Henry Essay Sample
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Henry is my only son. He is seven years old now, about to turn eight. He is an extremely busy child, because he has been diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). The three main qualities that Henry exhibits that a lot of other children do not are: impulsivity, hyperactivity, and failure to pay attention. Henry is very vocal, fidgets all the time, gets up from the dining table and runs around the house during dinner, can’t keep his room straightened up, and a myriad of other symptoms. At the same time, Henry is extremely imaginative, creative, and sensitive.
My husband and I didn’t fully realize the scope of the problem until Henry went to school for the first time at age five. Reports began to come back in from, first, his teacher, and then the principle, that Henry was having a lot of trouble paying attention and staying still and quiet in the classroom. We were alarmed though not surprised, since Henry showed this same kind of behavior at home. We love him deeply but he is hard to manage!
When he turned six, we took him to a pediatric psychiatrist who specializes in working with “problem children.” (By then we had done enough research on our own to have at least partially diagnosed Henry ourselves.) He observed Henry over the course of several sessions, and finally gave his diagnosis of ADHD. He explained that there were several treatment options: behavioral therapy, changing his diet and his exercise/play time, and finally, medication. We opted not to try medication just yet, but to try all the other things that the doctor recommended.
Among these was to try to make the home setting as tranquil and uncomplicated as possible, and to impose schedules and structures into which Henry could try to fit. This required us to adjust our own schedules and structures, and to try to keep the house tidier than we used to. (Both of us tend to be kind of sloppy, but that was not serving Henry.)
Luckily, we have good insurance that has covered all of Henry’s psychiatric treatment so far (twice a week sessions), and since we are not opting for medication just yet, there have been few added expenses. If there were, we would gladly pay them because we love Henry so much.
Henry is obviously quite a handful, and writing this paper reminded me that I will likely encounter many children who are like him, who require special attention. I think I had better learn more about ADHD and other childhood disabilities. Not all “special needs” kids end up in the “special needs” classes—instead, they appear in regular classes. I was a little surprised that the parents opted not to give this child medication, but if I really think about it, I can understand some of the reasons they might not. I was reminded that kids with ADHD can actually be extremely creative, and probably very productive, if given the right environment in which to work and play. I think I would like Henry, even if I found him very challenging to deal with.
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