He’s possibly the smartest person I know. It’s joked that he’s one lab accident away from super-villain status. That’s not what worries me about my son aspiring to be a scientist. What’s got me wringing my hands is that the current practitioners haven’t solved his greatest challenge. To a father, that seems a conspiracy to sabotage my pride and joy.
Seeing Past the Barrier
My son has never gotten less than straight A’s – until the term just ended. The change was swift, progressive and painful for both my family and the school. His principal, several of the teachers, and now his pediatrician believe Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) will ultimately be diagnosed in his case. To be clear, I’ve written of ADHD before – in fiction. This is way too real. For months it’s tested me. Family, educators and health professionals have helped throughout months of search, confusion, delay, frustration and anxiety – summer brings renewed hope.
To obtain diagnosis and treatment isn’t simple. Both psychiatrists and psychologists are involved, batteries of tests, unfamiliar coverages, pre-approval processes, and limited access. The parties are disjoint, and access is limited. Here’s what I mean: Pursuing over thirty referrals, plus numerous other leads, I was losing hope. Providers were not covered. Others excluded minor patients. Most never returned contacts at all. Stakeholders lost patience. It’s been three months and may take many more.
Another parent opened up about their son’s similar difficulties, wonderful practitioner and positive results. I feel both indebted and fortunate that this doctor returned my calls, was able to accept a new patient and schedule sessions for both components of the help my son needs. These specialists are busy – we won’t be seen ’til July and we’ll be working through this when school resumes.
Someone dear to my family also has a young son with a different learning disability. She has become an advocate and school volunteer for the issues surrounding her son’s condition. I don’t know what opportunities for such activism by a medical layman exist in my case. Nevertheless, I know in the long run my son will get help. He need not have his big educational dreams derailed. We have been changed by his struggle, and that is always an opportunity to grow through some form of service.