Well Griffin is back with his daddy this week but I want to reflect on our first weekend with medication. We weren’t sure if we would have him on the medication on weekends but because his side effects went away and the doctor recommended keeping him on them due to his young age we kept him on them.
The results were incredible. He cleaned his room with zero argument and actually did a great job. He even was semi-organized about it. During all of our weekend activities he was extra helpful and attentive. It was such a pleasure. Not that we have bad weekends usually but it almost seemed like a cloud was cleared from his mind. He was able to focus on new interests and old ones so well. He seemed to have the ability to really enjoy everything he did rather than being so scattered and moving from one thing to the next so quickly.
The best part of the weekend was that he decided to write a letter to the King Of the Enchanted Forest (a character his step-daddy made up that takes toys when Griffin doesn’t clean them up when asked). The letter is below and it is brilliant and so neatly written. It literally makes me want to cry tears of joy.
I won’t be blogging as much about his medication unless things change from this point on. Thanks for all of your support and help throughout this crazy decision we had to make. I could not have done it without you guys. You know who you are!
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The last two days have been great and each day keeps getting better. Griffin has perfect or nearly perfect behavior and he isn’t showing many side effects anymore. The only difference I am noticing at home is his need for order and perfection that didn’t seem to exist before. Apparently he is doing this at school too.
Today he actually insisted on finishing some work that the teacher said they didn’t even have to complete. When she asked him if he wanted to move on to a new and easier activity he insisted on finishing the first task and actually finished all but two questions with perfect handwriting. When I picked him up he asked her if he could take it home and do the last two questions over the weekend. What!? We both told him it was not necessary.
I’m ok with his new found attention to detail as long as he doesn’t think he has to be perfect.
Also, he got Norton Knight of the week for his amazing behavior and hard work this week. We even completed his AR reading goals and he earned gold for the nine weeks and a t-shirt for the year! Woot!
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At first I didn’t think day two of project “improve Griffin’s writing IQ” wasn’t as interesting as day one but as the day progressed I found out I was totally wrong.
Today he wrote, “I like to play.” Not as insightful as I wanted him to be at first but when you dive into that sentence with my amazingly creative son, you find that it means a whole lot more than it appears to mean. I didn’t choose to ask him to elaborate but instead I observed how he played the rest of the day.
First, he played with his GI Joe’s. He did the normal battle scene where some men survived and others did not. Nothing new here. Then, things got interesting as they always do with Griffin. He got the diaper box from Amazon from the recycle bin, cut a door into the side and started driving cars into it and setting up a little garage. He also had his GI Joe men going in and out of this new toy he had created.
I have always loved his creative play and been amazed at what he can turn into a toy. For instance, he recently got all of my q-tips out of the box and made them soldiers. He has also made swords out of paper and aluminum foil and set up battles between the two.
All of that being said, it made me realize that his simple, “I like to play” sentence isn’t all that simple. The act of playing is defined as engaging in activity for enjoyment or recreation. Griffin’s definition of play is more complex. It is creative, ingenuitive, and limitless. He plays hard and truly uses his brain to make up incredibly games that I can’t even begin to create. He loves playing so much that I have multiple pictures of him sleeping with his favorite toy of the day after a long day of learning and playing. Tonight, as you see, he fell asleep with a GI Joe character clutched in his hand. I’m so lucky to have this child!
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My first grader has recently been diagnosed with ADHD and struggles with reading and writing at school. He loves math, science, and social studies and tends to excel in those subjects, but when asked to independently write sentences he doesn’t typically finish the work in the allotted amount of time. He gets the concepts and can read, but he is still pretty slow with it in comparison to his peers. For instance, got all E’s on his report card with the exception of an S+ in Art, and an S in Reading and Writing. We are very very proud and made sure he knew just how proud we are but an S is like a C and we fear that he could get behind if we don’t take action and help him along a little now. We have met with the teachers and guidance counselors and think we have a plan in place thus far.
We are against the idea of medication at this point because we believe that some of his issues could be maturity issues, and we think that since he is performing at an average level in reading and writing, he just needs a little extra help to do as well as he does in the other subjects. Also, we don’t know if he might have some other learning disability related to reading and writing and are of course having him screened for those kinds of things to rule out other issues. No judgement to parents who choose medication, it is just not something we think will work right now, especially given the ambiguity behind what is causing his inability to focus on reading and writing as well as the other subjects.
That being said, his teacher asked us to have him write one sentence at home for us each day and reward him for his writing. We will of course also be increasing his reading at home but I thought it would be cool to document the sentences that he writes because they are all going to be straight from his amazing little mind. In school they are told what to write so I thought it would be nice to share his imagination with the world, which of course is why I started kidsights to begin with. So, the weeks I have him I will share a Griffin sentence a day and also share his progress as we learn more about ADHD and any other tidbits along the way.
Today I explained to Griffin that each day he could write one sentence after school on his white board and then he would earn a gum ball (he is a gum ball fanatic, much like his stepdaddy). He of course jumped at the opportunity! I will write each sentence exactly how he writes it to show progress.
November 7, 2011
Griffin LOVES GI Joe so he chose to write his sentence about GI Joe characters today: “I like all of the strog gis.”
I was very impressed with this sentence because I think it is easy to leave off the ‘n’ in strong and he spelled ‘guys’ phonetically correct and hasn’t learned that ‘uy’ can also make the ‘i’ sound, until today when I explained it to him. I also love that he chose to write about one of his favorite things and he of course reflected his “all boy” personality by stating that he likes all of the strong GI Joe characters. Stay tuned for more sentences and chime in as you wish!
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