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Posts Tagged ‘ADD’

Well Griffin is back with his daddy this week but I want to reflect on our first weekend with medication. We weren’t sure if we would have him on the medication on weekends but because his side effects went away and the doctor recommended keeping him on them due to his young age we kept him on them.

The results were incredible. He cleaned his room with zero argument and actually did a great job. He even was semi-organized about it. During all of our weekend activities he was extra helpful and attentive. It was such a pleasure. Not that we have bad weekends usually but it almost seemed like a cloud was cleared from his mind. He was able to focus on new interests and old ones so well. He seemed to have the ability to really enjoy everything he did rather than being so scattered and moving from one thing to the next so quickly.

The best part of the weekend was that he decided to write a letter to the King Of the Enchanted Forest (a character his step-daddy made up that takes toys when Griffin doesn’t clean them up when asked). The letter is below and it is brilliant and so neatly written. It literally makes me want to cry tears of joy.

I won’t be blogging as much about his medication unless things change from this point on. Thanks for all of your support and help throughout this crazy decision we had to make. I could not have done it without you guys. You know who you are!

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The last two days have been great and each day keeps getting better. Griffin has perfect or nearly perfect behavior and he isn’t showing many side effects anymore. The only difference I am noticing at home is his need for order and perfection that didn’t seem to exist before. Apparently he is doing this at school too.

Today he actually insisted on finishing some work that the teacher said they didn’t even have to complete. When she asked him if he wanted to move on to a new and easier activity he insisted on finishing the first task and actually finished all but two questions with perfect handwriting. When I picked him up he asked her if he could take it home and do the last two questions over the weekend. What!? We both told him it was not necessary.

I’m ok with his new found attention to detail as long as he doesn’t think he has to be perfect.

Also, he got Norton Knight of the week for his amazing behavior and hard work this week. We even completed his AR reading goals and he earned gold for the nine weeks and a t-shirt for the year! Woot!

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Today was another successful day. Very proud to say the least. When we got home from school I told Griffin, over a cut-throat game of Go Fish, that mommy was going to start selling Thirty-One bags. Normally he would have continued to play and somewhat acknowledged my new venture but today was different.

He said, “So are you gonna sell them outside in a stand in the yard mommy?” I of course giggled and before I could attempt to explain what it was that I was going to do, he was in and out of his room with his white board and markers drawing a design for the stand he and Patrick were going to build me.

He went into so much detail and asked me so many questions. Is it going to be a pointed stand or a flat stand? Where will you store your money? How much will the bags be? What color will the stand be? Will the drawers in the register be opened or closed? I kid you not, this kid had every detail covered in my Thirty-One bag stand in our front yard. This NEVER would have been played out like this before medication. I was floored. I know that attention to detail and slight OCD are a side effect of this medication but today I truly saw how that manifests itself. It was so creative and just amazing to interact with him like this.

Is this the Griffin we haven’t had a chance to meet yet because of the ADHD? He’s always very creative with his toys and games but the fact that he created this entire scenario for something he typically has ZERO interest in just floored me! It was an incredible bonding experience for us. Just amazing! I have attached his drawing below. He said he’d do the painting and Patrick would build it. Precious.

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Another day with 14 smiley faces! Wow! Not that I expect 14 every day but I am quite impressed.

Griffin mentioned that his teacher complimented him on how well he wrote his name on his work. Usually his handwriting is very sloppy because he does it so quickly. I guess he took this to heart because as soon as we got home he insisted on doing both pages of his weekly homework. Yep, you heard me, I said BOTH pages! Normally we do a page a day so it is more manageable for him each day and so I don’t go bananas. But today, he wanted to do both!

He told me he wanted to write his name “nice and neat” for his teacher. Normally it’s so sloppy and I don’t typically battle him to fix it. Today, not only did he write it on both sheets, usually it’s just one, he wrote his first AND last name BEAUTIFULLY!! And, his writing throughout the work was so neat!

Also, he sat down and did the work while I fed Liam. What? I didn’t have to sit with him the entire time to make sure he stayed on task? You heard it here people! He only asked for help on words he didn’t know or when he needed clarity on a question. This has never happened! My son did homework on his own and NEATLY!

It was so pleasant and needless to say I had tears in my eyes the whole time! Nice and neat…I will take it!

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Griffin woke up today asking for his pill first thing! The morning went well like normal and he was excited to see if he could earn 14 happy faces now that he had this “magic” medicine.

He came home with 14 happy faces and comments like “best focus ever” and “great manners” from his teachers. His teacher even emailed me telling me she was so happy for him because he seemed so proud that he was able to focus. Griffin beamed with pride and so did mommy. I was almost in tears because I had never seen him so proud of himself. He told me that all of his teachers gave him many many compliments today.

That is great news but we have to tread carefully here. We don’t want Griffin thinking he isn’t good enough without his “magical” medicine. Todd and I are being pretty mindful and making sure he knows he is wonderful with or without a pill. The pill just helps him focus on his already existing gifts and talents!

The down side of day 2 reared it’s ugly head during dinner time. Nothing horrible, but I noticed that he was quite anxious. He was very hyper focused on a game he made up with his GI Joe figures. The creative aspect of his game is normal Griffin behavior but he seemed very anxious about organizing and naming all of his figures. He was going a mile a minute explaining it to me while he ate his dinner and if I tried to redirect him he didn’t want to move on to the next thing. He wanted to make a decision about where each figure would end up in his game and wouldn’t stop until we figured it out together.

