Wednesday, September 17, 2008

To tell or not to tell

Rich and I sometimes disagree on how much we should tell people about Noah and his "challenges." I tend to be more forthcoming than he is.

Noah started a new season of soccer the middle of August. Rich has been taking him to practices which are Wednesday evenings. I usually meet them at the field to get Kiel so I can take him home and get him ready for bed, while Rich stays at the field with Noah.

Last week I stayed for a while so I could see Noah practice.

Noah is a pretty good player. He's not afraid of the ball and sticks with it. Truth be told he's probably one of the better players.

He's also aggressive, too aggressive. Especially for this age. And he's impulsive.

Last week he started wrestling with another kid. At first it looked like they were playing, then it got more intense. And then they were fighting. None of the coaches were paying attention. Finally Rich and the other dad went and got them. Apparently Noah got in some good hits to the other kids face.

Today at practice Noah went running away with the ball twice.
The first time Rich went after him. Then Rich decided he'd had enough and he took Kiel home, and I stayed. The second time Noah ran with the ball the coach ended up going after him. Noah took him on quite a chase. It was actually pretty funny. I couldn't help but laugh, in part out of embarrassment in part because it was truly pretty funny. The family sitting next to me thought it was hilarious. They kept saying "look at him go" and laughing. I'm actually laughing right now as I think about it. It really was hysterical.

And then twice he got himself in trouble pushing other kids. Once both boys were put on the sidelines to sit it out. Once I took Noah and put him in a timeout next to me.

After the practice I spoke with the coach, Coach Yvonne. I asked her if Rich had said anything to her about Noah and she said no. So I told her that Noah was on the autistic spectrum and that he struggled with impulse control, and that he had ADHD.

She was so relieved that I told her this. She told me that last week some of the parents had complained to her about Noah's aggressiveness. So we talked a bit about how she thought we could handle it and when she wanted us to step in.

She said several times how much she appreciated me telling her this.

I don't really get Rich's aversion to telling people about Noah. It's not like I want to tell everyone we meet, I just think that there are people that interact with Noah that deserve to know. For their sake and for Noah's.

How do I make Rich more comfortable with this?



  1. It may be more that he doesn't want people to look at him differently. I think going with the truth is the best option here. It can make things easier on Noah if people around him understand a little more about his background. As opposed to just thinking he is a punk or a troublemaker. He doesn't need yet another label. Tell Rich (if you haven't already) that you told the coach and that she was very receptive and appreciative and that you think this is the way to handle any new endeavours in the future.
    Do you know Jo, over at Tangled me? Her son has issues too and I think he is a bit older than Noah, she may be a wealth of info for you. You may already know that, just trying to help out a bit. She may have been through a lot of the same things you are going through.
    Talk to you later!

  2. I think it is best to tell at least part of the story to people involved with our children. My daughter has ADHD, I always let her teachers know about this after the first week or two at school. I want them to get to know her without the label of ADHD. Once they know her, I can then discuss her learning style with them. I don't tend to tell her sport coaches as she nevers has focus problems at practice, only at school.

  3. That is a really tough call. On one hand I can understand not wanting Noah to be labeled. But on the other side, sometimes his actions will need an explanation so he isn't labeled as "bad". If it were me, I would say it is as a need to know basis.

    I think with any other parenting type disagreement, you need to sit down with your partner and hash out the pros and cons and come to some sort of understanding. Both need to be on the same page.

    Now that I said that, I have to tell you I am the pot calling the kettle black. Hubby and I disagree on a lot of things, and although we try to do it in private, sometimes the kids know who to come to for certain things. In our house, the hubby is known as the "underminer"!

  4. That is a tough one.. I will be praying for God to guide you in this one.

  5. I have no idea on this one, sweetie. But I have every confidence you'll figure it out and help both Rich and Noah deal with his issues.

  6. YEP....everything that deb said-would be my response too...

    My middle bean was adhd(I say was) and we had to inform people that he came into regular contact with...we felt it was our responsibility as parents,he was so aggressive-he had a teacher once that made him wear a dunce hat and pull his desk to the center of the classroom(the desks were arranged in a huge circle) needless to say after I found out andhad my say about the situation she was quickly removed from the school...he last words to me were "If I had only known" my last words to her "IT SHOULDNT MAKE A DIFFERENCE!"

  7. I think this is in part the differences in how men handle things and how women do. We are the talkers, the communicators. I don't know how to make Rich more comfortable addressing it with non-family members, but I'm sure he will see how much smoother this will do know that you have.

  8. I'm visiting for the first time from ICLW.

    I work with Autistic children and teenagers on a day to day basis and in my experience the Dad's find it a lot more difficult that the Mum's to deal with. For a lot of Dad's I think it is just hard to understand.

    I always recommend to the parents I have contact with to tell those that feel they need to know and then tell them the support your child needs, but also point out the strengths of Noah and the positives of him having autism and ADHD.

  9. *new reader* I can see why you would want others to know about Noah. I, personally don't think there's anything wrong with it. I am always very forthcoming with information on my children when it comes to coaches, teachers and such. I think it makes everything easier. My husband thinks I am too informative, not sure why. I pictured him running with the ball and was cracking up! That's great!
    -D *ICLW*

  10. It's harder I think for men to deal with issues like that. My husband is adhd and we discuss it with other openly. He's a teacher and he really likes it when the parents let him know not because he needs to treat that child different it just helps him understand them.
    I'll keep you in my prayers.