At last! The big reveal!!!

Well, happy New Year everyone! I am finally getting around to writing a blog post for the new year. I have a lot of different things to tell you, so I’ll roll out general stories in the next few days hopefully. For now though, the exciting news is that I can finally reveal what I was being so secretive about for so long!

Some time in February last year, one of my neighbours passed me a flyer that had been given out at her kids school. It asked for parents of young children aged 3-6 years old who may have suspected ADHD to contact them regarding a documentary about ADHD being filmed for airing on the ABC.

Although my son didn’t fit any of the criteria on the flyer, I sent them an email all the same. I just felt that if someone talked to me, or met my son, they would find him and us interesting. I was right.

Initially, they wanted families with undiagnosed ADHD and a bit younger than my son. However, their ideas changed somewhat when they started to realise that in Australia there is a big problem with diagnosing ADHD correctly, and the trials and tribulations families have to go through to get any real help. They came to our house to meet us, and asked us to join their documentary.

In June last year, they began a process of filming us most days for large sections of the day. They filmed us doing homeschooling, playing with our son, making dinner, and generally just how we interacted as a family. They also captured some of our son’s less pleasant behaviours. The process wasn’t just about watching us though. We were sent to some of the very best specialists in Sydney in Child Psychology, Paediatrics and Occupational Therapy and filmed at each of those sessions.

The process of testing and re-diagnosis began. This was a really interesting process for us as we have of course been through it all before, and have come a really long way since the beginning of our son’s issues. We met some really great people, and also got a chance to give our own opinion to the specialists about many of the popular theories in dealing with these kids. While our son’s diagnosis did not change, a new medication was introduced, as well as a change to an old one. These changes saw amazing results for our son. I want to talk about this more, but I’ll wait until after the show has aired.

So the information that you are all dying to know, (and sadly, I think this is only available to my Australian readers), the show now has an airing date!!!

Mine is the one holding the chickens and looking thoughtful… or maybe murderous… not sure 🙂 Kids on Speed

 

KIDS ON SPEED?” is a powerful and revealing observational series following 4 families battling to cope with children suspected of, or diagnosed with – ADHD – and the dynamic expert team who believe their intervention program can help improve the kids lives. The series lifts the veil on the hidden face of ADHD, revealing the complexities, trials, tribulations and daily dilemmas of those battling this controversial label, challenging the stigma head on, as 3 ADHD experts use best practice to decide whether or not to put 5 young kids on stimulant medication.

Please watch it because I really believe they will tell a great story about the four different families and their struggles. I believe it will run for an hour each week in the same time slot for three weeks. I haven’t seen it yet either, so it will be interesting to see which bits of our lives they used in the cuts to tell the story!

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for general news about us over the holidays.

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9 Responses to At last! The big reveal!!!

  1. Anonymous says:

    Excellent documentary and I think it showed the effort that you’ve put in to try to help and cope with such a demanding child and I think it was done with sensitivity. I wonder if you agree.
    When I first came across your blog I commented that I thought your child might have Aspergers (OK, so now it’s not called that any more and it’s high functioning autism). It’s so difficult to diagnose this in highly intelligent children or in adults. It takes either a professional really experienced with dealing with HFA, or someone who has family members with it 🙂
    Psychologists in my experience aren’t generally good at diagnosing it unless there are learning disorders in the mix.
    I’m so glad that you finally have a diagnosis.
    If you haven’t already been directed there, have a look at bilby.net they have an excellent selection of books about Aspergers in young people and get a hold of Tony Attwood’s book. It’s pretty much considered the bible for Aspergers, it’s an amazing book.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Oh, and I think your family came across very well. It’s showed your courage and determination and how much you are willing to do for your child.
    What an amazing montage of video of him doing, um, stuff.
    That’ll be something to show the grandkids!

