Mom Vs. ADD/ADHD

These past few weeks have been VERY trying.  Past few weeks?  Okay, past few years.  As my 2 youngest kids are aging, I am finding that we are struggling more and more with issues that are related to ADD or ADHD.  I’ve talked to their doctors about it before and they have said, “Don’t worry, it’s not that bad.” or “They’ll grow out of it.”.  As the years go by, I think they are growing “into” it, not out of it.  Some days, I want to string them upside down from the ceiling fan.  Just when I think that things are calming down and they are falling into their place in the world, my cell phone rings non-stop on a Sunday afternoon.  A Sunday HOLIDAY weekend, nonetheless.  How many principals call parents on the weekend?  I guess that is saved for when students leave faculty completely flabbergasted and they have to process what went down for 2 days before they can even work up the nerve to contact you.  But onward…

Since school started just a few weeks ago, I have received 2 phone calls about Bristol.  He’s 6 and the baby of the house.  Bristol seems to be quite the talker and he can’t sit still in class.  The teacher says that Bristol is so bad that he is distracting other students and affecting their ability to learn.  I guess the worst thing of all of this is that the teacher is leading me to believe that she thinks Bristol needs medicated.  I am COMPLETELY against medicating a child.  Surely there are other options?  Can’t I get control of the situation using another method?

This problem isn’t new and last year Bristol’s kindergarten teacher was constantly calling or emailing me.  The issues were the same.  “Bristol won’t quit talking” or “Bristol can’t sit still”.  Medication was brought up by the teacher so I offered to do some research and see what I could do BESIDES give him pills.  We tried putting him in running club in the mornings before school, hoping that he would run out some energy and he could focus the rest of the day.  Nope.  At the recommendation of their after school program director, we tried giving Bristol Mountain Dew before school.  Apparently, some parents will give kids with ADD/ADHD a shot of the Dew before school and the high amount of sugar counteracts with their already hyperactivity and it calms them down.  Nope, big negative there.  We tried making him spend more time playing in the evenings…. negative.  We changed our eating habits, their bed-time… so many things.  During the summer I crossed my fingers and hoped and prayed that everything would change when he went back to school but apparently everything is still the same.  Bristol still lacks the ability to focus, to sit still and he can’t seem to shut his mouth.  Now I ask, is this really ADD or ADHD or is this kid just bored?  What really bothers me is that we really don’t notice this behavior at home.  He plays and acts perfectly normal.  When we are out in public, we don’t have to worry about compulsive behavior.  So, what’s happening here?

If anyone has a magic problem-solving wand, please lend it to me.  First I will save all the homeless animals and then I will wave it in front of my kids.  And then possibly myself.  While I would like to give all the credit for hyperactivity and craziness to their father, I can’t.  I am the same kid that went to school in a dress and would hang upside down on the monkeybars with no underwear.  I’m the same girl who was constantly the prankster and class clown (still am).  I really was a monster although I never did anything malicious, just obnoxious.  Do I think I have ADD?  Yes.  ADD, ADHD, OCD, CSAFTD (disease that causes you have three kids) and more.  But do I think I need medicated for it?  Oh, I am medicated for it.  Interesting revelation.

And for those of you wondering what brought the call to my house on a Sunday… Paris (the middle child) decided that he would whip out his winkie and pee in a cup in class.  His justification?  He had to go to the bathroom and the teacher refused to let him go (he had already went numerous times).  He claims he was worried about wetting his pants.  Now, how in the HELL did he get the idea to piss in a cup?  This specific problem I CAN and WILL blame on his father.

Why does the first child you have always make you want to have more?  It’s like the worst con EVER.  You have that one amazing, smart and perfect child that is a breeze to raise, who never ever gets in trouble and who made you want to have lots of little babies running around.  Then you procreate some more and the result is these little demons that while they are beautiful, smart and amazing, they also are the biggest pains in the ass ever.

Inquiring minds want to know… comment on my blog with your thoughts on medicating kids for ADD/ADHD and also with your recommendations of things to try in an effort to avoid the meds.  Please!!!

