Flights of Fancy Mom

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Growing up with ADHD

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My daughter was diagnosed with ADHD in the second grade.  Eight years ago. Since then, we have been truly lucky with the prescriptions her pediatrician put her on.  When we discussed the possibility of ADHD with her Dr, I was hesitant.  I felt that it was overly diagnosed. That a kid misbehaves in class and is labeled ADHD. My daughters teacher, father and I each completed paperwork for our respective locations and the degree of variance in our responses were so minimal that the Dr said that there was no doubt in his mind that she had ADHD. I was then hesitant to put her on pills. I was afraid that she would be reduced to having zombie like qualities. Unsmiling and just shuffling along from point A to point B. As stated above, we were lucky. She continued on as normal, but, we noticed a remarkable change in behavior because she was able to focus enough to figure out what she wanted.  She ran and played like a normal child, without being overly hyper. This continued through to this day.

She started on Metadate and used that from second to fifth grade. Her Dr then moved her on to Concerta in the sixth grade and has been on it ever since. The dose increased as she got older and her weight went up.  Medications are usually based on half their body weight. Right now, during the school year, she is on Concerta 54 mg. She does not take it during the summer and is perfectly fine for the most part. The pills mainly help her to keep focus during the school day so she can understand what she’s being taught. During the school year, she does not take them on the weekends.

With all that said, she HATES being on these pills.  Says that it makes her feel weird and out of sorts. When she didn’t take them for two weeks after she got her expander in, she said she was perfectly fine. She could handle being off the pills. So, I looked at her and asked, “Didn’t you tell me that your teachers asked if you smoked something before class?” She looked startled and replied, “Oh, yeah they did. I guess maybe I wasn’t fine.” She, like every teen, doesn’t like anything that make them appear different. And yes, taking a stimulant to calm down can appear different apparently.

One of her issues with having ADHD is test taking. She will pass all of her assignments with flying colors. But her tests? She went all last year and did not pass one Science test.

This past July, the Department of Education labeled ADHD as being a disability and now these children have protection under the civil rights law. This is great news! Some of the resources and tools students with ADHD have available to them, but, not limited to, are:

  • Highlighted textbooks
  • Extended time on tests or assignments
  • Peer assistance with note taking
  • Frequent feedback
  • Extra set of textbooks for home use
  • Computer-aided instruction
  • Enlarged print
  • Positive reinforcements
  • Behavior intervention plans
  • Rearranging class schedules
  • Visual aids
  • Preferred seating assignments
  • Taping lectures
  • Oral tests
  • Individual contracts

I found this list from a great parents resource. You can view it HERE.

I’ve reached out to my daughters school to make sure she receives all the assistance she is eligible for and entitled to under this protection. The main one she was concerned with was the tests.  Either slightly longer time to take the tests, or, to be moved into a different room with a smaller crowd, and less distractions.  She does well with assignments and at times, with tests.  Has maintained an A and B average with a C in Science. She’s highly intelligent. But, gets discouraged when it comes to tests.

The school advised me that it can take up to 60 days to get the evaluation under way. That’s a little further into the school year than I had planned, but, at least I know she’s going to get it before the holidays. So, if you think your child needs to be protected under this new ruling, contact your school immediately so you can get the ball rolling and get your child on the list and make it a better year all around for them.

Does your child have ADHD? How are they with their pills and testing?

24 Comments

  1. Pam & Brittany (@pamwattenbarger)

    My son has ADHD and takes Concerta also. I gave him the choice to take the pills and he says he does much better with them. He is a sophomore in college now so it is really good they came up with the list of extras, like longer testing taking time, etc. His university really wants to work with him, so we are blessed in that respect.
    Also, I don’t think my blog is sending replies to comments, so I wanted to make sure you got the answer for the lavender-mint hand sanitizer. It would be fine to put a sprig of mint/lavender/eucalyptus in the mixture. The alcohol, witch hazel or vodka (which ever one you use) will preserve it.

    Reply
  2. Pam & Brittany (@pamwattenbarger)

    My son has ADHD and takes Concerta also. I gave him the choice to take the pills and he says he does much better with them. He is a sophomore in college now so it is really good they came up with the list of extras, like longer testing taking time, etc. His university really wants to work with him, so we are blessed in that respect.
    Also, I don’t think my blog is sending replies to comments, so I wanted to make sure you got the answer for the lavender-mint hand sanitizer. It would be fine to put a sprig of mint/lavender/eucalyptus in the mixture. The alcohol, witch hazel or vodka (which ever one you use) will preserve it.

    Reply
  3. Jess Benoit

    My 11 year old son AND my husband both have ADHD. (Please help me) Neither of them take any meds for it and we see no reason for them to need to. I’m not against medication for ADHD. We just don’t see a need for our own family. I personally know a few people who do take it & seriously need it. To each their own.

    We homeschool, so I am able to customize our learning experiences (thankfully!) so it isn’t so rough on our son. I had no idea that ADHD is now considered a disability by the DoE! I am checking out that link now. Thanks so much for sharing it and your experience.

