B is for Behaviour
Definition in the Oxford Dictionary - the way in which one acts or conducts oneself, especially towards others
Behaviour is something that is paramount in children with ADHD and/or ASD.
Children with ADHD find it hard to control their behaviour and/or pay attention. An ADHD child will act without thinking, can display hyperactivity, and have trouble focusing and concentrating.
The expression 'live for the moment' sums my Little Man up totally. He has no thought process about what he is going to do, he thinks it and does it in the same moment. There are no 4 seconds between the thought and the action or 4 seconds after. He simply lives in the moment. After he has done something he can give you every reason under the sun why he shouldn't have done, or why it may have been dangerous, he completely understands, however, he does not have the thought processes to think about doing something, then think of the consequences, and then act. His brain is wired differently to ours.
Children on the autistic spectrum can display some challenging behaviours due to changes in routine, being over sensitive or under sensitive, being very tactile and needing to touch or place inedible objects in their mouth, hand flapping or simply having what appear to be tantrums through sheer frustration or violent behaviour.
Living with a child with one, or the other or both can be very challenging.
Many of the behaviours displayed though are a normal process of growing up, toddlers go through many stages, so at what stage do the alarm bells ring and you think 'actually this is not normal'?
A diagnosis of ADHD requires the following:
• the behaviour is demonstrated to a degree that is more severe than other kids the same age
• the behaviour appears before the age of seven
• the behaviour continues for at least six months
• the behaviour creates problems in at least two area's of life: home, school, daycare, playground
For us we knew from a very early age, at a year old, I was mortified when I collected Little Man from the childminder to be told he had taken to biting. She was very calm about it and reassured me it was normal and he was just discovering things and it would soon pass. It didn't. He didn't seem to understand being told off, he had no comprehension. From biting he moved to hair pulling, then pinching, then spitting, you name it, at some point he has had it in his repertoire. He could have almighty melt downs over seemingly small things - roadworks leading to a diversion - that took us about a week to work out, change in place at the table to eat, holidays. He was very tactile, he would start to stroke strangers hairs, anybodies hair. He would dive into buggies to kiss babies, he couldn't just sit next to you but had to be almost sitting on top of you. Despite all this, he is a very serious little boy, with a lovely sense of humour and one of the most loving, caring little men you could wish to know.
Behaviour has been hard, we are coming out the other side (for now) at the age of 9, he is learning boundaries, albeit slowly but he is learning. Over - learning is the key to everything!