Now, I don’t actually go around saying “I drug my child.”
And it’s not the way that I think of it.
I prefer to think of it as giving my child what he needs to be able to function. Or thinking of it as giving my child a prescription that is closely monitored by his doctor.
In fact, I agonized over the decision as to whether or not I should put my middle son on any sort of medication for his ADHD. Because don’t you hear all the time that kids are over(or mis-)diagnosed with ADHD when really, they just need to learn to behave? And that too many kids are given drugs they don’t need.
But our son truly does have ADHD: we’ve gone through extensive testing and observation. I have no doubt that he has ADHD. ADHD is a spectrum with some people being affected a little and some a lot: my son is on the A LOT end of that spectrum(I’ve said before that he has holy shit ADHD). He also has PDD-NOS, which is an autism spectrum disorder.
He’s been on medication for his ADHD for a year now and this is our experience: it has been life-changing for him.
It hasn’t turned him into a zombie like I’ve heard some people complain about.
Has it changed his personality? Sort of. I like to think of it as letting his true personality shine through. Letting other people see the sweet and funny kid that I knew was there all along, the one that I could still see even without the medication, but that was hard for others to see.
The medication has helped with his impulsivity. He’s better able to control his actions and think before he reacts- this has made a world of difference. He doesn’t just react. He’s not as loud. He doesn’t respond to situations by hitting or screaming or melting down because he’s able to think his actions through. He can also focus on the task at hand. I guess you can say that his personality did change with the meds- but if we weren’t seeing any sort of difference in his ADHD behaviors, then wouldn’t it be fair to say the meds weren’t doing their job? But they are, so yes, there are some differences. Good differences.
His classmates and teammates have noticed a difference. The librarian at school stopped me one day to tell me how good and sweet he is this year and how big of an improvement it is over last year. His brothers can even tell when he hasn’t been given his pill. And of course, as his mom, I definitely notice a difference.
When we had his last IEP meeting, it was a totally different experience as well. Gone were the behavior goals. And he was on or even above grade level in all areas except one, instead of being behind in all. While he’s had an amazing team of teachers helping him over the past year and they deserve a lot of the credit, I don’t think this much progress would have happened without the ADHD medication.
I don’t go around telling everyone who comes into contact with my son that he is on medication. They don’t need to know, really.
And I hate the judgment. Because when it does come up, I hear criticisms.
- “Oh, I’d never drug my child.” I’ve heard that one so much that I had to give it a hat tip in this post’s title.
- “My child has ADHD and he doesn’t need medication.” That’s awesome! Maybe yours doesn’t have it to the extent my child does. Or maybe you’ve found something else that works. I’m not telling you to put your child on meds, don’t tell me to take mine off.
- “Have you tried (insert alternative treatment here)?” No. Again- if they work for you, great! But this is working for my child and as long as he’s being monitored by his doctor, I’m happy with staying on this course.
It’s just another example of the different choices we have to make for our families. I won’t sit here and tell you that if your child has ADHD, they should be on medication. Absolutely not- that’s something you need to discuss with your child’s doctor and decide for yourselves. But this is what we’ve found works in our family and whatever someone else has to say about it isn’t going to make us do something different.
Last Week’s Faves
Thanks to everyone who links up for Pour Your Heart Out. I’m highlighting three posts from the previous week(dang, y’all made it super hard to pick!) and I hope you take the time to check them out, along with visiting some of this week’s linkers.
- Am I Creating an Anxious Daughter? from Carolyn at Hooked and Happy. As a mom who is trying hard not to yell but often failing miserably, this post hit home.
- You are Beautiful from Chris at The Mom Café. Feeling a little down? Need a little reminder that you are amazing? Go read this.
- Known Unknowns from Lea at Becoming SuperMommy. Lea is one of my all-time favorite writers. She always manages to put so much heart into her posts and this is a perfect example.
Join in Pour Your Heart Out
Click if you want to find out more about Pour Your Heart Out. Remember, it’s about what you want to pour out: it’s personal, so there isn’t an assigned topic. It’s also about being supportive of others who are sharing: so visit other linkers and be kind with your comments. Linking up? (or even if you are just here to visit) Please visit at least two of the linkers and show them some support in the form of a comment or a share!