“Wow, your son is really ‘busy’, is he always like that?” That’s what I hear almost daily! This is a first for me! Instead of sticking my head in the sand and pretending that my (almost) 3 year old is just a busy boy, I have to accept that he may actually be different on a medical spectrum rather than a social one.
He’s full on. Shit, he’s so full on that my husband and I actually tag team each other when we are out and about because we are so exhausted looking out for him and it takes 2 of us to do anything! At 8pm when he finally hits the decks my hubby and I are so exhausted that we usually crawl into bed ourselves – wine bottle in tow. Yet he has always been like that!
He came out BIG – (10lbs – yes via the sunroof not the Cha Cha before you wince!), he had ALL his teeth by 6 months, was running at 11 months and yet at 2 years old – hardly spoke a coherent word.
At first we thought he was just a typical boy being boisterous and energetic but we couldn’t help but compare him to his older brother who was singing full nursery rhymes at 19 months. So we visited our Dr and mentioned that he was clumsy, always running never walking and was developing slowly with his speech. It started a plethora of tests and investigations – sight, speech, hearing, physio, chromosome tests, OT, Infant development…..My Dr actually suggested I might need some ‘help’ because I always looked so drained, stressed and exhausted when I saw her. There wasn’t a week that went by without some sort of an appointment for him yet the whole time my hubby and I just kept putting it down to his ‘boyishness’ and our exceptional circumstances having immigrated less than a year ago and causing huge disruption in his little life. We never actually sat still and discussed if this could be something else. We are starting to realize it is!
He is due to have an operation in 2 weeks time to remove his tonsils and adenoids in the hope that their hugeness is effecting his sleep and development and the surgery will help him. It’s scary and we have no way of knowing how this will effect him. Today our Dr finally committed to an opinion that he probably has ADHD and SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) and the surgery will have no effect.
So I have a choice to make right now, today! Do I introduce him to the world as my son with ‘X,Y and Z’ and let him be defined and judged by a condition or a label? Do I make excuses for the horrendous tantrums, frustrated outbursts and lack of developmental skills? It would probably be the easy thing to do, to make others feel more comfortable knowing he acts a certain way because he can’t help it, it’s his ‘condition’? But life with him has never been easy, just different.
Instead I’m going to do everything the same since the day he was born as our wonderful, loving little boy that he is. I will never make excuses for him, exclude him or expect him to be treated with pity. I only agreed to his surgery because it is effecting his breathing, I actually hope he wakes up being the same little person he always was. As far as a label for him, he’d only have to live up to it- so I opt for brand-less living and letting a goat be a goat, even if it moos now and then!
Authored by Jules B
I’ve read several articles about the link between sleep disorders and apparent (misdiagnosed) ADHD and other development issues. Lack of sleep or poor sleep can do things to the mind and body that we don’t even realize. That may prove helpful for you. It may not. Either way he is yours and full of his perfect imperfections (like all of us) and clearly you love both goats and cows.