Matt loves sports, thinking of new ideas, drawing, legos, and gadgets. He loves to learn facts about animals, especially big cats. When he gets in “big brother mode,” he is amazing–he will dress his 3 year-old brother and teach him how to do chores, all before he goes to school. He loves to think of new ideas and is very creative. He has a good heart and loves to help other people.
Matt has always been intense and loves to talk. The summer before he started first grade was very challenging for me as a parent—he followed me around the house talking all day (and when I say all day, it was literally ALL DAY). Every time I asked him to do something, he would get distracted and I would have to ask several times.
After the first month of first grade, we started getting notes home that he was having a hard time focusing at school. We also noticed similar patterns at soccer practice and at church. When I went to talk to his teacher about it, I realized how bad his focusing really was. As his teacher walked around the room helping the children, she would remind him to focus on his work. By the time she had walked around the room once, she would have to remind him again. That is when we saw a neuropsychologist and he was diagnosed with ADHD.
We currently do not medicate Matt for ADHD. We use an incentive system with his teacher, essential oils, and Brain Gym exercises. For right now that seems to be working–he is a straight A student and loves to read. We are constantly reevaluating to make sure our approach is meeting his needs. There may come a time when we decide the medication will help him more. We keep our home environment very structured and we do not allow much screen time, especially during the week.
It has been such a blessing for me to understand that Matt has ADHD. I just know that I everytime I ask him to do something, I will probably have to ask him at least three times. I know that he is impulsive, and we keep trying to teach him to make good choices. It has also been helpful that the neuropsychologist told us to never assume he has malicious intent. The more I remember these things, the more I am able to help him as a parent.