Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ren's diagnosis

A few weeks ago, I introduced you toRen.  During the little blurb I wrote I mentioned that we recently had him tested.  It was for a number of reasons.  To be quite frank and honest, hubs and I were at a loss.  We had tried everything when it came to teaching, discipline, attentiveness and just behavior in general.  We felt like parenting failures.  The first few weeks Ren was in preschool seemed to agree with our parenting failure.  He was misbehaving.  He was crying a lot.  He was...unhappy.  We were too. 

Now, I want to say that there were other things going on with Ren.  It wasn't just behavior, but for the sake of blogging, that's all I'm going to touch on.  Believe it or not, I may blog but I'm still quite a private person. 

To say Ren's behavior was out of control is putting it mildly.  He was beyond out of control.  During a pediatrician appointment, I mentioned that hubs and I were having issues surrounding Ren.  She suggested that we take him to a psychologist and have him evaluated.  So, we did.  The results both shocked us and didn't surprise us at all.

They came back that he had a "mild case" of Attention Deficit Disorder.  We weren't shocked by this at all.  Ren jumps from topic to topic when speaking.  He rarely sits still and demands attention all the time.  What the doctor said next took us completely by surprise though.  While explaining that Ren's "issues" could be handled easier since he was very young, he mentioned that he shows signs for ADD because he's bored.  What?  Bored?  Upon further explanation, he said Ren tested high on the tests as well.  When we ask questions the doctor said yes, Ren is in the gifted category of learners.  I. was. shocked.  I knew he caught on to lessons and concepts easily, I just never thought about it that way. 

Since having the evaluation, Ren is meeting every couple of weeks with a counselor whom he adores.  She is helping hubs and I with tools to help Ren with his behavior.  We are using a reward system for good behavior and now deal with him on a reasoning level more than the old "I'm your parent and you do it this way" idea.  The best part of all this is that it is working!  Now he can't wait to go to school and learn because when he has a "good day" he gets a coupon.  Once 5 coupons are collected he gets a bigger reward!  Of course, we have been adding more and more challenges to earn a coupon.  It's a terrific system!  We also reason with him more.  Instead of letting him know he did something wrong, we tell him what he did wrong.  We then give him examples of "good" behavior.  For example, instead of just screaming because his sister took his toy, he now says "please don't take my toy, it's not nice.  Give it back please".  The progress in the short time is amazing!  Our son has gone from a kid people avoided to a kid people like. 

 While we are thrilled with the diagnosis of gifted and finding new ways/techniques to help out with the ADD, we have some decisions coming in the next few months.  While Ren is excelling at Catholic school (just like his sister), the rules and regulations are a little hard for him to adhere to.  He's not a trouble maker or anything, but it was mentioned by the psychologist that we "might want to" look into a Montessori school for him.  They said Montessori's tend to challenge gifted kids yet are really good at keeping the attention of a child with ADD (especially one whose parents ARE NOT going the drug route). 

We haven't shared his results with everyone, but I'm sharing it with you.  Mostly because I am afraid of what family/friends may say about it.  Judging can be worst when it's by those you love the most.  We also don't want everyone to treat him differently just because of 3 letters.  What we are doing is continuing to raise our kids.  We're taking things day by day and utilizing the tools suggested by the therapist.  We're living our lives....

**I will update again about school and such as spring approaches.  Thanks for letting me share!**


  1. Andrea@mommyconfessionsblogDecember 7, 2010 at 4:47 AM

    I know that this has been hard for you. We spoke several times about all of this. I told you then and I tell you know you are a great parent. Ren's is no different than any other child. Is he hyper YES. Does he have issues YES. But what kid doesn't. You and Chuck are doing the right thing by adhering to what the counselors are saying but you are also going by your gut as a parent. I also think that your family and other friends will be more open than what you think. It isn't like you are pretending that nothing is wrong you are aware that there is a problem and are working on helping him.
    Keep your head up.

    "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness: Charles Dickens

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  3. I'm self-diagnosed ADD, and I believe my brother has it worse than I do. My mom has mentioned that she thinks she's ADD too, but we laugh about it being contagious. I really struggled in school to sit still and make friends. I was described as hyper-active and moody, and gifted too - but they didn't test me on that until I was 10. And of course back then there was no diagnosis of ADD/ADHD.

    I've talked to my doctor about it and he said all I could do was try the meds and see if they work. Work? How? To calm my brain that's constantly going 100 mph? To help me focus? I've grown so used to how I process things, I'm not sure a change would be a good thing. I've also heard that the meds kill your creativity.

    I've also heard that if you're ADD, the chances of having an ADD child is high. If this happens, I want to try everything before trying the medication. I'll be following Ren's progress closely. Thanks for sharing.

    Btw, my coworker who also dockets teases that she's ADD too. We've decided that we have a job that requires you to be ADD because you have to shift your focus about every minute. And being anal (noticing every little thing) helps us with our job too. Who knew that I'd accidentally end up with a job that's perfect for me? :)