Friday, March 11, 2011

ADHD? Fact or fiction?

This past summer, we took Blake for counseling and he was diagnosed with ADHD. The counselor said his was a mild case and she thought behavior modification would be helpful. We had to change some of the ways we talked to Blake, and some of our expectations of him. It worked... for a while.

Now his behaviors are escalating. He is an almost constant disruption at school, has been kicked out of "specials" such as gym and music because he can't control himself. Hasn't been turning in his work. Can't stay on task. Tries to manipulate the classroom rules. Lies. Doesn't have any close friends. Has behaviors that are "strange" and cause peers to shy away from him.

So what do we do? We are working on filling out ADHD questionnaires. Have an appointment with the pediatrician to discuss medication. As much as I hate thinking of medicating him.... I hate thinking of him having SO much difficulty in his life even more. I hate thinking of him not having a best friend... being shunned because he acts "weird".... not being able to focus on schoolwork enough to complete it, or complete it well. He brought home a rough draft of a paper he was supposed to have written last trimester (he didn't finish it and therefore got a bad grade in writing). He was having a rough day the day he did bring it home. He wrote his final draft and he changed a few things, a lot of things really.... the "final" draft was messier and more disjointed than the rough draft was. *sigh*

We have tried the behavior modification. Have tried watching his diet. Have tried getting him involved in things to help him burn off energy. But it's not working anymore. I am frustrated with him on a daily basis. He is VERY overwhelming, and when he's having a bad day is even MORE overwhelming (which I never thought possible until I lived it).

Do I want a bunch of advice on ADHD? Nope. Do I want to hear "you should do this...."? Nope. I was support. Unconiditional support that my decision is what is best for my child at this time.

I know some people think ADHD doesn't exist and that there are other ways around it. I challenge them to live with Blake for a few months. LIVE with him... 24/7... deal with his behaviors and his meltdowns and his attitude and his feelings of not being good enough. See if you can figure out why mac n cheese for dinner yesterday threw him off, but mac n cheese for dinner last week was nothing major. Why he will act like a perfect gentleman one day, and an out of control bull-in-a-china shop the next.

The speech therapist at my school gave us an analogy of children with austism. I think it works well with this situation as well. Children with autism are just like other children. They can do the same things. They just need to be programmed differently. Just like if you compare a Mac and a PC. They are both computers... they can both DO the same things... give the same outcomes.... but they have very different operating systems and have to be programmed in different ways.

Our job is to learn Blake's programming language so that we can teach him how to be successful. Will meds help? I have no idea. But if they do, I am going to give praise. If they don't... at least we tried. I need to try, for Blake's sake.


Tonia said...

When I first saw the title of your post I thought, "oh great, someone else who is going to go off about how it's really the rest of the world and all the chemicals in the world and blah blah blah." Crap. But of course when I read on I felt like I was reading my own story. Everyone has to make the decision of how to handle/face ADHD for their own family. YOU all have to live with each other and no one else does. So, you go on and trust yourself. You're the mom and you deserve the respect that any expert in her field would get. You and Mike are the only true experts in the field of Blake. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Jo said...

Thank you Tonia! It is no surprise to me that you would be someone to give that unconditional support that I so crave :)

Waiting on the insurance company to approve the meds the doc wants Blake to have. Jumping through hoops... and hoops... and hoops.

Ah the things we do for our children.

Love you, T!!