life on the "j" train

Taking a "busy working mom with 2 special needs kids" life one moment at a time

ADHD – What I don’t want for my son May 3, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — the jay train @ 8:45 am
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ace in tree

 

“ADHD is an insidious demon. It demolishes your self-esteem, renders your dreams to shreds, and leaves you broken, bleeding, and alone. After enough time passes, after making the same mistakes over and over, you begin to believe the whispering lies.”

 

I didn’t write that, nor can I remember where I read it, but I do remember it was written by an adult with ADHD and I do remember feeling like I needed to hold onto those words.  They scared me.  I do not ever want my son to have low self-esteem.  He got a little taste of it at the end of kindergarten and it made me sad for him.  Luckily we got over that pretty quickly and we haven’t been down that road again.  Yet.  I do not want my son to feel like his dreams are unattainable.  I do not want him to EVER feel broken or alone.  I don’t want him to think that all we see are the “mistakes” he makes and the “trouble” that he gets into.  I don’t want his entire life to be about “no” or “be quiet” or “stop that and sit down” or “what is wrong with you?”

 

Ace’s behaviour in school is not getting better but the bigger issue is that as the school work is getting more difficult, he’s having a harder time staying focused enough to complete his assignments.  He can do the work.  He knows the answers.  He’s given extra time as a part of his 504 plan, but he’s still not able to complete his assignments in time and therefore his grades are suffering.

Also, it’s hard for him to control his impulses.  Even with him going to the Boys & Girls Club after school (he’s LOVING it by the way) and burning a ton of energy there, we still get reports of him doing things like climbing on the book shelves in the school library.

At home things can get just as treacherous but we’ve been lucky that all he’s had are a few bumps and bruises.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I know kids get bumps and bruises.  I got lots as a kid and CC and I have said that you didn’t enjoy your childhood if you didn’t get a few scars along the way.

But there is an extra wildness to Ace.  An out-of-control, haphazard, carelessness and unawareness.

That’s just not safe.

 

Taking into consideration all the things we hear from his teachers and therapists and doctors and all the things we know to be true, we have agreed to try him on a low dose of ADHD medication.

CC and I talked and thought and agonized long and hard over this.  I haven’t been sleeping well and my stomach has been in knots.

 

I have heard the horror stories.  I have read all the reasons not to do this.  I have seen the “anti-drug-companies” documentaries.  We have tried (and continue to try) Occupational Therapy.  We have tried changing his diet.  We have increased his physical activities. There have been accommodations at school.  There have been punishments for bad behaviour, rewards for good behaviour and a combination of both.

 

This was a difficult decision and one that we tried not to make.  But in the end, we want to give our child the best possible chance to live a happy and safe life and we agreed to this medication with one singular interest … What’s best for our son.

If we see ANYTHING that REMOTELY looks like a bad side effect, we will stop.

 

 

*****

To my dear sweet Ace, I hope you never feel like we are trying to change you into something or someone you are not.  I hope you never feel like we just didn’t want to do the work of being your parents.  We really LOVE your exuberance and excitement about life.  All we want is for you to be happy and healthy and we will do whatever we can to make you feel comfortable in your own skin.  We want YOU to be able to make your own choices about the things you do.  Not for your body to take over and then leave you picking up the pieces.  We wish for you an inner calm.

If this helps, then I am sorry that we took so long to come around and I’m sorry that you spent so much time struggling unnecessarily.

 

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10 Responses to “ADHD – What I don’t want for my son”

  1. Lisa Says:

    Hugs. I know that the decision is agonizing. For my boys, it has been, mostly, a good decision. I hope for the same for Ace. Since Jake has been medicated, his grades have improved…and he retains more. Both boys have more control. I pray it all works well.

  2. Michelle Says:

    What a hard decision you’ve had to make, and it’s great that you’ve taken your time over making it, as it’s such a big one. I’d be really interested in what ACE says about it? How much does he know about ADHD and why he gets extra time in class, therapy etc? Will you tell him what the medication is for? Don’t worry if you don’t want to answer these questions, it’s just he’s not a little kid anymore so how much do you tell him?
    xxx

  3. Andrea Says:

    Awww!!!!! Deenie you are going to make me cry now. I do not have to ask or think twice if you love your family caz it is very evident. No one understands what you and CC go thru with Ace and Jay and although there might be other parents with children with ADHD every experience is different. It is hard for you to have made that decision but at the same time it is not fair to sit by and watch him struggle when you know that he can do the assignments and get better grades. I pray that there is no side-effects to the medications that he will be getting and that you will find the appropriate answers to the questions that he mite ask. Stay strong honey. Have a blessed, joyful, fun-filled, adventurous, well rested and happy weekend Deenie,CC, Jay and Ace. 🙂

  4. Ann Kilter Says:

    We made the decision to give medicine to Will when he was in the upper elementary grades and middle school. Ritalin did not work for him. You may have to try one or more medications. Just be forewarned. But we did decide to stay away from the neuroleptics. There was a point at which we stopped his medicine. He seemed to grow out of it, or other things helped him cope. My nephew was on Ritalin for a short time. Then my brother and his wife switched him over to coffee. If Ritalin works because it is a stimulant, why not coffee? For his son, it was helpful.

  5. […] I have decided to make a post out of questions that my cousin Michelle asked in response to my last post. Here’s what she wanted to know […]

  6. I hope you are feeling some more peace about this now. We started medicating our son at age four. Four! I felt like the worst parent ever, but it gave him the relief he needed to live in his own skin. It was absolutely the right thing to do at that time. He is med free at this point and though I will never take medicating my child lightly, I certainly see it as one more tool in my tool kit at this point that I will not hesitate to explore if need be. I look forward to hearing more.

  7. One of the things I really appreciate about my son’s doctor, is that he reminded us, when we decided to try meds for our son, that it was a trial. We started on a low dose, and once there were no bad side effects, we bumped up the dose a notch. Unfortunately for my son, the stimulant meds jacked up his anxiety and frustration before they did anything to help his ability to maintain focus. So, we tried a different medication. That trial lasted less than a week. My son became suicidal. The beauty of short acting meds is we were able to stop them right away and have the side effects subside. Unfortunately again, the side effects of the non-stimulant meds made my son feel so not himself that after one miserable day, that was the end of that. After several weeks from start to finish (a few months actually because we took a small break), the meds trial was over for us. I will always be glad that at least we tried.

    I so wish that meds had helped my son, if only a little bit. School is such a miserable place for him. He struggles academically because he has dyslexia, and because it’s so hard to maintain focus. He’s not too hyperactive, but needs breaks.

    I hope you have more success. I have a nephew that is smart as a whip; but because he couldn’t stay focused, finishing tests and his work in school was a horrible challenge. After he started on meds, all of a sudden he was not only the first one in the class to pass in test papers, but he was getting A’s. Made all the difference for him. He’s just finishing high school this year and just got into one of the most prestigious fashion and design schools in the country.

    Good luck!

  8. Brinabird Says:

    It’s obvious you only want the best for him! The decisions you have been making as a mum none I think have been easy and I respect you so much for what you put into it!

  9. […] Ace didn’t last a whole week on the medication.  He got too emotional.  He cried at the drop of a hat and at the park one day he hit a kid who […]


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