View Full Version : The realization of ADD in my son


Kenzie
09-13-17, 08:52 PM
He's my son. He's a boy with a lot of energy. He's a boy who loves sports. He's a boy who would rather wear Nike clothes and shoes than slacks and a dress shirt. He's a boy who doesn't enjoy homework. He's a boy who doesn't like to go to school. He's a boy. Can we all just remember that he's another child and not label him 'the boy with ADD' or 'the boy who can't sit still in class' or 'the boy who can't remember the directions in class'? Because above all his unique tendencies is just another child trying to fit in with his classmates.

(For security purposes I will call my son, James)

If I were to say that I never questioned why school was so difficult for James, I'd be lying. It kept me up many nights. Many tear-filled nights. It started back in preschool. The teachers told me that he would randomly stand on his chair and start singing songs. Or he'd prefer to stand during circle time rather than sit. He'd sometimes wonder around the room, stopping briefly at one station to play with a car then over to the window to look outside then over to wash his hands. We didn't think much of it then.

Kindergarten was a good year. Lots of outside play time. He'd get into fights though. And still wouldn't sit in his seat but he wasn't AS spacey.

Then came first grade. The first time a teacher mentioned the words to me... I think your child should be seen by a doctor and evaluated for ADD/ADHD. Flabbergasted, I gazed at her with angry eyes, 'He does not have ADD/ADHD, maybe you just don't know how to teach!' If I could go back in time, she deserves an apology. Because, she was the first one who had the courage to try to help him. Me? Well, I did what many mom's would do in that situation. I ignored her, discredited her experience, and switched him to a private school to get 'a better education.'

First grade, new school, fewer classmates, new start! Or so I hoped. Things went great at first. James was shy but seemed to be fitting in well and making friends! He was joining sports. He was doing better with school/homework. The teacher praised on him. I felt so confident in my decision to change schools. The extra money, it seemed, was worth every penny. The first two conferences went good. She did make note that he didn't like to it in his seat but she made him an area in the work section where he could stand to write. She was trying to tell me something, I could tell by the way she was avoiding eye contact and kept reiterating that he was a very mobile child. I didn't ask anymore questions. I didn't want to hear the words again. He was doing good at school at that was good enough for me.

I never stopped to think about what was best for James during those conferences. I never wanted to face the fact that he was different than the other kids. But it was a realization I was headed for whether I was ready or not.

Entering third grade, he was already labeled 'jumping James' due to the fact that he was always jumping in his chair or off the wall or while standing in line. Third grade was the year that the blindfold had to fall off my eyes. His teacher, Mrs B, called me one day after school. She told me that she knows he's having a hard time focusing in class, his grades were slipping fast. She wanted to see if I would be ok with her having a special teacher come in to work with him. I could not tell her no for wanting to help, so I agreed.

The special teacher helped a little but not much improvement was made. Mrs B was now messaging me every day with updates on James. Simple things sometimes, 'he keeps wanting to balance the chair on the back legs during instruction, he sharpened his pencil 11 times, he keeps talking to himself while we are working, he bounces in his seat...'. I would just respond 'I will talk with him, Thank you'.

He started bringing more homework home. Like, a lot of homework. It was then that I got more of an understanding of what the teachers were going through. We would be working on a math problem and he'd look up at me and say something like, ' remember last year when we went to the water park? That was fun!' 'Yes, James, of course I remember but let's focus on this'. He'd grab his pencil and swirl it around on the table staring at it. He'd bounce in place and refuse to sit down. He'd suddenly remember that he forgot to put his bike away last night and HAD to do it now. It wasn't him just avoiding doing the work. He simply could not focus on it. Homework that should have taken twenty minutes was taking us three hours.

At his final conference of third grade, Mrs B laid it out for me. 'I know you love your son. We do too. But, you have to help him! He is struggling, by struggling, I mean that he is suffering. Hes old enough now that not only are the other kids noticing that he has a problem, but he is too. I've worked with other kids that have ADD/ADHA, and I'm not a doctor, but please...Take him in and talk to your family doctor about all of his behavior. He needs you to do this.'. I sat there dumbfounded. She was right. She was completely right. I cried more sitting on that hard, red, plastic chair than I ever have in my life. I've been making excuses rather than solutions and he's taking the hit for it.

After doctor appointments and counseling sessions, it was confirmed that he has high level ADD. I tried diets and exercise with him to no avail. The last option was Adderall. I caved. I cried all the way to the pharmacy and all the way home. I never prayed as much as I prayed that night. Maybe in the morning he'd wake up a 'normal' child and we won't have to do this. My prayers weren't answered that night in the way I was expecting. That next morning, James took his first dose.

I was sick at work all day wondering how he was doing. Expecting him to be a zombie. Walking the halls, dragging his feet, drooling at the mouth. I feared he wasn't going to have the same personality. He'd be a hollow shell of the once expressive boy. To my surprise, as I picked him up from school, he skipped to the car holding a piece of paper. 'Hi mommy! Look what I did today?!' There it was. There in his hands was a reading quiz they took after the teacher read them a short story. In blue marker, shining bright 10/10. ��. That was the first time in his school career he had ever got more than half the questions correct. He was so proud. He was so happy! Moreover, he wasn't a zombie. He wasn't drooling. He was different but in a good way.

