Regardless of David’s behavior, we as a family move along. This summer we had an epic trip planned for Washington D.C. David was actually super interested in this trip due to the museums. Again, very smart kid. Not your Disney type. Come to find out one of my middle school bff’s lives in the D.C. area. We reconnected thanks to the wonderful world of Facebook and I soon found out through her sharing of her story that she herself, was the parent to an ADHD child. Same age as David. I opened up to her more regarding what was going on with us and she revealed that she made the decision to medicate her son. This trip I must say was one of the most stressful and most enlightening. David was a handful this trip. All over the place, hyper, unable to focus and moving literally 100 miles per hour. Towards the end of our trip we met up with my childhood friend and her kids for a day at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. The contract was night and day. Seeing her son being able to enjoy each exhibit and take the time to read the displays was incredible. Meanwhile David was running back and forth, shouting in excitement. My husband and I just knew. The next day while waiting in the lobby to leave, I began looking for a psychiatrist near us. We scored an appointment 2 weeks before school started. As suspected David received an official diagnosis of ADHD and we began stimulant medication.
Fourth grade. The year we began truly TREATING. At home the medication was doing its job. David was focused, did as told and remained organized. I did not have to remind him five times to brush his teeth or make his bed. When it was time for screen time cut off we were no longer met with such resistance. As David went to school, we were still at the charter school at this point, days on days would go with no communication from the teacher. Seeing what I had been through prior years this was astonishing to me. I could not wait for open house and the first parent teacher conference to see truly HOW David was doing in class. The conference came and wow. David was doing fantastic. The only complaint was that he tended to rush thru completing assignments. What a relief.
Towards the middle of the year my husband and I began to notice some things with David. Specifically repetitive eye movements and blinking and slight head jerking. **GOOGLE** mom here.. I began searching to see what this was. It appeared to be tics. This. Freaked. Me. Out. TICS. I can not explain the mental anguish that I went through awaiting our next psychiatrist visit. I took him off the medication, however of course behavior issues followed suit, and the tics did not subside. In speaking with David’s psychiatrist he advised that sometimes medication can bring out an underlining condition and it is up to us to treat the ADHD or to see if the tics go away. As the doctor explained it’s best to continue the stimulant treatment if it is curbing his behavior and creating a positive disposition at school.
That was a lot for us to digest. My husband and I definitely wanted to think about this and research some more. The more we thought about this we realized that we need to keep on course with his medicine since he was doing so well. In reading up on ADHD children and tics I learned that they are common to exist together. I read that sometimes they progress to the level of Tourette’s Syndrome and other times they are more transient. Reading up on these I learned pointers such as not to point them out to your child as they can exasperate them. It took every ounce of mine and my husbands energy but, ignoring them really helped. In fact at times he has NO tics at all. Most importantly as well it seems that he can control them for the most part.
Almost towards the end of fourth grade phone calls returned. In researching ADHD I had read that sometimes medication needs to be adjusted, therefore when the call came I quickly made an appointment to talk to the doctor. As suspected, Davids medication was increased and he was back on pointe.
Fifth Grade. The last elementary year. My husband and I already knew that for middle school we wanted to put David back in pubic school. I was beginning to not really like the charter school system we were in for a myriad of reasons. The main reason though is I did not feel that David was challenged enough. In the middle of the year we decided to go ahead and switch David back to public school to assure an easy transition to middle school, especially since we were switching from charter which went thru middle. WOW. An abrupt decision that was actually worth it. David was placed in the gifted class. I cannot praise the teacher of this class enough for making this a seamless move. She was so welcoming and David excelled to his highest ability. In fact… HE FINALLY MADE HONOR ROLL!!!!!!!!!!!! Elementary school is pretty simple, and honestly every kid makes it at least once… however we struggled with behavior for YEARS and honor roll did not exist in charter, to finally witness my son accomplishing this was one of the most proud moments of my life.
Middle school. The transition to teen hood. When David began middle school he had zero issues with the adjustment. Changing classes and remaining organized came very natural to him. As his mom I began to see some leaps and bounds in the independence factor. Example: When David started, for some reason he was placed in regular classes, not advanced. Since our family was taking a rather large vacation the 3rd week of school (yes.. we go approval in advance so it was an excused absence…..) I decided that I was not going to helicopter mom in and raise a stink. I did not have to. Week one 2 of the teachers noticed that David did not belong in their placement and on his own David met with the guidance councilor and all of his classes were switched. Of course I found this out days after it happened.. LOL. Another proud moment. Things falling into place and David handling. Towards the end of 6th grade the notice came home that David was being inducted into the National Junior Honor Society. Ecstatic. We always want our kids to do better than us and there, with this simple honor, it happened.
David continues to amaze us. His ability to tackle his ADHD by treating with medication has allowed him to excel to his highest potential. Of course there are always challenges, for the most part it requires Mom to keep a close eye in the school’s system to insure homework’s and projects are completed timely. Additionally advocating never stops. David’s tics occasionally to make a comeback. I had to once send an email to the teacher as a note was sent home regarding whistling.. Yes, whistling is something done to avoid a tic. And wouldn’t you know, the teacher replied VERY understanding as she herself is an ADHD mom. Sigh.. another reminder that we are not alone!
Keep on to Part 3 to see how I maintain raising ADHD…..***UNDER CONSTRUCTION ***