Monday, September 2, 2013

ADHD Resources

In June last year I wrote about my suspicions that my eldest son, then almost 8, might have ADHD. In April of last year I had started contacting psychiatrists to find out about having a psycho-educational assessment done to confirm (or deny) my suspicions. Since we were homeschooling, this was mostly to provide us with some guidance as to how we could best work with our son at home.

The assessments took place in July and August, and we received a 25 page report, with 20 recommendations, in September. This included a phone call to review everything, and the psychologist encouraged me not to "over-catastrophize." An additional learning we gained through this process was that DS1 also has dysgraphia. We immediately switched to scribing for him to reduce his frustration in getting his thoughts down on paper. We also tried letting him use the computer since he had completed a typing course, however he was too interested in experimenting with different font styles and sizes and would usually end up erasing part or all of his work.

We met with a pediatrician who specializes in children with ADHD and reviewed non-medicating options. We also went to ROCK (Reach out Centre for Kids) and someone met with us for 4 sessions. We identified what we wanted help with so she talked to us about discipline tactics. We also bought DS1 in for a session and she explained to him how his brain works and what he can do to help himself. 

Something we found that has been quite helpful is melatonin. DS1 takes this at bedtime and it helps him to calm down and sleep. And of course a good night of sleep (or not) has effects on the next day.

I found it difficult to find resources to truly support us as homeschoolers. At least with the official diagnosis, people could understand that he wasn't necessarily a naughty child, just that he has some challenges.

A year later I am hopeful. I see that as he grows older he also matures in some ways and develops some self-regulation. It was a good decision to find out what was going on and to try to develop tactics to help our son. It was also important that we learned about his struggle with dysgraphia so that we could support him. 

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