|Children's Hospital, Boston|
After an almost unbearable eight-month wait, Christopher finally had his neuro-eval at Children's Hospital. Yay! Hopefully we're moving in the right direction for a long-term solution now. I hope so at least.
The appointment went well. Christopher met with the therapist for about two hours and I met with the behavioral pediatrician. I told the doctor all about Christopher's history as well as the issues that have brought me to Children's.
Once the discussion ended, the doctor told me that she recognizes that Christopher's behaviors are probably not typical ADHD simply because of his trauma background but that he may have more of a ADHD *like* scenario going on. I agreed that his background plays a huge role in Christopher's life today. He won't sleep in his own bed, he has irrational fears and he worries that I will give him away when I get mad at him. But that's not the behavior stuff I want addressed. I can manage those things myself. I want to address the ADHD-like stuff because that's what's keeping him from integrating well into society. I hope that came through in our conversation.
I think it's possible to have an ADHD diagnosis in addition to all the trauma stuff he has had to work through. It's tough to unravel everything going on with my little guy, I'm sure. But we need to try to see each piece on its own, as much as we can.
A RevelationIn going through the questionnaire that I completed, we discussed the concept of "food hoarding". I said that Christopher has been known to hide food ]behind pillows and to sneak into the refrigerator when I'm asleep or taking a shower. He will also pick up random food and drinks off the street and try to eat or drink them, with me running after him, yelling for him to drop it. It's gotten to the point where I lock some treats in my car to keep him from sneaking them (or else I just don't buy them).
I never really thought about these actions in the context of his history but apparently they stem from the fact that early in life, Christopher never felt certain that he would get fed. A child who is chronically hungry develops a primal fear that he or she will never have enough food. They learn to eat whatever they can, wherever they can find it or they stash it away...just in cse. Thus his actions are the sad result of early abuse, neglect or deprivation. Well that just kind of breaks my heart. I can assure you though...this little guy wants for nothing now. He just needs to be able to accept that.
Next StepsI go back on September 26th to discuss Christopher's diagnosis with the behavioral pediatrician and therapist. I'm looking forward to hearing what she has to say and to figuring out how we could best treat my awesome little guy so that he's a happy, healthy, well-adjusted kiddo.
This Was Random...
When we were leaving the hospital, all the sudden I heard from behind me, "Christopher?" I turned around and there in front of us were Christopher's last foster parents. They live three and a half hours away so the idea of running into them at Children's Hospital in Boston is completely shocking to me and obviously even more so to Christopher. (They were there getting some treatment for their grandson.)
He didn't recognize them at first and when they reminded him who they were, I could tell he didn't know how to take that. He started acting out. Running around the lobby. He climbed on top of the Information Desk and just acted a bit out of control. He wouldn't speak to the former fosters. I decided I needed to get him out of there because hey, it had been a long day (3 hours of evaluation) and now he was going to deal with the emotions of his last placement. It was too much. So we left. I asked Christopher if he wanted to hug the former fosters before he left and he said no. That's pretty telling because this kid hugs everybody. I didn't push it though and left it up to him. At that, I said goodbye to the fosters and we left. Christopher calmed down as soon as we got outside and has been calm ever since. I haven't brought up the former fosters and won't unless he does.
And with that now we wait for the next step. So stay tuned. More to come!