When you have a child, you have many expectations. When they begin to develop skills ahead of time you have hope that they will lead a much better life than you have had. When genetics throw roadblock you wonder what went wrong.
My oldest son has battled ADHD since he began school. Seemingly simple things like sitting still, learning the required skills and even some peer interactions were a struggle. Usually a happy child, my oldest would have mood swings. For a time he was on medication just so he could function in the school system.
But gradually things began to change for the better. By fifth grade we dropped the meds completely although nightly homework was an unwelcome fight most evenings. Spelling is never going to be his strong suit, thank goodness for spellcheck on most computer programs.
My youngest is completely normal (well as normal as any boy can be anyway.) He loves cars, draws and enjoys reading. School is easy for him, along with all of the social aspects of life.
My oldest has hated reading, hated the fact that sitting still and looking at squiggles on the page represented words and ideas his mind did not process well. Based on sound and what he saw, his world could be described and recited, not written. It’s a hard fact to swallow as a parent to know that your child is above the status quo in some areas but lacking in others. I spent years in teacher meetings, going to the classroom after the day was over, sitting and explaining why he had to learn to do this, and screaming when I was screamed at. The last didn’t happen often and it made more of an impact as 90% of the time I faced his temper with absolute calm.
The strangest thing began to happen last year. Normally I am not a fan of endless hours of video games, the boys were limited to an hour or two a day, but I noticed a sudden interest by my oldest to the popular Call of Duty games. The interest in this first-person shooter led to my son, who never liked to read, searching out every book in the school library on WWII along with a few other boys in the class. While not huge books it was progress.
Two years later, my son walked into my house with Hunger Games tucked under his arm. He’s a slow reader but he is getting through it a page at a time. He is reading his level, something that I had always worried about. Given the choice, he’d rather have an audio book, but if it catches his interest, he will read it to the end.
Last week I announced to my boys that I was participating in NaNo and while looking at the website, we found the Young Writers portion. They both jumped at the chance to write a novel with me. I can’t even express how excited and proud this has made me.
After fighting an uphill battle for years, my son is finally on the winning side.