Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Not That I'm Complaining, But....

... What in the world has gotten into my kid?  He was recently moved from English to Pre-AP English, and now his science teacher is suggesting he should be in Pre-AP Science next year (they don't offer it in 7th grade) and on the field trip last week, Jamie's social studies teacher stopped by to tell me what a joy Jamie is to have in class and how Jamie is leaps and bounds ahead of most of the other students.  As he was leaving, he said, "Oh, by the way, you should really consider having him in Pre-AP History next year."

So, I called Jamie's school and talked to the counselor's office about all this.  Based on feedback they've gotten from teachers and things they've noticed, as well as the fact that the last time Jamie was tested he was in elementary and was not yet on medication for his later-diagnosed ADHD, they are recommending Jamie be retested for G/T.  They also said that since I was a G/T kid, there's a strong tendency for my kid(s) to be G/T, as well.

I want him to be tested again for many reasons.  Not because my over-achieving self feels I have to have a little Mini Me, but because of many things I've been noticing lately, and because Jamie reminds me so much of my brother.  Jamie and I made the decision together to lower his ADHD medication dosage.  He is getting to the age when many kids are able to be weaned off their medication.  Also, he's been commenting on how he hates "feeling like a zombie" on days when he takes his meds.  So, we told the doc we wanted a lower dosage.  Not too long after that, Jamie's grades went up even higher and his spelling and writing grammar/mechanics improved, as well.  His teachers are commenting on how he's even more involved in class than ever before.  I don't know if it's because the meds aren't chaining his brain down as much or if he's just more interested in the material this year.  Maybe it's a combination of both.  (If his meds have been holding him back while making him behave, well.... I'll spare you the post about the guilt I'm feeling, but know it's DEFINITELY there.  I also recently read an article about how some G/T kids are getting misdiagnosed with ADHD because of similarities in behavior issues when they are very young.  Oh, yeah, there's a LOT of guilt stewing in my heart and brain right now, and it will only get worse if I find out he does qualify for the G/T program!) 

I also want him tested because he is so much like my brother that it's like looking 20-some years in the past.  I remember always being confused as to why my brother, who is sooooo much smarter than I am (seriously, scarily smart), was never in G/T.  I found out later it had a lot to do with school politics in the little town we lived in back in Oklahoma, and the fact that when we moved to Kentucky they wouldn't retest him because they claimed he was "too old to start the G/T program now."  Naturally, he got bored in class and didn't pay attention, and wouldn't do his homework because it was boring... So the school completely let him down by putting him in just basic classes - all the while he was coming home at night from school and studying astronomy and quantum physics and other subjects on his own "just for fun." 

Jamie is the same way.  He got a gift subscription to an astronomy magazine from his Big Brother Bill.  Jamie pores over each issue and tells me stuff I've never even heard of, then goes on the Internet to learn more - just because.  Jamie and I love to watch science-y stuff like Mythbusters, etc.; but Jamie also loves to watch programs on the Science Channel, the Smithsonian Channel and other obscure geekcentric stations - stuff about black holes, supernovas, ancient Egypt, meteorites, and whatever else tickles his nerdtastic fancy.  He also loves to watch the NASA channel - not just for the videos from outer space, but the detailed interviews about diagnostics and design and the history of rocketry.  While I like to consider myself intelligent, some of this stuff is way over my head and Jamie just eats it up.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm not trying to say Jamie is the next coming of Einstein - he's not.  Unfortunately, he is starting to show his mother's distaste for all things mathematical.  He still won't sit still for very long to read a book unless he has to - he'd rather be up moving around and doing than sitting still for any reason.  (Even when he's on the computer, he's always moving.)  He also sometimes does things that make me wonder if his common sense flew out of his ear and took a vacation.  He is not, by any means, a genius in all subjects.  But there are some things, some pretty amazing things, about this kiddo that just blow me away.


ann said...

I've heard that sleep issues and depression can also lead to misdiagnoses.

Suze said...

You should NOT feel guilty. I'm glad he is doing so much better in school, though I have to say I'm not a mite surprised he's showing himself to be such a smarty :)
As for the not sitting still to read...well, my brother never liked reading much either until he was an adult. Sometimes even that takes a while.

Lydia said...

I remember Mrs.Allroro getting in trouble in second grade for not doing her math work in class. She was bored out of her mind. Also, she was diagnosed as ADD~and while sometimes common sense may have been lacking~she was in an honors fraternity in college.

ann said...

What is an honors fraternity?