It's time you know the truth about your child #homeschool #fca Family Christian Academy - great Home Education resources! Grade 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th high school, preschool, kindergarten, college prep, curriculum, testing, tutoring & more!I know you’ve been through a lot with your son and continue to struggle to understand.

I know you cringe inside every time someone wants to “talk to you about your child”.

I know you’ve searched for answers, tried changes with his diet, put controls on his video time, taken him for testing, put him on medication, and watched him struggle with a group of kids his age.

I know because I’ve watched your child for years from the outside, realizing his differences almost immediately and seeing them still as he continues to grow up.

Other people notice sometimes too.
But they may not know what I know.
I know there’s nothing wrong with your child.
In fact, everything is just right.

As your son is a friend of my child, I sympathize with your pained expressions, your bubbling outward optimism, and your acceptance of your child as different but valuable. I also admire you for all of those same expressions. I know it’s been a hard road for you.

I know the testing didn’t show your child at his best. Tests can give us valuable insights, but they can also fail us too. Tests don’t always tell us what we need to know. And some kids just don’t fit with some types of testing.

I know the teachers at school focus plenty on the distractions, the outbursts of crazy ideas, and the lack of focus during directions. I know your child loves reading. I’ve seen him devour books (even sneaking off to read while visiting my son) and though his teachers might enjoy that part, I know that pulling out a book at the ‘wrong’ time can bring criticism instead of admiration.

I realize that I may be overstepping my bounds. I know you may dismiss my idea as misinformed, misguided, or simply as none of my business. You can be frustrated with me, but I have a deep need to help you understand. You see, I was your child. In many ways, I still am.

His ‘crazy’ isn’t crazy, it’s excitement. It’s something called a psychomotor overexcitability and it’s actually quite ‘normal’ for some kids. His enthusiasm bubbles over when he’s happy or boils when he’s mad. It causes him to jump around, yell out of turn and always be on the move. It’s also often mistaken for ADD/ADHD. He’s not alone with this. My kids have them too. In different ways, but they’re still there.

Ask me how I know.

My psychomotor tendencies cause me to speak rapidly. You may have noticed a time or two when I spoke so quickly, sometimes maybe even on top of your voice. Maybe you even thought it was a bit odd. Even at almost 50 years old, I’ve been known to jump up and down excitedly from time to time. It’s actually quite a wonderful feeling, that ecstasy of happiness. But yes, it catches the attention of others too. And sometimes the looks I get remind me that not everyone feels the way I do.

I see your son’s intellectual overexcitabilites too. That kid of yours has had long discussions with me over the past few years about astronomy, video games, and England, just to name a few. They’re different kinds of conversations where he starts out shyly mentioning something with just a tinge of excitement, wondering if he should hold back or not. I’m always, yes, always happy to listen to him. I ache for him knowing that often others aren’t interested. He’s talks to me more in-depth than your average kid, and always with the excitement and attention that comes with knowledge and discovery. I’ve watched him pour over books trying to absorb every word. Sometimes an hour may pass by when I realize our sons are separate, but together, each absorbed in their own learning worlds. It’s okay though, they understand each other.

Ask me how I know.

My intellectual overexcitabilities can get the best of me some days too. These days my research is encouraged, and I’m lucky enough to use the balance of my homeschooling time to satisfy my cravings for more, more, more learning. Whether it’s researching neuroscience, blogging, running my gifted adults group, or learning Spanish with the help of Duolingo, I constantly feed my need to know. I’m lucky that I have the flexibility to do it these days. It was really tough for years when the constant rush meant no time for my mind. A blog post like this that needs to be done by tomorrow to hand to you about your son will invest at least 3 or 4 hours tonight. Those hours of focus are nothing for me when I’m committed. If it’s important, I could stay here all night. That kind of focus is rare, or so I hear. But, I’ve seen it in your son too.

Let’s talk about sensual overexcitabilities, often seen as sensitivities. Your child has them, I know. I know about the clothing sensitivities he’s had. I know how wearing his clothes backwards never bothered him a bit, but I also remember the trials and tribulations with the dreaded sock issues. I’ve learned to accommodate his preferences for certain foods and even bowls or plates when he eats with us. I’ve tried introducing him to different foods at our house, most unsuccessfully. I know these preferences are often seen as a child being picky, but I know how powerful sensitivities can be. I know how certain noises can send your child up the wall, and how other noises can truly be soothing too.

Ask me how I know.

I was that child irritated by itchy fabrics, I still sleep with a certain arrangement of pillows just to satisfy my own level of comfort. Loud noises, were deathly frightening for my own children when they were young, and I continue to find them uncomfortable as an adult. Though I’m able to hide my reaction (usually), I was often “a complainer” as a kid because lots of noises, lights, and textures truly hurt. I was also a “picky eater” being able to smell an onion a mile away, but if it’s any consolation, I’ll eat mostly anything these days.

Then, there are the emotional overexcitabilities. His kindness to my son has always been evident. They both play a game of, “What do you want to do?” always fearful of stepping on the other one’s toes. I’ve watched your son balance a tightrope of emotions wondering how much to show and letting loose at other times. Though they’re both around middle school age, stuffed animals still bring out the cuddly “aw” in both boys.

Ask me how I know.

My bonds with friends last forever. If you were, or are my friend, there’s almost nothing I wouldn’t do for you. It’s gotten me deeply hurt over the years, but it’s who I am and who I choose to be. But, not just people mean a lot to me. I’ve cried when a favorite tree was taken down and I still have some of my childhood stuffed animals.

Your son’s imaginational overexcitabilities pop up too. Sure, most kids like video games, but few can stay as focused, as committed, as invested, or as knowledgeable about all of the intricacies, and then use those to evolve play time into an adventure worthy of a story or movie. Gosh, I remember years of peeking in with our kids and Legos or other action figures. Though toys have been replaced by video as our boys age, I see them both continue to play where finding new skills means becoming more involved in the character’s ideas. I’m not sure about your son’s nightly thoughts, but you might want to see if any of this sounds familiar.

Ask me how I know.

I was that child who lay terrified at night of scary things, sometimes paralyzed in fear. I was often unable to separate from my imaginational excitability when I was afraid. I was that teen with the night light on and closet doors closed (because that way I wouldn’t see a figure of clothes come out of the closet). My imagination often ran away from me. These days, my imaginational overexcitabilities helps me look towards my ideas for education as possibilities, instead of mere hopes and dreams.

Secretly, I’ve felt a special kinship to your child that only recently, I’ve identified. Your child is one of my children in a way, one of a special group called ‘gifted’. There’s much more to giftedness than just a high IQ and many overexcitabilities. It’s a different wiring in the brain, and a more complex, intense, and driven way of thinking too. If you ever want to learn more to help your son, I’m here. I ache for the many kids who don’t ever really “fit in” , feel different all their lives, and learn that others just don’t understand.

Ask me how I know.

I just thought it’s time you know the truth about your child.

By Lisa Swadoba