B really is an awesome kid! As my youngest he has had to deal with his older brother getting most of my attention, which I know is difficult for him. We had to explain K’s disability to him at an early age where he wasn’t close to understanding but he had to know why his older brother couldn’t talk like he could, or why he was still in diapers when B used the potty. We told him Kevin had special needs. Then B was diagnosed with ADHD.
I had read a whole bunch of articles about it and how to talk to your child about it, but I wondered if I could do it in a way he would understand. The doctor had tried to explain it to him but he was not very good at listening at the time. He was 11 so I sat down with him later that day and asked him if he knew what ADHD is. He said “Kinda” and went on saying it meant he couldn’t focus, which is one thing the doctor had said. At least he had been listening somewhat. I told him he was right but did he know what focusing was? He said no. I told him it meant paying attention and not being distracted. I told him his ADHD was the reason he was having trouble concentrating or completing his homework (he would tell me he did it at school) or why his mind always seemed to wander. I told him he wasn’t alone. Lots of kids (and adults) have ADHD. I tried not to use the words ‘disability’ or ‘special needs’ because he associated that with K. I told him he was an awesome kid and he would feel better. I explained to him that he is going to have to take a pill everyday to help him. He was ok with that.
It took a couple of weeks to see any real improvement but then we went to meet with his Spec Ed teacher who told us the change in his behaviour at school was very positive. His homework completion had improved. It wasn’t 100% yet but he was getting better. He was contributing to class discussions and engaging in extracurricular activities where he had shown no interest before. He even joined the choir (for awhile).
He starts high school in the fall and although it still worries me that he will do ok, I know he will. He’s awesome!