Thursday, July 12, 2012
Some words about medicating children
Joe has been doing so well..so much better than last year...I'm so pleased and I know he's feeling so much better and is so much happier!! It's truly amazing, he is a different boy. So much of this is due to FINALLY figuring out the real issue for him...a change in medication and BAM!! He is fun to be around and truly able to enjoy his life! I am one who thought ADD and ADHD were so overly diagnosed and never thought I would approve MY children being on medication. Well, I think sometimes Life likes to play tricks on people....giving them the challenges they are the most judgmental about. Matthew was diagnosed with ADHD when he was in second grade. He was on medication until Jr High. For him the benifits outweighed the side affects...though we realized the terrible temper tantrums and his sudden anger were probably due to the medication...wish I'd have been smart enough to realize that! But medication for him meant he could actually do his school work, without it he would daydream the day away and get absolutely NOTHING done. Well, lucky for him (and for us) we stopped medication during the summer before Jr High and he was so much more happy and so much less apt to "lose it". We decided to try school without it. He struggles, especially with homework, but, he manages. After having the first three do so well in school it's hard for me to see those C's and even D's a couple times on the report card but...his happiness is worth it. Now Joe....he was also diagnosed with ADHD and with ODD (oppositional defiant disorder) in kindergarten. That first year of school was seriously one of the most stressful times for me. I really felt like a failure...my son could not sit with the other kids and was constantly in trouble. The principal even threatened to suspend him (kindergarten!!). He would get so violent and would be so angry ALL the time at school. We went to counseling where I would basically feel that the counselor was trying to teach me how to parent...again feelings of failure. In first grade we moved to a new school. It was the greatest year...this school is so much more equiped to work with kids with behavior issues. It was a better year all around. 2nd grade was a nightmare year. Joe was back to being in trouble ALL the time.....but this time I felt the school was trying hard to HELP him learn to cope and learn better reactions. But, it was still so hard.....then we had a break through with our psychiatrist!! I was explaining to him that the things that would set Joe off into a raging HULK anger outburst were mostly when other kids were not doing the things Joe thought they ought to do...if they were not where they were supposed to be, if they were not following the rules, if they were doing anything at all he found out of "order" he would have a complete break down....He was constantly upset with others, so you can see how being in a classroom of 7-8 year olds could be very hard for him. I could actually SEE something click in Dr Bob's head....he said "so many times kids are diagnosed with ADHD, but that may not be the problem at all". He told me he thought Joe suffered from OCD and Anxiety issues....we changed his medication and it literally was overnight!! He is not "cured" but he is happy more than he is not when it used to be the other way around. He is learning to cope with his "need" to find order where there sometimes is none. It's interesting how I can now see some of these issues of his now that his anger is controled......like the time Hannah was wearing a dress she usually wears to church and he could not get past the fact that it was a church dress and we were not going to church. I ask him if this really affects him in anyway and he can sit back and think and realize it's going to be okay if she wears a "church" dress on a weekday. I've ended up going on and on and on here but it's been on my mind so much......and then tonight at a Relief Society meeting one of the older sisters in our Ward (church) came up to me and said " I saw your cute little redheaded son the other day at the childrens museum". She told me how he came up to her and said "hey, I know you! You go to my church!". She told me how she asked him if he was there with his family and he told her he was there with his daycare. She then said "He gave me a big hug! It made my entire week and made me feel so good!!! I just wanted you to know that." My heart felt so full of love for that boy!! It's those times, those moments, when I think "he's going to be okay!"