What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

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This made me actually laugh out loud this morning. This was my sweet Liam before getting on the log jamboree at Six Flags this weekend– poor baby! These were his questions in line, through tears— “Do you get in the water first or straight into the boat? What if the boat tips over? What if the water is dirty? What if your cell phone gets wet?” I laughed so hard (in my head) at him and his flight of ideas/possibilities! For the record, he loved it and none of his what ifs happened (except the water probably was dirty..)!

Poor baby, it definitely comes honest for him.  He has overcome so many of his (irrational) fears in the last few years, and I am so incredibly proud of him.  Often times as a mom, you feel like “Am I doing this right?”  When it comes to Liam and his anxiety, we have won a lot of battles.  He was terrified to take a bath (literally stood in the bathtub until he was 18 months or older), terrified of elevators, terrified of automatically closing doors, terrified of being left, terrified of doctor’s offices, terrified of haircuts, and the list goes on and on.  This sweet boy has overcome every single one of these fears, and is even riding “big kid” rides at Six Flags.

Just like ADHD, anxiety is so crazy real.  And I tell my patients “It’s all in your head, but only because your brain lives in your head!”  Anxiety is not something that you can just not experience.  But, it does not have to keep you from enjoying life either.  A book that I read recently, kind of retrospective to Liam’s most anxious days, but LOVED is called How to Parent Your Anxious Toddler.  My bff said “It basically says what all you said to do, but it gives it a name.”  HA!  Thanks, Jenna.  There are some fantastic strategies for dealing with anxiety (for toddlers and big people too!) as well as helping to understand how fears that seem so irrational to you, can make so much sense to a person with anxiety.  If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend you add it to your “To Read” stack.  Click the picture of the book to purchase this book from Amazon:

(Above is my Affiliate link with Amazon.  Although I absolutely love this book, and have recommended it to a million and one friends and patients already, if you use this link to purchase it, I get a small commission for my recommendation.   If you don’t want to contribute to my Help Chasidy Stay at Home with her Kiddos fund, feel free to go to Amazon a different way, but BUY THIS BOOK!) :):)

How do we get here?

Lately, I’ve had several messages asking, “How do I start?”  “I know my kiddo needs help, but I don’t know where to start.”  These are very good questions, and since several of you have asked, I bet there are several with the same question who are afraid to send that message.

The answer is quite simple.  To your pediatrician/family doctor.  The same one who told you that your child was “absolutely perfect” during their last well child check.  You see, we get 30 minutes total to evaluate your child’s vaccine status, growth and development, school performance, behavior concerns, nutrition, and answer the many questions you’ve come up with over the course of the last year.  If you don’t bring up behavior/attention concerns, we aren’t going to bring it up either.  Most kiddos are pretty bouncy in the 4×4 exam room and have a lot to say, so if you don’t bring it up, neither will we.  This is another reason why waiting for your kiddos well visit to discuss behavior concerns is not the best idea either.  There’s a lot to cover during that visit.  The best thing to do is to schedule a visit with your pediatrician to spend your appointment slot discussing your concerns about your child.  It is really way more important than “Oh, by the way,” as the doctor is walking out of the door.

There are forms that both parents and your child’s teacher should complete.  These ask questions about your child like “Can they sit still in a chair when staying seated is expected?”, “Do they talk nonstop?,” “Do they have trouble staying in their own space?” among many, many other questions.  It is a requirement to have multiple people who interact with the child in multiple environments to complete the forms to make sure that the issue is actually with the CHILD and not with one particular PARENT or a specific ENVIRONMENT.  These forms are returned to the physician to review, and then the parents have a follow up appointment with the physician to discuss the results of the forms.  So, it’s actually entirely possible to THINK that your child has ADHD and be told that, in fact, there is an issue with x, y, or z, which could be a parenting style, a learning disability, or many other things.

