And so it’s over… but is it?

Well, I just finished watching the final episode of the ABC’s “Kids on Speed?”. It all seemed like such a blur to me. I know that it’s really hard to fit all that hard work, counselling sessions, parenting practice, and medication adjusting into three, one hour episodes. I would hope that parents out there seeing the show realise that the changes in Corey weren’t ‘miraculous’, or ‘fast’ necessarily. Before the series started, we had already put in a huge amount of work with Corey and already started seeing a huge difference in his behaviours. 

The behaviours displayed on the show were actually a much milder version of how Corey was two years ago. Professor Dadds provided us with the next crucial step we needed in order to get Corey to the next level. He fine tuned our parenting and we are so grateful for that. Prof Kohn found the right medication balance for Corey, and again that is another piece of the puzzle that is Corey back in place. 

Watching all that back again, I can really see how far our little man has come. Although he had to stop his Little Ninja’s class the very next term after filming because he was getting really upset with the class, he started tap dancing lessons, and it’s a small class with a teacher who he really loves. He’s succeeding in tap dancing far beyond our expectations. Today he said he’d like to try a ballet class because his teacher told him he has a beautiful ‘turn out’! 

He still struggles with school work in terms of just getting started and believing he can do it, so that’s something I spend a lot of time on each day, just getting him to give something a try can take 20 minutes. He usually completes anything in under 15 minutes that would take other kids 30 minutes once he gets started, but then tomorrow, he’ll think he doesn’t know how to do it again!

He listens more. He shows more empathy (towards me at the moment, but that will expand and generalise outwards with time). He is still funny and clever, and he’s just awesome in so many ways. 

It’s so important for me and all the families to remember that our journey is ongoing. Our kids are still ‘different’ and we aren’t going to slot them nicely into what society believes they should be. That’s OK. Perhaps one day the world will change to better accommodate kids like ours. Either way, we won’t stop trying, changing, researching and working hard every day to get our kids to the happy life we know they can lead. 

The comments I’ve received on Facebook have inspired me to start thinking about ways that I might be able to run talks about our journey. I know that many of the methods I use with Corey will work so well for many people out there, and hey, if they only help one family and one child, then that’s going to mean the whole world to them isn’t it. 

So, tonight I’ll head off to bed, very grateful that I had the chance to participate in that documentary for oh so many reasons. 



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10 Responses to And so it’s over… but is it?

  1. edwinkimmd says:

    Reblogged this on Are You Mental? and commented:
    Thank you for sharing.

  2. Andrea says:

    Hi Kathryn,

    Max has a phobia of TV and freaks out when the TV is turned on when he is in the room. It had been a long process to de-sensitise him to the TV but he still won’t volunteer to be in the same room with a turned on TV. But last night he squealed at 8.30pm and requested that I hurry to turn on the TV on and he watched the program looking at the reflection in the glass windows. He had a big smile on his face as he watched the program.

    As our family watched this last episode together last night, it suddenly dawned on my daughter she has met Corey recently. She asked “hey mum is that Corey the little boy I met at the park last month? He is really cute and smart!? Apparently Corey made a smart reply to her when she told him his dog just rolled in some poo!.

    It was great to see so many positives coming out in this last episode, especially the presentation at the camp and also how Corey analysed his changes.

    You felt lost now as Corey got better. But it is such a sweet position to be in. You have started to look into giving talks to to help others, it is a marvelous way to continue your walk with Corey. I am sure that one day when Corey grows up, he will use his experience to help others too!

    When Max is better, I hope one day to be able to go into some kind of service to help other families too …I shall look at you for inspiration…..

    Keep smiling Kathryn and Jade! Good work Corey! You are special indeed!


    • KL says:

      Wow! That’s really amazing that Max wanted to watch the show so much he overcame his phobia a little bit to try and watch. Thank him for his support of Corey please. Helping others is what I hope to end up doing somewhere along the line. I really must start by writing a book about it all! If only I could get some free time to do that! 🙂

  3. daisy says:

    It sounds like your family has been on quite the journey. And that you are all doing your very best to make things work. I think you should follow your dreams of sharing your story through talks as you mentioned — it’s always good to hear someone’s personal journey, if for strength, encouragement or just support.

    • KL says:

      Thank you Daisy. I am currently putting some plans into action to do just as you say. I am of course writing a book detailing the journey too. I just have to figure out how to get the word out out about the talks!

  4. Hi, Kathryn! Isn’t the internet amazing? Here I was last night, in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada reading through posts in the support forum section of one of my favorite sites – the online version of ADDitude magazine – when I came across a post with the YouTube links for Kids on Speed, this Australian documentary.

    After watching a few minutes of the 1st episode I was hooked and had to watch all 3 in one go. Your family’s struggles are SO similar to my own that after finishing the last episode I just had to know how you were all doing now after the show ended. I felt like I know you all. I’m so glad to have found your blog. Please excuse me sounding like a weird groupie. : )

    My son Ryan is 7 years old and has been through the ringer with misdiagnosis and failed medication trials. He went to school for Kindergarten and 1st grade but on that last semester of first grade it became clear that I would need to homeschool him so we started homeschooling at the start of 2nd grade. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would quit my business to become his teacher. Judging by the reaction of all my friends and family, neither did they!

    Ryan’s most recent diagnosis is Tourette Syndrome with severe ADHD, a sprinkling of OCD and possibly bipolar disorder – although I feel about that last diagnosis much the same way you seem to feel about Corey’s possible autism diagnosis – very scared and not at all convinced.

