Thursday, November 1, 2007

Out of Focus

Before I begin writing on my topic, Out of Focus, I just wanted to let you all know that our computer problems have now been taken care of and hopefully we won't have any of the same issues in the future . . . Yeah!

The other thing I wanted to say is that I'm sick with my second cold in as many months. It seems like I just got over one virus and now I've got another one, and this one is worse than my last one. My vitamin regiment is supposed to be helping my immune system become stronger, but it doesn't seem to be working too well . . . I'm beginning to feel like I did two years ago when I was diagnosed with Microplasmic Pneumonia. I was the sickest I've ever been in my entire life. I lost 7 lbs. in 5 days and was basically useless for an entire week. It wasn't pretty. The doctor informed me then that due to my bout with this particular pneumonia, I would be more prone to getting it in the future. Oh joy.

My plan of action is simple: sleep.

That's my plan; however, I'm not doing very well following my plan.

Such is the life of a mom.

Now, on to the topic of the day regarding focus . . . My son, Mitchell, began talking in complete sentences at an early age. I really don't remember him not talking. As a baby, he was a babbler. As soon as he could say "Hi", he said it to anyone and everyone he saw. And once he figured out how to put words together, he began talking in sentences. Eventually, conversations with a toddler using big words for a little-boy body began to occur. I admit, I enjoy conversing with him. Usually. Of course, there is a time and a place for everything, and sometimes his talking gets out of hand. That's when his talking becomes known as excessive chatting.

This excessive chatting has always been, and I suspect will always be, a problem for him with regards to the classroom setting. Unfortunately, much frustration has been created for Mitchell's teachers due to his gift of gab. And as of tonight, it's pushed me over the edge as well.

Let me explain.

For the past two weeks, Mitchell has brought homework home approximately 6 out of 11 potential school days; the reason--his chatting. I'm sure of it. He seems to have the idea that school is primarily for socializing and the learning is just something he has to do because, well, it's a school. And that's what schools do. They teach. Or in his case, they attempt to teach.

My son is smart. While his report cards do not reflect him to be a straight-A student, I do believe he has the potential to be there. And why he isn't there is simple: he can't focus on his work because he's too easily distracted by his desire to talk. Or drop a pencil. Or get a new eraser out of his pencil box. Or use the washroom. Or smile at the girl across the row.

Attentional difficulties run in my husband's side of the family. While the only member of the immediate or extended family to have an official ADHD diagnosis is my stepson Thomas, there are definite signs that many of Wayne's relatives suffer with attentional issues, Wayne included.

When Mitchell entered Kindergarten I was convinced that within a month or two of school, his teacher would be sending him for an ADD/ADHD assessment. However, that was not the case. In fact, Kindergarten was one of his best years. So, with each passing year, I prepare myself for "the call" from the school, announcing their suspicions that Mitchell has ADD/ADHD. (I'd say it's more ADD than ADHD). But so far, nothing. And at this point I'd actually be surprised if any professional were to give him an all-inclusive ADD diagnosis. I think it's more of an attentional issue as opposed to the all-out ADD.

Wayne and I don't want to have to resort to medication in order to assist in Mitchell's attentional difficulties. But I have heard that certain vitamins and herbs can help kids remained focused, increasing their ability to pay attention. Mitchell currently takes a daily multivitamin as well as an Omega supplement, but if you have any other methods to increase concentration and focus by way of a non-prescriptive formula, please advise.

So, another question to you is this . . . do any of you have children that have trouble focusing on their school work in a school setting, and as a result, come home with more homework than you as a parent can handle? I'm not sure why, but the amount of homework he's brought home (as a result of his chatting in class and not using his time wisely), is beginning to concern me. And getting him to focus on it at home after he's been at school for 6 hours already, has become a huge power struggle for he and I. Today was particularly challenging. And I was a bad mom and raised my voice at him over the fact that he wasn't focusing on the task at hand. Right now my head feels like lead due to my cold, and having to supervise Mitchell as he worked through three grueling pages of math homework for at least an hour just kind of pushed me over the edge.

I don't want to make this issue bigger than it really is. I've spoken to his teacher about his strong desire to chat the day away, but it seems that since that conversation, the amount of homework she's sending home for him has increased. Tomorrow Mitchell gets his report card and next Thursday is parent-teacher interviews, so I guess I'll just wait and see what the teacher has to say about all of this, and whether or not she's got some suggestions to improve the situation.

I hope this post made sense. Like I said earlier, my head feels like lead and I just want to go to sleep.

I look forward to hearing back from any of you who can provide advice on my unfocused child.


Becky said...

Sorry Kim, I don't really have much advice. I'll think about it though. I don't know very much about herbs and things that you can do at home to help him pay attention at school. I'm assuming you have talked with the teacher about this and some possible solutions or I would suggest that...


I'm praying for you. It's hard to be patient at the best of times, and way harder when you're sick.

stacey said...

kimmy, i am in a rush but i will try to email you some thoughts this weekend. hopefully, they will help!!

Kristy said...

I'm sorry your not feeling well!
We have gone through this as well - one thing we did for awhile was to take my son off dairy and wheat......that was hard. We took him to a naturopathic physician and after testing him, that was what they came up with. We noticed HUGE results. He could focus better, he and his sister had way less arguments even !
I still stick to the diet, for the most part (I try !) but since he's homeschooled now, I can deal with it..........
Praying for wisdom for you in this situation.
okay - now you've GOT to come visit my blog.......

Carol said...

Getting your son to say focused...that's a hard one. I know how you feel. Matthew (my 7 year old) has an ENFP personality - he's all about having fun and not doing work. So trying to get him to read or practice his spelling words is BRUTAL at times. He'll last for maybe 5 minutes and then he's bored and productivity grinds to a halt. I haven't tried anything in particular with him yet, but I've noticed a change with David, my ADHD child, in taking Omega 3 vitamins. It took several months before I really could tell we were getting results. The mornings getting ready for school (before his medication had kicked in) were the worst - I couldn't get him to focus on anything. Now he can get himself ready and isn't really distracted, which is a big change. We pick up our Omega 3's in a big bottle from Costco and he takes 2 a day (one in the morning and one at supper). I wish I had more words of wisdom. Hang in there!

Amy said...

Hi Kimmy, could you please let me know if you are getting my emails? I've emailed instead of making comments because it was kinda personal. I know life is crazy and it's not that I expect you to answer my letters, but I just have a feeling I've sent them to the wrong email address. That's why I am asking.

You've been on my heart and definitely in my prayers a lot lately. Sending you a shoulder to cry on if you need it and a big hug to let you know how much I care about you!