After a formal diagnosis is made, treatment options are then discussed.  I feel that this is the step that most parents are most fearful of, and why most people hold out and wait until the last possible moment to get a formal diagnosis.  Remember, you are the parent, and in this country, you have the right to choose the treatment plan for your child.  READ:  An ADHD diagnosis does NOT mean that you immediately have to give your child medication.  Also READ:  Medication is not the enemy and it is not failure on your part or your child’s.  (That conversation deserves its own post.)  Both behavior modification therapy AND medication are both recommended in conjunction by the American Academy of Pediatrics.   Pediatricians are well aware of your reservations (the last momma in their office was also terrified) and will help you work through the best option for you and your kiddo.  Here is a link to the CDC that discusses behavior therapy for kids and their parents, classroom modification, medications, and parenting tips.  It is a great starting place.

I’ve heard many parents and patients say that they don’t want their child to have a “label.”  In fact, it’s not a label, it’s a diagnosis.  My experience with this was quite different with my kiddos.  Instead of the proper label/diagnosis of “ADHD,” they were receiving labels they didn’t deserve like “bad kid” or “kid that won’t stay in their seat.”  Following their diagnosis, there were teachers who were a lot more willing to help them and work with them, rather than place judgmental and “mean” labels on them.

As you guys know, this is a huge passion of mine, and I am more than happy to answer any questions about our experience with diagnosis and treatment.  Since I am not your kiddos’ doctor, I won’t recommend any treatment for them.  I will tell you what has worked for us, but the specific treatment plan for your kiddo is a decision to be made between parents and pediatrician.

 

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World

After a particularly trying day with Sydney (centered around phrases like “But I want this…” “Everyone has….” “My life is terrible!”), I haphazardly typed in “entitled” “kids” in Amazon hoping for a large selection of parenting books about raising kids who aren’t materialistic or entitled or flat out spoiled brats based on their materialism and entitlement.  I was a bit disappointed by the lack of volume returned by my search, but this title by Kristen Welch was definitely everything I was looking for.

Here is a link to purchase the book from Amazon– just click on book:

You will often find me making excuses for my children’s behavior.  The reason why they plowed through a group of unsuspecting children, or the reason that they didn’t finish a particular worksheet, or complete a task I asked them to do. Over and over.  Those things make sense (due to their ADHD) and are a part of their make-up and need a little lots and lots of grace most of the time.   One thing you will never find me excusing or enabling is entitlement.  It is definitely a heart issue, and a trap so easy to find ourselves caught in.  Especially in the USA, in 2017.  It’s the norm, as a matter of fact.  Author of Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, Kristen Welch, describes this book as an encouragement to parents swimming upstream in a society that demands we do what is culturally accepted.  Having all of the things.  All of the time.  With all the upgrades— that’s what is culturally accepted.  Is having things wrong?  Absolutely not.  However, when saying no to any of the things or upgrades is deemed wrong by your kiddos or your peers or your parents, that’s when we have trouble.  Entitlement has entered the equation.   How do you combat entitlement?  With gratitude.  By being thankful for the things and people we do have in our lives.

As a parent, it’s incredibly tempting to give your kids everything they want.  Because, we can.  And it makes them happy.  For fifteen seconds.  Until they see someone else with the upgraded version.  You can buy your kid the absolute nicest car in the school parking lot.  And I guarantee you, by the end of that same school year, they no longer have the nicest car in the parking lot.  That’s the problem with stuff.  There’s always something better right around the corner.   Kristen states in the book, “Contentment is our aim because it doesn’t fluctuate with our circumstances,” (p. 14).  Raising kiddos who are happy because they are happy, not because of having the newest item, car, clothing, is a beautiful thing.

I shared on Facebook that I planned to read this book, and would be leading a bible study for other moms if anyone wanted to join me.  I was both floored and encouraged by the positive response.  One of the lies that keeps everyone trying to Keep up with the Joneses’ is that it’s what everyone else is doing.  I am so excited to join together with women from all over the country, that I have connections with via nursing school, previous or current jobs, high school, or kiddos’ school, and encourage one another to raise grateful kids in an entitled world.  It’s not too late to join us… if you want to join, order your book and join our Facebook group @ Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World- Crush the Cookie Cutter.

 

ADHD Dads– we think you’re pretty awesome!  

I found this fun blog post here and wanted to share in honor of Father’s Day!  This list is from JACQUELINE SINFIELD who has a blog called Untapped Brilliance, which talks about reaching full potential as an adult with ADHD.