The last month of school was FABULOUS! Grades were improving, no more detentions, he was able to tell me about each class and what they were learning about. He was finally catching up to the other students.

Now, it would be unfair for me to list all the benefits and not make not of the side effects. He didn't show many but the few I noticed were a lack of appetite, he had a hard time falling asleep at night, and obviously didn't like that he had to take medicine to be good at school. I would explain that there isn't anything wrong with his brain, his just goes faster than most so it makes it hard to get all the information when you go 100 mph. Like driving a car. When you go fast you can't count or see all the trees even though you know they are there. But when you slow down, you see them all.

I took him off the meds during the summer and tried out 4th grade without medicine (which I will continue to do each year). Different teacher, same issues. In one email she told me 'he doesn't know he's doing anything bad by laying on his desk or playing air guitar or getting up to walk in circles. I look right into his eyes and tell him a sentence and ask him to repeat it back to me and he can't for the life of him remember what I just said. The other kids are getting used to his behavior and have learned to just ignore it. So they ignore him. If he continues declining grades on tests then he will need to be in a special needs room. We are here to help him though this. It is ok that he is different. I saw a change in him at the end of the year last year and I know he has it in him. Please let's work together to make school easier for James'

He is currently in forth grade. And tomorrow we start up the medicine again. Again, I have the same fears as I did last year. Mainly, I don't like to accept the fact that he needs this. But I also have to remind myself that this isn't about me. This is about James

I was one of those people who never believe in medicine. Thought it was a cop-out or scapegoat for lazy parents that just didn't want to deal with raising their children. To all those parents, let me be the first to say Im sorry. I'm so sorry I judged you. I'm so sorry I didn't know enough before I cast my vote. I'm sorry for all the tears you cried before you made the decision to medicate your child. I'm sorry for the backlash. I'm sorry for the rumors. I'm sorry that you stood up for your child and their well-being only to be ridiculed by your peers.

Don't cast judgment on parents for doing what they believe is right by their child. We all have struggles. Some more noticeable than others. It takes a village to raise a child. I will stand for mine and always try to do what is best for him. Don't be too quick to label children. They all just children, differences and all. Mine, James, he is just a boy.

sarahsweets
09-14-17, 04:07 AM
I took him off the meds during the summer and tried out 4th grade without medicine (which I will continue to do each year). Different teacher, same issues. In one email she told me 'he doesn't know he's doing anything bad by laying on his desk or playing air guitar or getting up to walk in circles. I look right into his eyes and tell him a sentence and ask him to repeat it back to me and he can't for the life of him remember what I just said. The other kids are getting used to his behavior and have learned to just ignore it. So they ignore him. If he continues declining grades on tests then he will need to be in a special needs room. We are here to help him though this. It is ok that he is different. I saw a change in him at the end of the year last year and I know he has it in him. Please let's work together to make school easier for James'

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=145739
Please read this...its my sons' story and may help you. I get it that you have some fears. No parent wants to have to put their child on medication. But these medications have so much science to back them up. Have you ever read about medications for adhd? They have been around for like 50 years, and if a medication ever made kids zombies its because its the wrong med or wrong dose, not because the meds are bad. Some people say breaks are good. But I think because adhd is a 24/7 thing and the meds help, then there is no reason to stop them over the summer.


He is currently in forth grade. And tomorrow we start up the medicine again. Again, I have the same fears as I did last year. Mainly, I don't like to accept the fact that he needs this. But I also have to remind myself that this isn't about me. This is about James

I was one of those people who never believe in medicine. Thought it was a cop-out or scapegoat for lazy parents that just didn't want to deal with raising their children. To all those parents, let me be the first to say Im sorry. I'm so sorry I judged you. I'm so sorry I didn't know enough before I cast my vote. I'm sorry for all the tears you cried before you made the decision to medicate your child. I'm sorry for the backlash. I'm sorry for the rumors. I'm sorry that you stood up for your child and their well-being only to be ridiculed by your peers.
This really touched me. Seriously, its wonderful to be validated. Try to look at it like blood pressure meds, insulin etc. Those things are necessary to live and be safe and on point, I am bipolar II, I am dependent on my meds, and not taking them would truly damage me.
Much love and blessings to you.

TheGreatKing
09-14-17, 05:00 PM
http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=145739
Please read this...its my sons' story and may help you. I get it that you have some fears. No parent wants to have to put their child on medication. But these medications have so much science to back them up. Have you ever read about medications for adhd? They have been around for like 50 years, and if a medication ever made kids zombies its because its the wrong med or wrong dose, not because the meds are bad. Some people say breaks are good. But I think because adhd is a 24/7 thing and the meds help, then there is no reason to stop them over the summer.



This really touched me. Seriously, its wonderful to be validated. Try to look at it like blood pressure meds, insulin etc. Those things are necessary to live and be safe and on point, I am bipolar II, I am dependent on my meds, and not taking them would truly damage me.
Much love and blessings to you.
:goodpost: you deserve a group hug Sarah! :grouphug: