not unlike most boys, tends to have more energy than focus. For
most of early developing years we could even appreciate that such
energy was a welcomed sign of healthy development. His early prospects
held no such guarantee.
However, Andrew's inital foray into formal study first
grade revealed that his unfocused, over-the-top energywasn't
just a case of "boys will be boys."
His first grade teacher suggested as much at our first review
"It's nearly impossible to get Andrew
to focus; he'll fall hopelessly behind if something isn't done."
Such reflected the admonition from Andrew's teacher who, admitting
that she was well-acquainted with overly energetic first-grade
boys, said Andrew's lack of control was more serious.
So Sherri and I took Andrew to see two different specialists.
Both of them concurred that Andrew was a classic case of Attention
Deficit HyperActivity Disorder (ADHD).
There was some initial reticence, given that we have heard so
much of the abuse of parents wanting to control a boy's excesses
and disruptiveness by "snowing" him over with ritalin
or something similar.
But we had to do something, so we granted a trial of metadate,
a time-release variant of ritalin, but at the lowest dose possible.
Fortunately, the medication didn't dramatically change our son,
but the teacher DID remark soon thereafter that she could finally
get his attention. She could reach him; it still wasn't easy (as
he was not a natural academe he still preferred to play),
but he was now able to pay attention. even if somewhat reluctantly.
Since then, we've also tried mild variations of dose and he has
been seeing another specialist, a Dr. Bernhard, who has been working
with Andrew to recognize and exercise some degree of cognitive
control over his overwound behavior.
This will take time, for sure. After all, his father was labeled
"hyperkinetic" in his day and it took the eventual,
if not inevitable, drop in metabolism at age 25 or so to discernably
register a dramatic change in behavior.
Nobody today would ever call Andrew's dad "hyperkinetic"
Hope, indeed, springs eternal. And our Andrew is making progress.
Although it takes the special attention of parents, teachers,
special "tutors" in the school program and psychologists,
in concert, trying to orchestrate a cohesive symphony from the
melodies and racing time signatures in the composition we know
and love as our Andrew.