1. You Normalize ADHD

If you have ADHD, then there is a good chance one (or more) of your children has ADHD too. Children don’t like to be different; you might be the only person they know who has ADHD. By being open about your ADHD, you are normalizing it and even making it cool.

2.Hyper Focus

When you are hyper-focusing on your child or an activity you are doing together, they feel like the most special person in the world. The activity doesn’t matter. Listening to a story about their day, watching a movie together or working on a project in the garden, etc.; the attention you are giving is very powerful.

3. Emotional Intelligence

ADHDers are emotionally intelligent and they are sensitive (no matter how thick a crust they show the outside world), so you ‘get’ your children’s’ emotions. It is very validating and reassuring to a child to be understood.

4. Problem Solver

Problems can seem scary at whatever age you are. Having a Dad who is a natural problem solver is like carrying an ace in your back pocket.

5. Stands Up for the Under Dog

ADHDers have a strong moral compass and they aren’t afraid to vocalize that. You might be an advocate for your child at school, or you might use these skills for people you barely know. Either way, your child likes knowing you have their back and do good things in the world.

6. Good in a Crisis

When everyone else is panicky in a crisis, you become calm and instinctively know what to do. ADHDers excel in a crisis situation: car crash, fire, broken leg, etc.You handle the situation like a professional. This is very reassuring to your child.

7. Knowledgeable

ADHDers are life-long learners; which means you know a lot of things. You have an answer for every question your son and daughter ask. From ‘How far away is the moon?’ to ‘Why do worms live in the ground?’ and much, much more!

8. Role Model

By managing and treating your ADHD, you are setting a great example. Children are like sponges and observe everything you do and say. If you are being proactive in managing your ADHD, by exercising, taking omega 3, using tricks to help you with time-keeping and organizing, etc., they will do the same.

9. Passionate

Because it’s hard for ADHDers to do the things that are boring for them, they generally just do things that they are passionate about. Not only is it fun to be around this type of energy, it also inspires your children to find what they are passionate about.

10. Fun

You are a lot of fun. You don’t follow the rules, you make people laugh, have a good sense of humor, you think of fun things to do, and your enthusiasm for life is contagious!

Do the Impossible

It always seems impossible, until it's done

How many times have you been excited to start something only to be told by those closest to you that it’s impossible?  How many big things have you not started based on this advice?  What if they were wrong?  What if you would have succeeded?

My mom did a lot of amazing things throughout my childhood, but the thing I am most grateful for always telling me that I can do anything I put my mind to.  I believed it as a child, and I believe it now.  That doesn’t mean that something will be easy or that it will be an instant success, but you are only limited by the walls you build yourself (that is not my quote, but I don’t know whose it is!  🙂 )

Have you ever felt like maybe you’re making the wrong choices?  Maybe all of the negative chatter around you could actually be right?  Should you listen, and change your course?  You know, adjust the sails, and re-evaluate your plan?  I say maybe, but probably not.  If the advice is consistently coming from your parents, or other people with your best interest at heart, do listen and consider.  Otherwise, at least in my experience, people are full of negativity and reasons why things won’t work out.  Examples:  Becoming a teacher, becoming a nurse, having a child, having two kids in one year, having three kids, adopting a child, living in a different town than your mom, living in the same town as your mom, going to grad school just to name a few things.  Sometimes, I am really good at tuning out the noise, and plowing full force into pursuing my dreams.  Other times, the chatter makes me question God’s calling.  I know the passions He has put in my heart, and I know they are from Him.  But sometimes, it’s easy to be tempted for the easier, and more- recommended route from the naysayers.

