Feb 03 2009

More Ethan!

Published by at 10:06 am under amy's head,daily,kids

Yesterday I hightailed it in to work early because Ethan’s school had a half day. I picked him up at 12:15 and then went home. I wasn’t planning on finishing up my work day until evening, after the kids are in bed, because often it’s too distracting to try to work with them around. I emptied the dishwasher while shouts of running and playing eminated from outside, but they had faded away by the time I was done. I had asked Ethan to stay in our courtyard, but he had wandered off, so after I got the dishwasher started, I put on my coat to check.

He was in the courtyard right behind ours doing just fine. In fact, he’s been doing just fine for a while now. Before christmas, I would definitely have been outside “hovering” just to make sure everything was going OK, to be present in case anything needed moderating. When friends are over at our house playing, I used to hover, for the same reasons. But it seems more and more that there is less and less of a need to “hover”.

If you’ve read any of the Ilg and Ames books on child development (I recommend them ALL, they are AWESOME), you know that they talk about the cyclical nature of developmental milestones, and how a child will go through cycles of equilibrium, and unequilibrium. The unequilibrium can be anything from your dextrous kid suddenly being a butterfingers or clumsy, which may happen before a new developmental milestone is achieved. It can be social as well. At the beginning of the year when we started having all these issues with Ethan I rushed out and bought the 6-year-old book, which helped me realize that 6 can be a tricky year, even if your kid is NOT having issues. The actual title of the book: “Your 6-year-old, Loving and Defiant.” Ha. Loving AND DEFIANT. It’s not just my kid! It can be a year where they test their boundaries and see what they can really get away with. It is a year where they really start to see themselves as separate from Mom and Dad, and the need to please Mom and Dad is nowhere near as strong as it was at Five.

When we met with the psychologist who gaves us the dreaded ADHD diagnosis, I couldn’t help thinking that even though we got the results of the test in early January, the test itself was administered in the THICK of the problems we were having, all the way back in early November. Thoughts I thunk and expressed at that meeting, “But he’s doing so much better now. Could he have just been having a bad day? Or a bad month?”

I think that it was naive of me to think of it as a bad day – we KNOW it wasn’t just a bad day, it was a bad 6 months! But now, we’re heading in to February and looking back at January, he really has made a marked improvement. He seems to have gained the ability to listen and change his attitude when asked (OK, when threatened! usually with loss of allowance!) We have had one bad incident where he would not listen and had to be put in his room, where he threw things, so I don’t want to discount that ugliness, but more and more, and especially after yesterday when he played with neighbor kids so well, I have to wonder, Was he just having a bad six months? A REALLY bad six months? Could we be reaching the end of the unequilibrium and heading into equilibrium? I also don’t want to discount the help that his Social Achiever’s class have given him. I have no idea if it’s helped, but hopefully it has.

I’m not saying that I’m just tossing the ADHD diagnosis out. But I do think the test itself is very subjective, and as things stand now, I am definitely in the “let’s wait and see” camp.

I must say it’s a pleasant place to be. Tomorrow we meet with the new psychiatrist, and I’ll be happy to tell her we’ve really been doing pretty well lately. And that hopefully we won’t need to see her much :)

-amy

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