Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Special Kids Series Episode 1: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder [ADHD]

Well, Ollie wants me to write, so I will write. Please I will write anonymously for now. I hope my writing skills are alright. My son is 6 years old. At 2, he could not sit still for a second; he slept at 1am and woke up at 4am and when he does wake up, the entire household knows. He is our first child so with no prior experience, I thought that most boys were this boisterous and active. I had to get him a personal maid to follow him around so he does not hurt himself.
When he started school, his teachers kept complaining so I had to change his school, thinking the teachers were incompetent to handle him.

At his new school, after 3 weeks, they called me for a meeting and suggested I take my son for prayers. “You know, Madam, there is nothing God cannot do.”
I asked what they were insinuating….
”.....Nothing oooo, Madam…just a suggestion.”
I left there with tears in my eyes, confused, angry and worst of all, clueless. A good friend directed me to a Montessori school around Lekki and after evaluation by a renowned psychologist and an Occupational therapist, I finally got a diagnosis for my son, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder-ADHD. From evaluation, they said he was “high functioning”. I was like,
 “Einstein material, right?”
“We don’t know yet, Madam”

We started therapy immediately with Morning school facilitation [meaning a therapist would follow him to school every day to see how he did] and afternoon sessions at home.

He also did a lot of Sensory exercises [using his hands on materials for example, toys]  especially with a sensory brush. Later on, monitoring of behavior, organizational and academic activities followed.

We were advised to remove all sugary food from his diet, reduce junk food and fizzy drinks, which we did. Initially, we [The pediatrician, the therapy team and myself] argued about medication but his dad and myself decided to stick to therapy and see how it goes first.

My son is 6 years old now and you won’t know that he was ever hyperactive. He is so high functioning that it scares me. He reads books that are meant for 12-15 year olds. His maths is also the same. We have even limited T.V. time because he can memorize a movie. He still has challenges with socializing and we are trying to get him to initiate friendly social conversations.

All in all, things are good now and we are grateful for all the help and information we got concerning our son. Having a child with ADHD is not the end of the world. Yes, it is challenging but God has been good.

Images courtesy of:  healthyblackmen.org

1 comment:

  1. Amazing story. Also glad to read of the resources available in Lagos