So, I found it quite interesting and incredibly inspiring when I stumbled across a Steve Jobs quote recently.  One I have never heard before.  “The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”  I read it, and read it again.  Yes.  This is exactly it.  Maybe the naysayers are right.  Maybe I am crazy.  But maybe I am just crazy enough to ACTUALLY make a difference.  To actually say, “Yes, this is hard, and maybe a little crazy, but it’s worth it.”  To attempt the impossible, and find that it is, indeed, possible.  Because you see, if you believe nothing will ever change, and you accept that, guess what?  Nothing will ever change.  But if you refuse to accept that, and some times (heck, most of the time) your decisions look a little crazy to others, you are way more willing to step out there and do things others are scared to do (and scared to admit they are scared to do.  They hide behind the comforting excuse of “That’s crazy.  That won’t change anything.  It’s always been that way. One person will not make a difference.”), and eventually your small but amazing steps do make a difference.  Millennials really do get a bad reputation most days.  My absolute favorite thing about being a Millennial is our generation really doesn’t accept things just because “it’s how it’s always been done.”  We aren’t loyal to the status quo.  We push forward and look for ways to make things better.  For me, achieving this “better” involves a lot more tolerance (lots of it, but my hopes and dreams are a lot like MLK JR), a lot less poverty and inequality, and a lot less kiddos suffering (either through orphan status, bullying or poverty are my areas of conviction!)

Be brave.  Do the impossible.  Be crazy enough to make a difference.

Life Verse.

When I learned that all the members of The (Truett) Cathy family all have life verses, I 1) thought it was a really good idea and 2) felt immense pressure to decide on mine.  But, how would I choose ONE verse to symbolize, represent my whole life?  In true ADHD form, when something seems too big or too overwhelming, you #squirrel, and forget about it.

Years and years later, Ben and I were 2nd grade small group leaders at our church, and our lesson was on encouraging others.   1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore let us encourage one another and build each other up.”.   That’s it!  My life verse.  It doesn’t represent who I AM but WHAT I want to do/be.   In a world of darkness, differences, and separateness, I want to be an encourager, a builder-upper.

What’s your life verse?  How did you discover it?  da8bff911391791b9646ceeee84562c9

#bethereasonsomeonesmiles #bekind #dontcrushthekids

Watch this quick video.  

This video.  It’s 100% why I share.   Because, I can’t not.  Because of beautiful little boys like this little boy, with a sparkle in their eye and a love for life.  They need an advocate.  They need a voice.  Because without one, they become another statistic.   Another drop out.  Another underperforming student who was in fact, left behind.  I can’t sit back and watch it happen.  Not to my little boy, or yours.  

When it was my beautiful little boy, with the bounce in his step and the sparkle in his eyes, it infuriated me when the lady in the carpool line yelled at him and his sister every day for taking too long to get out of the car.  Wouldn’t “Good morning, guys!” have been a better start?  This negativity and ambivalence continued throughout their day.  In the hallway, in the classroom, in the cafeteria.  Oh, don’t even get me started on the cafeteria!  As four year olds, they were labelled and punished and given long lists of what was bad.  No wonder my son hated to go to school.  I hated to take him (and his sister!) there!

There is a way to make sure that you have a classroom full of children who are respectful and cooperative WHILE encouraging a LOVE of learning.   Thankfully, that’s exactly what we have gotten since we left that school.   My children are motivated, eager to learn, and thriving.   And greeted with kind words and hugs!   Our children are way too fragile to squash their enthusiasm and passion right out of them just because we have been jaded by life and circumstances. 

Disclaimer:  For us, a private school was the answer.  But, I don’t think it’s THE answer.  Having adults who value children and understand the importance of acknowledging a child, praising him/her for a job well done, and demonstrating kindness to them through example makes all of the difference.  Discipline my child when needed, but not before you validate him as a human being! 

Fidget Spinners.. love them or hate them??

So, fidget spinners are suddenly all the rage in our little town, and lots of little towns, I suspect.  My kids both came home from school about a month ago insisting that they must have one yesterday NOW.  I laughed at them, told them they had been on my Amazon wishlist for months, and no way, they did not NEED them NOW.

Because I am not a teacher, whose classroom has been disrupted by 20 little people whose hands and minds are suddenly occupied by spinning objects, I don’t hate fidget spinners.  Have you tried them?!  They’re actually quite fun, and quite good at the purpose for which they were created.  But, I totally get how they would be a distraction in a classroom as well.