    Our boys have similar attitudes towards learning – they think they should know everything already and cannot stand making a mistake. My heart ached for you when I saw you struggling to teach Corey the difference between a circle and a sphere while he stubbornly argued with you. It was as if I watching myself battling to get Ryan to re-engage after a minor mistake made him disintegrate in a puddle of tears and self-loathing. While Corey seems to deal with his anxiety by getting angry and lashing out at everyone around him, Ryan turns that frustration and anxiety inwardly and regresses to the emotional resilience of a 2 year old – he cries, he berates himself and then completely withdraws.

    I just wanted to say Thank You for being brave enough to put yourself and your family out there and give the world a mere glimpse of what’s it’s like to parent a child who is… well… different. You are so brave and you are such an AMAZING Mom. Corey is very lucky to have you. I mean, your husband seems pretty amazing too but let’s face it, as a homeschool mom it’s you who is on call all the time.

    I have faith that as long as we give our boys the attention (medical, academic and otherwise), unconditional love and the space to be who they are, they will grow up to be outstanding men – regardless of how at odds they may be with the world’s view of “normal”.

    Keep up the good fight, sister! : ))

    • KL says:

      Hi Victoria,
      Wow! Youtube huh? That’s pretty cool 🙂 I’m really glad you decided to write to me and let me know your story. It’s really hard work, and I think a lot of people don’t really understand until they see it in action. Corey used to be a lot worse than you see on the show. We had already brought him a long way before we went onto the documentary, and I suspect that might be why the producers asked us to join in. Our experience, and parenting journey allowed viewers to see that kids can still have these issues in a well adjusted happy home with caring and loving parents. Sounds like you have your hands full with Ryan too. Good on you for taking that plunge into homeschooling. I’m sure you’ll really start to see the results you want, but I can tell you right now, it’s a long process that depends a lot on your patience and input.
      Corey is doing better and better all the time since the show, which was filmed nearly almost a year ago now. Every day we see improvements, but as you can see by my blog, we do still have a long way to go. I hope your journey continues to be positive and….
      back at you sister! 🙂

      • Great to hear Corey is continuing to improve! One of the hardest things to deal with when parenting children like ours is that there is no magic pill, special diet or parenting scheme that is going to “fix” them for good. Progress does not happen in an upwards straight line but rather in an uneven (and often times unnerving) 2 steps forward, 1 step back and sometimes 5 steps forward and 7 steps back. It’s such an unpredictable journey but it’s such a worthwhile one.

        My fun is multiplied by also having a 5 year old daughter with her own challenges and battles with anxiety and sensory sensitivities. I’m homeschooling her as well but she recently asked to go to school so I’m trying to arrange a cross-enrollment deal with the local public school where she attends there for half days and can homeschool for half days. I’m not sure if it will work out but I really don’t think she is ready for full time Kindergarten.

        I was relieved when she requested to go to school since I’ve been going around the bend trying to keep up with the needs of both – cognitively, socially, physically and academically speaking. I’ve had several very high stress, high level corporate jobs in my lifetime and never in my life have I been this stressed out! : )

        How in the world do you manage to stay so calm and rational in the midst of one of your difficult moments with Corey? What’s your secret? I manage to keep my cool about 50% of the time. The rest of the time I have to give myself a time out so I don’t start shouting, whining or sulking. I also have ADHD myself (the inattentive type. I wish I had the hyperactive type. I sure could use the extra energy) which makes things extra fun!

  5. Oh wow! It’ YOU!!! I’ve been reading (sporadically) your blog for a while and even commented sometimes. I vaguely (my whole life feels vague, sometimes…) recall you posting about a documentary.

    I watched the Kids on Speed doco on iView (hubbby wasn’t having a bar of it) but didn’t put two and two together. Now I feel like I know a celebrity!

    I found it really interesting – I have a friends who’s sons have ADHD diagnosis, but I’m sure there is some ODD or something else going on. I suggested she may like the series, but she was adamant that it was focussing on the ODD, rather than ADHD. I still think she should watch it. I would have liked them to also have a “predominantly inattentive” kid there too, without the hyperactivity, but I guess that might not make for such interesting TV 😉

    I watched totally in awe of your patience – I mean, I have my patient days too, but nothing like yours! I also didn’t like the “cotton wool” comments, because it shows a real lack of understanding about homeschooling and WHY we would give up so much to be able to do it, and also the BENEFITS our kids get from it. I also just wanted to say THANK YOU for being brave and sharing your life basically – on a medium so much wider and open for general comment than a blog. I hope both the show and anything else you do (talks etc) just keep on educating people and giving other parents hope too 🙂

    • KL says:

      Ha! Now I feel like a celebrity because you ‘recognised’ me! Yes it’s ME!! Thank you for your comments and for reading.
      They did focus a lot on the hyperactivity and ODD I guess because those behaviours are the ones that cause a lot of disruption to other people and are the ones that get noticed by the public more.
      I hope your friend watches it though, because I think everyone can benefit from seeing other families struggle and then find ways to help their kids.
      Yeah, the ‘cotton wool’ world was a bit frustrating, but the Dr did apologise to me and agree with me, it just didn’t get seen on the show for obvious reasons 😉 I’m really glad we participated in it too. I’ve had so much positive feedback, and I really think that the patience techniques I use will help people hugely.

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