Family

My Son Has ADHD

Something Purple Unicorn Designs has been missing is authenticity. I’ve talked about tons of things I like, but I haven’t talked much about who I am or my family. My name is Victoria. My partner is Andrea and my son is David.

 

David just started kindergarten and I’ve decided to be open about David’s behavior. David was asked to leave three different daycares because of his behaviors. David has a very difficult time expressing his emotions and it’s very common for him to become overwhelmed or frustrated.

On a good day, he’s a cuddly, sweet, funny, and caring kiddo. On more difficult days, I get letters from teachers like I did today. David’s new kindergarten teacher emailed me to let me know he had a rough day at school. He kicked another child, screamed and cursed at peers, and threw a yelling tantrum about hating everyone. He was kicked out of preschools and daycares for similar behavior. This morning he screamed repeatedly that he hates me while I tried getting him in the shower.

I haven’t gone public at all about these behaviors. I haven’t told many people that a month ago, David was diagnosed with ADHD.

I’ve been terrified to talk about this for a lot of reasons. For years, I’ve believed ADHD can’t present in kids David’s age. I’ve also always, and still do, believe ADHD is insanely misdiagnosed in pediatrics. But sometimes it isn’t. I’ve mostly been terrified to talk about this because we decided to try medication.

My son’s most recent pre-k teacher became an incredible support system for the three of us. Her youngest child has almost the exact same behaviors as David. We both know what it’s like to restrain your own child to keep himself from hurting themselves or someone else. She told me they started medication for him around seven or eight years old. She said the difference was day and night. She even told me, “In retrospect, we wish we did it earlier.”

I made an appointment with a children’s psychologist. I brought his teacher’s assessment and I filled out a parent assessment. I didn’t say ADHD. I listed his symptoms:

  • Inability to regulate emotions
  • Impulse control
  • Stealing meaningless objects
  • Angry outbursts where he’ll scream, curse, hit, kick, bang his head, call himself stupid, throw objects, bite, etc.
  • Difficulty sitting still
  • Have to repeat an instruction multiple times before he acknowledged someone was talking

The psychologist diagnosed him with ADHD. We talked about medication to help David with hyper activity and impulse control. We chose a non-stimulant medication that was actually created for high blood pressure in adults, but in low very dosages it has been proven to curb hyperactivity and provide impulse control. The hyperactivity has improved but he’s still athletic and outgoing. Losing his personality was a fear, and I’m glad he’s still active and loves to move, especially dancing.

After his teacher’s email and the behavior at home, I’d be willing to say impulse control is still an issue. We have another appointment in a week, and I’m hoping the Doc has some insight.

My kid can tell you why the sky is blue, down to which molecules bounce off each other. He knows addition and subtraction and does worksheets for fun. He knows some of his times tables. He can tell you why the sun and moon show up and what causes night and day.

If you ask his middle name, he’ll tell you he has two. If you ask his age, he’ll tell you older than five and a half but six in November. He is one smart cookie, but if you ask him why he’s angry he can’t tell you. If you ask why he made a poor choice, he can’t tell you and will look a little ashamed.

We’re all works in progress and striving to get better. He has one bright future ahead of him.

I look forward to getting a little more personal and digging deep in this space. I would love to think of this blog as a place for crafty business-oriented busy moms can be themselves!

Have you been through a challenge, or just opened up about something publicly in your business? Let me know.

1 Comment

  1. Audrey

    Honestly, I think the reports of overdiagnosis of ADHD have been overblown, and the resulting backlash is hurting a
    lot of kids who could be getting help sooner. ADHD *is* real, and identifying and managing it – however you choose – makes for happier, more successful kids than just placing blame on the kids or their parents. I know you will continue to follow your own instincts as a parent and consider doctors’ advice. My daughter takes stimulant medication – primarily for impulse control issues – and we have had to make adjustments over the years but I am confident it has been the right choice for us. You can vent to me anytime. <3

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