The biggest dilemma I have faced so far

child art, intentional portrait of mother

child art, intentional portrait of mother (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

There are so many things that can bring a mother to tears. The first time your child is hurt, the first time they go to school, the first time they do something amazing and for whatever reason you’re not there to witness it. I’ve been there, done that, bought the tee shirt and the bumper sticker. Those are things no mother enjoys having to go through. But we all know they are a part of being a parent so we endure them. But I challenge you to find a mom who is told her three year old needs medicine and can take it lightly.

 

That’s right. My baby needs medicine. Looking back on it, I guess it really shouldn’t be surprising. I have ADHD and some other diagnoses and have been on medicine in the past. BUT HE’S THREE! And he’s my baby, and I don’t want him to need medicine. I know, I know. I sounded like a toddler throwing a tantrum, but I honestly don’t care. He’s my perfect precious everything, and perfect means he doesn’t need to be on meds.

 

I’ve spent his whole life trying to give him everything. I try so hard to give my son the world. After all,  he can be and do and think anything he wants. I catered an environment of nurturing and love, and all I wanted in return was a normal, happy little boy who wanted for nothing. And I just feel like I failed him, as well as myself. I can’t help but feel that it’s my fault. My diagnoses have passed down the line to my child. The only true love there is, a bond between mom and child has this ugliness forced upon it.

 

I know my posts are usually more chipper, but I just had to get this off my chest. This isn’t something I could handle by myself.

 

For now, I’ll stay strong. For now, I’ll hold on.

 

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4 responses to “The biggest dilemma I have faced so far

  1. Pingback: ADD Meds Info for Moms – Part I « ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  2. It’s scary – it’s scary when WE need meds. It’s REALLY scary when the child of our heart needs meds. And IMPOSSIBLY scary when that child is three, the meds are controversial, there is more fear-based misinformation “out there” than factual, reliable info, and everybody and his cousin is going to ring in with the opposite viewpoint JUST when you thought that you had finally reached a decision.

    I won’t try to tell you what only YOU can decide is right for your child, but I DO have an article on my blog entitled “ADD Meds Info for Moms” that might help you get a better handle on some basics (I just linked this article of yours at the bottom, btw).

    There are other links to more information at the bottom as well – some on my site and some on others (The Dr. Charles Parker CorePsych links are amazinly informative). Dr. Parker is available for phone consultations, and you might want to run the conversation with the first doctor by a second doctor to see what HE thinks — although I seriously doubt that CP would offer an official “second opinion” without more information that you probably have currently (and maybe not at all without seeing the child). Check out his blog, in any case.

    I would also encourage you to download the “plain English” pdf ADD Expert Consensus Statement housed on ADD Expert Charles Barkley’s site (link on my right sidebar – scroll DOWN) . The dangers of NOT medicating a child who needs it are daunting, and rarely printed by the popular press — this paper cites only a few of them.

    I’m not trying to scare you into a medication decision, but factual information from 75 of the top experts in the field (including TONS of credible references at the end) might make you feel more comfortable (and give you some info to counter the make-wrong you are likely to face from at least some of your community) if it turns out you decide that medication for YOUR child is the best course of action.

    My recent posts on Diagnosis and Grief might help you recenter a bit, too (see “newest 60 posts” on the right sidebar , within the first 10 – you’ll probably find the Intro article the most helpful.)

    By the way – this is an INFO blog – not an excuse to sell you anything, even though I make my living as an ADD Coach and Coach Trainer. The articles I write are aimed at normalizing ADD, affirming personal choice, and encouraging & uplifting for ALL but the uninformed “professionals,” journalists and bloggers who ring in without doing their research. (I’m pretty rough on them)

    My heart goes out to you – this is one of the scariest decisions ANY parent has to face (and since YOU have ADD as well, you are probably aware that we aren’t great with decisions anyway).

    I can’t say without knowing the specifics, of course, but at three, I doubt it is *essential* to medicate *immediately*, so taking some time to research options isn’t likely to cause any long-term damage. This is NOT something you want to allow *anyone* to rush you into — you MUST be comfortable with whatever decision you make or you will implode.

    There are some credible studies on meds and young children available, and recent thinking is pushing the age down as young as three because early intervention seems to give the best long-term results — but you may not be able to access them without buying a journal subscription, and unless you are used to reading primary research, they might make your head swim.

    You might also find The Top Ten Questions articles (linked at the bottom of the Meds…Moms post) helpful too — including the one about locating a doctor – don’t skip it just because you already HAVE one (even if he is the very best in the universe, you may not have asked him the questions I suggest). They’ll jumpstart your thinking, in any case.

    You can DO this – cry, rant & rave if you must, but keep breathing, keep loving, pray, and affirm that you WILL be able to come to a decision you can live with once the shock of the news is not so fresh. My best to you.

    Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CMC, SCAC, MCC
    – ADD Coaching Field co-founder –
    (blogs: ADDandSoMuchMore and ADDerWorld – dot com!)
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    • Thanks so much for the reply. There’s a lot of valuble info your site has provided and I will absolutely look into that. My son is “more than a handful” as quoted by his 3 teachers. He’s enrolled in a special school for children with speach delays (most 18 month olds have a more advanced vocabulary than he does) they also help with behavior problems. When 3 ladies who specialize, went to school even and have degrees to assist with special needs beavior troubled children tell me they can’t handle my son, so many red flags go off in my head. What did I do wrong? Did I injure him while pregnant? Did he somehow get damaged somewhere? What have I done to my precious little boy? I’ve never before noticed how much Zaden is just….I don’t know any more. He laughs at me when I spank him, he doesn’t cry at all. It’s like he can’t feel pain. He bites, hits and kicks and just smiles when kids return the gesture. He’s a bully. I can’t keep a sitter, he’s been kicked out of daycare, all the while I try so hard to stay positive. I’ll alays love my kid obviously but I hate how he is. I wish things were different. My and my boyfriend fight because of his actions and his “I don’t care” attitude. I know he’s 3, and everyone tells me he’s not capable of malice yet. But when he flips over a 50 lb solid wood antique dresser on top of his little 34 lb body because I take away his TV, there’s something majorly wrong. I ignored all the flags because everyone reassured me that he was normal. He is in fact the most unnormal little boy I’ve ever met. I just don’t know where to turn. It seems like meds will at least give me some sanity. I can’t even clean my house, he needs constant supervision and attention.

