Thursday, September 15, 2011

My ADD post. :D

Hello world,
The longer I go without blogging, the more 'behind' I feel. I feel like I can't just give a regular old post because there has been so much living going on in my family of 5 and I have so much to say. However, I'm just going to step out of that rut and start typing about what is in my mind right now.

Here goes:

My beautiful babies are all in school now! Kimberly is in 4th grade, Kennen is in 1st and baby Griffin is in 2 day a week preschool. I must admit...after our long lazy summer, our new schedule has hit our family like a Mac Truck. We aren't even that busy by most peoples standards. We just have school and each kid is in 1 sport. Should be no big deal to juggle that, but for us it's been hard. A rough adjustment. But this week things finally feel a little smoother and that we can do it.

There have been some changes. First up, I am finally admitting to myself that I have ADD. I have always known that I am a smart person, but I just don't seem to grasp things with the same intensity as other people. It's like my mental list of things to do were little butterflies that fluttered and flitted around inside my head and threatened to scatter away in the wind any second. I forget a lot of things. Paying bills. Washing clothes. Appointments. Social obligations. That when I tell someone, "I'll take care of it," that they actually expect me to (shocker) take care of it. I'm not really hyper. I mean I am kind of a spazz, but mostly my issues are that I am inattentive. I realized that, for me, three children was my tipping point and I no longer had a good enough hold on my life and responsibilities. I went to the Dr and she had me fill out a form. She sat and chatted with me for a few minutes and then wrote me a prescription for Concerta. Easy as that. I am amazed at how great I feel. I feel in control for the first time. I no longer have anxiety that I am forgetting something or that I am going to let someone down. My time management is much better. My house is cleaner. I'm not overwhelmed. I'm motivated and I just feel like I am able to be the best version of myself all the time.

The reason I first even considered it was because Kim struggled so much in 3rd grade. She was so forgetful, wouldn't finish her classwork, wouldn't turn in homework. She would forget to bring her spelling book home. She would tell me that her teacher would be talking and she noticed that other children seemed to understand what they were supposed to do the first time, but that she needed to be told again and again how to do an assignment. Her school isn't allowed to mention that she might had ADD, but they did use lots of adjectives like, 'inattentive', 'spaced out', 'not concentrating'. I was a little slow on the pick up, but I finally took the hint and had her evaluated. The child psychologist was great and tested her on not only ADD but anxiety too. In the ADD sections, she scored 90% more inattentive than other kids and in the anxiety part, he scored 97% more anxious than other kids. For now we are not medicating her. She does stress and struggle but I'm working on coping strategies to get her through each day. She came home with her progress report yesterday with 4 A's and 2 B's. Im so impressed! She is proud too. She said, "All that hard work and all those tears paid off!" <3 Love bug.

Now lets move on to Kennen. Oh my Kenny boy. He also struggled in Kindergarten but got by pretty well. He is actually academically better than Kimberly but socially awkward. He has the speech thing still so that makes it hard to have friends and stuff. He has gotten to the point that if you ask him to repeat something he will say, "Oh nevermind." I think it's a way to keep from getting teased for his speech issues. Even though he is super smart and a great reader and writer, he is slllllooooooowwwwwwww. One day, it took him 30 minutes to write, "Read for 10 minutes," in his homework calendar. His teacher says he spaces off and his folder full of incomplete classwork is building up quickly. The difference between Kim and Kennen though is that he thinks he is awesome. He is really confident and is not worried one bit about his academic performance. He is in speech at school, but he is also in speech with 3 other boys in first grade that happen to play on his football team. He loves going to speech because he gets to see his friends. In an effort to preserve his self confidence, I had him evaluated for ADD as well to be more proactive than I was with Kim. Okay, so I will be the first to admit that when it comes to Kennen I do have blinders on. I understand him on a deep level and I think I pay more attention to his intentions instead of his actions. However, in that interview with the child psychologist I noticed his oddities. Like when you ask him a direct question, he will go off on a tangent that has nothing to do with your question. When you guide him back to the question, he will contradict and talk back. He also was jumping around the office...spinning and making shooting noises and fighting imaginary bad guys. Probably normal boy stuff but well, maybe not. Basically by the end of the session, the Dr. told me that Kennen didn't even need to schedule the 2 hour formal evaluation. It was pretty clear to him that Kennen has ADD or ADHD. I don't think he is particularly hyper but the inappropriate social reactions are usually a result of having the hyperactive version of ADHD.

By the looks of things, all three of us are just a hot mess together. For example, just us getting out of the house on time is a nightmare. The kids can each only find one of their shoes, they forgot to brush their teeth, I can't find my keys, Kennen cries because he is all stressed out, Kim has wandered back upstairs to look for shoes and instead plays with her gerbil, I'm going ballistic and yelling at the kids to hurry, and in the mean time Griffin decides to poop so I have to top what I'm doing and change him. Whew, I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

I am loving my medicine but I need to decide now on whether or not to medicate my kids. I think I am going to at least try it for a month. Parenting is a funny thing...before I was a Mom I never even believed in ADHD/ADD. I thought it was poor parenting. Who knows, maybe I am a crappy Mom and I've taught my kids my bad habits. Oh well though...all I can do now is try to give my babies the best tool to succeed and get past my guilt. Guilt only weighs me down.