Tuesday, December 6, 2011

If it looks like a duck . . .

I'll admit. I've been avoiding. it seems so big and scary and I don't want to deal with it. However, after almost four months of homeschooling, I can't keep my head in the sand any longer.

My kid has ADHD.

I've tried to pretend he's just "spirited" and "imaginative," but the reality is that he is unfocused and lacks impulse control. The hubby has it, there's a lot of it on my side of the family. Did I really think I was going to be able to get through three kids and not have one them afflicted with it?

Here's the thing, though. I don't care that AJ has ADHD. Hell, I self-diagnosed. I'm working through new ways of teaching him and am slowly finding some things that are working. So, why have I been avoiding it?

Two reasons: first off, I don't want to medicate, and that seems to be the knee-jerk reaction to most doctors and specialists. I'm not anti-meds overall, I mean, I do vaccinate and when the kiddos need antibiotics, I am right there with the pink medicine. I just know that, for now, I don't want to have to argue, with anyone, about why I don't want to put him on meds. It's why I've avoided talking to his doc about it. I'm afraid I'll be persuaded to Ritalin him up in wanting to do the right thing for him. We can always go to meds later if that's what it takes, but coming down from meds can be so hard.

The other reason is that I hate labeling kids. On the plus-side, since we are homeschooling, I don't have to worry about what the "ADHD" label will do to him in school. No teachers passing on horror stories about how my kid can't sit through an entire lesson on grammar, but then refuses to even acknowledge the teacher during science because he is so busy trying to blow something up. Still, I don't want people to look at him differently. He's still AJ. One part imp, one part cuddle bear, one part stubborn, and several parts genius. He just has a hard time sitting still and listening if what you have to say isn't interesting.

So, my homeschooling days with him are going to change. I continue to read, to research, to question, trying to find what is best for HIM. Homeschooling is not about me. I may teach better one way, but if it's not getting through to him, does it matter? Anyone out there who homeschools a kid with ADHD, your advice would be greatly appreciated!