|Problem Areas||Preferred not to read at all & couldn’t read at grade level, behaviour problems, difficulty sustaining attention, hyper, lack of comprehension, spelling phonetic & inconsistent, handwriting illegible, prone to motion sickness, unable to tell the time, extra light sleeper, trouble with times tables,|
|Finished Program||April 2016|
THROUGH SCHOOL AS ADHD
Jason was slow to sit up at nursery and at pre-school we were told that they were having problems with him and that they wouldn’t go on any school trips unless I went with him. So as I was working full time, I had to give up work and go part time.
He was alright in Reception & Year 1, but he was always vying for attention and had to be the centre of attention all the time. If we got through a day without him being disruptive that was a plus point basically. It was then flagged up by 3 Doctors that he had ADHD and they put him on to some medication. He’s basically been on that ever since.
In Year 6 the children were going to be tested on Grammar in their CATS & he got really nervous about that, so I actually left work at that point.
After a short spell at a State School with 28 in a class, it was clear he wasn’t going to get an education, so we took him out and put him into a private school in Berkhampstead. He was much better there.
Although he was never statemented, he always had a IEP, but it didn’t really seem to do very much.
He’s always been centre of attention, very demanding, if his sister Claudia, who is 7 years old than him, had friends over he’d always feel he should be included and he’d just plonk himself there. So it’s been a bit of a strain really. ‘We’ve always thought can we take him there? Can we go there?’ We’ve thought twice about doing things.
Quite a lot of the time we had such a battle getting him to do anything, that we’d probably give in and he’d do the least possible.
He’s hated doing homework, when I used to mention homework he would literally jump over the sofas. When they say ‘climbing the wall’s’ – he was virtually doing that.
He’d do one sentence and say he needed a reward or something. It was very, very difficult.
If I went away I couldn’t rely that he’d behave with my husband. It used to be a real nightmare. Coming up to GCSE’s he needed to be able to knuckle down and do it.
BEING OVER THE TOP
It’s really difficult with his sister particularly because she feels we give in to him a lot.
She sees the bad side of him. When her boyfriend comes over, she wants to spend time with him and so does Jason. It’s ok until they’ve both had enough of Jason and Jason doesn’t stop. So it definitely affects the social side of things because he doesn’t recognise the signs, not knowing when to back down.
He’s always known as being OTT. He’s always interrupting as well, because he feels he’s got to get his point across right there and then. His teachers might say he might go off topic, in Science they might be talking about something and he’d come on and talk about something scientific but totally different to what they were talking about and wouldn’t know that you’ve got to keep quiet.
On sports days he always had to be first in the queue, even if they go round and do different apparatus and take it in turns, he’d always run to be front of the queue. Even things like Passport control, he couldn’t stand still in a queue and couldn’t understand that you’ve got to wait your turn.
It encroaches on everyday life all the time and then you are on edge because you are thinking – ‘How’s he going to behave?’ and other people are thinking – ‘Can’t they control their child?’
In school plays he was a good actor, and so they gave him the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz which was fine, but he ad-libbed and he just pushed it because he could read the audience. Everyone thought he was absolutely wonderful, but then his teacher said ‘I was hoping he was going to reign it in.” and I’m sitting there in the audience thinking – ‘Oh no!’
He’s the one in the drama shows when he was very young that would be trying to be the comic, trying to get everybody’s attention. So the whole audience is laughing, but you as a parent are thinking, “Oh no! Please no! Just behave, Jason.”
SLEEPING & EATING AFFECTED BY MEDICATION
Being on his ADHD medication meant that Jason didn’t sleep very well, plus if they go below a certain weight they won’t prescribe it. So on holiday we tried not to give it to him. It must have been about 5 years ago & we’d only been on holiday for a few days & some children that he’d met basically came to me and said “I think Jason needs his medication.” Because he was just OTT and wouldn’t stop. So even children, his peer group were recognising that he was hyper the whole time really.
His appetite since we’ve started the treatment is unbelievable, it’s like he is making up for lost time. It really is. My mum’s never seen him eat so well. Even we haven’t. Before at the weekend I’d say to him ‘What do you want for lunch?’ and he’d just say ‘I’m not hungry.’
He never used to get hungry until about 10:30 – 11PM and then when we were trying to get him to bed he’d want a cooked meal, he’d want things to take upstairs and we just thought – this is a delaying tactic. But that’s when he used to get hungry. But now, no, he’s eating.
He’s sleeping. He actually fell asleep in the car coming here on one session. He’s never done that before. He’s never fallen asleep for two hours. He took himself upstairs, by himself at my Mum’s house in the first week, because he said he was tired and fell asleep. It just doesn’t happen, he’s never been a child that napped. Nothing like that. So he’s off the medication and I really want to keep him off it.
We start from 10PM trying to get him upstairs and at 11PM we are probably still trying to get him to go upstairs. He won’t go upstairs by himself, he’ll say ‘Will you come up? When are you coming up?’ and we had this every night and sometimes it’s 11PM. So in the end my husband will say ‘Ok I’ll go up with him.’ You see he’ll look at a crack in the wall and think the house is going to fall down or he’ll hear a noise and think somebody’s breaking in. It’s always like a huge-huge problem. So his new ability to sleep will be a huge thing for us. Because if people don’t get their sleep it leads to all sorts of problems, including him.
Since he’s been here, he’s now had two nights that he’s gone up himself and he’s got himself to bed. He wakes up in the night because he is such a light sleeper, so he wakes up with the smallest of noises. And then he’ll come in to us and ask us to go in while he settles or come in our room. But he’s gone through the night as well now which is brilliant!
We were expecting it to happen every night and it more or less did happen every night. When it’s 2AM, 3AM and he’s at the bed arguing with you, then you just haven’t got the energy to cope with it.
SPELLINGS WERE DREADFUL
His spellings were dreadful. Awful. Also capital letters and full stops. Practically every sentence I had to remind him. I don’t know how many times we’ve done the spelling of ‘said’. One sentence it will be ok, the next won’t be. It was never logical to me. So spellings have always been very difficult.
TIMES TABLES – DON’T EVEN TRY
As far as times tables are concerned, unfortunately we went to an educational psychologist when he was 11 years, who actually said in front of Jason ‘Don’t try and get him to learn times tables, because he never can.’ And he basically said the same for telling the time. He said his sequential memory was so bad that he wouldn’t be able to learn tables. But he’s done a lot of work on that during this time here, which I’m very grateful for.
CHANGES BECAME APPARENT ON THE 2ND DAY OF TREATMENT
My mum said, in the 2nd day she could notice that he was calmer and he wasn’t as argumentative when we asked him to go to bed. And the fact that he took himself up to bed and went to sleep, because he was tired – it’s never happened. Never happened before.
HOW LONG WAS THIS GOING TO GO ON FOR?
It was getting to the stage now where if he was going somewhere like on a school trip, I was embarrassed to say ‘He needs to have this medication.’, ‘If he gets hyper in the evening you might need to give him half a Ritalin.’
I just thought – ‘How long is this going to go on? Am I going to be saying this when he’s 18 years?’ Because he won’t know himself whether he needs it or not.
So to think that it could be more normal has just got to be good for everyone!