Thursday, June 9, 2011

Forward Marching

Its only fair to follow up after throwing out various diagnostic suggestions to the blogosphere. Professionals and opinions and doctors and technologists, and what feels like a lifetime of appointments kept in a 1 month period of time have left us with all kinds of "potential" diagnoses.  And again the question pops, why do we need everything to be labeled?

Well, because a label for cave-dude means qualifying for additional schooling, and other important services and resources for our family.

And a label for cave-dude jr.  means moving forward without a label.  Confusing, right?  Let me explain.  I think I've got the right people for our family working on all the right things.  As I had written before, the school had suggested that cave dude jr's behavior was far outside of normal. They were able to recognize that he is not malicious, or destructive, and is actually a pretty awesome kid, who has a deep need to be a big squiggle in the teacher's day. So we've pursued getting a "label" for this behavior, because the school requested it.  Without a label, he's headed down a disappointing road of school suspensions and dropping grades.  But here's the GREAT news.  Apsergers....nope.  He's too physically attached to his family for that to even be looked at as a root cause.  I'm good with that.  Hyperkinetic....heck yes, just about scored 100% on that one.   Hyperkinetic is the old word for a label we all know and hate.  ADHD.  UGH.  But here's the scoop on ADHD, with treatment, the school doesn't even need to know that he's been diagnosed.  So long as the treatment is successful, no label necessary! So, we're getting a label, to avoid a label.  The idea behind this is that with the proper medication, his ability to modify his own behavior (because the medication speeds up the neurotransmission between the parts of the brain that say "Squirrel!" and send you running, and the part that says "Its just a squirrel, no need to check it out, you already know what a squirrel does.") will be so much improved, that he shouldn't need any modifications in what the school, or his parents, or anybody else should expect of him.  I also love this doc's opinion that medications are to be consistent, not used "recreationally" to get through certain events.  In other words, the ADHD is a 24/7 issue, learning is a 24/7 behavior, and medications should match the 24/7 climate.  This also helps in laying the foundation that drugs are not used to get through events. Drugs are used to treat important medically related situations.  In other words, we lower the risk of recreational drug use in the future by not allowing the ADHD meds to be used recreationally where the child learns what it feels like to be "up" or "down" because the dose will be constant.  12 months ago, I would absolutely not have been open to medication for this.  But after seeing the excellent improvements for cave dude sr.  after starting meds to assist in coping with PTSD and knowing how much better he feels because of them, I feel open to giving it a try. Here's hoping for a future that includes an 8 year old who acts more like an 8 year old, and less like a toddler who's exploring the world for the first time every time we go out into public.  This could be a good thing.


ramsam said...

Oh wow, so much to handle and surrender to! Good luck and God bless. I used to fear medication more than anything, but it can be such a blessing!

Nicole said...

We just recently went through this in our house. As a teacher, I recognized the symptoms, and I've known for a few years that Cami has ADD. (She isn't hyperactive, so most people shrug it off as not a big deal, but believ me, it still is!!)

For kindergarten through second grade, I just tried really hard to provide structure and make sure she had excellent teachers. She was able to keep up in school (and be at the top of her class) until the second half of second grade. Then the work load started getting too heavy for her to slip by on smarts alone.

At the beginning of this year (3rd grade), I got her in right away for the formal evaluation and diagnosis. I think I was less worried about the label, but more worried about the effect of the meds. However, I knew that I had done all I could to help her without meds. I can happily report that the meds are a night and day difference in our life!!! It is not a decision I will ever regret!!! (It did take a few months to get the type of meds and dosing right...She seems to do best on the Concerta and has the least amount of side effects with it.) I hope this works for you guys and to hear a happy update from you soon! :-)