May 13, 2013

Energy Energy... + an Explanation

Whenever people would ask me what it is like to have sons, I always replied instantly that it was fun but high energy! My oldest was a joyful handful of movement and motion, and though it was a lot of fun to experience, it sure was exhausting!

Well, apparently that energy wasn't coming from the simple fact that he was a boy. We learned this week that we get to learn more about ADHD, as Trent has both types - hyperactivity and inattention. It sure does explain a lot looking back on his seven years!

So what exactly is ADHD? The frontal lobe of the brain is responsible for attention and impulse control. In people with ADHD, brain scans show that the frontal lobe does not get as much blood flow as it does with people without the disorder. With less blood flow, it makes it hard to pay attention and control impulses.

Interestingly enough, negative consequences (such as time out) have no affect on blood flow in the brain. However, positive reinforcement has a very noticeable impact on the brain, visibly increasing blood flow to the frontal lobe. For this reason, we're being told to change our style of parenting to primarily positive reinforcement, as this will register with Trent as opposed to negative consequences, which wouldn't have an effect on him at all. We're seeing a huge difference when we follow this advice.

The other interesting thing we learned from talking to the psychologist who evaluated Trent was that  he stops paying attention when things are easy and simple, but pays more attention and performs way above age level when he is challenged. This explained to me how Trent pays the most attention and sits the most still for his grandfather, who loves to talk about very in-depth and complicated topics (science, math) for long periods of time and do challenging projects with him. (Love you, Dad!)

We've got a lot of learning to do - about academic tips, parenting tips, and even medications. But having a diagnosis for Trent makes it so much easier to understand the sweet child and to be able to parent him in a way that really helps him grow into the young man that God has in mind for him!

1 comment:

  1. You have your hands full- but all wonderful kids!