How To Deal With Behavioral Disorders Within The Family

It was truly difficult for all of us when we learned the truth – me, my husband, our firstborn and second born, and maybe, even more for our youngest child. You see, we always knew that he was special. He is the baby of the family and we never really noticed “signs” in him that he was different. We just accepted the fact that he was “late” in everything; late in learning how to walk and to talk.


My brother was like that when he was younger, and look at him now – a big shot notary public in New York. Seeing the same things on my son, I just said that being late bloomers run in the family. He can hear, and he can talk. My son also acknowledges us and is an adorable boy. I guess for our family, that was enough. His teachers in school, though, had something else to convey.


The Playschool Teacher Said He Was Too Inattentive


I mean, all children are inattentive, right? Can you pinpoint a 4-year-old who will sit down on his seat for 3 hours straight while there is a class? No, there is no such child. A robot boy may be able to do that, but not a real boy. There is nothing wrong with my son even if his playschool teachers say that he is often inattentive, lacks focus, hyperactive, and speaks gibberish. They are too judgmental, that’s what I thought back then.


My Son’s Nursery Teacher Said The Same Thing – Super Hyperactive


It was getting a bit annoying already for my part since the Nursery teacher also told me that my son was “too hyper.” She was asking me things like – do you give him chocolate at night, “does he eat a lot of sugary foods,” or “is he always on the gadget.” Seriously, why is that any of your business? She even suggested that I bring my son to a neurodevelopmental pediatrician. And so now, she says my son has a mental health illness because I need to bring him to a devped. I just smiled at her, but my insides were boiling. I get it now. “The stigma associated with mental health disorders and one of the biggest barriers to both seeking treatment and discussing mental illness with others. The stigma often manifests as social distancing, whereby people struggling with mental illness are often isolated from others.” Katie Hurley, LCSW was right with that.


It Happened Yet Again With The Kindergarten Teacher: Your Son Can’t Focus


Lillian Harris LCPC-C  sais, “So much of mental health work is about giving people a space to be witnessed and held while sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly of human life.” He is just six! Does he need to “focus” much on his lessons? Preschool is about fun, games, and play. Why do these teachers make a class for kids so technical and boring? But what the Kindergarten teacher told me drove me to bring my son to a neuro devped. 


“Mrs. Dee, I will help all I can with your son, Michael. But if he doesn’t cooperate with me in class, and this is due to his hyper activeness and inattentiveness, I can’t give him a grade. No grade means he will have to repeat Kindergarten unless you bring him to a neuro devped. The doctor can suggest ways to curb Michael’s hyperactive mood, inability to focus or learning how to attend to his lessons for more than five minutes.”



The teacher was firm, and so I had to do it. All along, they were all right. His Playschool teacher, Nursery teacher, and Kindergarten teacher were right. My son had ASD with some signs of ADHD. This is the reason why he has issues with learning. He has developmental delays and a behavioral disorder.


The Truth Hurts But We Had To Do What’s Necessary


The neuro devped said that our son had to undergo several therapy programs – Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Educational Therapy. He also suggested that as a family, we do Family Counseling. This is to help all of us understand my son’s condition and to smoothen out whatever issue we had on the matter.


My older children cried when they learned of their brother’s disorder. If you ask me about my husband, well, he kept on saying – my son is not developmentally disabled. It’s not easy to accept, and yes, there are times when their patience with him is tested. Having a son or brother with ASD/ADHD is never easy, but with therapy and unconditional love, the problem will be surpassed.


Improvements After One Year Of Therapy


“Managing these negative behaviors often becomes a full-time job for parents.” Kara Tamanini, M.S., LMHC said. It’s been a year now since my son was first diagnosed with ASD/ADHD. I decided to pull him out of the traditional school setting and enrolled him in a special educational institution for kids in the spectrum. The process is tedious as we all had to help him with the treatment even at home. But yes, there is progress.

There is a significant improvement in his behavior, and in part, I thank his therapists and therapy programs. Family counseling also paved the way for all of us to get closer. As for my son maybe, just maybe, he will grow up to be a high-functioning ASD/ADHD adult. My ultimate fear is for him to rely on his sisters when I am gone, but at least now, I see a glimmer of hope.