I wrote this post two weeks ago, today I went to watch my son’s end of the year chapel and he sang a beautiful solo part with his school choir, which brought tears to my eyes! He handed me his honors diploma, he received one every marking period, and his report card which had his total year GPA of 3,7! That motivated me to go back to this post and write this paragraph and hope some of you can follow my journey, understand my steps and actions and use some of fruit of my research and information here to bring healing in all areas of your child’s life! Would love to hear what you think!
Love the book that changes the acronym of hyperactivity labels into high spirited and others, because that is how I feel about my energy and how driven I am to do things! I thought a lot about writing this post and the urge I felt to share my findings and results with my own son, after posting some of my findings on one of our Facebook page, some moms asked me to share more and I decided to write this very personal post.
To start this story, I wanted to share milestones I am proud of, like starting to speak at age 6 months, reproducing beer brands from all over the world on my dad’s beer bottle cap collection at 18months, singing American songs by heart without ever having a single English class, being fluent at 12 after my parents enrolled me for 6 years in an exclusive English School…..I knew things that were never taught and could not explain and normal life was boring and not interesting…….now my not so proud moments, I have always show very clear signs of hyperactivity which disappeared with time; I will shed light on when I was 3, my mom shared, I waited until our maid set the table and slowly threw all the plates, cups and silverware outside 9 glass, fine china and silver….I was a flower girl and when I arrived at the altar, I threw the pillow and rings up in the air, the guests spent 1 hour looking for the rings in the endless Catholic church with yellow marble floor! I used to throw eggs when I was 7, on a nearby car repair shop when they painted a new car and left outside to dry! My mom used to lock me for a few minutes hoping my bursts of imagination would stop and she could take a break, I learned at age 5 how to open the locked door from the inside with a hair clip and a piece of paper to catch it and bring it in…the list goes on and on, nobody takes medicine, or used to take medicine for ADHD and parents used to cope with children’s behavior. Give the child love and patience. I heard my mom upset so many times that I decided to change my life!
I decided early on, I did not want people complaining at me, so started I channelling my “imagination”, lack of focus on mundane things on focus and imagination on productive things, since 1st grade I was the number one student in my class, graduated high school in second on GPA scores and graduated college valedictorian, without grades lower than A+, which gave me 2 diplomas from one of the most prestigious universities in my town, a town as large as Philly! By age 19, I could speak four languages fluently, was versed in many subjects and could discuss intelligently about any current event.
Let’s fast forward, I had my son at age of 35 and he became the center of my life, from 3 jobs and hectic schedule and living in a large city in Brazil to housewife in a NJ suburb, with no official job, no goals but raise my beautiful child. My restless mind focused on learning and sharpening my language skills, on totally changing my home and giving my baby all my love and attention, not in necessarily in this order. I joined mother’s groups, attended church regularly, made friends…..bought everything under the sun to make my son’s life a paradise and shelter him from frustration. He had a playroom which looked like a toy store, still does!
Early on, I noticed the signs, he would not play without going crazy on other kids and the sentence ask Lucas to keep his hands to himself became preschool mantra! Don’t get me wrong, he has always been showed these symptoms in a very mild way, and would obey if called to attention, different than me! I also noticed the lack of attention which did not help academically…so instead of labeling I did what I knew best, I thought, if I changed myself, I can help my son. I started reading about alternative therapy and I came across Dr. Legoff’s Lego Theory, who ironically happened to be my neighbor and my friend. His theory is known all over the world and he developed a clinic where children were treated by playing with Legos, so they became our best friends! Slowly he showed signs of improvement and he became more and more skilled on the Legos, by age 5, he was building very complicated, large box of Lego cars and houses, which I know I could not put together! I also learned music and math also help, so I enrolled him on private piano and later guitar lessons, which he also showed skills and talent, today, he plays Vivaldi like an adult! He also joined Children-song Choir which helped him build confidence and perform in front of an audience, which is great!
When he turned six, I discovered a magic ancient art which helped Japanese people develop their famous patience and focus, Origami! I downloaded videos and bought kits and my son’s journey through origami started. I would not push, he asked for more paper and for more videos and books…..Today, I will be sharing his newest origamis, he is able to fold very small complicated patterns! Result: he went from struggling in kindergarten to honor student and has never looked back!
I read that in the West Coast only 5% of children are labeled with ADHD and on the East Coast the number is 4 times higher. That amazed me! Those labeled children are medicated, sedated in many cases and that was not an option for my son! I have not had an aspirin in 7 years, relying on medicine is not something I like and embrace in my life!
Reading has always been my passion, every person with focus issues should read a lot, it helps acquire focus, so I am an avid reader and Barnes and Noble and Amazon are my best buddies! My son acquired taste for books, which are considered treats, equally important as toys!
I also did a research on diets and foods which trigger the hyperactivity like red coloring in food, processed foods, too many carbs and sugar and have tried to change his diet, still a work in progress.
Do I still struggle and read all I can to help him in this journey? Absolutely! Do I get frustrated to have to deal with some issues after teaching 100+ kids, sometimes, but seeing his progress and assuring him, he is smart and will succeed in everything he tries, has been my target and we have succeeded so far, no meds, no labels…..just love!
I am not an expert in this subject, neither am telling moms to get out of medication nor not have their children evaluated in this post, I am sharing my story, how love, patience and daily work has changed my and my son’s life! His babysitters and teachers praise his behaviour and his academic performance is a clear sign that he is where he should be!
I hope my story will help other moms going through the same or similar issues. I know the end of the tunnel is bright! I am an accomplished business owner, I am fluent in4 languages, understand 8, I have travelled all over the world, am married to a wonderful man and have the most beautiful child a mom could ever wish! If this outcome is the result from being a person with severe ADHD 9 which I believe I was born with and self healed), then I will accept it, embrace it and thank my mom, above all else for my success! Beijos, Mae! (Kisses to my mom!)
I wanted to share some of my favorite resources:
There are thousand of origamis videos on youtube, search and you will be amazed
ACMOORE and other craft stores sell kits like Foldthem with paper collections.
Here is a link for a great book:
Here is a link for a great paper collection!
There is a great program in South Jersey which teaches, using Legos! Bricks 4 Kidz!
Here are some of Lucas large origami collection I keep in his room!
I also highly recommend Karate which helps with focus, discipline, respect among other benefits. He takes lessons at Champions Martial Arts in Turnersville.
Just some reflections I wanted to share with you all!
Business Owner, Mom, Hyper by Nature! LOL