On one side of me is boy #4, a.k.a. WonderBoy, stimming and hitting himself in the head in what my friend would call a “mildly injurious manner”.
On the other side of me is boy #3, a.k.a. Speedy, yodeling at his breakfast.
Each is doing what makes sense to them in that moment, even if it perplexes me to no end.
One of the things that professionals will tell you about is the WHY behind these behaviors, but the fact is that on a daily basis the WHY isn’t as important as the WHAT or the HOW. What I look for during this chaos is signs that it will all go south. When WonderBoy starts hitting harder, I will gently redirect him. When Speedy’s yodeling turns into a full-blown concert, it’s time to steer him back to the task at hand. In the case of this morning, the task at hand is taking his medication for the first time.
ADHD is a tricky thing. My husband and I (and my mom, who spends a lot of time with our chaos) spend an inordinate amount of time saying “What were you supposed to be doing?” to Speedy. We can only give him one direction at a time, and it usually involves at least three redirects to the task. Even getting him to cross the room and go into the bathroom is exhausting, and about 75% of the time he forgets why he was headed there.
We’ve spent years working in the world of ASD and SPD (Autism Processing Disorder and Sensory Processing Disorder) and tailoring everything around WonderBoy’s needs. Speedy’s diagnosis was a year in the making, but leading up to that day we really had no sense of just how intense it had gotten. We didn’t realize how exhausted we were until our first respite weekend- two whole nights of sleeping with no small humans in our bed. Like I said, more on that topic soon. It’s important and deserves an entire post.
As I’m typing this, Speedy zips over to me and says, “We really need to go fishing sometime soon.” and then walks away singing to a toy. In two seconds, he’ll be in his room playing a tune on the keyboard they got for Christmas. Five seconds after that, he’ll be running through the house yelling about someone taking over the world.
Did I mention how exhausting this is?
And yet- a ray of hope in the form of Adderall, and while I know it can take time for the medication to start showing signs of change, I am holding on to the hope that we’ll be lucky with this first attempt. I do not know what to expect, but I know that he feels broken. He is just as tired as we are, and he has not been able to escape the buzzing bees in his head. He has not been able to avoid the burning desire to run. He quite literally cannot keep his body still without an intense amount of help from us. He has learned, at six, that meditation brings him five minutes of peace.