Saturday, November 27, 2010
This was an assignment Josh did for a homeschool writing class. In addition to the ADHD, auditory processing, and sensory processing issues, Josh struggled with social nuances. Some of Josh's struggles he understood and could identify. Other symptoms left all of us baffled, even Josh. I'm glad that even at this young age Josh knew he was smart and strong, so some of my truth messages were getting through to him in the midst of his challenges. It's interesting to me that "I know karate" made the positives and the negatives list. Knowing karate was good for Josh, in that it provided an outlet for his excess energy and helped him develop coordination and self defense skills. It also allowed him to be part of a group sport, but one that was individualized so he could progress at his own pace. Knowing karate was a negative for Josh, because as soon as other kids found out he was training in martial arts they asked if he was a black belt and then wanted to take him on. Josh was never aggressive, so demonstrating his karate skills outside of class was not appealing to him. One of the first things most boys do in social settings is talk about their favorite sports teams and the sports they participate in. Josh was more interested in drawing and creating things than in sports, so he didn't have much to talk about other than that he knew karate. This led to the inevitable challenges to prove his skills, which Josh did only when he absolutely had to for self defense. Even then, he ended the confrontation as soon as he could. This homeschool flashback provides a snapshot of a young boy's emerging self perception. Teaching him at home gave me the opportunity to help him develop a balanced view of himself, which is revealed by this writing assignment as he recognizes some of his strengths despite huge challenges. By the time Josh reached adulthood, he had a mental list of positive and negative things about himself that was accurate and realistic.
Monday, November 01, 2010
I consider myself to be a pretty good problem solver. I think things through, consider various angles, and make my decision based on the known facts at the time. I no longer wear contact lenses, but when I did I had a case to store them in. If I was on a trip and forgot my contact case, I would buy another case and probably pick up some contact solution since if I forgot one I'd likely have forgotten the other. When arriving at a hotel late at night when most stores are closed, upon realizing my omission, I would have been stumped as to how to store my contacts. Then I probably would have wasted a few minutes mentally berating myself for forgetting such an important item. Finally, I would conclude that I needed to head out again in search of a Wal-Mart that was open 24 hours in order to buy my needed supplies. Eventually I would come up with a solution, but not without feeling stressed and frustrated. This type of experience is very different for my outside-the-box thinking family members. In fact, they so often forget things that they take the forgetting in stride. They look for the simplest solution, and don't sweat the fact that they don't have exactly what is called for in the situation. With contacts, this has led to some interesting situations. Once my daughter and my husband both remembered their contact cases, but not exactly where they had set them down. In the morning, both complained that they couldn't see very well once they put their contacts in, and suddenly realized they had inadvertently switched lenses with each other. Another time, after a late arrival at the hotel and a carry-out dinner consumed in the room, I was cleaning up and throwing out trash. Just as I was about to toss out a pair of plastic spoons, I noticed they were aligned in a way my family doesn't typically take time to do. A closer look revealed that the spoon bowls had a liquid in them, and each contained a contact lens. My husband (who has ADHD) had forgotten his contact case, but when he discovered he had left it behind he just looked around for something handy and usable. Recruiting the two plastic spoons into a duty they were not designed for but suited his purpose, he popped his lenses and contact solution into the spoons and carefully set them aside. I guess his problem solving worked great, with the only real issue being the danger of his uninformed wife on a cleaning fit tossing them into the trash. In the end his creative thinking solved his dilemma, took little time, and caused him no stress. Makes it kind of hard to claim that my more traditional methods are better than the atypical ways of my family.