Sunday, November 24, 2013

He's a contradictory sort

Not that kiddo means to be contradictory. In fact being inconsistent is one of the consistent things about ADHD, because rote, routine things hurt his brain. Sometimes it's entertaining, though.

His anxiety, for instance. He doesn't like to be in a room (or a bathroom) by himself. Doesn't like scary stories or loud dogs. Will practically run the other way if someone's Halloween decorations are too frightening. ("But you're Superman!" I protested while we were trick or treating. "You're not afraid of anything!" Meantime his sister the strawberry was already at the door, getting candy.)

And then we met another family for hibachi last weekend. Now, we've done this sort of thing before, with cousin H. and family down South. And it went fine. But I don't recall there being quite the same reaction last time. By which I mean kiddo practically standing up in his seat yelling "More fire! More fire!"

"Don't you think he sounds like Beavis?" I said to DH.

Wow, did he love the fire. I think maybe the chef this time around had cranked up the flames on the table a little more than the last one. But still. Kiddo seemed to think this was his own private fireworks show and he did not want it to end. (In a complete reversal of the usual, kiddette was hiding behind me. "I don't like the fire," she said. Though she did like the food.)

The chef seemed to find our little pyro hilarious, playing little games with him, pretending to give him rice and then dropping it on someone else's plate instead. Kiddo was a pretty good sport about it, especially when the chef finally dumped a ton of rice on his plate.

As we were leaving the restaurant, DH encouraged kiddo to go thank the chef for the meal. Kiddo walked up to him and said, "Thank you for the fire!"

Can't wait to see what he does when we light the Hanukkah candles Wednesday.

Another contradiction: girls. He got in trouble last week for smacking himself in the face, spinning around and throwing himself on the ground. I heard this from the guidance counselor and I thought, Is this a tic of some sort? Is it related to the medication? Should I call the doctor? Yeah. Turns out he and another boy had been "trying to make the girls smile."

Seriously. He's 6. Aren't boys supposed to be totally clueless about girls until high school or later? Why is he trying to make girls smile? And couldn't he just tell them a knock-knock joke or something?

Also, lately he and kiddette have been making marriage plans. Kiddette is going to marry one of her little friends from school. Kiddo is going to marry a girl from the neighborhood. This is actually a step up from before, when they were going to marry each other. (I explained that that was not possible.) Kiddette's friend was not happy about the suggestion. I don't think kiddo has informed his intended yet.

And yet despite all this, when kiddo and I were reading the latest "Wimpy Kid" book and it mentioned a Valentine's Day dance, kiddo said "Ewwwwwwww!"

I couldn't help calling him out on that. "What do you mean Ewwwwww? You just got in trouble for trying to make the girls smile." He had no answer. I suspect the other boys at school told him dances were yucky. Maybe the next time he talks about marrying someone, I'm going to tell him that getting married involves a lot of dancing, and see if that puts an end to the talk.

Finally, of course, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the latest news: according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1 in 10 children in the U.S. has been diagnosed with ADHD, per their 2011 survey of 95,000-plus parents. They say diagnoses have been rising since at least 1997, which may be because of greater awareness on the part of doctors and parents. Per the data (says the Associated Press), that's about 6 and a half million kids, half of whom are diagnosed by age 6. The CDC site also says this:

Although investigation of ADHD has been quite extensive over the past 30 years, the scientific process has been significantly slowed by the lack of a single, consistent, and standard research protocol for case identification. Variable and disparate findings have been noted throughout the literature even on basic issues such as prevalence. As a consequence, speculation regarding possible increases in ADHD prevalence cannot currently be evaluated.

So, they know there's more of it, but they don't really know why.

They also say:

CDC acknowledges the need for further research in ADHD. Specifically, key public health questions yet to be answered include:
  • What are the causes and risk factors of ADHD? What is the prevalence of ADHD? Is the prevalence increasing?
  • What social and economic impacts does ADHD have on families; schools; the workforce; and judicial and health systems?
  • Are ADHD and its comorbidities being appropriately diagnosed and treated? Are people with ADHD able to access appropriate and timely treatment?
  • How effective are current interventions? What are the long-term effects of drug treatments?

This all seems like they really don't want to say anything definitive on the topic, which makes me wonder why the 1-in-10 thing was a story in the first place. Dear medical science folks, we need something definitive on the topic. That's the only way people are going to stop thinking ADHD is made up. Get on that, would you?

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