The Internal Battle is Over

battleThe Internal Battle is Over, well at least one of many is over. I hate medication. Anyone that’s visited my website knows that I feel medication should be the lassssssst source of treatment. Of course, that depends on the person and how severe their ADHD is. I finally after 2 years of exhausting all other options put my son on medication. In January, he started with Adderall 5mg xr. That actually made him worse. As soon as the Adderall started to wear off he became very aggressive, jumping all over the place (LITERALLY), mean, ready to hit – even me. Not the type of behavior I expected. After 3 weeks I took him off. After that horrible experience it took me a few months but I decided to try again. This time they gave him Concerta. This, I must say was the best thing that happened to him. He is 100% himself with more focus and attention during the school day. I don’t see a big change when it wears off and he is not walking around looking like a child on heavy medication. The first week we didn’t tell his teacher to see if she noticed a difference. It was hard for him to keep that secret, everyday he wanted to know if he could tell his teacher. On Friday of the first week, I called the teacher to see if there was a change in his behavior. She noticed that when he was done with his work he would pull out a book to read. He doesn’t tap on the table constantly as he used to. He stays in his seat more and does not disrupt the other students. He’s not humming constantly. He keeps his feet to himself. He’s not having to forfeit P.E. for the day. She said that she could go thru a lesson without having to stop and redirect him constantly. That was great news to me considering I used to get a call or text message 3-4 times a week. The first week I also noticed on his daily progress report that in the mornings he was getting 8-10’s and in the afternoon below a five. So the first trial of meds didn’t last long enough. After two weeks we increased the Concerta to 27mg which takes him till about 5pm. So I really don’t get to see the calmer side of him, which is fine with me. My main goal is to get him to a place where he can learn in school. It took me a long time to see that he really needed to be on medication to do better in school.

With the internal fight of meds or no meds I interfered with his education. He is a year behind in his reading which has affected his self esteem. Kids laugh at him because he has trouble reading and he constantly puts himself down. Even at this age, kids keep things to themselves. He was always extremely angry when it came to reading time at home. When he struggled with a word I would jump in and help. That made it worse, he would yell “I’m not stupid…don’t help me“. So one time I stopped, made him calm down and asked why did he always feel stupid when he struggled with a word- that triggered all the feelings that he was holding in and he broke down and cried. He explained that a kid in school would tease him and call him stupid and other names. He felt he was dumb….etc. After lots of crying and talking I helped him understand what he was going thru and how we were going to make it better. I told him it didn’t matter what age you are, there will always be someone around to put you down.  It’s how we handle the comments that makes or breaks us. It’s how we think of ourselves that matters. He has taken much more pride in his reading even when he struggles now he doesn’t give up :-).

Although summer time is fun time for a lot of kids, he and I decided it was time to put several programs in place to help him catch up. He is taking his medication everyday, he is going to counseling once a week, we enrolled him in tutoring with Kumon, he will be going to a one month reading camp and he starts Karate this weekend. Lucky for me he enjoys all that’s going on for the summer and doesn’t feel like he is missing out on too much fun.

The best thing in all of this is – I realize in order to help my son, I need to help myself first. So I also decided to stop fooling myself to think I could do this without meds and started my prescription this week. I’ll blog on that adventure later ;-).

~ Donata Joseph

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Lisa Livezey Comingore on July 3, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Great post! I actually got goose bumps on my arms by the end :-). So very glad we have connected!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Mex alex on July 1, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Gooo Dumm! Love the part “Told him it didn’t matter what age you are there will always be someone around to put you down, it’s how we handle the comments that makes or breaks us. It’s how we think of ourselves that matters. He has taken much more pride in his reading even when he struggles now he doesn’t give up”

    Reply

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