Special Needs Parenting: ADHD Medication Has Changed Our Lives
I wanted to share OUR experience for the people who have been put off by others who have a very strong opinion AGAINST medication for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
I have three children, and two of those are diagnosed with Autism and ADHD.
They are the proverbial chalk and cheese.
You might have seen a meme recently which said something along the lines of:
“Yes my children get along just fine, as long as they aren’t in the same room, cannot hear one another or aren’t breathing the same air, everything is fine”
This meme was a hit with special needs bloggers and I saw multiple versions of it spread across social media like wildfire.
It definitely struck a cord with me.
My two eldest CANNOT even speak to each other nicely, everything is heated.
They both have ADHD and are quite hard to control, neither has the ability to sit for very long, and quite often the eldest is skidding on the floor around the dinner table on his head, with his arms dragging along by the side of him.
He settled really well on the first medication that was offered to us.
My middle girl, has very severe ADHD, her impulses and attention and concentration span are hit hard, and it has taken us a lot of time, and follow ups, to get her medication just right.
For this reason it was much easier to make the decision to medicate her, as opposed to her brother.
She was violent, he wasn’t, she was so hyper and out of control that everything was an enormous task of fighting, screaming, shouting and upset for the whole family.
When we were told about my son's diagnosis we did have a big discussion about medication.
We had seen how the medication worked for my daughter and even though it made her slightly drowsy in the beginning she got used to it and the tiredness diminished.
She was in no way a zombie, but because he was less severe we worried how he would react to it.
He was struggling at school, was over 2 years behind and had little support in school until I moved him to a different one with better inclusion and support was instantly put in place.
However he was still struggling.
After his school assessment by the clinical psychologist was undertaken, we were offered medication and we agreed to trial it.
I am so glad that did.
Not only has it improved his attention and concentration, he is happier, he fidgets less, his academic levels have improved significantly and I am no longer pushing for an Education Health and Care Plan for him.
His writing 6 months ago was illegible.
It is now beautifully presented, in line, he has learnt cursive and is really looking forward to getting his pen license.
I am so mega proud of him.
For my daughter, it has taken longer to get the balance and type of medication correct, but I am confident that the one she is on now is starting to have the appropriate effect.
She is less violent and her meltdowns have decreased.
She has even managed to listen to, absorb, register and laugh at an anecdote.
She has NEVER done this before, she actually laughed, and I was so happy!
Our family is now starting to settle down, they are beginning to have conversations with each other, and join in each other’s play and games.
Hell they are even watching the same programmes on the same sofa.
I don’t think it’s all down to the medication though.
They both have new schools, and settled really well.
We have made a lot of changes at home, with sensory aids, equipment, and routines are all in place quite rigidly.
As a combination it is working well.
So don’t dismiss medication at the first opportunity because others have had negative affects, or opinions.
Think about it, weigh up the pros and cons, and think about the child.
Speak with school, and ask their opinion.
How is their learning and emotional well being?
It needs to be considered thoroughly, because for me, and in my honest opinion, ADHD medication has been an absolute life changer for our family.