The spinners are marketed for kids/people with ADHD and Anxiety, and equally as a person with these things, a mom to kids with these things and a nurse practitioner, I agree that they can be beneficial for both.  Often fidgeting is a huge part of anxiety- ya’ll, I actually remember in high school youth group thinking “I am so nervous about singing (not in front of people, just WITH people), so I will twist my watch over and over.”  Other people chew on their nails (or their clothes), twist their hair, wring their hands, constantly look at their phone, etc.  Insert fidget spinner, and the hands and the mind are occupied with something more socially acceptable than chewing on your shirt-sleeve.

One of my ADHD kiddos would have done better in class with a fidget spinner and the other worse.  Sydney would have been so distracted by it and hyperfocused on it, that it would have completely made her forget that she had actual work to do (which is, I suspect, why teachers hated it, as most of their class probably had similar reactions!)  Eli, however, would have really benefited from it, and was the reason it, among other cool contraptions (see below!), were on my Amazon wishlist!  Often hyperactivity is not the typical “wild child” that you think of.  Often it looks more like the need to constantly move— kicking feet, tapping hands, shredding paper (or anything else you can destroy– paper, pencil erasers, etc.).  THIS is where the fidget spinner could actually be helpful to kids who have this constant need to move, and be able to exist in a classroom without being a distraction.  As a matter of fact, would likely replace behaviors that were already a distraction, like tapping the desk, kicking feet, or humming.

Unfortunately the creators of these cool little tool/toy did not take into consideration that the population to which they were marketing (ADHD/Anxiety, etc.) are often chewers by nature.  It only takes a quick google search to find tons of news stories about kiddos choking.

So, I think they are pretty cool little toys, but amid the safety concerns with choking hazards and lead levels, I definitely think they should be monitored, used in moderation, and not sent to school.

Some other super cool things that are also helpful are:

Do you have any amazing products that have helped your kiddo that doesn’t fit the cookie cutter?  I would love to hear about it!

A Long, Overdue Update

2016 was a year of discovery for our family.  First, we confirmed what we all already knew.  Poor Ben was surrounded by a bunch of #squirrel amazing people, who lack in executive functioning skills.  We’re amazingly creative, kind, compassionate people, but we may need you to redirect us a few times, because we get distracted along the way.  AND, we may talk your ear off.  🙂  Sydney, Eli, and their awesome mommy were all diagnosed with ADHD.  This diagnosis for myself was not surprising at all, especially looking back.  As we were completing forms for our kids, Ben laughed and asked me when I was having my evaluation.  I wasn’t at all offended.  I had seen myself in SO MANY of the questions.  And our kids pediatrician asked me straight out which parent had more of these tendencies.  She said in her experience it is not uncommon at all for her ADHD patients to have, you guessed it, an ADHD parent.

I would like to say that the past year was filled with support from everyone around us.  This is both true and untrue.  The people who matter— parents and grandparents, teachers, closest friends— all get it and support us.  However, the rest of the world starts their response with “Have you tried…?”  It has truly become my passion to learn as much about ADHD as possible and share it with everyone I know.  These medications, you know— the horrible, dreaded, avoided things you read about online— have saved my family.  They have allowed us to have dinner together.  For my children to participate in activities both in school, extracurricularly, and at home, that there is no way they could have done without it.  They have allowed my daughter to write her letters correctly instead of mirror-image backwards.  They have allowed my daughter to experience lights and sounds without wanting to cover her ears and cry.  They have allowed my son the ability to go to school and not be antagonized by his teachers.  He can sit right side up in his chair (un-medicated Eli is a bat– preferring to sit upside down.  Don’t ask, I have no idea!)  They have allowed me to get the thoughts from my head out of my mouth.  They have allowed me not to interrupt constantly in conversations.  They have allowed me to care for my patients without constantly forgetting things that are not safe for me to forget.  These medications are not “chemical babysitters.”  I promise you, my children still talk incessantly most of the time, still climb things, still argue, still get louder than they should.  BUT, they are also able to sit in their chairs (most of the time) when it’s expected, read a book, play a game, or fold a load of towels.  They don’t walk around like little zombies.  Again- they’re still loud and crazy, but just functional, loud and crazy people!  There are zero euphoric effects from the medication.  As a matter of fact, the only two differences I actually feel when take mine is that 1) Words don’t get stuck in my head and 2) I don’t want to nap constantly.

