I was just sitting here this morning eating a bowl of cereal and thinking about what's going on in my son's life now. He's 17 (18 next month) and a lot is happening this year, mostly good but some bad.
Then I got to thinking about his childhood. He's always struggled through school. He was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder/Inattentive and specific learning disabilities. His fine motor skills are also very slow.
Anyway, as I was thinking back, I remembered some of the things that were said to me by family members. Most of you might relate because, you see, these were the same type of comments that were said to me years later about my dad by some of the same people.
1. Maybe you should teach him to.....
2. He just forgot. That's all.
3. There's nothing wrong with him. We ALL forget SOMETIMES!
4. You just need to remind him more. Then he'll remember.
5. You need to help him. (like I hadn't been killing myself trying????)
6. No need for extra help. You can do it. (translated "Me help? No way!!!")
7. There's nothing wrong with him.
Similarities yes. But there is one difference in my family. As my dad is getting older and worse off in this disease, people are beginning to understand and accept it for what it is. With my son, although he has found ways to compensate for his disabilities, he still has a very difficult time. Now some of these people are putting him down (his own family on my husband's side). I've told these people to stop the negativity but it still goes on. I swear if my MIL says one more nasty thing to my son, I'll tell her at least my son isn't out there stealing and stashing the stolen goods in my garage along with the drugs that get sold out of the house like her son did. Her son went to prison when he was just a year or two older than my son is now. My son won't even drink a beer much less touch drugs.
I didn't start this thread to bash my MIL but rather to voice the similarities I see in people's behaviors toward my son with ADD and my dad with AD.
I think that's probably why they get along so well. They understand one another much better than we can understand them.
Live, Love, Laugh.
Last edited by LuvMyLilDoggie; 10-09-2006 at 09:44 AM.
Barb, that's a very interesting observation. I think anyone who had to struggle with any kind of handicap might be more understanding towards others in the same boat. Your son seems to be doing just fine.
My son in law and my oldest son and probably one or both of my small grandsons have or had attention deficiency disorder ... and all are doing well. Perhaps our society tolerates it now that it has a name. Earlier they were just labeled 'bad kids'.
Yet, it seems to me that kids do get more understanding than adults with dementia ... that seems beyond most people's grasp. They were fine a year or two ago, so how can this be happening? Yet as more of us live longer, there will be so many that it may be universally understood and cured .. we hope!
I think that because my son understands trying so hard and not getting something, he understands better the frustrations my dad faces.
But it still frustrates the heck out of me when family still don't understand. When AD patients get "fixed" on one thing (i.e. accusing caregivers of things they didn't do, remembering just certain things, etc.), their memory is extraordinary for them. With my son, when he finds something he likes to do, he does exceptionally well. He remembers things I couldn't, that's for sure. When his mind is set on something, that's all he can think and talk about. The same goes for my dad. The only difference is with my son, it's usually things he's exited about, things he loves. With my dad, it's anyone's guess. Could be good. Could be bad depending I guess on the day and mood.
Right now, my son is doing ok in school. He volunteers at our local tv station through a class he's taking at school. He's helping the teacher with the class because my son has been working at the tv station for two years and the teacher just started with the class last August. My son is working with a theater group out of a major midwestern city. He's been an extra on a film that's set to come out next year. He's worked in exchange for acting classes but his real passion is behind the camera.
I know I'm bragging but I'm just so happy my son was blessed with a talent and lucky enough to realize at a young age what it was. And yet some of my in-laws still want to write him off as lazy. The boy is working on the weekends from 9:30am till midnight and Thursdays from 4:30pm-10pm and Fridays from 4:30pm-midnight. And he's going to school full time.
But then again these same relatives still think my dad "isn't that bad off".
So I guess I should just take their words with a grain of salt.
A note from an ex teacher: kids with attention deficiency are hard on classroom discipline, but once you get them interested in something they are a JOY to teach! Enthusiasm, excitement, and joy of learning. Your son sounds great! be proud!