Friday, February 24, 2012

To get to the other side...

November 2010. 
I anticipate the call all day. Three o'clock cannot come soon enough as I keep switching my focus between the clock, my computer screen, then my phone and back to the clock as my eyes dance through a three way monkey in the middle. I feel a vibration on the desk which causes my eyes to dart to my phone just as the screen wakes. "Hello." "Hi, do you have time now?" "Yes, I will call you back once I call the doctor and I will conference you in." This exchange brings me back to the time my wife's doctor informed us we were going to have a baby. Eleven years later this was a different call. 

My wife and I do not know what to expect, but we are hoping for a definitive diagnosis. We both listen as the Doctor speaks...

"I have completed my two day analysis of your son. From our discussion regarding your concerns I conducted a number of tests, and he and I talked about various topics. My full report will be ready in a few days but I am confident in my findings, you son has ADHD."

My first thought is one of confusion. "Are you sure? I mean my son is not overactive or somebody who can't sit still, rather he's the exact opposite of that." "That is the biggest misconception about ADHD, its about focus, the inability to concentrate and stay on task, and where as some children's reaction is the bouncing from one activity to another, your child reacts in a sort of silent daydreamy kind of way." The reaction to the disability might be different but the diagnosis is the same." And that is when I heard the word, DISABILITY. 

My second thought was that I do not know a thing about ADHD other than the funny lines I heard on evening sitcoms, jokes about non-stop chattering and kids in perpetual motion. I would not characterize my son with those traits. He is creative, thoughtful and strong willed. He has a good sense of humor and has hopes and dreams. The roadmap to those dreams and the happiness along the way is where the ADHD blocks it like a fallen tree in the road.

As a father all I want to do is move that tree to clear a wide path, but in the year that has passed, I learned that I can't move the tree, my job is to show him the obstacle, and help him build the confidence to move it.

To be continued.... 


Lois Tannenbaum said...

How true that the best tools we can give our children at any age or developmental stage of their life are ones that help them draw the plans that shape their future. There is a really good book "The Family ADHD Solution" by Mark Bertin, MD. I reference information from his research and writings in the workshops/panels I offer on this topic.

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