Don’t find fault. Find a remedy. ~Henry Ford
It is amazing how things can change in just twelve months. This morning as I looked at our online family calendar, I inadvertently clicked “November 2018”; I scanned the calendar, curious to see what I was doing a year ago. My eyes zoned in on the entry for November 8, 2018: Review C’s brain scan with Dr. C.”
My older son had started Neurotherapy a few months before, in July of 2018, and after seeing improvement in his focus and attention, my gut told me to set up an evaluation for my younger son. The evaluation involved placing a cap on my younger son’s head, attaching electrodes to various spots on the cap, and then scanning his brain waves and measuring various frequencies. The evaluation took about an hour and the hardest part was waiting two weeks to review the results.
I had sat in the doctor’s private office waiting patiently as she pulled open his file and sorted through the vast amount of paperwork that held the answers to my son’s erratic behavior, mood swings, and bursts of anger. I don’t remember exactly what Dr. C told me that day – something about an elevated theta/beta ratio in his brain, which reflects a less alert and more unfocused state as well as imbalance with his alpha and delta brainwaves – I only remember the sinking feeling and the catch in my throat when she told me my younger son had been struggling and suffering more than his brother.
We set an appointment for treatment which would be twice-weekly Neurotherapy sessions in the doctor’s office as well as the recommendation of an assessment to rule out learning or motor difficulties. It was a lot to digest.
I got in the car and grasped the steering wheel so tightly that my knuckles turned white. I held back tears; it pained me knowing that he had been having such a difficult time focusing and paying attention in class. I called my husband and shared the results. I remember being upset with myself, wondering why I had waited so long. Why hadn’t I done something sooner? I had seen the strides my older son was making in school, I held on to this, hoping my younger son would have the same results.
In the eleven months since my younger son started Neurotherapy treatment, he has done far less wandering around in the classroom, he is less anxious and is much calmer. The bursts of rage and aggression that were so frequent a few years ago are long behind him and he is taking the initiative to go out and be around friends. A few months ago, we had a professional assess his cognitive neuropsychological and academic strengths and weaknesses to determine how best to support him in school; the assessment revealed a diagnosis of ADHD-combined; it also showed academic performance one to three grades higher than his current 8th-grade assignment.
I went back to the family calendar and clicked on November 2019. There are zero entries pertaining to conferences with teachers regarding behavior in the classroom or meetings to discuss academic concerns. Instead, there are notations for my younger son’s water polo practice and games, Boy Scouts, and outings with friends. There are numerous entries related to my older son’s senior year: college application due dates, leadership responsibilities at school, and Eagle Scout related activities. They are both thriving this school year. I can see how Neurotherapy, ARFID-AR treatment, and encouraging them to self-advocate and turn their academic lives around.
Last week I volunteered to assist with senior mock interviews at my son’s high school. I was caught off guard when my older son’s English teacher told me how he had successfully led his team on their developing an “Escape Room” during intersession last month.
This past weekend, my older son and I planned to tour his first-choice college; on our flight to Southern California Friday morning, while he watched the movie he had downloaded, I settled into my seat, closed my eyes and thought about what our lives had been like before Lyme treatment, before Neurotherapy, and before ARFID and ADHD. I remember searching for the “why?” – I was desperate to blame someone or something for the challenges both my boys faced in the classroom: boredom, lack of interest, inability to focus, being unheard as well as ignored. Subconsciously, I had chalked it up to the fact that they were square pegs trying to fit in a round hole. I had believed that story for many years.
In the three years since my Mom died, I have stopped looking outward for answers, instead, I have turned inward; it was there I discovered the best way to help my boys: let go, trust, and love them, having faith that success and good fortune would eventually appear. This past year of treatment has unveiled our good fortune, and both boys are becoming successful on their own terms.
As I finished this thought, I opened my eyes and looked over at my son; he glanced up, smiled at me, and then went back to his movie. I smiled back.
Love, joy, and trust. In them and in myself, that was the remedy.