This week saw our follow up appointment after Hayden’s autism diagnosis in November last year. The appointment itself was a little disappointing if I am honest. We were in the consultation room for less than twenty minutes. I didn’t know what I was expecting but something a little more thorough than that. The doctor had asked how Hayden’s first year at school had been and I was completely honest about the ups and downs we have had with Hayden’s school. Whilst it does appear they are doing all they can, sometimes it feels like their best isn’t good enough. I was also asked how I handled that behaviour the school appear to struggle with at home. It isn’t easy, but it’s our normal. We just live with it. We pick our battles and remain laid back on other occasions. “Does it seem Hayden is on the go all the time?” I was asked. Possibly the understatement of the century! The boy never stops! The doctor then asked if I would be happy for Hayden to receive screening tests for ADHD…
Does Hayden have ADHD?
Very often when you have someone diagnosed with Autism it is not necessarily the only thing that that person struggles with. Many people on the spectrum have other conditions and ailments to deal with. The mention of it did not surprise me. I had previously thought Hayden may possess certain characteristics that point to ADHD.
NB: The following factual information has been sourced from the NHS website. More information can be found here.
ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Behaviours common in ADHD include Hyperactivity, Inattentiveness and Impulsiveness. Symptoms of the disorder are very often detected at an early age, and especially when a child starts school.
- having a short attention span and being easily distracted
- making careless mistakes – for example, in schoolwork
- appearing forgetful or losing things
- being unable to stick at tasks that are tedious or time-consuming
- appearing to be unable to listen to or carry out instructions
- constantly changing activity or task
- having difficulty organising tasks
Hyperactivity and impulsiveness
- being unable to sit still, especially in calm or quiet surroundings
- constantly fidgeting
- being unable to concentrate on tasks
- excessive physical movement
- excessive talking
- being unable to wait their turn
- acting without thinking
- interrupting conversations
- little or no sense of danger
Just based on the above there isn’t really any question as to the result of the screening tests. Hayden ticks almost every single box.
The thought of Hayden receiving a diagnosis does not concern me in the slightest. It makes sense. It is common in people already diagnosed on the spectrum, and will not change the little boy we love so dearly.
What does worry me slightly is the thought of medicating Hayden. How it will affect him, his behaviour and the person he is. Like any medication, it can come with side effects. Many of these I really hope do not start playing a part in our life.
We will cross that bridge when we come to it. But anything that can help our precious little boy cope with the world around him will be carefully considered and welcomed.
Hayden may well have ADHD on top of Autism. But if he does then we will deal with it. It is part of who he is. Whilst he can be tiring and incredibly frustrating we still love him to the moon and back.