Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Comeback Kid

For every parent, we want to see our child excel. That moment where they feel proud about themselves, where they have found that little bit of self esteem.

I know I write a lot about my children with autism, this one is about my eldest son.

He is your, all smile, glasses wearing, freckled 10 year old boy. He loves Lego, Minecraft and pretty much every superhero on the planet. He takes pride of the fact that he is in a military family and that his father proudly serves. He stands up for what is right ( even though some times we get a little mixed up), but he has a good heart. He has always tried his best to make sure his younger siblings are taken care of. He might not truly understand what Autism is, but he tries.

A year ago, we struggled with this child. Despite everything that has been thrown at him, deploying parent, siblings with special  needs and a school system that didn't understand him. We had no idea how to help this child. Between the mood swings, depression, anger, the inability to focus on anything for longer than 5 seconds and failing grades, we were at the end of our rope. I saw my sweet boy morph into something he wasn't. I knew he was smart. I knew he was kind. I knew that this child that stood before me with so much rage was not the child I gave birth to.

So I did what any other parent would do, I took him to his Doctor. We went to therapy. We got the testing done. In end, my boy had ADHD. Although, this isn't devastating, it did rock my boat a little. I had yet another child that has some special needs. We debated over and over again what the next step for this child should be. In order for him to get his head back in the game, we opted for medication. The first one we tried didn't work. That rage that this child had magnified. It had created an even bigger monster than before. I didn't want to look at medication as "The Wonder Drug", but I knew something needed to be done. We put this child on medication that finally worked, got an IEP done and continued with therapy. He started to go down this path where having ADHD defined him. It took over. He wanted that one thing he could have that was his and not associated with his siblings. But he learned quickly that using a diagnosis to manipulate things and situations can sometimes backfire.

This past year hasn't been an easy one for this child. He has dwelt with his father being away, social anxiety and just trying to be a child. But through it all, he has managed to come out on top. He has learned( through therapy) ways to control his anger. He has brought up his grades with the help of an IEP and an understanding of how he learns. He has become responsible for himself. He takes his medication without reminders. He has learned to take a diagnosis and work with it, instead of using it as an excuse. He is being more adventurous. For the first time ever, he is getting up on a stage. Something he has wanted to do, but never had the courage. With all the pressure this child has had to endure, he come along way in a year. He knows there is always room for improvement. Which he is working on... Proves that anything is possible with a little hard work and the right kind of love. But right now, he is my Comeback Kid