Over the last few weeks, we’ve started to have some problems with Nathan’s behavior. He’s nearly constantly spasmodic, highly argumentative and prefers to communicate in grunts and growls over words and phrases.
To be fair, there has been a whole hell of a lot that has changed in his world over the last month:
- He has a new brother.
- Robin is staying home full-time now. And, as a result, we took Nathan out of the pre-school he had been attending since he was two.
- Realizing that having Nathan around the house all the time is a bit too much, we enrolled him part-time into a new pre-school.
- He turned five last week.
That’s a lot to handle for a small kid. And, I realize that this alone is sufficient cause for all the weird behavior that has manifested itself recently. But, there’s something more in there. Something that I can see coming. Eventually, I’m afraid all of this shall pass and what we’ll be left with is ADHD.
The tell-tale fluctuations between zero focus and hyperfocus on certain things is definitely there. Nathan is currently obsessed with Wild Kratts and is in “creature power suit mode” all day long. That one’s not a biggie. Every kid that age has an obsession like this. For me it was Star Wars and Star Trek. But, just as I think I took my obsessions just a little too far when I was that age, I can see the same happening here.
Nathan can get so hyperfocused into something that the world disappears. Forget trying to talk to him when he’s in that mode. He simply can’t answer. But then, just as quickly, he’ll stop that thing and run off into a manic frenzy of activity. Forget talking to him then, either. He’s moving to fast to answer.
Of course, so much of that can also be attributed to being five years old. So, I can overlook all that to a degree. Where I really see the ADHD planting its seed is in the communication.
I realize that part of the grunting, etc. is regression due to Hayden being in the house, but the growling (which grows more frequent) is due to pure frustration. He’s having a hard time putting what he’s thinking into words. And, since this is my biggest problem, I know that it’s likely because his mind is moving too fast to string the sentences together. He may have already moved on to the next thought while his mouth is just now trying to expel the last one.
Where it really gets bad is conversation with me. I have a terrible tendency of trying to finish people’s sentences when they pause. It’s because I’ve already finished your thought for you and have moved on to the myriad ways your idea could go as we begin to talk about it. And, of course, I’m guilty of doing the same thing to Nathan when we talk.
Since we both are likely formulating five different ways that the conversation could go, he understandably gets frustrated when I throw a monkey wrench into his thought process. Then the Hulk rage comes.
I really do hope this is just a phase of his age and that he won’t exhibit any other concrete evidence of ADHD. It’s just a nuisance that I would rather he not have to live with. He had his 5-year wellness check-up last week, and my wife brought the ADHD concern up to Nathan’s physician. She thinks it’s just a phase but knows that I take medicine for ADHD. And, because of that she’ll help us watch for other signs.
Until then, we’ve just got to keep trying to make this new normal something that’s not so jarring.