      Where did I go wrong? He was the best baby in the whole world and now…he’s not.

      • My sweet woman – *you* did absolutely *nothing* “wrong” – that “blame the Mom” CRAP (sorry, that’s exactly what it is), was never true and should have gone out with the bustle! We humans are simply NOT that powerful!

        I figured the behavior had to be absolutely over-the-top to be getting the advice to medicate at three. But STILL, you need to be ok with it or he will “read” your second guessing and react in ways that will exacerbate your guilt. With this kind of child (check out “Oppositional Rising” on my blog), your actions and thoughts will need to be congruent.

        They test your patience because they’re smart enough to experiment – not because they’re too dumb to learn (or need to be “punished” into submission).

        Another CRUEL and inaccurate myth that needs to GO: “Parents medicate for their own convenience.” (smile through clenched teeth & say, simply “Thank you for sharing” as often as they opine – don’t defend, they have NO idea, and they are simply wrong-wrong-wrong!)

        Yes, when our children are more in control, WE can be more intentional, but that is NOT the reason the (many) parents I’ve talked to decide to medicate. They do it for the sake of the CHILD. Those “over-the-top” kids are suffering!

        Out of control kids are STRUGGLING to understand this world they inhabit – they don’t have the words to tell you about it, so they act out. At least they can have “control” over their environments in *some* fashion, right? (Very satisfying on almost every level to have your actions get an immediate response – when cause and effect are screwy because the brain is different, it sometimes takes extreme “causes” to make the connection that actions have consequences)

        Meds are not THE answer, anymore than glasses are THE answer when a child’s visual focus is “off” – you still have to teach them to read, right?

        But without glasses, that child is not available for the learning, and is going to grow up thinking he is lazy or stupid, AND will miss out on the many things available to those of us who can read.

        Similar dynamic with meds for COGNITIVE focus. In many cases, a psychostimulant is what’s called for. Just because every brain doesn’t need them doesn’t mean that NO brains do!!!! (just like glasses)

        Stims do NOT “sedate” – they STIMULATE the part of the brain that needs it – kids calm down because they can *finally* focus (and other brain-based reasons).

        You’re right on – this child is not “normal” (meaning neurologically balanced, by the way, not psychologically impaired!)

        Sometimes the mix of meds is more complex, but the goal is *always* to allow the brain of the individual taking them to rebalance so they will be available for learning — with the same shot those BORN with more balanced brains have at having a life worth living.

        The current thinking is that starting meds young allows children’s brains to develop “normally” (meaning they don’t miss the developmental stages of childhood or integrate inaccurate “reasons” for their affect that effect them negatively for the rest of their lives).

        DO NOT LISTEN to those who haven’t had a reason to learn about neurology, etc. Their advice will NEVER fit *your* situation (not even your boyfriend, *unless* he is out there reading and researching neurodiversity with a vengeance AND spending a great deal of (loving) time with this child to be able to understand your experience!).

        Nobody intends to be cruel, in my experience, and they will probably never understand that they ARE being cruel — just don’t take it in. Get informed.

        BTW – ADD/ADHD is not the *only* disorder that might explain this set of behaviors – so a good DIFFERENTIAL diagnosis is important. Your child probably fits into a number of overlapping “comorbid” categories — and nobody can “fix” until they identify what’s “wrong” correctly. (search for “differential” and “comorbid” on my blog for more)

        The bright side/silver lining about kids like your son is that you don’t have the option of overlooking symptoms that need HELP.

        Delayed language is a big clue (NVLD maybe?), atypical response to pain is a clue (sensory integration issues), what people label “bully” behavior (Oppositional Defiant Disorder?), melt-downs (autistic spectrum and/or what used to be dx’d Aspergers) — and somebody needs to check out the schizo-affective spectrum. ALL or any, possibly, in addition to or instead of ADD/ADHD. (Don’t let these diagnostic labels scare you – they’re simply categories that tend to respond to similar interventions.)

        The good news is that they DO respond.

        It won’t be easy on YOU, of course, but you can proceed with self-esteem — KNOWing that there are answers for that kid and that you are a GREAT Mom for making it your business to find them (rather than listening to that “same ole’ same ole’ thinking that doesn’t really work very well for ANYBODY or shrinks would go out of business!)

        RE: “best baby” – my *guess* would be that his brain was struggling even then. Remember, just because behavior changes does NOT mean that you CAUSED the change (or that you could have prevented it!)

        Hope this helps – too long already!! My intention is to affirm you and share info that might give you options, so apologies for anything that sounds like yet one more person telling you what to do.

        You can DO this! Read with your brain engaged and listen to your maternal instincts without blaming yourself for not ALREADY knowing what you will learn.

        Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CMC, SCAC, MCC
        – ADD Coaching Field co-founder –
        (blogs: ADDandSoMuchMore and ADDerWorld – dot com!)
        “It takes a village to educate a world!”

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