Tuesday, February 18, 2014

ADHD is not a Disorder

We are on a new journey with our son Sam. He is our #10 kid in the sibling line up and is 7 years old.

Sam is sweet, sensitive, funny, creative and just all around wonderful.  When Sam was a toddler we noticed when he played with his brothers hot wheel cars he lined them up perfectly and sorted them according to color or size.  Strange for a toddler to do this, but we just chalked it up to being a little OCD, plus we thought it was cute.

When I would bathe Sam and rinse his hair, he screamed.  Every. single. time.  From the time he was a baby if I poured water over his head, he screamed.

Sam has always hated clothes.  He insisted all tags be cut out of his shirts. I hated doing this.  But I needed him to wear clothes so I did it. Same with his socks. He often would wear his shoes without socks because they bothered his feet.

School was a disaster for him last year.  He was supposed to be in Kindergarden. We barely got anything done.  It was obvious to me he wasn't ready & since he is the 6th boy I have homeschooled I knew that often my boys are just not ready until 1st grade to structured academics so I stopped pushing it.  When we started this year it wasn't any better, in fact it was much worse.  Tantrums are not something Sam has ever done, but he was doing them very well now.  Running away from me when he couldn't remember how to say his phonic sounds. Banging his head on the table or hiding under the table became an everyday thing. Hearing him say things like, "I wish I was dead." or  "I don't want to be here anymore" broke my heart.

I made an appointment with a special doctor at our Pediatricians office for an evaluation.  She was wonderful and spent a lot of time with Sam asking him questions.  She had me fill out a questionaire.  Once it was all said and done she agrees with me.  Sam is ADHD and has Sensory Processing Disorder.  She wanted to send Sam for a more detailed eval but we haven't had the money so we have taken what she said and tried to come up with a plan.

This so called diagnosis isn't really life changing for us.  Josh was ADHD & Dyslexic.  Ashley was ADD & Dyslexic.  But it is the sensory issues that have brought more disruption than anything else.  It is another new normal for us.  It is a new mindset towards his behavior. His "episodes" are not always because of rebellious behavior.  He isn't just picky. He isn't trying to be difficult.  There is more to it than that & I am glad we finally know what it is.

Sam & I enjoyed a smoothie after his appointment.
What I thought were cute little querks about Sam are more complex.

He is old enough now to put words & explanation to these querks and I am getting a glimpse into this sweet little boys distorted mind.  He is full of anxiety & fear.  He is afraid of the unknown...who isn't?  But his mind tries to convince him of things that are completely untrue.

When I would pour water over his head in the bathtub he thought I would drown him.  When I asked him about it he said, "I know you would never do that, but when you pour water on my head I think I will drown and that scares me."

He is super sensitive to touch.  No tags in the shirts.  Socks are often wore inside out because they bother his feet. He hates the way his hands feel when he runs water over them to wash his hands. He hates sudden loud noises. He doesn't like for people to touch him, but he will touch anybody, anytime he wants. He won't eat if he thinks someone else has touched his food or if his food will make his hands dirty.

When Sam was a baby, I could put him in a baby wrap & wear him.  He loved it. Even if he wasn't sleepy, if I put him in it, he would immediately calm down and go to sleep.  Now, when he is upset or acting out all I have to do is come up behind him, wrap my arms around him and hold him tight and he calms down.

So, what are we doing?

The first thing we did was change his diet.  Taking high fructose corn syrup and dyes out of his diet made an immediate difference.  He is sugar sensitive which means when he has sugar or other sweetners other than Agave syrup or Stevia he becomes hyper and sometimes aggressive.  He says, "Sugar makes me crazy".  I am looking more deeply into the Feingold diet to see if this is something we can do that will help him even more.

Next we are using essential oils to help him calm down and focus.  They are working & we love the results.  Through Young Living we are able to get oil blends that were formulated specifically for hyperactive kids.  When he is overwhelmed or feeling very down (which often leads to agressive behaviour if left alone) I can have him inhale an essential oil and it helps him a great deal. More about this later.

Next, we never ever tell Sam there is something wrong with him or that he has a disorder. Because he doesn't. I know other's may disagree with me here, but Sam does not have a disorder. He is ADHD & has sensory processing issues, but I do not see those as disorders.  He has an opportunity to learn how to do things differently & handle life circumstances differently than someone who isn't has not been diagnosed.

