Partly because I know she will hate to be highlighted 🙂 and partly because I think it’s an excellent topic, 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 …
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?
Here’s my response …
Come to think of it, I don’t know that we have ever specifically used the term “ADHD” with him. He knows that he gets extra time and frequent “movement” breaks and therapy etc because some of the things he does are not appropriate and we acknowledge that it’s hard for him to control himself. He knows those things are in place to help him but that he also has to try very hard because he will not get excused from doing what he is supposed to do. He knows that we have high expectations of him and he is not going to be given a pass. He is though, encouraged to let us or his teacher know when he’s having a particularly rough time with something.
We tell him that everyone has some things that are easier for them to do than others and if someone is having a hard time, it’s not bad to ask for help. I point out that I wear glasses because I can’t see things that are far away and that Jay gets speech therapy because he can’t speak well. I have told him that lots of people need help with all different kinds of things. The other day one student in his class came to school wearing sun glasses and wore them all day – even in class. I don’t know why and it doesn’t matter why but it was a good teaching opportunity. Ace wanted to wear his sun glasses the next day because he thought it would be cool but we told him he couldn’t because it was not a part of his school uniform. He wanted to know why the other student had been allowed but he (Ace) wasn’t. It was the perfect chance to remind him that not everyone needs or gets the same things. He got it.
I do think he’s old/mature enough now to put a name to his issues so this weekend I’ll tell him that there’s a name for what he has. I don’t think he will care much.
Regarding his meds … He’s used to taking gummy multi vitamins and even though he only takes the recommended dose each day, he takes them at all different times. Pretty much, whenever he remembers. He’s always been good about taking antibiotics when he’s sick but so far, all the medicine he has had to take have been in liquid form. The medication he’s on now, comes in a time release capsule that he needs to swallow whole. I explained to him that he needs to swallow it whole because it works slowly all day and he has to take it at the same time every morning so that it can help him at school. We obviously supervise his taking of it and yes, it’s in a child-proof container. I use the word “medicine” when I’m talking about it but he calls them his “brain vitamins“.
So basically, we don’t hide too much from him but we definitely try to keep the info as age appropriate as we can.
I don’t have any solid news yet on how the medication makes him feel or if they are making any difference in the classroom. I will write about it when I know more.
Thanks Michelle 🙂 … Love you.