“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.