We praise him when he does really well, we discuss everything about his day that went well, we discipline when we need to and do not let sinful behavior go. We treat Sam no different than we normally would, except that now we know there is something driving him besides just being a typically little boy.  We know that often he acts out and doesn't understand why he did it.

One day when Sam & Gracie went to the store with me there were some boys who were looking at Sam and whispering.  Sam thought those boys were talking about him and got very upsetto the point of crying.  Every isle we went on he was afraid of those boys being there, no matter what I said.  As we were walking out of the store he says to me, "Mom, I don't understand why I did that.  I know those boys wouldn't hurt me.  Why did I cry?  I couldn't stop crying." That made me very sad for Sam.

Some days are good.  Some days are bad. Some days we just take it one minute at a time.  We already live like that so it's all good.  Sam is still my sweet lovable, huggable little boy who loves to climb up in my lap and kiss my face.  I'm thankful for the challenges because they are preparing us for more challenges.  I'm thankful for the good days because they are good.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Battle of Motherhood

3-6 The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.

I'm in a battle.  It's a battle for my children. Not a day goes by I don't see evidence of Satan waging war against my family. The temptation is to fight the worlds' way. 
Become fearful. 

But 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 reminds me of the truth.  We don't fight our battles like the world does. 

When I see one of my kids on a path that I know cannot end in a good place, my temptation as a mom is to interfere, voice my opinions & just flat out get in the way of what God is trying to do in their life. It is hard to resist doing this. And to be completely honest, most often this is my first reponse.

But what is the Lord's way?

Psalm 37 has the perfect recipe for how to fight the battle of motherhood the Lord's way, & not the worlds way.
Psalm 37: 1
Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong.

The best way to fight is by not worrying about the outcome.  Know that God is ultimately in control of this & he will win!

Psalm 37:3,4
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lordand he will give you the desires of your heart.

 Take it to the Lord.  This may sound "churchy", but it isn't.  It should be the habit of every Christian to take their worries & trials to the Lord before they do anything else.  Trust that the Lord cares more for your child than you can.  His love is deeper than yours, which I know is very hard to imagine.  But when I understand this & rest in it I am better able to trust the Lord with the life of my child.

Psalm 37:5,6
Commit your way to the Lordtrust in him and he will do this:He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.

Commit to do things the Lords way. Once we trust the Lord can fight for the life of our child better than we can, then we are able to commit our ways to him.  Every mother wants to stop their child from making stupid mistakes, but often they need to make those mistakes to feel the sting of the consequences.  Often I have prayed, "Lord, this is what I want to do, but I want my ways to be your ways so please help me to trust you completely." 

Psalm 37:7
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Be still & wait.Oh, I think this is the hardest part.  To be still.  To do what we feel like is nothing.  When we see our children hurting or in trouble our momma bear instincts come alive.  But the Lord often calls us to be still.  This can make no sense unless you understand who the battle is really against.  The enemy wants nothing more than for you to interfere with what is really going on.  The enemy wants your child to turn against you and the Lord. And he would like nothing more than you use you to make that happen.  But when we are still, and let the Lord fight for us and patiently wait for Him to bring our child back; we disable the enemy.

Psam 37:8
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;  do not fret—it leads only to evil.

Here is another reminder to not worry and don't get angry.  It is so easy to get angry at our children or at those who are causing them hurt. When we let our emotions lead our decisions that only leads to more wrong decisions. It only interferes more with what the Lord is trying to do.  We have to remember though the enemy fights ugly, our God never loses!

Psalm 37:34

Hope in the Lord  and keep his way.
He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it.

Never lose hope!  Never stop praying for your children.  Never stop trusting the Lord will bring your child back to him.  It's so hard. I know that.  I have days when I am tempted to believe the lies of the enemy, that my child is gone for good.  But the Holy Spirit always comes back to remind me that he loves my child more than I ever could and is at work though I might not can see it.  
The enemy will be destroyed.  We are promised that many times in Scripture.  In fact, that moment Jesus returned on the 3rd day after dying on the cross marked the eternal defeat of Satan.

I encourage you to look to the Lord for the salvation of your child. Let him become your stronghold rather than the world.  The victory belongs to the Lord and to you!  You can do this! Run to the Lord the cling to his promises.

For more encouragement visit my Facebook page: JoyMoms