Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Called Our Bluff

My day started with crying, first by Ben and then as I drove to work. Ben is missing his spring field trip today due to a rotten day yesterday in all 5 areas on his behavior contract. We are splitting the day to be home with him while he is being punished.

We had explained that to go on the trip he had to show he could make a 4 or 5 check day until the trip as well as a good report from after school. He held it together for 3 school days until yesterday. It's almost like he saved up days worth of bad choices and then fired them off. The hystics have been on a new level in the last 24 hours.

I can't even begin to tell you how taking away this trip feels like the straw that is going to break the camels back. Bill and I had already been talking to Ben's teacher about the possibility of doing some testing at the school level. Last week I talked to her even more and agreed that we would start the process.

I talked to some teacher friends at work about the legalities of the process, the timetable, and what a potential diagnosis could mean for services or potentially the writing of an IEP (the legal document of what the school must provide.)

Just starting the process to test, even if in the end we are old "he's a 5 year old boy" is daunting. I quickly shoved the Handbook of Parenteral rights aside, feeling like it is a massive badge of parental failure just to be in ownership of this book. I cannot look at a bunch of legalize until we can feel it's warrented.

The reality is Bill and I want to do something now, not wait out another year or even just the rest of spring. The process if indeed Ben does wind up with a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD is likely going to take the rest of his Kindergarten year to get into place for 1st grade.

I totally admit that in Misery Poker, Childhood Issues Edition that a hyperactivity diagnosis is not even in the same league as SO many other afflictions. But it's still something to deal with on an ongoing basis, it makes life harder, it make the goals and dreams you have that your kid is going to be well adjusted and happy harder. It makes me wonder what school is going to look like for him. It makes you question past parenting mistakes as part of the cause.

I think my bottom line is while I want to know if my gut is right and this is all more than 5 year old antics. I need some good thoughts on this friends.


LauraC said...

Sorry to hear this Heather. You are being a good parent by starting the process to figure out how to help him.

Beth said...

A diagnosis could make life easier, too. It could give you a better understanding of where he is coming from and better guidance on how to proceed. It could open doors that you didn't even know were there. It could make you a better parent.

Your thoughts--"It makes me wonder what school is going to look like for him. It makes you question past parenting mistakes as part of the cause."--I can so very well relate. But he is still so young and getting him help now (whether that means a diagnosis and strategies on how to deal with it, or whether it means he's just headstrong and needs intense behavior management) and figuring things out (or at least, attempting to) is the very best thing you can do. I swear--I want to hire a parenting coach to spend one week with me, 14 hours each day, from the time the boys wake up, to the time they go to sleep. Just tell me what to say, how to respond, how to deal!

Anyway, I'm sorry things are rough and that Ben had to stay home today. I think you're on the right path. (Of course, what do I know?) Hugs!

Kim said...

Sorry things are so crappy lately. I think starting the process now is absolutely the right thing to do. If (big if) there is a diagnosis, then learning to work with it in Kindergarten has got to be better than learning to work with it later.

Carrie77 said...

Oh, Heather...I have been reading your posts and I think you are really going about it in the best way possible. I wish you the best of luck, hopefully things will get easier/better!

Gillian said...

One thing that helped me when we began the process of testing for L... was to realize that it is the same kid no matter what the tests reveal. The same kid you have known and loved his entire life. The label (if there is one) is just a tool so he can get the help he needs and accommodations where appropriate. Also, (I do not know the details of your situation or if any of this applies - I am not judging or putting a label out there bc I truly have no idea) I do know someone locally whose child was diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder and I could try to put you guys in touch if that sounds like it would be helpful.