ADHD – Hyper in a Meeting

I’m in a meeting at work (actually, a presentation) and I’m noting, as usual, how still most people (okay, pretty much everyone in the room) are compared to me. The word “still” rarely applies to me, but it’s most noticeable in situations like this. I shift position, jiggle my knee, twirl a lock of hair, pick at my nails.

I look around the room. Most of the attendees are sitting with their hands folded, either in their lap or on the table. Okay, I’ll try that. I fold my hands on my writing pad.

Just sitting here. Calmly.
Calm.
Calm.
Less calm.
Less and less calm.
Feeling hyper.

Okay, how long did I last? Maybe a minute, tops. Crud. I just can’t do it. How do other people manage? They look so still and peaceful. I’m envious.

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in School-Age Children

Image: Carnation, Lilly, Lilly, Rose by John Singer Sargent
Carnation, Lilly, Lilly, Rose by John Singer Sargent

Introduction

“You’re lazy.” “You’re stupid.” “I know you could do better in school if you just tried.” “Why can’t you calm down?” Although most children hear at least one of these questions and/or comments at one time or another, children who suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (also known as ADHD, AD/HD or ADD) hear them all the time – from parents, peers, teachers, even strangers. In the past, children with this disorder have been labeled by their parents and teachers as troublemakers or underachievers, by their peers as weird. Teenagers who have ADD often indulge in criminal behavior or drug and alcohol abuse. The medical community used to label them as brain-damaged.

Children with ADD lack some of life’s essential coping skills. They can’t pay attention, can’t sit still and have trouble fitting into the structure of their school and family. They may be forgetful, disorganized, impulsive, and hyperactive.

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A Tale of Two Afterschool Programs, Part 1

When my son started elementary school a couple of years ago, I was delighted to find that there was day care on the school grounds. He was in morning kindergarten, so he went there after school at 11 AM. I wasn’t crazy about how small the day care room was, but I was told that they used the playscape outside extensively. The big draw was that Lawrence was right there on school grounds, and would be picked up at the door to his classroom.

In retrospect, I realize that we weren’t given any information about how discipline was handled, which I now know to be a red flag.

Read on

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Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence

I’m reading “Green Eggs and Ham” to my son Lawrence before bed. Actually, he’s reading it to me, which is very exciting. He’s doing really well. I only have to help him with about one word out of ten. I read way ahead of my level when I was his age, and it seems that he’s going to be just as good.

The thing I’m noticing, though, is that while he’s reading, he’s wiggling around on the bed, almost falling off sometimes, although his eyes are fixed on the book. Come to think of it, he does this when we’re going over flash cards at the dining table, wiggling around on the chair. He also, which I’ve never seen in another kid, jumps up and down in place when he’s playing a video game, usually when he’s at a part that’s particularly difficult.

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Does my son have ADHD?

Around January this year, my husband and I got the dreaded summons from our son’s kindergarten teacher to meet with her about a problem with Lawrence. It was not a complete surprise – she had told us that she had some concerns. Lawrence was having some mild behavioral problems, in that he was having trouble conforming to the classroom structure.

I knew what she was talking about. I had observed him myself in class, when I took the morning off to help with the Halloween party. He ran everywhere in the room instead of walking. Unlike most of the other children (there were a couple of boys who acted like him), he fidgeted and talked out of turn.

There was some good news. He was that he was doing well academically (and in fact his grades even improved as the school year went on). The only area he was having a problem in was handwriting. He was far behind the other children. Incidentally, my husband and I both had problems with our handwriting in school.

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