Monday, September 17, 2007

6 year and 4 year check - ups

This afternoon we went to see Dr. Berry for Drew and Mikayla's yearly check-ups. I knew that Mikayla would have to get her 4 year old immunizations, but had no idea that Drew would also need a shot. There is not a second (optional) vaccine against chicken pox. Since the nurse felt pretty sure this would be a mandatory vaccine by the end of this year, we opted for Drew to go ahead and get this while we were there. Thank goodness Craig went with me - I've now decided against having both of their check-ups on the same day. Aside from this, we are very happy to report that we have two healthy children! Drew weighs 79 pounds and is 46 inches tall, and Mikayla weighs 59 pounds and is 42 inches tall. Dr. Berry says they are both in the 90th percentile for height and 95th percentile for weight. He commented that both will probably be pretty tall adults.
While there, I voiced some of the concerns we have with Drew's behavior (both at home and at school) with Dr. Berry. Even though Drew makes good grades (all A's and B's so far), he has a hard time focusing his attention on things he's not interested in, staying on task, and completing his work. He is also impulsive, and he loves to be silly (like a class clown). Neither of his teachers (kindergarten or first grade) have brought up ADD/ADHD, but the teacher in me was a little concerned. Drew also has a "late birthday" as his birthday is July 6th and the cut-off for school is September 1st. He is in the same grade with some who are almost a year older than him. It has been hard to tell whether the behaviors we have been seeing are related to maturity or if in fact there is a medical problem. Mrs. Mitchell and I agreed that it wouldn't hurt to talk with the doctor about this during our visit today.
I am relieved to report that the doctor feels that while Drew is having academic success we should not worry about ADD/ADHD. He feels that we should give Drew a little more time to "mature" so that there is not a misdiagnosis. He suggested that we continue talking to Drew about his day, and remind him to stay on task. He also suggested that Drew maybe move to a different area in the classroom to help him focus his attention. His teacher has already done this (with Drew's input, as Drew told her he "thinks better with his desk at the front of the room" and moved it himself) and it seems to be working. I was glad that Drew realized and suggested this himself so he doesn't feel embarrassed! Neither his teacher, nor myself, want to crush his esteem!! He also suggested a reward chart at home to help with his impulsiveness. We have tried this before, but we are willing to try it again. Both Craig and myself will do whatever it takes to help our children!
I say I was relieved because as I read through a huge file that a fellow teacher has accumulated on ADD/ADHD this weekend, I began to feel so many emotions. I shared that I now have more compassion (not that I wasn't compassionate before, but now I can say I've been there) for other parents going through this same situation. I felt guilty (maybe we had been punishing Drew for things he couldn't help, is there anything I've done that could have caused this, etc.), scared (if he needs medicine how will it affect him), and worried (I don't won't him to ever feel inferior to others or for his self-esteem to be crushed) to name a few. Dr. Berry did not rule this out, so this may be something we have to face in the future, but right now we wait. My hope is that this is something Drew will "grow out" of.
Even with this possibitly, we know that we are very blessed to have 2 beautiful, healthy children, and for that we give God all the glory.

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