The last time I posted was over a year ago.  I’m sorry for that.  We’ve been super busy.  (Read above- not a chemical babysitter.  My kids were busy climbing things and doing crazy things that needed supervision!)  My last post focused on finding the right medication for our kiddos.  Fortunately, following our highly symptomatic start, we have had an uneventful medication history.  Both Eli and Sydney have been on Vyvanse for the last year, and done AH-MAZING.

Unfortunately, the dreaded side effect of suppressed appetite has become an issue for us this year.  We have been able to make a few lifestyle changes and keep our medicines on board and keep our kids from losing weight.  For one, we try to make sure they have a pretty big breakfast, and we’ve moved our usually early 5pm dinner to much later as the meds are wearing off.  That means the kiddos are usually roaming the kitchen as they eat, but they do clean their plates a lot of nights, so I’m picking my battles there!  I also find myself answering “No!  Oh wait, you want a snack?  Yes, go eat.”  I fear this will be a battle that we have to continuously monitor and keep a close eye on, but I think with the right modifications, we will be able to keep our kiddos at a healthy weight while also able to treat their ADHD as well.  (“I heard that if your kids eat x-y- and z, they won’t need meds.”  YES, we tried diet modifications for years actually before they started medication.  We saw MINIMAL difference– with the most difference seen eliminating Red Dye #40- which we still try to avoid.   Although diet plays a role, as it does with almost everything, if your child truly has ADHD, it is not going to fix them.)

My previous ADHD posts focused a lot more on Eli.  As a matter of fact, I’m not sure I had publicly told you guys about Sydney.  As mentioned above, two of the biggest victories for her I really wasn’t expecting.  The girl had been turning her letters backwards since she was 3.  Everyone kept telling me I wasn’t supposed to worry about it until she was 7- that this was normal.  But, I was worried.  She knew how to read and write her letters for years, but yet her papers continuously came home mirror-image backwards.  The medication for ADHD  slows her down enough to focus on writing it correctly.  This concern has disappeared for us.  The second huge win for her is that Sydney had been insanely sensory-sensitive.  In fact, I spent a long time not thinking she had ADHD and thinking she had sensory processing disorder.  Except, no pediatrician wanted to go there with me since it is a part of the autism spectrum and Sydney clearly demonstrated no autistic characteristics.  I felt so ignored and helpless in that arena.  My beautiful, “normal” daughter freaked out in a movie theatre.  When the climax music came on, she would bury her head into our shoulders and whisper in our ears how scared she was.  She would cover her ears with both hands during tap class, and then come out with tears in her eyes and tell me “It’s just so loud!”  These were not the symptoms I expected to improve with she started medicine that allowed her to remain in her seat at school and at dinner.  But, as it changes the way she processes sensory input, she now sees and hears lights and sounds like a “normal” person.  Not like someone who sees flashing, lightning like lights and hears sounds super amplified to the point of distress.  She can now fold a whole load of towels, instead of fighting me for 25 minutes about folding one.  She can now sit down and read a chapter book, and read for enjoyment.

Although Ben and I know without a shadow of a doubt that we have made the right decision for our children, we don’t get a lot of objective evidence of that.  The other day, as I was cleaning up breakfast trash from that morning, I noticed that Sydney’s medicine was with her trash (not because she intentionally didn’t take it, but #squirrel).  I quickly said a prayer that her day had gone ok.  That afternoon, I got an email from her teacher that just said “Hey!  I was just checking in to see if anything different had happened with Sydney’s routine, because she was bouncing off the walls today.”  HA- parenting Tigger is often how I have described my two amazing and crazy kiddos.  I smiled and disregarded the email, as I knew exactly what had “changed.”  The next week, I got Sydney’s graded papers from the week before, and ya’ll, they stopped me in my tracks.  On Wednesday, Sydney took a Math pre-test (which looks almost identical to the real test), and she made a 94.  On Friday, the day she forgot her medicine, she took the real test.  It didn’t look like the same kid’s handwriting.  And, she made a SEVENTY FOUR.  There were many, many skipped questions (as a matter of fact, that’s where all of her missed points went.  She didn’t get any incorrect, she just skipped a ton).  And at some point, she changed from using her pencil to a purple crayon.  I giggled as I imagined her taking her test and #squirrel, “What a pretty crayon!  I’m going to make my paper look prettier than it would if I just used this pencil.  I bet my teacher will love the purple writing!  She loves purple!”  Not often do parents of ADHD kids get before and afters of what their kids can do on and off medicine.  I will probably frame these tests.  When someone says “Have you tried…?,” I won’t even have to answer.  I’ll just show them the evidence.

