Living in the World of Excessive Labeling: ADHD

When Hiroshi suffered from a hairline fracture this February, I was allowed to pick him up from the school’s general office. And for the days that I arrived earlier than dismissal time, I’ll read whatever that was left on the magazine racks to pass time.

One of those fateful days, I’ve picked up a nicely illustrated book entitled “I Not Naughty!” by Lim Swee Huat. It turns out that “I Not Naughty” is a comprehensive handbook about ADHD/ADD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder/Attention Deficit Disorders). The book was simple and straight forward. The more I read, the more I thought that symptoms the author was illustrating sounded very much like Hiroshi.

Just to play it safe and to be absolutely sure, I emailed the school’s counselor to voice my concern. She promptly replied and set up an appointment for me to meet a child physiologist and an Occupational Therapist from Reach.

The first appointment with the specialists was long and tedious. We went though a series of extensive questionnaires. Some were really challenging as we ransack our failing memory banks for the required information. It suddenly dawn onto me how quickly my kids are growing. As we were wreaking our poor brains out, the Occupational Therapist gave Hiroshi a quick initial assessment.

A couple of weeks later, we received feedback from the Occupational Therapist suggesting a FULL Assessment to be done on Hiroshi. During the Full Assessment, Hiroshi was required to perform a series of tasks. And there were also observation to his behavior over a number of occasions in classroom activities.

We were recently presented with the final findings, the occupational therapist confirmed Hiroshi’s condition as ADHD. Specifically, Hyperactive-Impulsive Type.

If a child displays at least six of these symptoms,
do get them accessed for ADHD (Hyperactive-Impulsive Type):
(Better safe than sorry. Early intervention always works best.)

-Does not seem to listen when spoken to
-Talking nonstop
-Having trouble doing quiet tasks, such as reading
-Touching and getting into everything
-Running from place to place
-Banging into people or objects
-Acting like he’s “driven by a motor”
-Constantly jumping or climbing — on furniture and other inappropriate places
-Being impatient
-Blurting out comments at inappropriate times
-Interrupting conversations or speaking out of turn
-Having trouble waiting for a turn or standing in line

Part of me wants to wallop in self pity and go into my drama-mama “why me” moments, but yet another part of me was full of anger and extremely upset with myself! How could I have misjudged my son for the past 9 years!

I am feeling awfully sorry about all the screaming and smacking over a condition that even he himself has no control over of. It’s definitely a moment that felt like I’ve failed as a nurturing mom.

Now all I want to know is what can be done to help Hiroshi.

The easiest way out of this situation is medication. But, the specialist’s suggestion was to put that option on hold until we’ve exhausted intervention programs. Hiroshi will be put onto a 8 weeks program. In this program, he will be taught skills to help control his hyperactivity and impulsiveness. We will also be working closely together with his school teachers to implement strategies from the program.

Time to make right what has been wrong.
My Son; Hiroshi is Not Naughty!
Even Mommy herself has wronged you for a terrible 9 years.
I am sorry. I will do better to understand you and help you.
Together, I am sure we will be able to weather through this period.

If you are a parent of an ADHD child, I’ll like to hear your strategies of coping.
If you have natural cures and remedies, I’ll love to hear them too.

But above all,
please just pray for us.
We need God’s wisdom badly!

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