Monday, December 24, 2012

I want to write a happy post ...

... full of cheerful holiday snark and recounting the Great Flying Menorah Incident of 2012, as well as the Quest for the Purple Bunny, but first I want to say this.

If you haven't yet read this blog post, that is one sturdy rock you've been hiding under. Read it now.

Because I agree with the writer (and my heart goes out to her). I think this country needs to have a serious discussion about mental illness. And about learning disabilities and mental disorders and how to handle kids who have clear issues without A. pretending there is no issue or B. writing the kid off as a loner/geek/nutbar and doing absolutely nothing about it.

Look, my kid is not on the level of the writer's son, or Adam Lanza or Jared Loughner or etc. He is the exact opposite of antisocial -- he loves people and thinks they should all be his friends. Kiddo has trouble with impulsivity and hyperactivity. He can't sit still. He misses social cues. He needs constant reminders about personal space. He's gotten better about not running in parking lots (thankfully). My point is this: He's not a "maybe" case of ADHD. He's a "totally." Every medical or educational professional who evaluates him says the same thing. The school OT, examining him last month, saw all the exact same sensory and impulsivity issues that the private OT saw during their examination in April. He was initially diagnosed in February. And where are we at, 10 months later? He's got a 504 plan that may or may not be enough for him. He's got a behavioral therapist who's dropping our insurance. He's disrupting class activities. He's still under observation by the school social worker, who will present her report to us when next we all meet, whenever that is, though not this calendar year, obviously.

He's got an acknowledged problem, and 10 months later I would not consider that problem even close to solved, or properly dealt with. Now imagine kiddo was more like Adam Lanza. Imagine waiting to deal with the problem when the problem could be fatal.

Learning disabilities, mental disorders, mental illness, do not just go away or get better on their own. Early intervention is crucial. And that intervention needs to be across the board -- school, home, wherever. Everywhere. Parents can't deal with this stuff on their own. They need help. 

There has to be a way to speed up the bureaucracy. There has to be a way to increase federal funding. There has to be something more we can do.

Not just because I want kiddo to be able to reach his full potential. Because I think he should be able to sit in class without fearing for his life.

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