Years ago when a child had an attention problem we thought they were bad and needed a good talking to. The children would kick the backs of their classmates chairs, talk out of turn, talked instead of listened. Basically there was no excuses back then we had no use or even tolerance for those kids.
I myself had issues with my own son Andrew he was 6 and in 1st grade, his teacher would call me and hurt my feelings telling me “He’s awful” I was just broken. I didn’t know my son to be “awful” I knew him to be bright and intelligent, respectful, and could hold a conversation with much older people. His conversation skills as well as his vocabulary and reasoning were of a person much older. I didn’t understand what the disconnect was and was desperate to figure it out. The teacher said to me that “Andrew may have mental problems so we want to send him to Nova Southeastern University to be evaluated by the Psychology Department.” I started crying because I thought that it was crazy to think he had problems it just couldn’t be true. I took Andrew to The Psychology Department for the evaluation he was 6 years old and they told me I had to leave him there for the day. I was very reluctant but it apparently had to be done to see what was the matter with Andrew.
I paid $100.00 each time we went and we went 1 time per week for 5 weeks. I was not supposed to ask him what they were doing so I was really curious and hell bent on getting it over with. I waited hours outside in the waiting room for the sessions to be over. I guess we were supposed to leave but hell no I’m not leaving my baby with these weirdos and not being available to Andrew to escape if he needed to. HA that’s a bit of drama from a young 23 year old mommy. I was really young and none of this made any sense to me so needless to say I stayed close.
The 5th session was the session that the Doctors asked me to stay so that they could explain the outcome and the diagnosis they came up with. So now I’m really scared because you build something up in your head for so long and now you’re about to get your answer it’s bloody terrifying. We went into this office and Andrew sat on my lap. The Doctors went one by one explaining the testing and why they did it. Then the top Doctor walked in and said that Andrew did not have emotional problems and was not slow. He was in fact very advanced in everything they tested him on. He had an IQ of 154 and they normally did not see this in children his age. I had no idea what any of this meant!!! In layman’s terms, he was a bored genius that was displaying disruptive behavior and hyperactivity because of the boredom. He couldn’t pay attention to the teacher because he was way passed what she was teaching so internally he was waiting for something challenging to happen so that his brain could engage. So I shouted “so he has ADHD????” They finally cut the mumbo jumbo and said yes. I picked him up and as I walked out I said “I could have told you he was a genius without having to pay the $500.00”.
I took him to a regular Doctor and they prescribed ritalin and it made him tired and his personality was not the same. I took him off of that crap and gave him vitamin supplements that would be the herbal equivalent and it worked lovely. He is now in College wants to be a physician. He told me he remembers that whole scenario and saw how it affected me more than him. He saw it as playing games and he loved it. I saw it as a money sucking nightmare.
It is funny that once these children would have been cast aside as discipline problems or stupid. It’s a good thing that we know about these disorders and are willing to work with these children and adults that think differently than the rest of us. They now have a chance to achieve higher education as well as find jobs that are as fast as they are. Cheers to the ones that were saved and are now thriving parts of the community.
For Andrew Charles Jackson, Mommy Loves you Smarty Pants.