Attention Deficit Disorder. It took me by surprise.

I have a need to document this day on the blog. Today, Caleb was diagnosed with ADD. We faced this issue last year with Joshua, but we never finished the testing process, so he was never diagnosed.

I really didn’t expect this with Caleb.

Caleb had his regular neurology appointment today. This was a new doc for him, since we just moved. Therefore, I had to go over the back story on the epilepsy for what felt like the dozenth time.  If you’re new here, you can find that story here: Childhood Epilepsy.

My irresistibly darling husband took time out of class to wrangle the other three children so that I could give Caleb and his new doctor my full attention. I’m so thankful he did.

During the interview portion of the visit, Caleb was quiet and just laid on the hospital bed, listening. Eventually, he got bored, retrieved my tablet from my giant mom bag, and played on it. Once his turn came, he handed it back over, and went into happy/goofy 7-year-old boy mode.

Perhaps it was a good thing he was able to feel so comfortable that he was acting like he was at home. He darted around the room, he did not follow the light well during the eye exam, and it was all a little stressful for me.

So……we left with an ADD diagnosis for Caleb. She said I could come see her when we’re ready to try meds. She was nice and all. It was just all sort of funny because I had described Caleb as “nonchalant” and prone to being a “couch potato.”

Ya’ll!!  My frame of reference is so messed up. First, I have Joshua, who has way more energy than Caleb does, but he knows when to use it and when to sit still and do what the doctor says. But at home, Joshua is the one with the boundless energy.

I have no quiet, calm children. I don’t even know what that would be like.

Caleb’s favorite part of the examination was the part where she asked him to run up and down the hallway. The doc said, “He loves this, doesn’t he? And he’s your couch potato??” We both laughed. I can’t explain it. Sometimes Caleb is as limp and phlegmatic as can be!

She decided the Keppra could be causing some of the drowsiness, so now Caleb will only be taking Keppra in the evening. I’m rather excited about that.

It was a good visit, except that I was feeling frustrated with Caleb for going into full hyper/silly mode, but that’s the way it is with Caleb sometimes.

I just wasn’t expecting the ADD diagnosis. I really wasn’t. That does explain a whole lot of our schooling issues.  You know, back in the day, ADD was around too, just as much as now, only back then they called it “highly spirited boys or girls,” like Caleb, or “daydreamers,” like Joshua.  It’s a funny thing, though, because both Alan and I were pretty well focused and didn’t really struggle with this. Actually, I’m the worst day-dreamer ever, but I can reign it in when necessary.

Tomorrow, Caleb is going to be pretty stoked. If I took nothing else away from my short stint in graduate school (for psychology), it was this phrase, “You got an ADD kid? Give ’em a coke in the morning.”

Caleb loves Coke, so he’ll be happy. See ADD brains work a little differently. Stimulants help them focus.

By the way, seeing the way she evaluated Caleb for ADD, I’m not positive that this is the same problem that Joshua has. I think Joshua was just bored with school. For him, I feel like it’s more of a behavior modification that was needed, and I have seen a huge improvement this year. He’s actually able to work independently now, and he finishes his work quite quickly.

I think the true test will be to see if the caffeine in the morning helps. I will let you all know!

Now I’m off to cook dinner and clean my house– not my favorite jobs–but I am happy to be able to serve my family.

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”   Jeremiah 33:3

OH!!  And thank you to my friend Maureen!!  I received the most wonderful note of encouragement and a Staples gift card today, just out of the blue. That made my day, especially since this one turned out to be a tough day. God’s timing. Thank you so much, Maureen. Our PTA (Alan and me) will put that to GOOD use. What a blessing!

pelican feeding frenzy

  • I have no calm, quiet children either. I know there are boys out there who are but I think in general they are made to move and the more they are allowed to move the better they seem to behave and learn. But I’m thinking we may have to try the Coke strategy! You seem to be amazingly thorough in your Mom role so I’m sure you will do all that is necessary for the benefit and well-being of your boys. Wisdom to you! Keep us posted! We’re all learning through your experiences!

    • Thank you so much. You are always so encouraging! It helps me to know that you have no calm, quiet children either–especially knowing that you have 5 boys of similar ages to mine! You know, I don’t really believe the ADD label should be given to a 7-year-old b/c their maturity is still so much at play…and by maturity I mean the lack thereof, you know? I will definitely keep you posted! The coke thing is worth a shot, but of course it will only work for a kid with a true ADD brain. We shall see…

  • Nana

    I absolutely disagree with her. I wonder how many 7 year old boys she has spent time with and how long she has been practicing. Also, while most children would behave a little shy, Caleb is a very confident child who is very comfortable with people. His behavior seems very age appropriate to me. Children are not miniature adults.

    • Hmmm..this sounds like it is written by someone who knows and loves Caleb very well… 😉 I know, Nana. I agree. I want to try the coke thing. What really earned him the diagnosis was his problems concentrating and the ‘follow the light’ portion of the evaluation. Caleb would not follow the little light with his eyes. Instead, he seemed to think it was the appropriate time to be funny. I can’t imagine where he gets this desire to be funny….haaaaahahahaha Have you ever seen his father at a doctor appointment? It’s insane, but then usually he’s also high as a kite from anesthesia….

  • When I was teaching, and saw so many of the boys labeled ADD/ADHD, I often wondered if they were just energetic boys who were being admonished for not fitting into a classroom setting that was designed for compliant stillness. I felt like in so many cases, it was the classroom setting that failed them, instead of them failing in the classroom. So many of them were bright, energetic, creative minds–I bet your boys will grow & develop even more in a homeschool setting!

  • Donna

    Anxiously waiting to see what difference the coke made… I am leaning towards your mother’s idea about Caleb too. I also like the idea of trying less keppra. I agree with what you said about behavior modification and how much Joshua has improved. I think this home schooling may be great for both of them! You are certainly doing a good job with it. Thanks for such detailed blogs. I know they will be helpful to other moms too.

  • queenmommyjen

    Wow, that was quite the day! Sometimes having a diagnosis is helpful and sometimes it just freaks me out more. I think you have a good plan and who wouldn’t like to start the day off with A Coke! P.S. I do not have calm and quiet children either. Sometimes I see other kids behaving so well and playing quietly while their parents talk and mine are always hanging on me, circling me, yelling, running. Makes for never a dull moment, I guess 🙂

  • Pingback: An Exciting Day for the PTA | Stories of Our Boys

  • I had a similar experience with my two boys. I was surprised when my first was diagnosed with autism, and surprised again, a month later, when my second received the same diagnosis! I find it really tricky to recognize my own kids quirks when I’m with them 24/7 and so rarely with their typically developing peers. They’re very high functioning, though, so I kind of equate it with ADD. Every child has “special needs” in one way or another, whether they have a label or not. I’m thankful our label qualifies my kids for some wonderful early interventions, though!

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