Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The status of things

Whatever bout of insanity convinced us to host Passover, Easter and kiddo's birthday party all in the same weekend has now passed, and should that same urge ever appear again, I will beat it with a stick. One event per weekend from now on, period.

I do suspect the general craziness in the air around here infected kiddo a little bit, because calling him "oppositional" lately would be like suggesting a hurricane was a little wet. He throws Defcon 1 fits over being asked to go potty. He runs off instead of washing his hands for dinner. If you pick him up and bring him over to where he needs to be, he kicks. If you (quite justifiably) send him to his room so he can cool off enough to even begin serving his time out, he throws things at his bedroom door. Thunk thunk thunk.

Last night he goofed around instead of eating dinner and then threw a fit because I wouldn't let him have leftover birthday cake. This morning he and DH got into a huge argument because he wouldn't put his shoes on to go to school. Yes, this is as maddening as it sounds. I finally walked over, sat him on the couch and put the shoes on myself, because no one has time for this crap, and it did seem to defuse things.

The one saving grace of all this is that at least when other family members see what he's really like on bad days, they understand what we're up against. (Or they say, "My parents would never have put up with this," implying, I guess, that we're lousy parents. Ah well.)

Tonight was calmer at least. He did his homework, washed hands for dinner without too much prompting, ate -- well, sort of ate. Not enough to justify dessert, but he got over that. He told us a long, involved story about the scary freezing girl and the guitar that made everyone in the town freeze, and how he broke the guitar and made the girl cry. (I blame the Fresh Beat Band. Also, I miss Phineas and Ferb.) He practiced writing, got ready for bed, and only lost one of his two-book allotment for taking too long.

The timer on my phone is a wonderful thing. My readings indicate that ADHD kids (and adults) have no sense of time, which is why they're always dawdling and getting unfocused and running late and holding people up. So the past couple days, I've been trying to get kiddo acquainted with the concept. I tell him he's got three minutes to do X, set the timer, hold it up and wait. If he doesn't make it, he suffers a consequence.

We did our insurance-approved five sessions with the behavioral therapist and she was under the impression we wouldn't be back afterward, though we weren't thinking things would be solved in five sessions. She's had some good suggestions -- cut down on the toys in his room, thus cutting down on potential distractions; let him pick out part or all of his outfit for the day; try to emphasize positive reinforcement over negative. But mainly her point was, it's on us to manage his behaviors so we see improvement long-term.

She actually went on a bit of a rant toward the end of the last session. We started off talking about how you see small kids walking around with iPhones or iPods or iWhatevers, and morphed into Grown-Up Kids These Days and how their parents indulge them their whole lives and buy them whatever they want and never teach them how to work for anything, and then these kids get to college or get out of college and don't know how to function because, um, they've never worked for anything, and then the parents call her to fix the problem when it's probably past fixing. She said somewhere along the way, between the last generation or two of parents and now, people forgot how to parent effectively.

What's most interesting about that curmudgeonly-sounding rant is that the therapist is probably even younger than I am.

At any rate, we're figuring on bringing kiddo back to her periodically for support and reasurance, and someone to bitch to, so we're going next week.

We finally -- finally -- hallelujah got our insurance to cover occupational therapy; there was literally no one in the state on our insurance plan, so we got clearance for the center to be treated as in-network. Your timeline, folks: He was diagnosed in February, and he's starting sessions in April. I think the Titanic iceberg moved faster than this.

But we took him to the center for an initial evaluation, which he loved, because of the big rope swing and all the giant cushiony things to climb on and the big hammock to slide down. (I thought it looked a little fun myself.) We still have to conference on the full report, but on-the-spot judgment was, he's got some gaps in his physical development, and those gaps are making him, subconsciously, not trust his own body, and so part of how he deals with that is lashing out physically.

So I'm hoping between those two specialists, we'll at least get some more detailed answers.

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