Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Ray of Sunshine

It's been a frustrating week. There's not any one thing in particular, just a myriad of little things that don't let up. After a morning of constantly repeating myself to Jonas about the same things we have to repeat every morning, I started to feel the pressure of the cloud that sometimes seems to hover around us. Then a ray of sunshine poked through. There are lots of them, of course, but they are sometimes hard to see.

I wish I was one of those parents with infinite optimism, patience and understanding. Jonas is a wonderful kid. He's caring and thoughtful, intense and sensitive. He's creative, inquisitive and expressive. He's funny, persistent and joyful. Sometimes though, I fear that all his positive personality traits might not be enough to help him succeed in school or in life.

My Sunshine
Jonas sporting his new "faux-hawk" haircut
My favourite analogy of ADHD is that it's like having several radio stations playing in your at once, making it hard to tune into just one. Repetition, volume, rewards, consequences... It can feel like nothing is able to penetrate that static. Understanding that reality doesn't always help with you're dealing with it on a daily basis. I get scared sometimes that he's going to get lost in that static and not learn what he needs to to get by in this world.

Back to the ray of sunshine...

Before we left for school this morning, I wanted to take a few minutes to review his collage project. I was so frustrated with breakfast, getting dressed, teeth brushing and backpack packing that I almost skipped it and let him and his teacher work through it at school. Then I remembered how I felt on Tuesday when I realized that we hadn't helped him stay on track with this project to begin with. Letting him sink or swim at this point isn't fair. What we need to do is to help him learn the skills and develop the habits he needs to succeed. So, I took a deep breath and sat down to talk with him about it.

He was all over the place and it didn't seem like he could focus on anything. Then he stopped me to ask "Mom, why does this page say "an urban community" and the other one says "a rural community"? Just when I was ready to give up again, he came up with a question about one tiny detail that I never would have expected him to notice. We didn't talk about vowels and consonants for very long. It wasn't on topic and it didn't really help him to prepare for his presentation. I could have thought of it as another distraction but instead it gave me hope and made me smile.

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