Friday, October 07, 2005

Finally Gettin' the Picture

Nate has been having good days and then he’s been having bad days. Bad, bad days. His dad doesn’t have any hair but if he did, he would have pulled it out anyway. This is nothing new for me. For Jeff, its a trial by fire. Nate’s probably going through a growth spurt (G-d help us) and when that happens his Adderall becomes less effective. Adderall is a metabolic drug and is not dosed by weight. Problem is, since metabolism is difficult to gauge, its also difficult to gauge when the meds just need tweaking. Some of it is that Nate needs to be more self-aware, which comes with maturity. He and I discussed his hyperfocus, which causes him to get "stuck" on particular assignments and then he can’t get the rest of his work done. I counseled him on how to move past that "stuck" point, which I understand is very difficult but it can be done. Jeff doesn’t believe that Nate has anything other than a discipline problem. Or rather, he didn’t. The fact is, Nate’s teacher thinks the world of him. She said, "He’s brilliant, especially in math and I love having him in my class. He always has such a fresh perspective on things and I look forward to him participating in class. And he’s just such a sweet child. He really wants to do well, but he’s struggling." I asked if there was any stubbornness noted, since he takes that after his dad. Absolutely not, she said, "I’ve been teaching for 30 years and I know defiance when I see it. He doesn’t have a defiant bone in his body. He really wants to well and he tries so hard. We’ll continue to work with him." After I talked to him about the hyperfocus and of course Jeff had his say, Nate had a SUPPAH DAY yesterday. And that’s wonderful, but today may go to hell in a handbag. I guess Nate told his dad the same thing he told me, about getting stuck, and Jeff also counseled him on the consequences of getting stuck and that if he was aware of it, then he’s halfway to overcoming it. Jeff allowed Nate to watch TV yesterday evening before I got there. Jeff said, "Well, I figured if he did so well, then he deserved to be rewarded instead of me still coming down on him to finish his homework." *Blink* *Blink* I think Jeff is finally learning how to be a parent. I know it may not appear as such, but he’s got a huge soft spot for Nate. Jeff, at times, didn’t take the opportunity and at times was not given the opportunity to parent his other children. He sees so much potential in Nate and he wants Nate to have the opportunities that he didn’t have, like college. But, his ideas of how to get Nate there were ... not effective. I explained this to Nate, about his daddy caring enough to want to provide things that he couldn’t have and that’s why he was so concerned about him. I know Nate’s teacher laid it on thick to Jeff about Nate, especially the part about him not being defiant and I saw the mental shift in Jeff to understand Nate better instead of just believing he’s not trying and needs a heavier hand. The next nine years are gonna be... interesting.
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