Peach State says: Do You Know What “NO” Means?
“I said “NO!”, “Read my lips…”, “What did I just say?”
All of these phrases are spoken on a daily basis to my 11 year old. What part of “NO” does he not understand? He peers at me with a freakish playful smile as his eyes dance with thoughts of what he will do next. This is not a sweet smile! I have seen that smile! He bounces like a “Tigger” having to be reminded of his every day tasks…he talks to himself and sings, badly, his little made up songs. “He can’t remember lyrics to most songs so he improvises…” Some days the noise level, mixed with the activity level, are just too much. “Do you know what “NO” means?” The annoying way he behaves drives me to the point I wish could just hide. “Can I just go back to bed and pretend that none of this happened?”. I could pull the soft cotton shield up around me and snuggle in, protected from the piercing ramblings of nonsense. There is no place to hide! The high pitched sound drifts throughout every corner of the house into my poor ears.
How many times must this simple little word be spoken? I understand that he is ADHD and that his mind is moving “faster than a speeding bullet”. He is worse than most toddlers in comprehension of this little word. He unplugs things and gives me that devilish grin and says “Oh…it’s plugged in…I thought it was stuck!”. “Really?”. He did this today with a new light we bought yesterday. Pretty little LED lights, that are motion activated, were placed in the hall upstairs and one in the hall downstairs. He was even with us when we bought them!
Please do not assume that I just don’t understand ADHD and the behavior children have with this disability. It runs in my family and allows us to be the people we are today. I have also worked with Special Ed. in a school setting giving me an insight into the diverse disabilities more severe than ADHD.
The laughter that dances in his devilish grin as he continues his morning routine is purely by choice. He knows what needs to be done…and yet..avoids following directions and requests… “Do you know what “NO” means?” I can turn to continue preparing my husband’s lunch and he will start up again. He just drives on, like the “Energizer Bunny”, spinning and stomping. Any noise that can be made must be made louder and repeated. He chooses not to follow directions…he chooses not to speak respectfully to adults at school and at home.
I remember dealing with my other sons when they were little. They are very close in age and the trouble they could find to get into…sorry…I promised myself I would not dredge up those memories. Balancing those three, very active, personalities was hectic at times. But moms just learn how to cope and teach at the same time. Habits were formed and continued! The daily shuffle became an orchestrated dance filled with love and laughter.
“Willful Refusal” is the term his teachers have used this school year. He chooses to act this ways and sees nothing disturbing about his choice. The hour long conversations fall on deaf ears and only tear the rest of the family down. “Do you know what “NO” means?”
We have tried it all…time out, sentences, loss of activities, grounding, loss of TV and computer. We even took the TV and computer from his room and told him they could be earned back. We talked with him and discussed the ways he could get these items back…and did he try…”NO!”
We feel like we are in a free-fall having lost the grip on the end of our rope! The doctors, he frequents on a monthly and quarterly basis, all agree it is his choice. I still see no changes and a downward spiral out of control. I desperately seek methods that will help him. He is a very smart little boy and has a creative personality. Any suggestions?