After the Diagnosis
It’s no secret that my son has struggled with school. Every year, his father and I dread parent/teacher conferences. “He’s smart.” “He’s interesting.” “How do we keep him engaged in what the class is doing?” “What motivates him?” “He really needs to leave his free-reading books in his locker. He’s unable to put them down and pay attention in class.” “He seems unwilling to take notes.” “He needs to understand that he has to play by my rules.” EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR.
This year, it got worse.
He’s always been smart. In fact, he’s smarter than most. He has more in common with Sheldon Cooper than he does with his father or me. We figured, over time, the other students would catch up. That eventually he’d fall into place with everyone else.That has not been the case, with grades, or with behavior. This year, we got him counseling. During all the chaos, he struggled even more with school. He became extremely depressed. Life got HARD. Shame on me for waiting for pure hell to get him help. The counseling has helped me to see that my son definitely struggles with attention more than most. It wasn’t a “phase”. It wasn’t because he was “just being a boy”. He CAN’T concentrate.
So now what?
We didn’t want to medicate him. We don’t want to change the cool kid he is. I am afraid that he’ll lose his edge, his humor and his quirkiness. His dad is afraid that he’ll be labeled, treated differently, and written off. But since we waited so long, he’s really old enough to start weighing in on these decisions. So we talked about what he heard. We talked about whether we should visit the psychiatrist, in addition to the therapist. We talked about whether he wanted to try being medicated. His answer…
“Mom, I want to try, but I don’t want it to take away my creativity.”
And so, with that, we’ll make the appointment. We’re all afraid of what it means, but we’re in this together. We all want the same outcome.
And above all, we ALL want him to stay the amazing, smart, quirky kid he is today. We just want it to be easier to be him.