    Reply
    1. Jacqui S (Post author)

      Jess, that’s great that they are able to get buy without meds. And homeschooling definitely helps since you will only have to customize one on one education, and not have to do that and deal with a room full of other kids. I feel bad for teachers who have to deal with more than one child with ADHD.

      Reply
      1. Jess Benoit

        I couldn’t even imagine doing that! We have 3 kids, each with their own learning styles, ranging from age 9-15. The oldest also has ADD lol.

  4. dana vento (@danavento)

    What a great post. First it is wonderful how much you advocate for your child, I do the same. It is nice to hear when people are about their kids. As for the rest. You seem like you have this all control and it is great to hear that a med is actually working as so many do not!

    Reply
  5. Heather Kraus (@KrausHouseMom)

    My daughter has ADHD and she also takes Concerta. She also had what I call alphabet soup of issues, if she doesn’t take it, you can tell. She notices how she can think better and make better decisions when she takes her medicine. She doesn’t feel like an outcast taking medicine because I have heart disease and have to take several meds daily as well. She has an extensive IEP that I made sure she had from kindergarten (I was a teacher and made sure modifications and accommodations were in place).

    Reply
  6. Ben Butler

    ADHD can be tough to deal with. It makes it so much harder for them to do things and for them to fit in. That’s rough for a kid.

    Reply
    1. Pam Wattenbarger

      It can definitely be rough for a kid. Both of my kids actually have ADHD, and so do I, although I didn’t know until I was an adult.

      Reply
  7. babyfoote

    I don’t have personal experience of ADHD but I hear how well your daughter does with her medication and I think that’s got to be a good thing. I think it’s brilliant that scientists can figure out the way to make medication that helps her through her day.

    Reply
  8. Kathleen Kennedy-Leon

    luckily I don’t have first hand experience with ADHD with any of my children. I am happy as a healthcare provider to see that medication has helped your daughter which is great news, as I’m sure its not easy coping with the issues associated with the disease

    Reply
  9. Michele d

    Doctors thought that my son had ADHD when he was younger and they tried him with it. I’m not one for suggesting any child take medication but if it will help then I’m all for it.

    Reply
  10. Susan

    My youngest son has ADHD too and it has been a struggle.. Especially with school work. We chose a homeopathic path with him and it seems to work quite well for now.

    Reply
    1. Jacqui S (Post author)

      Good! I am so glad going that route has helped you all!

      Reply
  11. Brandy

    My son has what appears to be ADHD but since we had horrible experiences medicated my middle – I refuse to do RX for this type of scenario. I don’t say that to judge others for their decisions of how they handle it, I just am working to try to get him into Occupational Therapy here where his brother goes and work on control/management without meds due to watching my middle have awful experiences on meds and still dealing with the after math of them. I don’t want to ever watch a child go through that. I try to work with what interests him, if it interests him he can focus even with ADHD. It’s hard in a school system with ADHD though. I am debating changing up schooling to be honest.

    Reply
    1. Jacqui S (Post author)

      Absolutely! Medicine is NOT a cure all for everyone. If therapy works for your son, then definitely do that. It’s what works for him. If he’s diagnosed with ADHD, the school is required to work with you. Tell them he needs to be evaluated and work on it from there with them. This is now a federal law. They cannot deny you.

      Reply
  12. The Trophy WifeStyle

    ADHD is definetly something hard to deal with. My hubby’s brother has it and he is always telling me stories about his brothers struggles

    Reply
  13. Gwendolyn Mulholland

    I wish they had recognized ADHD before now. My son could have used the extra help while he was in school. The IEP he had did little to help the test taking and sometimes I think the teachers resented it. I am glad that more help is being made available for these students.

    Reply
  14. Kathy

    Neither of my kids are ADHD. My husband is though. Some medicines are definitely very helpful too.

    Reply
  15. Eloise

    it’s great that you were able to diagnose and treat your daughter (happy it’s working out for her!) I can imagine your hesitation to meds, I think all moms are like that, rest asure and be happy you made the right choice : )

    Reply
  16. Kendall

    This is so informative and great! I’m glad that your daughters on the right track to getting the things she needs to handle her ADHD. It seems like it can be difficult, but I’m glad there’s things to help manage it.

    Reply
  17. Chubskulit Rose

    A family we knew back when my husband was still in active duty has ADHD. I believe the little one was taking some meds too butnot sure what it was.

    Reply
  18. Terri Ramsey Beavers

    My neighbors daughter has ADHD and because of it, she hates going to school. She also refuses to take her medicine most of the time causing her mom concern.

    Reply
    1. Jacqui S (Post author)

      Terri, do you know why she hates going to school? Does she feel alienated? Does the medicine make her feel like a zombie? I don’t allow my daughter the opportunity to refuse it. She takes it or she gets things taken away. But, if there is something that doesn’t sit well with your neighbors daughter, (a valid concern, not one of, “I don’t feel like myself.” Because, the medicine is supposed to help with that.) She may need to take her back to her pediatrician, or, whomever is treating ADHD to get the meds checked out to see if they are good for her. Maybe try a different family of ADHD meds that may work better.

      Reply

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