Life with Fast Boy

The Challenges of Raising Our ADHD Son

Life Adjacent to Fast Boy

Posted by One Tired Mama on May 4, 2010

I logged into my WordPress account this morning for the first time in a while (obviously). I found that after my ISP changed my email address, I forgot to update it here. I had comments here that I wasn’t aware of.

Including this one:

I thought for a moment about not approving it, but then I realized there was no real good reason why I shouldn’t. Mike is just as entitled to his opinion as I am. Another thing… Mike is right! Now before anybody goes jumping down my throat on the other spectrum, let me clarify that I think in many situations, Mike is mostly right, in my case.

Where Mike is wrong is that he didn’t give me enough credit about what I have and haven’t done. This is a blog afterall. I write to it periodically when I am stressed and need to vent. This is part of my therapy and it also helps other parents not feel so alone. BUT it can not possibly tell the whole story. I don’t have time to blog about every aspect of my life from when my parents messed me up through how I’ve messed up my own kids. (Actually, I have another blog for MY personal issues.)

Mike, if you’re reading, I apologize on behalf of whoever treated you unfairly and for those of who have treated our children unfairly. Let me tell you that I have spent a massive amount of time working on my issues and my family issues and the proper way to communicate with Fast Boy. I have a therapist of my own who I see regularly. (And yes, she blames MY parents as well.) I take medication for my needs and hate every single pill I have to take and hate even more that I have to give anything at all to my son. (Did you read that post?) Trust me when I tell you that I am aware of my short-comings as a parent. Whenever I discuss my son with anyone, I take accountability first and put my issues and the family issues out on the table before we EVER accuse Fast Boy of being the problem. I am a work in progress and I do my best.

I could go on, but this blog is not about my issues. It’s about experiences I’ve had with Fast Boy. Period.

And I didn’t post this because I felt the need to defend myself. I posted it because I actually do agree with Mike on many levels. There are parents who pop their kids on meds and blame life’s problems on a “disorder” without trying to fix the underlying problems. I am NOT one of those parents. I have faced those demons and I am as comfortable with my choices as I’m ever going to be.

I love my son.  And he loves me.  And every day it gets better.

Posted in Life in General | 1 Comment »


Posted by One Tired Mama on January 11, 2010

I’ve been absent for a while now. Not just absent from this blog, but from my life at home. I burnt out. I gave up. I pretty much walked away. I was ready to move out and leave Fast Boy and Princess with their father. Luckily, financial instability and a good dose of anti-depressants kept me here. I’m glad that I’m back and trying to make things work, but damn it’s hard sometimes!

Yesterday I decided to make a vision board. You know, a visual respresentation of things you want in your life. It’s a Law of Attraction thing. And some unknown part of me decided to make this a family project. My husband was into it. Princess was into it. I had to twist Fast Boy’s arm to go to the store with us to get poster board and glue sticks.

Once we got to the store, Fast Boy began to participate. He voted that we make one big family vision board instead of individual ones. He picked out some other craft things he wanted to try. I was feeling optmistic.

As soon as we got home, Fast Boy went back to the television. Princess and I started looking through magazines to find pictures of things that represent what makes us happy and things we wanted for our future. She was much more materialistic about it than I was, but she is 7 after all. (She found a lava lamp, a television, a telephone, nail polish, a house, a heart and a puppy.) The Boss Man set about finding things on the computer.

I pleaded with Fast Boy to join us. I asked him to make a list of things he wanted and things that make him happy. He just kept watching TV. I was tempted to turn it off, but the battle I would have faced would have put me into a place where the vision board wouldn’t have happened at all. I eventually got him to cut out a few pictures… of breakfast bars, Smuckers PB&J sandwiches and Scooby-Doo videos. Sigh…

Well, the rest of us finished our vision board. We each had our own section, but there was some sharing and overlap. Here is what we ended up with:

There we have, on one piece of poster board, the symbolism of our life. With one big empty dark gray spot. Yes, that’s horrible, but that’s how I’m feeling. I’m trying not to.

Posted in Behavioral Problems, Gratitude, Life in General | 6 Comments »

Give the Boy a Keyboard

Posted by One Tired Mama on December 31, 2008

We were called to school a couple weeks ago to discuss Fast Boy’s behavior. It’s certainly a lot better than it has been in the past, but his teacher is getting frustrated. She said that every time she thinks she finds a reward that works for him, it works for about a week and then he loses interest. Well, welcome to my world! It’s been like that for years. Why do you think I’m so frustrated?

