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Where was the beginning?

If I really sit down and try to think about where the beginning was (and I have … for a very long time … giving me another excuse … “where to start?”) for us in this journey, I really can’t say it began with Sam.  In retrospect, of course, with the benefit of the research done, the conference sessions attended, the wisdom of the people I’ve met, I would have to say that our first introduction to anything spectrum related was actually with Zach shortly after he started school. 

We got the notes home about his attention and behavior even earlier – starting in preschool.  He was a very smart little boy, they said, but didn’t do well with change.  He sometimes struggled to get along with his peers.  He had trouble keeping focus during circle time.  It got to the point where I getting downright pissed off (pardon the language) because I never heard anything positive when I picked him up each day.  Now, the center was going through a series of personnel changes that directly affected Zach (over and over again, in fact), so we decided to move him to a new preschool.  We were so fortunate to find a loving and open environment in his new school (and I found a wonderful new friend – but more about that with Sam!), and he thrived there.

And then he went to school …

Zach has always been such a kind-hearted and caring little boy – and he was just as smart as his big brother Ben.  But focus and attention was a real challenge, first through kindergarten and the part-time after school care he had there, and then into the first grade.  It was at that time that his teacher requested we have him evaluated for ADHD.  We did, and it was a quick and resounding “yes – that’s it” from the doctor … and right on to medication. 

Lest I forget, like Sammy, Zach was also plagued with incessant and recurring ear infections leading to ear tubes very early, and a resulting terrible scare of possible kidney failure when he was four.  I thank God it didn’t turn out to be that, but knowing what I do now, I wonder how much that early toxic exposure may have harmed him.

Zach has always taken everything in stride – he was a trooper in taking the medication, and has been very willing to see the doctor, have tests run, and talk about diet changes and supplements (including B12 shots!) that could help him.  We started down that path just a couple weeks ago because we wanted him off the meds.  We’re waiting on those results, and are having him evaluated by the same neuropsych that Sam’s seen (probably a year from now because of how overwhelmed they are with kids needing those evaluations). 

And I would never have thought there was an option other than meds had it not been for what we’ve learned from Sam’s diagnosis.  There’s so much out there that tells us that ADHD falls somewhere on that same spectrum where we find autism.  So I can’t help but consider that some of the same interventions that have done such amazing things for Sam thus far might help Zach overcome his own diagnosis. 

We’ll see … one step at a time…

One comment on “Where was the beginning?

  1. It’s amazing that medicine is often the first option in treating diseases. I definitely think that there are other great options out there, like art therapy, music therapy, and the other more conventional therapies that can give the same results and sometimes better results. It’s encouraging to see families of Autistic kids and ADHD kids taking a different route than medicine!

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