Who is This Kid?

Most of you know that I have a son, Caden, who is Autistic.  What I don’t talk a lot about is my oldest son, Kyle. Kyle has inattentive ADHD.  This is not an ADHD diagnosis. Inattentive ADHD are kids that are quiet, go unnoticed by teachers and are rarely treated… they are the kids that fall between the cracks.  This of course leads to frustration in school, low self esteem and confidence, and anxiety that can last a lifetime.

So what does Inattentive ADHD look like;

  • Often fail to give close attention to details or make careless mistakes.

  • Often have trouble paying attention or staying on task; easily distracted.

  • Often seems to not listen when spoken to.

  • Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores or anything that is asked of them; they get sidetracked easily and need a lot of reminders.

  • Often has trouble organizing tasks and activities.

  • Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to do tasks that will take a long time and require them to use their brain.

  • Often loses things necessary for tasks and activities like school materials, cell phone, lunch etc…

  • Is often forgetful in daily activities.   

I wanted to share this with you because Kyle was a kid that fell between the cracks.  Sweet, compliant, participated at times and because his IQ is so high, his grades would fluctuate depending on his level of focus for the day or the subject matter.  These kids are very complex, not easily diagnosed. Kyle has been tested by numerous professionals, from a neuropsychologist to having his IQ tested and even brain maped.  I have had specialists that upon their first week of knowing Kyle are quick to assess him and it is always wrong. I have my team that has worked with Kyle for years and I hold them close, they probably know him just as well as I do.  Because Inattentive ADHD is so hard to diagnosis, you as the parent need to pay attention to your child. Teachers have 20-30 kids in their classroom, they are rarely going to notice the sweet boy who doesn’t distract the class. You can not rely on the teacher to diagnosis your child.  It took me 3 years to determine what was going on with Kyle. All I wanted for my child was for him to be happy and not to struggle or feel less than. I was convinced he was a “shut down learner,” and that is when I pushed the school for an SST (student success team) which would evaluate him.  It took a ton of pushing and persistence to get this done… they said, “there’s nothing wrong with Kyle, he just needs to stay focused.” No one knows our kids better than we do, be an advocate for your child.

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I will never fully understand why parents don’t push to get their kids to get tested when they feel their child is struggling.  I 100% get that no one wants their child labeled. But guess what, if our world wasn’t so judgmental, and we would start educating about special needs and learning differences, labels wouldn’t matter.   Why wouldn’t you help your child? Why wouldn’t you do something so that your child wouldn’t struggle? I know for a fact it breaks every mother's heart to see their kids confidence and self esteem go down.  

Making decisions for our children, not knowing the outcome can be very scary.  I do it all the time. Deciding to pull Kyle from the public school, and put him in a place I knew in my heart was where he belonged, was the most difficult decision.  On the first day of school, when I picked Kyle up… I was afraid to ask, “how was your day?” His reply, “mom, I had the best day ever!” I literally cried. I had NEVER heard those words before.  Looking at my son with a huge smile on his face and a twinkle in his green eyes, I knew I had done something right. In that first year of school, Kyle was on the basketball team and volleyball team - he had never played sports before.  Art became a favorite activity as well as signing up for clubs at school. Who was this kid? I knew who he was… he was my sweet baby Kyle that was full of life as a toddler, who was able to share with the world all his beautiful gifts. He could show how smart he was, and be his unique self.  This was something he hadn’t been able to do for the past 6 years in the public school. He didn’t fit in the box and he wasn’t able to shine. He was now in a safe place with people who believed in him and are allowing him to spread his wings and soar.

AutismAngela Wingard