Anxiety Avoidance or Processing Issues?

Sometimes it’s really tricky to work out where certain behaviours are coming from with my Mr 9. Sure, we can pretty much see the ADHD stuff and the low self esteem stuff. We also think we’ve sussed the anxiety for the most part. Today though he was doing stuff that got me thinking about why and when he does certain things.

This week has been really great. He’s been positive and happy and compliant (well, compliant for him but I’d bet that people with ‘regular’ kids wouldn’t agree that he’s compliant!). We’ve got through a bunch of schoolwork which has finally meant we’ve jumped up to the year 4 science book and social studies book. This has been great for him as he’s less bored and doesn’t feel like it’s so ‘babyish’, therefore he’s more engaged with the material and less likely to argue about doing it.

We went off to trampoline class today with a good attitude and he asked me not to come into the room as he was going to do his lesson just fine without me there. Great! I was happy to accommodate his wishes on that one! He did do most of the class really awesomely. There was just one bit at the end where he said his back hurt and another bit where he argued and was a bit rude to the teacher. We were discussing why he does that and we’ve both noticed that it’s fairly consistent with him being asked to do something new. So. From that we can be pretty sure that his anxiety of doing something new makes him argue and be rude. What about the ‘I’m hurt’ thing? Well. Anxiety and avoidance can of course explain that. However, I had another thought today.

I think think that perhaps he uses the time where he’s lying down quietly saying he’s hurt to allow himself time to process the new instructions without anyone knowing that he didn’t quite get exactly what was asked of him immediately. We do know that he struggles with processing instructions at times. It’s very hard to pick because he jumps so fast into doing things when given an instruction. Some of that is because of his ADHD just making his impulse control less. Some of it is that he is clever and really does catch on quick to a lot of things and wants to get going and jump in. So with those two things, I guess it’s probably really frustrating and embarrassing for him when he does need a bit of extra time to process an instruction. I know you can get that stuff tested and one day I might just do that, but for now, I think we’ll allow and accept that sometimes when he is pretending he’s hurt, he is just buying time and saving face at the same time. Hmmm. Nothing is simple with this kid! 😉 At least we’ve had a great week and he’s feeling a bit better about it all.

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