I thought I was completely prepared for the worst when my son was to be born. We had a very turbulent pregnancy and I thought the worst is over and my miracle baby is meant to be born. (Yes, ‘Miracle’ my pregnancy was not an easy one.)
My son was born and like any parent, we were taking great care of him and going through regular development assessment with the doctors.
Jump to 2 years forward, just when we thought everything is going well. We noticed he was not responding to his name yet, neither he was talking, uttering any word other than ‘Amma’. We went to his development and growth specialist and she suggested we go to a therapist for she had doubts about him being on the Autism Spectrum.
Quickly, we took an appointment and met the suggested therapist for an assessment. I had known about autism and did not want to wait anymore as I got worried by then.
The therapist asked me zillions of questions. Like, does he respond to his name? Can he sit at one place for more than 5 minutes? Does he flap his hands in excitement or restlessness? Does he have eye contact when you talk to him? Can he play with toys on his own? Does he play in the sand and likes to get dirty? Does he cooperate while cutting nails and hair?
Most of the answers were ‘No’ and we got more anxious. Then, later she confirms that he does not show signs of autism (sigh of relief) but (here goes the bomb!) he does have all the symptoms of ADHD.
What is ADHD?
Attention Deficiency Hyperactive Disorder, as the name suggests, is a medical condition. It affects the ability to pay attention, sit still and self-control. A child may be, one, two or all 3, inattentive, hyperactive or impulsive.
My son was inattentive and hyperactive. We were told that luckily we came to know about his condition quite early and it can be improved faster.
The next hurdle was to make our close family members understand his condition as they did not quite agree to it and said all this was for the doctors to mint money and you are just being overprotective parents.
The society did not understand that there is a condition like this too. They labelled him a very naughty child who is spoilt by his parents. Wherever we went, there were eyes labelling me as a failed mother who couldn’t teach her son manners. His restlessness were labelled as temper tantrums. His inability to talk, to interact made him more hyperactive in public. It was getting worse.
I was not yet coming to terms that my son would ever be having such problem. But then, my husband said even if it’s not a condition, let’s start the therapy. Better start now than regretting later. Along with ADHD, he is also a Speech Delay child and I went about both together. It was quite challenging as he couldn’t reciprocate anything back and it took around 9 months to see any kind of difference.
More than the therapy, it was my role which mattered. I did the home programs with him. I started spending more and more time in the evenings. I would spend my noons preparing for activities which would improve his sitting tolerance.
His play school was quite cooperative but next hurdle was getting him in a regular school. Most of the schools rejected his application as he has Speech Delay and low sitting tolerance. By now, I knew he was not fit for a big banner school and we got him in a school where he would not be side-lined but felt important.
They said this cannot be cured. But my son after 2 years is 95% cured from his disorder. He has been accepted well in his school and the society and I have always been open about his condition.
His recent assessment had an impression that he is a sharp memory child who picks up methods, lessons and tricks in one go. He has perfected his fine and gross motor skills. His Speech has improved and needs fine tuning.
We have stopped his therapy completely but I still home-school him as we enjoy doing them. This condition has bond us more and made me spend more time with him. I take pride in my son!
I want to say to the parents – please do not shy away or cry over any disorder or condition your child has. If you do not accept him/her, the world will NEVER do!
Remember, if you want to see sunshine, weather the storm!
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Also read: Basic facts explained about ADHD in children
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