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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Example of Processing Disorder

Jacob has been taking a natural supplement to help him sleep for the last few years called melatonin. Without it, he will be awake all night long. At this point when I request him to take it, Jacob can find the correct bottle, read the label and can take one tablet with water.

It's 8 PM at our house, time to wind down and get ready for bed. The boys are arguing with each other, at the same time Jake is worried about not going on the end of the year school field trip. Over the kids voices, I say "Jacob, go take your melatonin". I'm pretty sure he heard me as I said it loudly over the boys voices. The brothers continue to argue, and Jacob walks into the kitchen and sits down at the kitchen table. "Jacob, go take your melatonin", I tell him once more. Jacob continues to sit on the chair looking straight at me with no response to my request. After I wait a few more minutes, I demand, "Jake, did you hear me? Why aren't you taking your melatonin! Get up and go take it now! Are you listening to me?"

Jacob slowly walks into the connecting living room and sits on the couch adjacent to me. With his head down he utters "because I'm so confused" he utters. My emotions go from angry towards him, to feeling terribly guilty. I realize, this poor kid has so many ideas running through his brain he can't process and execute what I was telling him. He's not being defiant, he just can't do what I asked. I immediately put my arms around him and said "I'm so glad you told me that your confused, I'll go get it for you".

Originally I believed that my son was just being defiant and wasn't doing what I had asked him to do. Can you imagine how many times he is being perceived as being difficult or unmotivated (at school in particular). He has been accused of this quite frequently. Also, can you imagine how frustrating this must be to Jacob as well, being yelled at and getting in trouble for not listening? It is unusual to be so verbal and express that he is "confused". Normally he wouldn't say anything at all, or just get angry.

This is an example of brain processing. Upon taking in information, it gets lost along the way. My wish is that teachers would read this post and have some bells going off.

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