  3. KL says:

    Thank you for your lovely comments. Yes, I laughed at that selection of him being ‘busy’. I’m very curious to see what the next two episodes reveal about the diagnosis of autism because the professionals were not all in on that, and we did not agree with that diagnosis. In the end even the professionals agreed to disagree on that diagnosis. To be honest, we still don’t agree with that diagnosis because of the difference in eye contact and emotional responses we get from our son now that we’ve been emotion coaching. What the documentary couldn’t show (because we weren’t being filmed 2 years ago!) was the difference between his connection to us now and then. It still didn’t look good to Prof Dadds when we saw him, but it was vastly improved from before the filming. It has also vastly improved since the filming. Corey looks in our eyes all the time now. He voluntarily hugs us, he cries when he sees something or someone else sad. After the series, I will do a big blog about it all I think. 🙂
    I am very happy with the way the documentary portrayed our family. We just behaved as we normally do and also did the normal things we would do and that comes across.
    I will still look up the book you recommended though because I never discount anything completely out of hand without looking it up. Again, thank you for both reading and watching.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is part of the misconception about high functioning autism. I know several people very well with high functioning autism.
      Eye contact varies heavily with emotional state. If calm and happy then eye contact is easier. Some people with HFA actually have a disconcerting habit of maintaining eye contact for too long when ‘normal’ people wouldn’t. If they are upset, then eye contact makes them more so. For them it is not generally reassuring.
      People with HFA will certainly voluntarily hug people. They will voluntarily kiss people too. They are entirely capable of caring loving relationships.
      They certainly can and will cry if they see or hear something sad or upsetting. What they have trouble with is inferences about emotions. “That cat starved to death” is simple to process. “Why does she get upset when I ask about X” is much more difficult. They have emotions, strong ones. They just have trouble understanding them or recognizing them in themselves or in others. That’s why you get that sudden jump from them saying they’re OK, but you have a suspicion that they’re not, to full blown tantrum or aggression.
      Emotion processing is difficult because it doesn’t come naturally, they have to learn complicated rules which are instinctive to most of us. We generally know when someone is getting irritated and stop if we don’t want to upset someone (or realise belatedly that we should have stopped a second ago). They don’t see all of the little clues that we give off or even most of the obvious ones.
      It’s also exhausting having to think about how to act/react all of the time. It’s like living in an alien culture where you always have to stop and think is this ok and then second guess how people will react and always feel like you can never guess right.
      Quiet alone time when no one is forcing you to interact with them is particularly important to people with HFA.
      So is sticking to the rules. If you change how you do something, you need to state that this is how things will be done from now on.
      I’d forgotten that there was more than one part to the series. Looking forward to next week.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Oh, and you know those people who are good at maths, or computer science and are happier left alone to do their stuff and are really really brainy and went off to become academics? A good whack of them have HFA, whether they know if or not.

    • KL says:

      I see. Well I must admit I don’t know a lot about it. I think I even admitted that at some point in the programme, although I’m not sure whether they will have it in there not. Like I said, it’s better for me to read the book you recommended and find out more about it all before I talk too much or I’ll just sound like a fool 🙂 Thank you so much for giving me all that information. I guess I always just went with the answers to the questions that other professionals had asked me. ‘does he struggle with change? does he need to follow rules or get upset when it changes? My answers to those would actually be “No” but it’s not that simple. He can accept change very well, and doesn’t mind at all if you change the rules as long as he doesn’t look stupid when you do it and to me that is more related to anxiety than an autistic trait, but maybe I need to open up my mind a little more about that. 🙂 And so I will. Thank you.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, it’s not that simple is it. Those questions are kind of set up for the autistic and not really function. Most people with HFA would not be diagnosed as they cope entirely well within society, they’re just a bit different. Anxiety is a common thing that goes with it. The change thing is also oversimplified.
        You’re clearly an intelligent woman and a wonderful mother. I’m still amazed at your bravery for participating in the documentary. It’s a wonderful thing that you have done.

  5. Amelia says:

    It sounds like a very good documentary. Do you know if i can find it online somewhere? I would really like to watch it.

    • KL says:

      Hi Amelia. If you are in Australia, you can see it by going to abc.net.au then follow the links to Iview where you will be able to see “kids on speed?”

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