Following Bunny Trails

“I don’t have ADD, it’s just that…OhLookAKitty!”

Sensory Overload

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I just had a conversation with the boy’s teacher.  There is a end of year  “program” that the Young 5 children are putting on, it is for parents to attend in the evening.  As gently as she could possibly put it, teacher suggested it might not be the best idea for the boy to be there.  I was just about to tell her that I didn’t think he should go to it anyway (I knew that there was huge potential for him to ruin it for himself and possibly others by being out of control), but it still stinks to hear her agree.  He now only attends school for half the day and  has taken several whole days off, so he’s not been practicing like the other children.   Plus, I found out that while the children were in the gym practicing raising and lowering the big colorful parachute in unison, and learning short lines for their presentation, my son was running around the gym like a wild maniac.  He’d run under the parachute whenever it was raised, or would jerk his handhold down while the kids were raising their portion of the parachute.  The teacher, fearing the expensive parachute getting ripped, had to separate the boy from the rest of the group.   By the end of their time in the gym, my son was clamping his hands over his ears and hollering at the top of his lungs.  Thankfully, his teacher has given him the benefit of the doubt all throughout the year (his being a sweet kid has helped) and suggested that she thinks he was doing it to drown out the noise and echo from the gym.  Unacceptable, nonetheless.

I have always known that the boy was easily stimulated by bright lights, large buildings and noises, but this year has shown me beyond a shadow of a doubt.  When the boy is around 7 months old, I took him to Ikea with a girlfriend.  Oh my gosh was this baby cute, I’m not just saying this because he’s mine, honestly.  We’d get all kinds of comments and “awwww”s from people passing by.   After about 2 hours of shopping in the giant warehouse, baby boy started fussing.  By the time we had gotten near the checkout, he was fully screaming at the top of his lungs!  No bottle, no cuddling, no snack, nothing would calm this baby down.  The cute “awwww”s had turned into dirty looks & I ended up abandoning my purchases and heading out to the car to pull it up for my friend.  Baby boy screamed for the entire hour and 20 minutes home.  He was completely overstimulated, no doubt about it.  Since then we’ve suffered meltdowns at just about every “super” grocery store, most malls, toy stores, you name it.

This year he was in a class with 22 children, including 4 or 5 other boys much like him.  His class is noisy!   At the beginning of the year, before any testing or final diagnosis was made about ADHD, the teacher attempted many different sensory tactics to calm the boy.  Among  them was a vinyl blue puppy that was full of heavy sand; she would place the weighted puppy in his lap to produce a sense of security and calmness.  He liked it at first, but then I think the novelty wore off.  They attempted rubber bands (like exercise bands) around the legs of his chair, something for him to fidget with; hand fidgets, an exercise ball in stead of a chair (this was played with too much, and he kept “prat-falling” off it), and a rounded inflatable disc that you place on the chair and the child sits on to slightly throw off core balance, causing the sitter to have to concentrate in order to stay upright… my boy fell over a lot.  I tell ya’, they get an “A” for effort!  I honestly just think the boy is too overstimulated in this classroom.  He doesn’t run around like a maniac or clap his hands over his ears and scream at a playground or park filled with children.  The school psychologist, who is testing him to make sure he’s academically on the mark- and he is, has told me that after he takes a few minutes to calm down, he seems to be much much less “stimulated” since we removed the ADHD medicine.  So for the time being, I will not take the boy shopping unless I absolutely have to.  And I am seriously considering home schooling next year.

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Author: KenSea

Wife of 19 years, mom to a very active (almost) 6-year-old boy and very sweet 1.5-year-old girl. My blog takes a humorous look at the trials and triumphs of life with ADD and ADHD. Check it out at www.followingbunnytrails.com

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