This concerned me because he seemed so focused on the game that he couldn’t do anything else. I of course turned to google at this point where I read that some kids do have anxiety at first but that it typically subsides.

I also noticed today that he is more sensitive. When going over last week’s spelling test he said, “how did I miss that word” or “I can’t believe I missed that one”. Normally he brushes that off but not today. For the first time he was truly concerned that he had missed questions on a test. I explained that it is ok to miss questions and all we can do is learn from it and move on. He seemed to like that response but I was pretty shocked that he was disappointed in himself since he had never expressed that before. Again, tread carefully here because we definitely don’t want him thinking he needs to be perfect. That’s the pressure I put on myself growing up and that is no fun!

He has also been increasingly loving which I of course eat up but wonder why he is expressing his feelings more openly.

So now I lay here and am riddled with guilt once again. Not giving up and I do realize it sometimes takes several different medications to find the right one but I think I will be calling his doctor tomorrow to see if we wait this out for a couple of weeks or try a new one.

Thanks for reading and please share with others who might be going through the same thing.

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Griffin just started his first, and hopefully last, ADHD medication (Vyvanse) today and a good friend of mine told me that I should journal about my observations and the process so here it goes!

Mixed feelings. That is where I stand on Day 1. The most overwhelming feeling is of course, guilt. Even though I know this is best for him it is still so hard not to wonder if medication will somehow change my amazingly bright and spirited baby in a way that isn’t good for him. I never thought we’d be here and if you had asked me if medication was an option a year ago I would have responded with an emphatic NO!

So here we are, and I feel huge amounts of guilt but I also feel a little ounce of hope. The hope comes from the amazing supportive friends and family that I have but most importantly it comes from Griffin. He is of course aware that he is now taking this pill. The adults in his life hope the pill will help him focus better, keep still when he needs to concentrate in school, and have the ability to control his verbal tics. For Griffin it is more simple than that.

While he was showering tonight he told me that the pill he is taking now will help him get 14 happy faces (that’s a perfect score) on his behavior chart at school. He usually comes home with 9 to 11 faces and his goal is 9 for a treasure each day. But to him this pill will help him get all 14 smileys. I of course explained to him that, pill or not, we think he is a great kid and the new pill will only help him focus on his goals a little better. I also explained that we’d still be using our chore chart and giving him stars and such. He interrupted and said, “mommy I want to do the stars forever” which led me into a funny conversation about him having his future wife give him stars for listening. If only he know that’s pretty much how marriage works right? Lol!

The point is, Griffin sees this as an opportunity and that gives me hope. He gives me hope and that helps with the guilt.

As for physical symptoms he did complain of tummy issues this morning but still ate like normal all day. One thing I noticed tonight is that he was way more cuddly with me than normal. He actually asked to hold my hand. I doubt this has anything to do with the medication but maybe it’s because we are openly discussing his ADHD and the medication with him? I’d like to think it makes him feel closer to me…

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A Sentence A Day

My first grader has recently been diagnosed with ADHD and struggles with reading and writing at school. He loves math, science, and social studies and tends to excel in those subjects, but when asked to independently write sentences he doesn’t typically finish the work in the allotted amount of time. He gets the concepts and can read, but he is still pretty slow with it in comparison to his peers. For instance, got all E’s on his report card with the exception of an S+ in Art, and an S in Reading and Writing. We are very very proud and made sure he knew just how proud we are but an S is like a C and we fear that he could get behind if we don’t take action and help him along a little now. We have met with the teachers and guidance counselors and think we have a plan in place thus far.

We are against the idea of medication at this point because we believe that some of his issues could be maturity issues, and we think that since he is performing at an average level in reading and writing, he just needs a little extra help to do as well as he does in the other subjects. Also, we don’t know if he might have some other learning disability related to reading and writing and are of course having him screened for those kinds of things to rule out other issues. No judgement to parents who choose medication, it is just not something we think will work right now, especially given the ambiguity behind what is causing his inability to focus on reading and writing as well as the other subjects.

That being said, his teacher asked us to have him write one sentence at home for us each day and reward him for his writing. We will of course also be increasing his reading at home but I thought it would be cool to document the sentences that he writes because they are all going to be straight from his amazing little mind. In school they are told what to write so I thought it would be nice to share his imagination with the world, which of course is why I started kidsights to begin with. So, the weeks I have him I will share a Griffin sentence a day and also share his progress as we learn more about ADHD and any other tidbits along the way.

Today I explained to Griffin that each day he could write one sentence after school on his white board and then he would earn a gum ball (he is a gum ball fanatic, much like his stepdaddy). He of course jumped at the opportunity! I will write each sentence exactly how he writes it to show progress.

November 7, 2011
Griffin LOVES GI Joe so he chose to write his sentence about GI Joe characters today: “I like all of the strog gis.”

I was very impressed with this sentence because I think it is easy to leave off the ‘n’ in strong and he spelled ‘guys’ phonetically correct and hasn’t learned that ‘uy’ can also make the ‘i’ sound, until today when I explained it to him. I also love that he chose to write about one of his favorite things and he of course reflected his “all boy” personality by stating that he likes all of the strong GI Joe characters. Stay tuned for more sentences and chime in as you wish!

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