It's the time of year that students and teachers alike dread; parent teacher conferences. Having sat on the teacher side of the table for years, this year was a whole new experience for me. Here's the good: Gabe is academically right on par for most things and above where he needs to be on the rest. Here's the bad: He's having some difficulties socializing and here's the ugly: Gabe's teacher is pretty sure he has ADHD (attention deficit hyper activity disorder) Here's the even uglier part, all the research I've done today says that more than likely he DOES have ADHD because children with spina bifida are more likely to have it than children without and the ugly uglier part? Children with spina bifida AND shunted hydrocephalus are even MORE likely than kids with just spina bifida to have ADHD. Going over the symptoms check list with Geo was a sobering experience; on Friday Gabe will start the formal evaluation process to see if indeed we are dealing with ADHD. I suppose a part of me has always wondered if that was the case; he has a hard time transitioning, he goes at 1000 miles an hour, and he has trouble focusing on tasks at hand without someone sitting right with him working on it.
It fits, it really does and Geo and I wondered to ourselves out loud, how in the hell we had missed the red flag signs and symptoms.
Here's the thing, I can deal with Spina Bifida and hydrocephalus. I can deal with orthodics and physical therapy, I can deal with tripping and falling, shunts in the head, and latex allergies. I can even deal with open spine surgery, brain surgery, and medical bills totaling over a million dollars in less than five years. I can do that. I can and HAVE dealt with ALL of those things...but adding one new thing to the mix, something as complicated as ADHD? That's a whole new animal in and of itself. Spina bifida or ADHD I could do, no problem. It's the putting them together that I don't know if I can handle.
Friday we go in to start the formal evaluation on Gabriel; I'll know more from there and know what our plan of attack will be. If you are the praying kind, please say an extra prayer for our family as we go forward with the next part of our journey with Gabriel. Thank you