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The Bittersweet Diagnosis

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

The Bittersweet Diagnosis

My sweet boy fishing. He loves it.

The Diagnosis

The moment has come that we have been working so hard to get to. The Diagnosis.

I don’t want to say I told you so to all of the people that doubted us. I am speaking of those that thought it was our parenting or thought that this or that was not needed, but it was pretty much exactly what Shannon and I have been talking about. Gone (for the moment) are the self-doubts, the wondering if it’s me and the negative talk that that says we are not doing enough. We have come to the climax and now we just need to work through this so it can be a downhill slope with lots of intervention and hopefully, improvement for the sake of our seven-year old’s mental health.

No one wants to hear that their child is struggling. This is something that I have cried about for the past three years plus. I already know he is struggling, I see it every damn day. The hardest part is to get it on paper and to show others that he is in fact struggling and we do not need to rule him with an iron fist, we just need to nourish and help him get through this.

I sat there contentedly, waiting to get to the diagnosis part after the results from the very in-depth psychological testing. Hoping that, as I have referred to in a prior post, A Sigh of Relief, this doctor would be the one to send us down the right path.

ADHD and more…

Then, the words came that we have been thinking for a very long time, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, combined type, (ADHD), Moderate Learning Disability in reading and possible Depressive disorder on the horizon. Wow.

Some of us have been in this difficult spot. It sucks. No one wants to know that their kid is struggling, but I know that this is a step in the right direction to helping him get the resources that he needs. But man, it hurts. I cried because I could breathe that sigh of relief, I cried because so many people did not validate what we were going through or try to understand our feelings, I cried because I don’t want my son to be in these struggles that he is currently facing. It just sucks. There are no better words to explain it.

He has such a love for animals. A heart of gold.

Relief, Kind of

This isn’t something you rush to tell your family and friends and honestly when you do it’s hard to even find the right words to speak it. It’s not really something to be excited about. Yes, you want to tell people but at the same time you need to process this information, let it soak in and figure out how to explain it to your child in terms that he would understand and not feel bad about. Is there any kind of instruction manual that I just left lying around, that can help guide us through? I would really appreciate that right about now.

I am not going to pretend that I don’t sit here and think about all of the times I freaked out on him because he was acting so hyperactive and destructive, sometimes hurting those in his path. It usually is not intentional and you get that, but you can’t let it go unnoticed. I can’t say that I don’t blame the depressive disorder on us. Maybe we haven’t been there enough to make him feel validated in his feelings and that overwhelming sense that he is not always in control of how he acts, yet he feels he does wrong too often. Then, there is also the genetical factor of the situation and how, unfortunately, these things are inherited. I know we are not psychic, but you just wish you could have done more in the process of figuring out exactly what we are dealing with. Slowly working on these feelings. I am myself planning on getting some counseling because of my own insecurities and also to help with parenting a child with these special needs.

So, here we sit with this information. I haven’t had the chance or the right moment to sit with him and let him know what we have found out but I will. Because I have not shared this information with him I have not posted about it anywhere or really told that many people. I just feel it’s the right way to go about things. By the time this is published we will have talked about it and talked about his feelings. I know it will be good but it is hard. I want my kids to have an easy life path, don’t we all? But I know that with his diagnosis comes many challenges and uphill battles, however, I also know that because of his diagnosis he can learn to grow with it and become a very well rounded, creative and inspiring adult. I am so proud of who he is and hopeful for who he will become. God knew what he was doing when he gave him to us. He is such a special young boy with a heart of gold.

Next Steps

As for the future, obviously, that is not something we can predict. However, I do know that we will be working with the school to get him on an IEP that fits his specific needs. The school has already accommodated his needs in so many ways, but now I know we can do it with a certain diagnosis in mind. This gives me peace of mind.

I will be signing him up for counseling that will be catered to helping him cope with his hyperactive little mind and also to help him have the confidence that he so needs and longs for during the process of getting him on track with his learning. He is behind and that, his Dad and I do not really stress about, but we do not want him to make himself feel any less or punish himself for feeling that he is a little bit behind his classmates.

With his diagnosis came many recommendations for reading materials that will help our parenting of a child with these needs and also books with different learning strategies and lessons as well as specific types of teaching materials to help him learn. I am grateful for this and I hope that I will be able to do these with him, but if that does not work out, I know that we always have the option of getting him a private tutor to help him get through it.

I have been told that our county offers funding and resources for children with Special Needs. This is also something I will be looking into because it can get very expensive and at this time I am not quite sure how we will pay for all of these things, but where there is a will there is a way and we will make it happen.

Always my baby. The one that looks the most like his Momma.

So far

It has been a few months since his diagnosis and we have now started a low dose of meds to help him through his school day. We felt it was necessary since he is not only struggling academically but also socially and emotionally. I can say that it has helped him tremendously in the academic setting and he seems to be able to rebound back into a calmer mental state when he is upset about something that is not what he finds ideal. At home, I have to say that it has gotten a little bit harder. Once the meds wear off he seems to be agitated a lot easier and he is using harsh words to go back at all of us. We are now to the point that we feel it is time to try something else because this may not be the best first, but unfortunately this is all part of the process when trying to find a medicine that works best for your emotional health. It’s hard. A process that I was hoping wouldn’t have to happen but it just does.

As always thank you for following along on our journey. I hope that reading our experience can help with any of the struggles you are going through with your children or even help you to relate by looking into our life and what we are going through.

Please know that you are loved and you are never alone.

Much love.

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