Monday, February 27, 2012

The AD/HD Medication Holiday Experiment

Okay so we tried the child off of his AD/HD medication for the last three days. General physician consensus does not recommend doing this. My child forgot to take his when I had to work on Friday and the babysitter was all impressed about how happy he was all day and playing and having fun. By Sunday night my husband was saying he doesn't need to be off his meds he has been out of control all day. I had to agree because all the cupboard doors were left open in the kitchen, a rolling chair was in front of one (you get the picture) and all of the soda and drink boxes were gone.

We took the medication today, he has been able to concentrate and has been fairly quiet but slightly irritable. As we speak both children are at the table doing math-quietly. My sister doesn't give her child his AD/HD medications when he is not in school (weekends, holidays, summer time). She says she just ignores his behavior because he can't help it. She only has him at home no other children so I can see that as being okay. My kid chases the cats around, turns furniture upside down, interrupts, eats continuously and takes way too many risks. I agree he can't help his behavior but am I doing him any favors by letting him be out of control?

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Guilt Trips

Of course the only time (in a long time) I turn on the Today Show they have a so-called expert who knocks medicating your AD/HD child. Saying it's (as always) the parent's fault that the child cannot sit still, concentrate, not genetics. I get really tired of seeing stuff like this on the television. No one who doesn't know first hand is or has a child with AD/HD can tell me that they know more about it than I do, period.

AD/HD runs in my family. It has to be genetic or why else would so many of my family members be living with the diagnosis? My child cannot remember simple instructions like go and let the dog out. He'll stop and say, "What was I supposed to do?" Just this morning he has already (just now) gotten side tracked by something he was supposed to do for me. 

Why do you medicate your child with powerful stimulant drugs if you are homeschooling? I have seen this question on forums, in books, on blogs, and many other places. Plain and simple I wasted a whole year trying to teach a child who was out of control, could not sit down to do his work, was easily irritated, and could often be violent toward us and our pets. When I started medicating him with the lowest dose possible for his size his concentration was better and the meltdowns were fewer. For his and our safety and for him to succeed we went this route. He now loves to do math and sits down and finishes a whole lesson. What took us the entire day to do now takes an hour to an hour-and-a-half tops. He can memorize violin music and we found that he is a great little performer.

A note about the diet: I have lost 8 pounds on the Dukan diet. It's not easy but it's the first diet I have been on where I am not hungry and I don't have to count calories just eat what is on the list and exercise. I haven't been able to lose the extra weight I gained since I was 40 not matter what I tried. 12 more pounds to go.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Homeschooling and the AD/HD Child

I know there are thousands of people who are taking their children's education seriously and making the decision to teach their children at home. Hoping to teach them how to think outside of the box. I am one of those parents. We took the leap when my youngest went to kindergarten and my son who was in third grade had a (what I term as) a nervous reaction to the MCT test. I was tired of sending them to strangers every day and not knowing what was going on and being the way I am, fearing the worst.

I was not entirely wrong. I hear reports from acquaintances about 10 years olds trading their cell phones for bb guns on the bus. This coming from an area that is supposed to be safe and the school district excellent. Incidences like these either not reported or reported and swept under the rug. I just want my kids to grow up the way they should not the way someone says they should. Public education is a right but not always necessary for a growing number of families throughout North America.

Now being in charge of my children's education is not easy especially when one is AD/HD. I knew something was not right but I had no clue the he was AD/HD. I continuously had to teach him what he was supposed to have learned during the day at school. He brought homework assignments home each night but didn't have a clue what he was supposed to do. We knew he was intelligent that was a given--but why was he not getting what was being taught? He was also extremely forgetful and disorganized.

 The first day of grade three he didn't eat because he misplaced his lunch money and was too afraid to talk to the teacher. Imagine how it feels to be a mom and know that you are sending your child to fend for himself every day. I sent an email to the teacher and she never answered it. A week later I sent a note and she said she never used her email. Communication at it's finest. I do not knock the teachers they have a big job and don't get compensated for what they do (just like firefighters, EMTs,nurses, police). I just decided that was not the way I wanted to raise my children. All of my child's teachers always marveled at how well behaved he was.

Behavior wise my AD/HD was super polite and well behaved in school. We got the worst when he was at home. He would either get off the bus smiling and happy, sullen and quiet, or fighting mad. He has moderate social anxiety and rarely speaks outside the home. He has my introverted personality. In this world of extroverts, introverts really have a steep slope to climb. It always hurt me that my child never got invited to other children's birthdays. It never bothered him because he hated all of the anxiety that came with having to mingle with other kids and strangers.

Diet Update: I have lost 6 pounds on the Dukan diet this month and at least two inches. My jeans are too big. 14 pounds to go!