 

 

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Posted on September 5, 2012, in Posts and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I don’t have kids of my own, so this may seem out of left field, but I dated a guy in college who “claimed” to have ADD and was on Ritalin. However, he claimed he only needed it when he was working because his work was so mundane that he couldn’t stay focused. The guy was the complete opposite of “hyper” or “outgoing”. He was in a fraternity which never turned a soul away and they hardly ever saw him (until he met this social butterfly [arrow pointed at myself]). Because Ritalin has been known to cause damage to the kidneys if taken for prolonged periods of time, he had to go in about once every 6 months or so and have blood work done (did I mention he was deathly afraid of needles?). I know there’s more medications out there other than Ritalin these days, but I don’t know if Adderol or any of the others potentially carry the same risks. I don’t know if you can have the teacher actually enforce anything – I don’t envy teachers these days at all. When we were kids, if you didn’t stop talking, you got sent to the principal’s office or sat in a corner by yourself, and it was punishment. You knew you had done wrong, and you had to face consequences (from the teacher, principal, and/or home). I admit I grew up rather sheltered, but I never remember having kids in the class that were labeled as “needs medicated”. I got in trouble several times for not being quite and not using my “inside” voice (I am a total loudmouth – always have been). But those actions were occuring when I was done with assignments, which led to boredom. It sounds like you are doing all the right things as a parent, and I think you should continue on that same route. Given the fact that you say he doesn’t display any of that behavior at home, I would be inclined to believe that ADD/ADHD isn’t the sole reason behind any of the antics at school. Completely my inexpert opinion based solely on my own personal recollections, of course!

  2. I get this from Zach’s teachers too. However, I think Zach has more Asbergers than ADD or ADHD, but it is possible it is a mixture of the three. I would research it all. The research I have done says that all can be affected by immunizations, but I believe more about poisons in our environment. Also, Zach is greatly affected by lack of sleep. I find he has to go to bed at 8pm (hes 8), even through he should really be able to function if he went to bed at 9pm. He is worst if he is getting sick, experiences a break in routine, there is stress at home, or there is too much nonstructure in school. Zach’s school is doing something ( http://www.bist.org/ ) called BIST. This is the website, and I see him understanding how to handle things better, and how better to communicate, which I see is a huge problem for Zach. He won’t speak up for himself appropriately, but acts out. Not sure if this information helps you, but it has helped me. He still has good days and bad days……I threatened last year if the school didn’t figure something out, I was going to home school him. Since the school gets money for attendance, they shut up…..really quickly!

  3. As a teacher my 2 cents would be….maybe a few unexpected classroom visits. Let the teacher know you are coming in to observe the behavior to better educate the child’s pediatrician. See what happens while you are there. A) if the child behaves correctly I would say it might be the classroom management of the teacher. Yes I am a teacher so don’t think I am teacher bashing. B) If the child behaves as the teacher describes, I would defiantely call the doctor and go in and talk with them. Meds. might be necessary. From a teacher standpoint, if the child is unable to focus and concentrate what type of education are they actually getting. I have heard of people altering their diet. Heard the Mountain Dew also, but I heard they needed to drink like an entire can, not a shot (not sure how much you gave them). I know meds might not be the first choice but I think visiting the classroom is a good one.

  4. I wasn’t diagnosed with ADD until I was in my forties. Looking back, my life growing up would have been so much easier and bettter if I’d received treatment. Not only could I not pay attention, I couldn’t collect, organize and synthesize information. It amazes me that I got through college and law school, but I know I could have done better with medication. Unfortunately, ADD had not been invented then, especially the kind that involves staring out the window daydreaming instead of bouncing off the walls.

    Talk to your pediatrician. Medication is not necessarily a bad thing to be immediately rejected.

  5. P.S. I’m with Kim. When I say “I know I could have done better” what I really mean is, I would have gotten a better educattion if I had been able to focus and concentrate.

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