Just call me Jiji

…me, just pretending to be me ….now, where did I put that cape??

Another piece to the puzzle that is Leon

DSC_1148 copyI just read Penny William’s post another upside of ADHD in her blog “A Mom’s View of ADHD“. And it put a tear in my eye. (I suggest you check out her blog, it is very well written and full of thoughtful insight!)

 It truely is so wonderful to find other parents out there who are going through simular experiances that I am. Sharing the good and the bad whether I am reading about them or writing about them is very healing for me. But aside from that, it can also be very exciting when you learn something new that you did not know before.

In her post  she explains how children like ours really have a NEED to hug. More specifically deep pressure hugging (providing proprioceptive input). It prompted me to researh proprioceptive input because up till now I had never heard of it. I found the following very  informative articles:

  “Proprioceptive Dysfunction: The REAL Reason He Keeps Crashing, Jumping, Tripping, Falling, Writing Too Dark, And Breaking Things!” 

Heavy Work Activities (Proprioceptive Input) They Need Them, They Crave Them!

Classroom Ideas to Increase Proprioceptive Input 

This is just another piece to the puzzle that is Leon. And this piece fits well. The first article practically describes Leon to a tee. And now I know why Leon hugs the way he does. His hugs are more like attacks. There is usually a running start involved and a full body collision followed by a really tight SQUEEZE (or headlock depending on where his arms land). We often have to shout out “slow, soft, gentle.” And the hug isn’t over till he gets a really tight squeeze in return.

Before bed time he begs us to get in bed with him for a cuddle. We don’t always oblige because , well life gets in the way, it gets late, and heck, it’s past his bedtime. On the nights we do oblige, he will ask me to hold him real tight with my whole body. Which of course I would do, I wrap my arms and my legs around him and I hold him tight. I just thought it was cute, now I know it is so much more than that. And you can be sure I won’t be turning him away anymore.

Just last night, while he lay snuggled up tightly in my arms, I remember thinking how wonderful it felt to hold my baby boy who was growing up way too fast, and wondering for how much longer these cherishe moments would last. He is after all 6 years old going on 30. Now I am a bit more hopeful. It may be a while before I have to give up my cuddles with my baby boy.

Penny is right when she writes that this is just another one of those wonderful gifts that comes with ADHD.

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8 thoughts on “Another piece to the puzzle that is Leon

  1. Just a comment…
    ADHD has NO positive symptoms. Needing to hug more is actually sign of low self esteem which many with ADHD (including myself) struggle with. Never entirely confident of anyones love or approval, people with low self esteem are constantly doing things to reaffirm that people still like / love them.

    As I child I was the same way. One of my daughters is the same way. As she has gotten older (10 tomorrow) this has manifested itself in different ways but the bottom line is we do not consider her desire to constantly seek the approval of others as healthy.

    The idea that ADHD has benefits is an urban myth. People with ADHD have good characteristics just like everyone else does. Creativity, intelligence, passion, etc have never scientifically linked to ADHD.

    The things you love about your son are part of who he is. In way crediting an illness with these things devalues the fact that it is him that has these qualities. It colors how society views ADHD. It is a serious, chronic mental illness that could potentially cause your son difficulty for the remainder of his life. Please take the time to see how having (until recently undiagnosed) severe ADHD has impacted my life and the lives of those around me.

    http://www.adhdstruggles.wordpress.com

    There is nothing warm and fuzzy about ADHD.

    Peace

    • The need to hug more, may or may not be a sign of low self esteem, I would not know anything about that.
      What I do know is that hugging is a way of showing affection and love. Something that my son has plenty of.
      With that said, this post was not about needing to hug more, but more specifically the need for deep pressure hugging (providing proprioceptive input) for his sensory issues.

      As far as my son’s positive attributes; creativity, intelligence, passion, etc… They most definetly ARE a part of who he is, just as ADHD is a part of who he is.
      And yes, he may potentially face many difficulties for the remainder of his life because of it, but he will also be presented with many wonderful opportunities in life.

      And wouldn’t it be better to face whatever comes his way with a positive outlook rather than a negative one?

      Yes he is impulsive and with that comes spontanaity.
      Yes, he is argumentative which makes him strongly committed to his goals.
      Yes, he can be wild at times which makes him very energetic.
      Yes, he can be stubborn which means he has a willingness to persist in the face of obstacles.
      Yes, he can be loud and disruptive, but that’s because he is enthusiastic and full of life.

      Yeah there are difficulties, but rather than dwell on them we prefer to remain optimistic and focus on the good, while working on improving the bad .

      There is a positive side to everything, even ADHD. It’s not an urban myth, it’s an opinion. You have yours and I have mine.

      Thank you for commenting

      • Impulse control is an inabilty to prioiatize between conflicting priorities. It affects an individuals ability to think through the long term consequnces of their decisions. It is not the type of spontanaity anyone should want.

        Being argumentative is actually a symptom of poor impulse control. It is completely unrelated to the ability to follow through on anything.

