A couple of months ago I wrote here about my oldest son, who is not my special needs kiddo. I wrote about my suspicion that there was something going on with him, that he was not as typical as he often seems to be.
At the time that I wrote that post, we were mid-psycho/educational evaluation. Part of me wondered if we were wasting a ton of money evaluating a perfectly typical kid. But another part of me, backed up by information from professionals, knew something was going on. "If there is smoke," that part of me reasoned, "then there is fire."
My husband and I met with my son's evaluators last week and they told us that although he "isn't a cookie cutter kid," he fits securely into an ADHD diagnosis. After hearing those words and talking to the psychologist and the educational diagnostician for the next two hours, so many things clunked solidly into place.
When I wrote about this in January, ADHD wasn't on the list of things that I suspected could be in play. I suppose I really didn't know much about ADHD (still don't, frankly), but as they went through all their data points and observations, it all fit.
I am so glad I trusted my instincts. My son's ADHD has not yet affected him at school. According to the psychologist, the survey that his teacher filled out was so glowing as to be technically invalid. My son is such a model student, in fact, that I wonder how herculean of an effort it must take for him to be so.
We were left with a recommendation to monitor him. We are armed with the knowledge that as the demands of school change and our son may not be able to compensate so well, we must be vigilant in making sure he doesn't falter. At home, we can make things easier for him. We can work with the school to make sure that the teachers know what he needs, even if he currently won't qualify for accommodations or services.
We can understand that even though he knows how to act, his impulse control issues when we are out and about are not a result of him being badly behaved, but just wired differently.
Just as with my middle son's autism diagnosis before, this diagnosis brought me no sadness, but rather relief. I am relieved that I am now learning how to equip myself and my son to best help him be a successful man. My guy is an amazing kid, and I feel lucky that we had him evaluated so I can better understand him and help him understand himself.
And even though I say it all the time, it bears repeating: You know your child better than anyone else. Trust your instincts.
Stimey writes a personal blog at Stimeyland; an autism-events website for Montgomery County, Maryland, at AutMont; and a column called Autism Unexpected in the Washington Times Communities. You can find her on Twitter as @Stimey.