Monthly Archives: April 2024

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Eight and nine

Best intentions and all. I had the photos and I meant to write a post for Miss J’s eighth birthday.

She had a special outfit and everything because she had a fairy-themed birthday party at a shop called Fairyfields. She went as a rainbow fairy.

But I just… didn’t.

And seeing this isn’t a post that’s about me, I won’t digress. So, anyhoo…

Since prep, school has been a bit more… complicated. Her grade one teacher encouraged us to get her assessed for ADHD. To be honest, we were wondering the same thing as there were behaviours happening that made us think something was going on.

Juno now has an official diagnosis of ADHD – inattentive type. For her, this means focusing and staying focused on tasks is really difficult. She’s not hyperactive but sitting still can present quite the challenge. Too much noise over too long a period really, really distresses her. (Her preferred outlet for her distress? Screaming. Yeah, that’s an attention-getter.)

It’s not that she doesn’t understand what she needs to do but it’s more that the actual process of completing a task is utterly overwhelming.

For example, I know that to write a sentence I need to get a pen and piece of paper (or my computer), think about what I want to write and get the words out in the correct order. It just happens for me and I don’t have to think about it all – except for working out what to write – because for starters my brain is older and more practiced as this sort of thing – but critically, I have a neurotypical brain. I don’t get caught in the minutiae of detail required to write. I know innately what I need to do and I can easily stay focused on the task at hand. Well, most of the time…

But for Juno and her neuroatypical brain, all those steps are an enormous mountain to climb, especially for a young brain that’s trying to learn so many things all at once. She often gets trapped in the minutiae – like how to hold her pen, where on the page to start a sentence, what words to use to write down her idea, etc etc. She also has a strong perfectionist streak and wants everything to be exactly, 100 per cent right all the time. Not sure if that’s the ADHD or just her but it’s a lot for her brain to deal with.

Thankfully she had an amazing teacher in grade two who really got her and helped her enormously. The most significant thing her teacher did was make sure Juno has an individual education plan to ensure she keeps up with her peers and doesn’t quietly fall behind. The plan will be in place and updated until she leaves the school.

It’s a been a bumpy couple of years but we’re getting there. I think. It takes time to get a diagnosis and once you’ve got one, there are so many things to consider. Plans needed to be put in place to make sure Juno gets the best education possible. Without intervention, she would have just slipped further and further behind.

One thing I’m enormously grateful for is that Juno loves her school and she’s really happy there – to the point that she looks forward to getting back to school when school holidays finish. Hooray for small victories!

So, here’s two birthdays worth of photos. Make sure you scroll to the bottom… 😉

8th birthday outfit!

Now we are nine…