        All little boys are wild some times. Both of mine make my wife climb the walls and neither has ADHD.

        Stubborness when it comes to getting your own way or admitting you are wrong has no correlation to people’s ability to overcome obstacles.

        You can be full of life without being rude and obnoxious (I haven’t mastered it yet but I am working on it). Blurting things out, speaking out turn, etc are symptoms of poor impulse control.

        I am not trying to be rude or offensive but you need to actually read the real research that has been done on ADHD if you want to truly help your son grow into an effective adult. Making yourself feel better about his condition by convincing yourself that the bad symptoms are balanced off by supposed good ones will do more harm than good long term.

        My mom used to pretend all of the qualities you described your son as having were good traits in me as well. Did you look at my blog? Do you want your son to have a life similar to mine?

        If he has been properly diagnosed with ADHD he is ill. If it was cancer you wouldn’t be pretending that it had some good things about it.

        There is a stigma attached by society to people with mental illness. ADHD is a fully recognized mental illness. Your son is mentally ill. I would suggest coming to terms with that. It is neither a reflection on you or son that he is mentally ill. Neither of you had a choice.

        You do have a choice about how you manage the illness. Impulse control issues are not positive. If they are not properly managed you will be setting him up for a huge amount of problems later in life.

        I would suggest you read some of the work of Russel Barkley. He is one of the leading authorities on ADHD in the world. I would recommend “ADHD, The Nature of Self Control”. It will give you the real, researched based FACTS on this illness. I know I am not willing to risk my daughter’s (severe ADHD) on the opinions of popular culture. Half the people out there claiming to be ADHD coachs (lots of their books on the market) are not qualified to make the claims they do. Making people feel warm and fuzzy sells books.

        Please…. take the time to learn more. I promise you… the things you think of as good qualities have the potential to make his life (and that of those around him) hell.

        I will put it this way… you can either come terms with the fact that most of the behaviors you described are not positive now… or you can come to terms with it when he ends up in financial trouble or addicted to something or or a theif or unable to hold a steady job.

        If I had been treated properly as a child I can guarantee I would not have had the struggles I have had as an adult. You think your mommy guilt is bad for not wanting to play in the snow. You should talk to my mom who beats herself up constantly for not recognizing I was ill as a child. She has no access to the information when I was a kid. She had no way of knowing I was ill. She has no reason to feel any guilt…

        You can order Dr Barkley’s books on Amazon.

        • When people talk about the positives of ADHD they are NOT claiming that they are symptoms of ADHD. They ARE however stating that there are positive attributes that are more prevalent in people with ADHD. Learning to cope with ADHD is what leads them to develop these certain positive attributes which gives them the skills to deal with thier ADHD. This is why they have been attributed to people with ADHD over and over again and therefore considered common to people with ADHD.

          See where I am going here… Bad trait – ADHD, Good trait – positive attribute, skill developed to deal with your ADHD because of your ADHD. …..ALL YOU.

          And NO ONE is saying that these positive attributes are souly connected to people with ADHD and therefore people who are not mentally ill could not possibly have these traits.

          Nor has anyone claimed that everyone with ADHD develops all these positive traits.

          You say you are not concerned about what makes you feel good you are only concerned with what is true. And that coming to terms with what,you personally have deemed to be the “real” experts were saying was not easy.

          Have you considered the possibility that having something to blame (your mental illness) does make you feel better? And the idea that perhaps had you been diagnosed and treated properly early on, your life would have been so much better, is too much to bare, that you prefer to swallow the bitter pill of an idea that there could be nothing positive in the face of such negative adversity? And that is why you are so passionate about dispelling what you consider to be a myth?

  2. Great info Jill! Glad you have another piece to your puzzle! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Twitted by adhdmomma

  4. Jill, Thanks so much for the mention. And thank you for reading my blog. I started it just for catharsis through our process discovering what was going on with our son, what was causing him to fail in school. But the blog has taken on a life of its own. Not only is it cathartic just to get my experiences and emotions “out,” but it is so rewarding to hear that it is a helpful resource to others and so many moms have written that they feel we are living an almost identical experience. My dream for the blog is to find a way to have a monthly “group chat” on the site and we can all get together in real time and share our experiences.

    On the subject of proprioceptive input, knowing about it and somewhat understanding it really does create a light-bulb moment, doesn’t it. I thought my son was hanging onto being a baby but he is really searching for that type of sensory input that he’s not getting enough of. I can’t say how thrilled I am with our OT and OT in general, I have had so many light-bulb moments since we started OT this summer.

    It is funny that your last link is to my city school system here in Asheville, NC. I actually looked at the folder that that specific document was located in and there is a wealth of great OT info there. Check it out: http://www.asheville.k12.nc.us/C14/ecs/Document%20Library/Forms/AllItems.aspx Unfortunately, we are in the county system and I don’t think they have it quite this organized. Maybe they do and I just don’t know it because we were denied special education inclusion. I printed some of these docs to share with the next teacher.

    Anyhow, sorry for such a long comment. Your post on this opened my eyes to even more info. I thank you!

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