I could fill volumes with stories about my oldest son – the one born on my birthday. Today, I want to share one particular story, experience really. My son was diagnosed with “ADD” when he was in Kindergarten. He was five.
He was getting in trouble in school. But he wasn't being a nuisance. He just wasn't doing what he was told. He was being curious. Get him tested, they urged us. So we did. Fortunately we found a doctor who specializes in the misdiagnosis of ADD/ADHD and he encouraged us to have him tested for giftedness as well. The results? We have a very bright child with ADD tendencies. Put in the right environment, the “tendencies” shouldn't be an issue.
He was bored. When told to color one page red, the next page orange, and the next page yellow, he would ditch that in search of something more stimulating – more valuable. Realizing that his placement at that school wouldn't be doing him any favors, we found a better school.
In first grade, he thrived. He had an amazing teacher who really helped heal his damaged self esteem. He liked school. He didn't get in trouble. He had an amazing second grade teacher as well. Both teachers, trained in gifted learning, understood our son. They knew how he was thinking. However, in second grade, his teacher informed us that he was having trouble attending. He would often be “lost in his own world” and have trouble finishing work. Out of an act of desperation we decided to put him on Vyvanse. We wanted to give it a try. Well, it worked. Of course it worked. He was able to do his work and attend in class.
Third grade was more of the same. His teacher wasn't fantastic, but she also really didn't do him any favors. No longer in a cluster (gifted) classroom, he seemed to just bide his time and stay under the radar – much like he likes to be. He had no issues in class and passed third grade with flying colors.
This year he is in fourth grade. He is a big kid now, oldest grade at the elementary school. Fourth grade means responsibility and accountability. And his teacher is not a softy. But she loves those kids. My son has had some growing pains with his new teacher. However, they seem to be working it out.
We took our son off of the medication as of November 11th of this year. But why? It was working so well? We knew that our son could experience any of the myriad of side effects of this medication. We were hopeful of course, but realistic. Lately, our son's anxiety has seemed to have gotten worse. He started picking his skin as a nervous tick. His personality has become flat and dull – he has no interest in doing anything. No zeal or pep that he used to have. And when he is angry or disappointed in himself, he tells us that he would rather die than feel like that. Seems pretty extreme for a 9 year old.
So, now what? Knowing quite a bit about GAPS, I have decided that we will focus on his gut – his second brain. We have removed gluten and dairy as of November 12th. In two weeks, we will reintroduce dairy to see if he has any reaction. I am pretty confident he won't and that dairy will be easily reincorporated. While he is off gluten and dairy, I will focus on healing his gut with the proper nutrients, probiotics, and vitamins that he needs.
I did a personality profile on him recently to help us gain insight to our oldest son. According to the results, our son is an INJ (introverted, iNtuitive, judging) with the T (thinking) or F (feeling) coming in later as he matures. When reading the profiles of the T and F, our son seemed to fit the F description better. Reading further we discovered that only 1% of the population is an INFJ making it the most rare of all the types. My husband and I were in a terrible car accident when we were in college. I only mention this because my husband has always felt that we survived that accident for a reason – specifically so that our son could be born and be able to do something great.
I am sharing this story with you because I plan on documenting his progress along the way back to his old happy self. I will check in when we add dairy back to his diet with a full report. I will share any challenges that he may have at school – none so far. In fact, the only thing I have noticed the past two days is that he has been in a good mood. Laughing. I am going with my gut (and his) on this one and I think I'm right.