The Kid Has ADHD & I Guess I’m ready to talk about it. Some.
This post was written and edited over a period of multiple weeks. Between personal issues and family issues to weather related power outages, I have managed to complete and post it.
My kid, who has been a glorious part of this world for the better part of this decade is the absolute best thing to happen to me. She is our miracle, as we tried for a long time to conceive and, until I found the right doctor, I never thought I could.
Now, almost ten years later she’s been a blessing. And also we’ve had some of the hardest times because of her.
I feel like a bad parent for saying that but I’ll explain.
The kid has been in daycare for her whole life. I cannot pinpoint for you when the trouble started but there were times, as she got older, that we would get messages from her daycare teachers, the women I often credit with helping raise her, that she was behaving inappropriately and unkindly.
This meant throwing fits and not doing what she was told. I don’t recall her ever purposefully hurting another child, but there have been times when her teachers have messaged me implying that if her behavior continued she would not be allowed to return.
Then school started, but she started school in the midst of a pandemic, and 75% of her kindergarten year was spent with virtual learning. To be honest, they had to give every kid a pass that year, there’s no way they all learned enough to be successful. The last half of her kindergarten year was mostly spent in a classroom. We heard nothing of any issues that year.
But when first grade rolled around we began to hear things. To be honest most of it is a blur. Except the number of times my husband and I had to leave work and go to school because she had a meltdown.
These meltdowns would range from shutting down and refusing to do anything or communicate to outright fits of kicking and screaming and falling to the floor.
No one has ever been physically hurt, but the kids were terrified, and school staff would have to clear the room until she could be calmed. And more often than not I was the only one who could calm her. That makes sense, as I’m often the only one she will listen to at home (no offense dad you know it’s true).
We also learned that she started second grade with an discipline plan, a plan of what to do if the situation occurs. Apparently it started in kindergarten and we didn’t know.
If it weren’t for the constant email updates for her amazing teacher and communication with the principals and staff (except for not telling us about the issue in kindergarten), and their frankness but kindness when discussing it, we wouldn’t have figured anything out. They also made it clear they too wanted the best for her.
It was my sister who brought it to our attention that she might have ADHD. My nephew, who is a teen now 🤮🤦♀️ had very similar issues when he was in the early years of school. So we discussed it with her doctor, filled out a form (Vanderbilt Assessment), which also had to be filled out by her teacher.
It was concluded she did in fact have signs and symptoms of ADHD. We started her on medication, first a 5mg dose of Dexmethylphenidate HCL ER, generic for Focalin. We ended up raising the dose to the 10mg when her outbursts continued.
She’s been on the medication for fourteen months. And she hasn’t had major issues in some time. She has and a few incidents but we discovered those are anxiety related. Anxiety can often occur in patients with ADHD. Ninety-nine percent of the time she does amazing. When she has her medicine.
Therein lies the problem.
I do not give her her medicine when she is home. I don’t see a reason to make her focus when she is at home doing nothing. If she is in a situation where she needs to be calm and receptive to instruction and good behavior, or when she might get anxious (I’ve been told my numerous people the meds help with anxiety), we give it to her.
So, the thirty day prescription can last longer than thirty days. And we only pick it up when she’s running low. That is also part of the problem.
Because right now, there is a shortage on many types of ADHD medications. This means that accessing it is difficult. And considering it is a controlled substance, walking up to my pharmacy, where they know me, and asking about it daily makes me feel like a drug seeker.
Honestly I probably need some kind of drug but well not get into it right now.
I’m sure the pharmacy employees are getting tired of seeing my face, but knowing what mg child can be like if she hasn’t had her medicine, scares me.
There have been a few people who have offhandedly commented on the fact that I am medicating her. But I won’t say what I think about their lives. Sorry that’s rude.
The Kid has been without her medication for almost three weeks. While she hasn’t had any major issues, we’ve seen some signs that perhaps she’s nearing an explosion. And that’s what I’m afraid of.
The most we can do is try and grind into The Kid’s mind how to handle her own feelings and emotions and how to calm herself down in case she gets upset. I’d love to not have to medicate her anymore, but I don’t foresee that being a possibility anytime soon.