Nathan

July 8, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Seeing Eye to Eye with Nate

The boyz had their annual physicals on Wednesday.  At this all important check in with our doctor she and I reviewed a report from Nate’s specialist.  The developmental specialist that is two hours away.  The one we spent an entire day of spring break driving to and from and being evaluated.  Hours of studies and tests.

Just as thorough as that day had been, there was seven pages of detailed information relaying the findings.  Nate is not autistic,  at least from what we can tell right now.  He has severe Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Combine that with the sensory processing issues and we have issues that need to be addressed.  They doubt he will be successful in school without medication.

I have known this since April when we were at the specialist’s office.  Even then it did not surprise me.  I know my son.  I have spent years constantly keeping track of Nate.  In five seconds he can decide that the store across the mall looks more appealing and be gone.  I have not been able to go to the bathroom with the door shut since he began walking.  You would be amazed at the mischief he can accomplish in 45 seconds.  Being Nate’s mom requires constant vigilance.

On top of the there is the impulse control as a result of the ADHD.  Combine that with the sensory seeking behavior and it is a recipe for disaster.  He sneaks large amounts of food.  When the food is secured and out of reach he will eat non-food items. At five he still incessantly sucks his thumb.

Therapy has been a blessing.  This last year has taught us all a lot.  But it is not enough.  He is maturing. Changing.  Yet he struggles every day with everything going on in his little body.

The doctor reads the report.  She examines Nathan, who needs to be reprimanded yet again for trying to bite his brother in frustration over the noise and activity in the exam room.  He has floundered since the end of school.  We had wanted to wait until September to start medication.  He is only five years and five months old.

We come to the same conclusion. It is time.

Yesterday morning dawned.  I reached up into the cabinet and pulled down the reddish orange bottle.  I open the top and carefully measure out one teaspoon.

I call for Nathan.  He runs into the kitchen. He asks me if this is his medicine.  I say yes and tell him he needs to drink it all.  He takes it, tips it up and gulps down every last drop.  I am surprised by how enthusiastic he is.

He plays with his brothers.  There is less yelling.  He doesn’t tackle them every three minutes.  There is a marked difference.  Dinner happens.  The brothers go to bed.  Nate wanders back down.  He can’t sleep.  A side effect we expected.  Especially as his body adjusts.

Nate plops down on the couch.  He slumps against his dad.  He holds his hand.  Nate asks how many days until vacation.  I say sixteen.

     Sixteen Mom?

     Yes. Sixteen Nate.

     How many is that?

     Let’s count them.

He looks into my eyes and starts to count.  One. Two. Three. Four. All the way to sixteen.

It is around four that I realize that this is a first. His eyes are locked with mine.  There is a smile pulling at the corner of his lips as he slowly, deliberately counts to sixteen.  By the time he reaches it I am crying.  But I don’t look away.  Tears stream down my face.

They are beautiful, those blue eyes.  And in all of these five years and five months since he was born he has never held my gaze that long.  Never.

It gives me hope.  A hope that his life may now be a little easier to handle for him.  That everything will not be such an intense struggle.  That one day he will hold the gaze of a girl that he fancies.  But for now I am happy to stare into those blue eyes and have them stare right back.

3 Comments

  1. You're stories about Nate the Great ( as I always think of him) truly warm my heart… This one especially. This incredible moment has just filled my heart with peace and joy. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Love this. And I've lived this. I just decided to medicate my son's ADHD (he's 7), because I could see the pain and confusion in his eyes that he couldn't be still/calm down/stop touching people/listen, even when he really wanted to. We're still learning how it will work, and I've reminded him that it's not the whole answer: it's just the tool that we're hoping can open the door so he can learn to master his own self-control. And yes, I was one of those mother's who thought I would “never” medicate my child. You can't know it until you live it, right? xx

  3. Love this. And I've lived this. I just decided to medicate my son's ADHD (he's 7), because I could see the pain and confusion in his eyes that he couldn't be still/calm down/stop touching people/listen, even when he really wanted to. We're still learning how it will work, and I've reminded him that it's not the whole answer: it's just the tool that we're hoping can open the door so he can learn to master his own self-control. And yes, I was one of those mother's who thought I would “never” medicate my child. You can't know it until you live it, right? xx

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