What a day! I feel drained. My little boy did stay at his ‘Monday school’ until 12:30 which was great, and all without incident.
Then I had an update meeting with his special school to see how he’s going. While they have seen some improvements, they are still concerned about a couple of things. Firstly, that usually when they have children there, they find that after two terms if the child’s issue is predominantly a matter of ‘bad parenting’ or behaviour management issues, they would have seen a marked improvement at this stage. Secondly, that he is not progressing in his learning at the rate he should be. Particularly since all his IQ testing shows him to be in the ‘superior’ range (whatever that means!). So what is the conclusion?
Thankfully, they don’t think the problem is bad parenting! Whew! How do they know?They mentioned how they usually have more success with kids because they are “insistent, persistent and consistent as well as kind and letting the child know that the adults are in charge and that the kids don’t need to worry about certain things”. Apparently when these methods are applied at school, the behaviour of the kids changes dramatically and fairly fast while at school, but with my little one, their methods just don’t work. He is still showing many of the problems he had when he started. That tells them that it’s not a problem of behaviour management (not entirely anyway!).
Then they brought up the fact that he is behind the others of his age now, despite being so bright when not asked to do the actual school work! This is a real problem and they believe will only get worse and is really starting to erode his self esteem because he just cannot sit still and focus on what he is meant to be doing. Then he apparently ‘forgets’ it the next day. He requires constant adult supervision to sit next to him and encourage him continually to try again and have a go. When he does focus and does try, he gets it pretty quickly. What they want to do is trial him on some ADHD medication while he is still at the school and under their close supervision. I have always been very reluctant to go down that path, but as they pointed out, this is now really affecting his life as he is just not able to settle in class or in the playground enough to function in even an almost normal way.
Sad 😦 Yes I had a little cry while I was in there, but after that I decided to get over it and put my trust in them. They are right in saying that this is the best time ever to test some meds because they have such a range of specialists watching him all day four days a week. That means that they won’t just slap him on the meds and say ‘he’s fixed’. They’ll watch him to see if there are any changes in behaviour, and all the current support structures and other behaviour management things will still be in place to give him the chance to really start to benefit from those strategies. Sigh. They also said that if it is ADHD then the meds will show almost an ‘overnight’ change in his behaviour for the positive. If that is the case then I think it’s probably good to give it a go.
Well that’s where the drugs part comes in! Now what about the Ninja?
My son attends a martial arts class twice a week called ‘little ninjas’ and I did warn all the senseis before he started that he has issues with authority and with keeping still and listening. They’ve persevered with him for two terms now, and he even got his next belt by passing his grading. I was surprised at this since he seems to spend more time on the ‘naughty mat’ in the class than anything else! Well today, the sensie unceremoniously deposited him next to me in the waiting room about half way through the class and said “I need to talk to you about him!” Uh Oh! Naturally my son was not happy with this scenario and even less happy about waiting there until the end of the class. Unfortunately, he did something he hasn’t done in a really long time! Right there with all the other Mums and Dads watching, he tried to run back to the class. I grabbed his uniform and reeled him back to me and took him on my lap to try and chat to him about it. He then went a bit bonkers and started kicking, biting, scratching and headbutting me. I really thought we were done with all that! Never mind, I am still good at the ‘hold’ and proceeded to wrap my arms and legs around and get my own head out of range all the while calmly telling him (as he was screaming LET ME GO! YOU ARE MAKING ME HOT!), that he wasn’t able to control his own body right now and that I would control it for him until he felt ready to calm down and show me he was in control. It’s quite funny how people look at you so sympathetically when you have a child of 5.5 years old doing that to you. Oh well I’m sure they’ll have something to blog about when they get home! That crazy kid and his mother at little ninjas! Yep that was us 🙂
So finally the class finished and the Sensei told me that Wednesday class was his last chance to not muck around in the class. If he does, he won’t be allowed back to little ninjas as it’s not fair on the others in the class. Shame because he’s actually very good at it. In my mind, if the ADHD meds do work then all the better because it’s really affecting his life badly now, being unable to even go to a class that he actually enjoys.
So, we may end up with a ninja on drugs… I’m sure it will work out in the end.