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Simple Projects Are Not That Simple

One of the many struggles my 13 year old has is that he cannot remember things from school. Things like a project is due next week or that he has a test coming up. As a result of this, I will get notifications usually a day or two before a project or assignment is due and he has to cram all his work into only a few short hours. Operating his homework this way can be a struggle.

He does not like to take a long time completing tasks at all, so working on a large project over many days typically exhausts him and gives him the negative feeling that it will never be finished. Leaving it to the last minute means that it will be worked on during a very condensed (but stressful) amount of time, giving him a quick sense of accomplishment. Both ways have their positive and negative effects.

We have had a switch in paediatricians as his regular doctor we have been seeing since he was 7 years old just recently retired. We will be meeting the new doctor at his next check-up appointment in March. His current doctor recently increased his ADHD medication as he continues to grow and hit puberty and his daily life can be a struggle for him as well as others around him.

Earlier this month, we made the trip to Calgary to the Children's Health Center to the Autism Clinic for a formal assessment. At this time, the doctor we saw concluded that my son is not Autistic and does not exhibit traits of someone who has Asperger's syndrome or even on the Autistic spectrum. This came as quite a surprise to us as we have been told by teachers and specialized aide workers at school for years that he is Autistic and needs a formal diagnosis. While this may come as a relief to my husband and son, it baffles me and leaves me struggling to know what exactly will help my son in school and his daily life as he grows older. She recommended DNA Genetic Testing. I still am confused as to why, but I am hoping someday we will be able to find some tools to help my son as he struggles. All we know right now is that he exhibits ADHD behaviours and that is what he is currently medicated for. His medication right now does help his behaviour to an extent and for that we are thankful.

In the meantime, we carry on each day as we have in the past and fall back on what we have learned by working with him as he grows. Last night, we spent an hour and half building a Plant Cell Model project that was due today in his class that he was supposed to be working at home on all last week.

It was hard on both of us, but we got it done and he was able to take it to school to hand in on time, which is a very big deal for him. Typically we don't even know projects are incomplete until after the due date has passed. This morning all I could do was cross my fingers that his clay model made it to school unscathed so his teacher can mark it for him.

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