Mudcat Café message #1608873 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #86484   Message #1608873
Posted By: GUEST,*daylia*
19-Nov-05 - 09:17 AM
Thread Name: ADHD- Ritalin
Subject: RE: ADHD- Ritalin
My twin sons practiced kung fu in the womb 24/7 for at least the last 12 weeks of pregnancy. By 7 months, they could crawl across our big living room and make it down the hall in about 10 seconds flat. And when they finally had the time to learn to stand up unassisted (at about 15 months), they never walked - honestly, they RAN!

Shoulda kept them on a double-header leash all those years, but at least chasing after them in two directions at once kept me in half-decent shape. They were like this double whirlwind from the moment their eyes opened in the morning till they dropped off in exhaustion at night. Running up a storm one minute, curled up sleeping on the floor the next - never seemed able to "nap" in the conventional manner. ANd the television just didn't exist for them - the only time Sesame Street ever caught their attention was when they were strapped into their high chairs (the only way I could get them to sit long enough to finish a meal).

Worn out and worried, I asked my doctor once if they might be "hyperactive". He asked me a lot of questions, and when he learned that they COULD sit quietly for half and hour or so when I'd read to them (which I did a lot, believe me - it was the only time I got a break!) and that they did quite often sit long enough, on their own, to work a simple puzzle or put a few lego blocks together, he said no. They were just "active", and not "hyperactive". No drugs, no 'therapy' - I'd just have to deal with it!

Well, I did that as best I could over the years, by getting them involved with sports as much as possible. I filled their days with soccer, swimming, skating, biking, skiing - it's the only way I kept my sanity. They always did fine in school though - and bY the time they were in their mid-teens they seemed to have grown out of it. 23 now, they are anything but "hyper-active".

I'm glad now my doctor was scrupulous enough to insist there was nothing "wrong" with them, to encourage me to give them a chance to grow out of it without putting them on heavy drugs. Can't say the same for some of the students I've taught over the years.

I remember teaching one little boy who was on Ritalin for years. Didn't seem to help him much - from his first lesson on, at about age 8, I had to spend about half his lesson coaxing him back onto the piano bench either from under it or across the room. HIs mom said the lessons were "good for him" though, even though his musical progress left a LOT to be desired - apparently she thought music lessons "forced" him to "focus".

HA! I think without my experiences with my own twins, I'd never have found the patience or understanding to keep 'teaching' (??) him as long as I did.

Funny thing is, it wasn't till he was 17 and taking his final month of lessons with me that I realized the kid had perfect pitch!   Working on ear tests (again!) one day, suddenly he started getting all the intervals correct for the first time in his life.

Stunned, I gave him a little test: "Turn around, close your eyes, and listen real carefully Peter ... what note do you think I'm playing?"   

Well, he got 10/10 on that "pitch test"!   And here he'd been testing my teaching strategies and trying my patience for SO LONG, flunking every ear test, in fact barely scraping through with passing marks on his playing too, for years!    :-O

He didn't seem much impressed, though. ANd I remember what his mom did when I told her, all excited after that lesson, that her son definitely had "perfect pitch", and asked her how / why he could have "hidden" it for so many years?

She just shook her head real slowly for a minute or two, and said "Go figure!"