So we continue to chat about what works and what doesn’t. I brought up a time where I had him write down an explanation of his bad behavior, kindof as a consequence for that behavior. I had good results. Making him concentrate on the problem by having to write about it seems to have made him realize more about what he did. Then his EC teacher chimes in and says “I do that with him”. I’m thinking, “Great! He already hates writing and we’re using it as a punishment.” Seems to me that would make him hate writing even more.

But then something really eye-opening happened. I asked to see samples of the writing he has done for her with the explanations for his behavior. What was presented was typed paragraphs. My husband and I noticed the same thing immediately. Unlike the messy, mispelled, incomplete thoughts we see in his handwriting homework, these paragraphs held full complete sentences, grammatically correct without the spelling errors.

So, Fast Boy really can write! He just has trouble writing his thoughts with a pencil. He apparently gets so hung up on the handwriting skill that he loses the ability to put the thoughts together. That would certainly be the conclusion that makes sense.

The school has since given him an “AlphaSmart” to use in the classroom when he needs to write essay style answers. I haven’t gotten a progress update yet, but I’m very interested in seeing the results.

Posted in school | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Masters of Manipulation

Posted by One Tired Mama on December 17, 2008

I haven’t posted in quite some time, I know. Does that mean things have been quiet? Unfortunately, no. However, things have gotten better in the past year. Nobody is getting hit in the face with sticks and so far there have been no in-school suspensions. (Knock on wood.)

One of the largest problems that I have faced in the past year is that my children have become masters of manipulation. They know I’m tired and they know if they push me far enough, I will back down. Even on my strong days, both Fast Boy and Princess have me throwing my hands up in the air and wanting to give up.

I read the following article and thought it sounded JUST like what it going on in my house. Thought I’d share:

Masters of Manipulation: How Kids Control You With Behavior

I love how it says “You can be sure your child knows what it takes to make you back down.” That is SO true! My children definitely do. Princess throws temper tantrums, but at least she backs down without hurting someone or something. Fast Boy will keep going until he has physically damaged something the we can’t afford to fix or replace. He certainly knows our weak spots. He’s had lots of practice figuring it out. But, how much damage do you let them do while you are ignoring the manipulative behavior?

Posted in Behavioral Problems | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Academically and Intellectually Gifted

Posted by One Tired Mama on November 2, 2007

Fast Boy has an IEP and was previously placed in the “Exceptional Child Program” for behavioral and emotionally disabled children.  We get feedback regarding his behavior on a pretty consistent basis.  We see reports on what goals have been set for him and what he needs to improve on.  So,  I’m sorry that I was completely confused by the “Nurtured Student Letter” that came home from school earlier this week.

I thought it was just another politically correct way of requesting that my son get some more individual attention to help him with his school work.  Well, I was right… but not in the way that I thought.  Fast Boy has been recommended by his teacher and invited into the “Academically and Intellectually Gifted Program” (AIG) at school.  Apparently he is demonstrating mastery of his grade level curriculum, at least in reading. 

I’ve always known that ADHD children can be very intelligent (which is what helps him find so much trouble) and that they can become hyper-focused on things they enjoy, but this just stunned me.  When the AIG specialist told me that he was interpreting Carl Sandburg poems, I didn’t know how to respond.  You just never know what will interest him. 

More discussion has to be done before we decide to put him in the program.  The AIG classes take place one hour a week outside of the regular classroom.  Fast Boy is already out of the classroom twice a week for the EC program.  He doesn’t like being removed from his normal class.  He is used to that being associated with some disciplinary action.  I guess we’ll just have to talk it over and see what he thinks.

I have a call in to the EC program Coordinator to get her opinion as well.  I’d like to see him excel and take advantage of the AIG program, but I need to make sure that everything jives together and that Fast Boy’s other special needs are met.   For example, if Fast Boy is loving the reading, but is going to lose control because he is asked to write about what he read, can special accommodations be made so that he can type instead?  (Handwriting is a frustration point for him that would make him give up.)  I want to know that someone is there looking out for him.

I’m so pleased!  I hope this works out. 

Posted in ADHD Strengths, ADHD symptoms, Gratitude | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »