Michael had his ten year wellness visitits with his new pediatrician the other day. It went extremely well. Michael loved his old pediatrician, and was nervous understandably about having a new doctor. She was and is, however, in a word outstanding. First of all, she let him do the checkup standing up and moving around. She let him ask her all kinds of questions and answered them, and in five minutes flat gave me some wonderful autism social skills websites, told me about some interesting findings about autism that she learned from seminars and therapists, and let Michael take home a fidget toy for good listening. She also strongly suggested we have Michael evaluated for ADHD and Anxiety. She feels he has more ADHD Symptoms than Autism now and with the right controls and possibly medecinewe could help him futrther Everything inside me froze. I have been suspecting ADHD since he was a child along with Autism, and have had most professionals disagreeing that he has it. Some have said there is a possibility, but this is the first doctor who outright said she feels strongly that we should evaluate him. She was surprised y how quickly I agreed. I told her my own suspicions, and told her as well my dilemma with medication, but that we were willing to explore. She uttered that it is not something she recommends outright or feels is always necessary. It is necessary, however, to look at all avenues. She looked at me and said it’s important to prepare myself either way. It was sweet of her to be so kind and honest. I looked right back and told her that I knew there are co-morbid conditions with autism and am prepared to accept whatever else Michael has or develops. He is, and always will be, my child whom I love and will advocate for. I also told her, I take things one step at a time and I teach Michael to do the same.
Afterwards coming home Michael was very upset about the possibility he could have something else that may require him taking medication. He promised me solemnly he would listen to whatever I say so he would not need to take any medicine toolbox, and that the new people he would eventually meet would join “Team Michael.” They would be more key players to help him be his best self at home as well as at school. We had a calm discussion and a lovely afternoon and evening, but afterwards when Michael did fall asleep I found the shock of it all hitting me hard. You know as a parents your exceptional child will have many things to deal with as will you.
But the fact of starting over with a new condition and learning about it, though I do know quite a lot thanks to friends who have filled me in, was disconcerting. I realized I was in a little bit of shock, like I had been with his Autism diagnosis even though I had seen that coming from a mile away. I would need time to wrap my head around learning about Michael’s other potential condition should he have it, and what to do to help him. Medication and the thought of it also terrifies me. I am having to deal with my own fears about making the right decision when one professional told me meds would be a disaster, another things it would be a great part of the toolbox, and a third is undecided. Where does that leave a parent? Basically with using her gut, and trusting in that feeling to do right by her child. The sheer weight of having your child’s life in your hands is daunting. When they are exceptional, you are even more scared to make the wrong choice. You know what I have come to learn, however? With love and trust in yourself, you will always make the right choice to help your child and family. That calm I showed Michael is there inside of me. It does not mean I am not scared, sad, worried about the future. But I trust in God, in the Universe, to give me the strength I need to help Michael go where he is supposed to go.
Exceptional Parents, what shocks have you received concerning your Exceptional Children and their mental and/or physical health? How did you put their fears to rest while doing the same for your own, if you managed to? It’s ok if you are angry, scared or worried. It’s ok to even show a little bit of that. Share it with a trusted adult who can help you work through your feelings and focus on taking things one step at a time. Let your child see you strong, focused and proud of them. They are little warriors no matter what, and remember how whatever they have or do not have, is just one small part of who they are. They are in big part the wonderful child that has helped you see that potential lies deep in all children if we just give them the chance to show us. Until next time.
I am a writer, speaker, and parent coach. As the parent of an exceptional child who is raising me to lead a bigger life and purpose, I understand the challenges nonetheless of raising a child who truly thinks out side the box and has difficulties at times with the way many others see the world. My passion is helping parents to handle the challenges of raising their children to be fully functioning in our world, as well as teaching them the miracles that their child truly is in spite of the difficulties. I truly believe in helping parents lead lives of hope, health, and balance for their own sake and that of their children’s and family’s. For more information on my coaching programs or to book a FREE 30 MINUTE EXPLORATION session with me, see my website: www.creatingexceptionalparenting.com.
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