Eli has continued to do well.  He struggled the most in school pre-medication.  Like, behavior problems as a 3-4 year old.  I fought a constant inner battle of Am I enabling or advocating??  I agonized over how he would make it through school.  I imagined I would likely have to quit work and homeschool this amazingly bright kid who seemed to be so misunderstood by his teachers!  He has excelled academically in 1st grade.  He is reading beautifully, and enjoys reading chapter books (melt my momma heart!).  He loves reading trivial facts about random things and learning about history, and does both often and independently.  He has had to take very few of his tests this year, because he makes 100s on the pre-tests earlier in the week.  He’s equal parts good at reading/language as he is at math/science.  Due to being preceived as the “bad kid” and his lack of spatial awareness (read, he might plow right through you- watch out!), one of my biggest concerns for him at the start of this school year was that he lagged behind socially.  I’m so excited about how far he’s come this year with that as well.  He’s made sweet friends and doing incredibly well all around!  Don’t think everything is perfect, or we don’t struggle, but, oh the improvement!!

I don’t write this to tell everyone all our business or try to influence anyone to do anything that they don’t want to do.  But, I also know how much of a struggle this is for many of you, who are struggling alone and without support.  (I know this, because you messaged me last year and told me about it!  You told me your in-laws, parents, friends all told you how bad medications are, despite how much your child struggles socially and academically.)  I just want to be a story you can remember about a family that didn’t have a horrible experience with medication.  A college educated mom and dad who made this choice for their kids.  A mom who has a master’s degree in nursing.  A family that functions oh.so.much better because of this choice.  This is a topic that I am passionate about and happy to talk about, so if you have any questions or want to chat, feel free to send me a message, a text, an email.

Take a minute to watch this amazing video.   It’s sad, true, and inspiring at the same time.

My crazy ADHD kiddos, I will walk beside you in the rain all of the days, and continue to see the amazing things you do, even if it doesn’t fit the mold!

Our {ADHD} Journey Continues

I don’t know if back-blogging is a word, but if so, that’s what I’m doing. This post is another one previously shared on my personal site, but is important to our story!  🙂

From talking to many parents of crazy, more active than normal, kids with ADHD, it is not uncommon for kiddos not to do well on the first medication the physician tries.  However, I was surprised to hear that many try one medication, it goes wrong, and they stop the process.  There is usually not a one medication fix all for many disease processes.  For example, a doctor often has to try many medications before they get it right for high blood pressure.  Difficult ear infections.  High cholesterol.  So, I am way too stubborn to quit that easy.

Fortunately for us, and for my sweet Eli, the second medication we tried he did not have side effects from.  His dose was so low that we also didn’t notice much improvement in behavior, but after our first experience, there was victory in NO SIDE EFFECTS!!  So, last week, we doubled that dose, and have had a very good week.  He says that he is finishing his work on time in class and not having time out in after school care, so those are definite school victories.  The sweetest difference I have seen is that the child who has never enjoyed coloring or writing, is drawing awesome pictures.  The other night, he drew a picture that included a sky, an ocean, and a person scuba diving in the ocean with goggles.  This was wwwayyy more detailed than anything he would have ever had the patience to attempt prior to medication.  It’s the little things, ya’ll.  I don’t want my babies medicated zombies.  In fact, if I see their crazy personalities fade, we will have to come down on their doses.  But, I’m excited about the little, and normal things that they miss because they’re so active.
I am super thankful for a pediatrician who takes the time to talk to me, doesn’t treat me like I should know everything (or nothing), and doesn’t treat me like my parenting is the reason that my kids, and our family, needs help.