Monday, June 4, 2012

Considering ADD/ADHD

My oldest ds has always been what we describe as "high energy". We figured it was normal behaviour for a little boy and that he would settle down a bit as he gets older. The possibility of ADD/ADHD has often been in the back of our minds, but looking through the symptoms list we just didn't feel he met a lot of the criteria - some yes, but many no.

This morning I read through the chapter on ADD in "Alphabet Kids from ADD to Zellweger Syndrome: A Guide to Developmental, Neurobiological and Psychological Disorders for Parents and Professionals" by Robbie Woliver (2009) and I think it's time to get an official diagnosis. 

According to the book, one in six children are estimated to have special needs due to interconnected neurobiological, developmental, and genetic illnesses.  According to Patti Wood, executive director of Grassroots Environmental Education, this number may actually be closer to one in four due to undiagnosed cases.

The clincher for me was this: "Lack of early intervention wastes the child's time, energy, and brain power as he or she develops compensatory skills instead of the real ones."  I don't want to add more frustration to my wonderful ds' life.

I have already researched and found places where I can get a psychological and psycho-educational assessment done.  It comes with a $2,000 price tag, but thankfully this is something my extended health benefits will cover.  The testing session is a 2-4 hour process, followed by many 1 hour sessions after that.  The main challenge, in addition to figuring out when both dh and I are off work at the same time, is figuring out childcare so that both my husband and I can be present through the process.  So it will take time.  

This statement in a 2007 research report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science gives me hope: "ADHD may be more a result of delayed maturation of the brain than a defect in the brain."  I think I'm ready to embark on this new journey.

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