Monday, June 1, 2009

God Give Me the Strength...

... to make it thru the last 9 days of school. I know, a lot of parents dread the end of school because it means no more free time if you don't work and if you do, then you have to find someone to take care of your kids. Well, I am on the other side of this fence.

This has been a rocky year for Harrison. He started out his 1st grade year below grade level on his tests (PALS) and after few months he was diagnosed ADHD (With Oppositional Defiant Disorder). We have known about the ODD for a while, though it was never really treated until now. It was kind of an unofficial diagnosis a few years ago by a therapist I wasn't wild about. After starting Harrison on Vyvanse we saw such dramatic improvements I was foolish enough to believe our problems were solved. Such a newbie I was to ADHD then. Oh, they were only just beginning.

Previous posts outline some of this so I won't rehash all that, but after bouncing around on a variety of med's, we finally sought counsel from Dr. K Rooney and now have Harrison on Strattera. It has been about 3 months on this one, with no side effects that we can see. However, I am not sure that it is working all that well. When we started this medicine, it was almost as if the ODD symptoms were exaggerated. I started getting emails and phone calls from Harrison's first grade teacher, the principal, a referral from the bus driver, then another from his teacher. Oh the list goes on. Basically, he is being disruptive, uncooperative, mean on occasion (tripping kids and laughing, pushing kids, throwing mulch on the playground), and just generally a pain in the ass if I can say that about my own child. I literally get anxiety attacks when i see the school phone number pop up on my caller ID or I see an email from his teacher in my in box.

Yes, I am his mother, and I love him no matter what. He is my firstborn and my baby boy. Nothing will change that. I hate to see him struggle so much. It kills me a little at a time. I know that he is a very sweet and loving child. He just has to learn to deal with all this that is going on inside of him. We are seeking the advice from yet another therapist and I feel confident that he will be able to help us where the other one couldn't. That is why I am glad school is almost out. I will be able to breathe much easier knowing that that phone call won't be coming or the emails. It will also give us several months to work with the therapist we see every other week, to hopefully address these issues and make some progress before Harrison enters the second grade.

ADHD is so often misunderstood. I was guilty of it once. Over diagnosed, over medicated, etc. the list goes on. BUT, now that I am faced with it head on, it is very hard to deal with and yes, very misunderstood. These kids are not just trying to be hard to deal with, they literally cannot control themselves. They don't have the ability to learn from their past mistakes, which explains why charts don't work, and normal behavioral techniques don't work either. This explains why Harrison went to the Principals office, was talked to by her and sent on his way, then ended up there again not even 10 minutes later for the same thing. We are learning to deal with this with the help of our therapist. To teach Harrison how to handle things in a different way.

So, yes, I am grateful summer is upon us and school is out. I know there will be some rough patches to deal with this summer, but I am hopeful that this summer will provide Harrison the turning point he needs to start 2nd grade off on a different foot.

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