Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Over medicated

I got sucked into watching a special on PBS' frontline special called "the medicated child" If you have time check it out it is seriously scary!! Here
It hit home for me on a major level. 

I am having the hardest time making a decision. My little boy Michael is amazing. I know, I know all parents think there kids are special. But let me tell you a little about my son. 
The minute, and I mean he minute he was born, my Mother and I looked at each other and we both said "Wow, he has been waiting a very long time to get here" We both just knew he was so old. It felt like he was so much wiser than I was and he was literally minutes old. As a baby he never stopped crying. He would have to be moved every 10-20 minutes in order to keep him entertained and occupied. At 5 or 6 months he was figuring things out on his own. Finally one day he stopped crying and started walking. At 9 months. Hallelujah, I thought "great he just needed a little more control. I did better with him than my next two, he signed allot so we were able to communicate early and he could tell me most of the time what he needed. But he still kept sticking his fingers in the light sockets (probably shocked himself 10 times by the time he was 1),and jumping from all different spots along the couch.  He has just always been extremely curious. 
When he was 20 months old he got really into the prophets and decided he wanted to know all of them, so I taught him the song. But that was not good enough so we printed pictures and he learned them by sight. At 3 he tought himself how to add and subtract. I am not kidding He taught himself  he came into the room and said "Mom if I have three apples and then I get 2 apples, I have 5 apples" I said, "you are so right. But what if you ate 3 of those apples?" He thought for a minute and said said "I will have two." This went on for a while we went up to if you have 9+4, it took him a while but he came up with 13. Earlier that year he got assigned to read the article of faith in primary and so we went over it a few times during the week. On Friday he came up to me and got about halfway through the article and wanted to be able to say it all. It took all of five minutes and he was reciting it just fine. 
Now that he is older 4, he wants to read. I have come to the decision that I will help but, I also am not pushing this new stage because I guess I don't want people to think I am some crazy person and pushing him to hard.
Now however he is wanting to know more every day. We have read a book on the solar system. He has learned so much about all of the planets and if you talked to him he would teach you all about it. He will move on to something new in a few weeks. I have a book on he presidents that he is starting to like. Anyway..... 
To my point, I seriously give him two weeks in Kindergarten before I know I will be called in to "talk" about him. I know I will hear the words Ritalin,ADD, ADHD, or bipolar disorder. He needs allot of attention and is a learner but, he does get very frustrated if things don't click just right in his head. (We spent 45 minutes on the grass the other day trying to decide if he believed that the earth was round and turning in circles). I know he will be stunted in a "normal" school.  I have spent many days worrying about him and still have not come up with a conclusion. I just want my child to be the best he can. I don't think I have a good enough education (or patience) to homeschool him, and I don't think I can afford a private school. So any suggestions on what I should do???

6 comments:

The Jones's said...

I have already planned to homeschool my children. Public school is a dangerous place, and I don't agree with many things that the teachers and the other kids teach your child. Have you thought about homeschooling him, but using a private school's curriculum, or having lessons sent to your house, you give them to him, but then send them away to be graded? If you would like to I am sure my own mother would be happy to talk to you all about this. She homeschooled all 3 of me and my siblings, and she has done a lot of reading and researching of the subject. I love the idea of making your own curriculum, and allowing your child to study what they are really interested in, along with everything else they may need. Give me a call or send me an email and I can get you in touch with my mom.

S'mee said...

I'm going to send you a letter, because I know if I didn't, this comment would be a lot longer!

Otherwise: Our #5, bounced off walls, couldn't (still can't without trying)talk to you without touching, and eventually was "diagnosed" with ADD/ADHD/your kid is freakin' hyper lady -syndrome. Meds were prescribed and rejected. She turned out fine.

And Micheal? Well, he sounds amazingly like his grampa as a kid.

We'll talk. : >

The Pea said...

Laurel you are great!

Smee thank you I will email you my new address.

Alison Wonderland said...

I would say try him in school and see what happens. Maybe you're right and they'll recommend Ritalin but maybe he'll get a fantastic teacher who will recognize his potential and what he needs. That's what my son got this year. And there are some really good gifted programs out there. my mom teaches a gifted sixth grade class and I guarantee she has kids like that in her class.
All the school can do is recommend, they can't diagnose or prescribe. You're still the mom, if you don't like their recommendations, ignore them

chronicler said...

Forget the drugs. At first I thought you were describing your dad. He taught himself to read at three. We would sit and read medical books together when we were four and three. I remember the most morbid picture we would always study together. Of course, in a medical book, there are dead people and we were fascinated.

When I was five I had already figured out I didn't want to be a nurse because of the books. ;-)

I didn't wrestle with any of these issues with my kids, but I do think the public sector is too easily convinced that drugs are the answer. I say no. Homeschooling is probably going to be your best avenue. It will tax you, but I think you'll be happier in the long run.

In the end, your dad and the rest of the world ended up pretty average, except his outgoing personality. But you never know, given the right environment, maybe he could have reached a little farther. I think your Michael could do just that. Never, never, hold him back, if he wants to learn, spend a lot of time learning.

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