADHD he would probably be a straight A student or near it and with great scholarships, but we have to be happy with what we have - he's bright and he got into his top choice for university. THAT is a huge success and we should feel it as true success that it is.

My younger son is 9. He looks just like his bigger brother - like a lot like him. Yet they are as different as night and day.  My younger son is on the autism spectrum. I don't really know how to describe his severity.  It's not super debilitating, but it is at the same time.  He's in mainstream classes and at grade level in all subjects, but he struggles with language and he will probably fall further and further behind as the kids speed up their reading and writing abilities and he's stuck 3-4 years behind. And he doesn't really have friends as he doesn't know how to connect to make friends.  Kids will talk to him and be nice to him, but that's as far as it goes.  He also has hyperlexia which means that he learned to read early, so that was easy enough, but he doesn't decode the language well, so he doesn't grasp the meaning of what he reads well from the words alone.

I sometimes get down when I see him at school, like today when they had a walk around the lake and then a picnic, but then I can also see how many huge strides he is taking.  At this very minute he is at an autism clinic doing a social skills group.  He did one 18 months ago and he is a different child from then.  Then, he didn't say hi or bye to anyone. He didn't really converse with his peers in the group, but this time, it's different.  He remembered all of their names and immediately upon entering the waiting room he said "hi X." "Hi Y" and when Z came in, "Hi Z." He then asked them, "how do you like my haircut?"  Yes, a strange conversation opener, but it was a conversation opener.  They,  also on the  spectrum didn't reply as well, their skills are impaired similarly.

When my younger son is at school it is painfully apparent how different and behind he is.  When he is at the autism clinic it's apparent how so slightly affected he is.  Though, the car ride here was awful today.  He has the new development of refusing to put his feet on the floor when he's sitting. Why? Because it bothers him.  I had to stop the car until he sat properly, twice, and threaten it a half dozen other times on the drive over.  Yes, life is full of challenges.

Life has been stressful. It was hard to make myself a priority when my babies and toddlers didn't sleep. When they ran me ragged. I know, without a doubt that my thyroid and blood sugar issues were probably created by the years my youngest didn't sleep and I survived the day by sugar fixes. I was running on fumes for years while he woke 6-7 times a night, unable to settle, ever, until he was 3 which was followed by 2 more years of night wakings from 3 to 5 am (3 times weekly when he was 3 down to once a month by the time he started school.) I though my oldest was bad with night waking and fighting going to sleep (and it was horrible) but nothing like the youngest.

I sometimes look at families and feel envy for their normalcy.  But then the next moment I think, "their bubble will get burst too as no one goes through life unscathed."

But we got through it.  My older son is starting college in the fall.  My younger son is starting 4th grade and is, for the most part, so easy compared to what it used to be. He is growing and developing skills all the time. He will probably be find.

I can make myself a higher priority now because they don't demand every second of my attention any more. I can try to be a positive role model in eating right and exercising and taking care of myself so they do those things for themselves too.  I'm mom and I want the best for my kids, including leading healthy lives.

1 comment:

  1. Don't worry, no family is normal. Not all challenges are brain/organic in nature and each situation is unique, but you have a ton to be proud of in your boys AND you. It sounds like you're surmounting to challenges you've been given fantastically.

    *ahem* Now I need to go manage my own set of them. Eep!