Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Neither of them can stay in one place...

Roman's "at risk" profile came back at - surprise! - high risk for ADHD. His teacher filled out a form, and Doug and I filled out a form. My counselors scored it and then discussed the results with me. His result even got a "wow" out of them. Basically, four categories - Oppositional, Inattentive, Hyperactive, and "total risk for ADHD." Under oppositional Roman is practically nil, although his teacher saw a little of it. Inattentive, we saw more of it at home than at school, & he is rated at a "mild" problem. Hyperactive, the teacher's score matched ours, and he was a 14 on a scale of 0-21. The total "ADHD index" on a scale of 0-36 placed Roman at a 28. That's pretty high risk. Again, not surprising.

What do we do with this information? For starters, change how we approach things. We got the book "From Chaos to Calm" which discusses what types of routines & approaches work best in parenting the "challenging" child. Just knowing that we're on the right track has changed our attitude with him. For example, driving in the car the other day Roman was incessantly talking, as usual. Doug and I kept trying to speak to each other and got interrupted constantly. Finally Doug said, "Roman, can you stop talking and let us speak to each other?" Roman said okay, but then kept right on talking. I looked at Doug and whispered "no, he can't!" So instead of getting frustrated and raising our voices with him because he's not doing what we say, we took a deep breath, got him involved in something else, and had our quick conversation.

That's part of it, you see - his brain simply cannot press the "off" button. It's actually an under-stimulation of the brain that controls attention and in the "h" case, physical movement. Roman's brain believes it's telling his body to stop, but that section is so under-stimulated that it doesn't actually send the message. So we tell him to stop talking, his brain registers that we told him to stop, and he believes he has stopped - but the actual "firing" of the brain to his mouth to make him stop doesn't happen. The same with fidgeting, blurting, poking, etc. Kindergarten no big deal, but if it continues in school he's going to have a problem with learning AND with making friends. I don't want him to be the weirdo that the kids shun. Speeding up his brain is what we want - that's what medication does, by the way - speeds up his brain so that when he's told to stop doing something, the brain can actually get through to his body.

This has been an awkward line to walk... continuing to impress upon Roman that there are certain behaviors that are expected by us (and society), and yet knowing that at this stage in the game he cannot meet those expectations - even if he thinks he is. We are not verbalizing in front of him that "gee, now there's a reason for you to not do things." Rather, it's helping us change how we approach things so he CAN be successful at some expectations. His conference with his teacher will be very interesting next month.

Charlie had his 9-month appointment on Monday. He weighs 20 lbs, 10 oz, and has grown 2 inches since his 6-month appt. He's now 28 inches, I think. In layman's terms, he's practically in 18-month sizes. He's roly-poly and so can't wear regular t-shirts, just onesies. Big tummy hanging out. He is still in level 2 foods but is beginning to take "chunks" and chew them, rather than suck it all down like a liquid. We've given Gerber fruit puffs with success finally. His pincer (finger) grasps are getting better, and while he can pinch a pea or puff between thumb and finger (not tips), it gets lost in his palm. He also doesn't bring it to his mouth yet without encouragement. However, he stuck his fingers in my yogurt the other day and did put his fingers in his mouth a few times.

He is rocking on hands & knees, and moved forward a little the other day before he lunged for a toy of Roman's. He is starting to interact with peek-a-boo - he will pull down the cloth in front of my face, and when I did it with my hands yesterday he pushed them away so he could see me. He also cries when we walk out of the room. I don't miss those days. Roman, luckily, can often change Charlie's mood. Charlie absolutely adores Roman and watches him constantly.

Doug and I are keeping the house running, sometimes even smoothly. A busy few days ahead.

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