Time for another update, I guess.
The question of trip vs cartwheel has been resolved. He did trip, but he got overly dramatic and silly and exaggerated the fall. This is something he does regularly, makes a big crazy show about a little stumble, he thinks he's entertaining us and that it's funny. We don't think it's funny. He does it anyway, because HE thinks it's funny.
What he did this time, was catch himself with his hands, use them as a plant, and kicked his feet behind him. To an observer, it would look like the start of a cartwheel. But it was really even more powerful than getting kicked by a cartwheel, because it really was a kick
So really, now that I've thought about it, it's even worse
than deliberately doing a cartwheel knowing a young child was too nearby.
And unfortunately, it has nothing to do with keeping "gymnastics-type activities" at the gym, or not doing martial arts, because it was neither of those. It was pure goofiness. Done at a completely inappropriate and dangerous time.
So it's still a complete lack of impulse control, lack of recognition of danger, etc etc, which would be expected of a normal 11-year-old when playing near smaller children. So, yes, "accidents happen", and if it was just a weird, freak accident, we wouldn't be having this thread. It was an accident that shouldn't have happened. It's like saying someone had a car accident when driving 100mph down a city street. It was "just an accident" but they shouldn't have been driving 100mph in the first place!
In hindsight, we have all agreed that the kids' running around should have been stopped earlier. We were naive. I think we all had a bit of that "it can't happen to us" foggy vision. The kids have gone crazy many, many times before and there was never anything more than minor bumps and bruises common in childhood. And we believe in the "free range childhood" ideas. Kids running around, laughing, giggling, having a great time together... sounds great, right? There's no doubt that we SHOULD HAVE known better, as intelligent adults... in hindsight. At the moment, we really thought that a BAD accident like this was out of the question.
He and I have had some very good, productive talks since then. And some good outcomes and results. And some really, really bad days, with lots of yelling and frustrations and him seeming to understand one minute and be completely 'reverted' the next minute.
He has made a craft as a gift, and a nice card, and we will hopefully go visit tomorrow and have him entertain his cousin -- who, by the way, bears him no ill will, and actually said that he was sorry he'd hurt my son's foot. Now there's some empathy my son could learn from. *sigh*
In the meantime, I've made the initial contact with the child psychologist I was previously referred to by a local autism connections organization. I don't know how long it might be before we can get an evaluation, but the process is started at least.
He absolutely is not allowed unsupervised with other kids, and he's had a whole bunch of fun activities he was looking forward to, suspended. Including a friend coming over for a sleepover before he goes back to school next week... not going to happen.
I have seen that he does feel very, very bad about this. But he does try to hide it, even from himself, and I think he forgets very quickly. He is still too easy distracted back into silly fun craziness, without 'sober second thought' about past consequences. So even though I know he has the best of intentions, he simply does not have the control. This is one of the signs of ADHD, of course.
I had been hopeful that he would 'grow out' of the worst of it, especially with better management at home. Much of ADHD 'treatment' is all about management, anyway. And he HAS gotten better. As he's gotten older, the explosive tantrums have all but disappeared, and he CAN focus on something he enjoys, and the difference in his gymnastics training is really starting to happen.
But obviously, it hasn't been ENOUGH change just from what I'm able to provide for him. The time has come where I need more help, in order to help him. Me constantly screaming at him and bursting into tears over the hopelessness of it all, is helping none of us.
And no worries about thread hijacking. It was still on-topic about dealing with exceptional kids and I found it interesting.