Evan has ADHD. You can spend 10 minutes with him and tell. We tried everything before we go the diagnosis because I believed, and still do, that the diagnosis is completely misused. Is your kid creative and bright and maybe a little bored? Medicate him. Does he not fit into the cookie-cutter image of other kids? Medicate him. It is so frustrating as a parent.
We tried everything. We met with a private psychologist, had meetings with the teacher and the guidance counselor of his school. We were told he was just really gifted and bored. And so we relayed the info to the proper people, and still received the same treatment. Pressure to put him on medication.
And then it got worse. And we took him to our family doctor, who could tell within a few minutes that he did have ADHD. We left that day with a script for ritalin. And it did nothing. Change it to Adderall and it worked. But it worked too well. You can look at the pictures of Evan over the years and tell the exact point where he started the medicine because it is like someone dimmed the light in his face, the spark in his eyes. It breaks my heart. He wouldn't eat, either. And at 8 years old, he lost so much that he dropped 25% of his weight in 3 months. And the Adderall was stopped immediately. We tried not medicating him and that lasted for about 2 weeks before we were back in the doctor's office, begging them to find something, anything to help him. The answer was Straterra, which lasted all of 2 days. Enter Concerta, and the kiddo was doin g better in class, but started to have more problems: manipulative, conniving, angry. After a couple of months of this, we said "enough" and didn't refill the prescription. That lasted about a month.
2 weeks ago, the principal of his school called us in the middle of the day and told us to not bother bringing Evan back to school unless he was medicated. I understood that he was having issues, but some of it was a stretch. For example, he got a behavior notice sent home because he accidentally farted in class. I swear. I know it's gross and we teach him manners, but he is a young boy. And when I asked him about it, he said he had a belly ache that day and he accidentally farted when he bent over to pick up a dropped pencil. And he said "excuse me". And he got a behavior notice.
I was angry at being forced to medicate him. Which, if we get down to brass tacks, was really what was happening. But what do I do? So I made an appointment for him and John took him. We asked them to put him back on Adderall because that is the only thing that got him to behave in school. I figured we could avoid the nasty side effects by just adjusting his dose. That was this past Friday. He started the medicine and--Wham!--the side effects started. The last time it at least took a few days for this to start happening. He acts like a Zombie. He won't eat. He behaves alright. Because he is too depressed and tired to misbehave. Well for the past 3 nights, he has not been sleeping at all. And complaining of a headache. And either vomiting or dry-heaving. I just had to page our family doctor and they called in a prescription for Phenergan so the poor kid can at least try to sleep without vomiting. It's horrible.
Tomorrow we take him to the doctor. And they are going to do something about this or he is stopping the medicine. I will home-school the child if I have to, though I believe doing so deprives kids of the normal social experiences of childhood. But a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do.