ADHD Archive

Untreated ADHD

Posted April 8, 2019 By kmarrs

I have spoken to my psychiatrist about treating my ADHD and it just isn’t going to happen yet.

The main concern is that my rest heart rate, for a year or more now, has been in the 120-130’s. This is, of course not good. Add in a stimulant, which is how to treat ADHD, and there is an increased, serious risk of me having a heat attack. We both agreed that it is to be avoided. Especially since I’m graduating Summa Cum Laude without treatment.

One of the other concerns is that I will have to stop my anxiety meds. But it’s been argued, by my therapist, that a lot of my anxiety is tied to my ADHD. Which is valid. Executive dysfunction, the inability to initiate tasks, makes any task super stressful for me. And I get super bad anxiety just thinking about what all is on my to-do list, knowing I’m going to have to beat executive dysfunction with all of it.

So why now? Why not seek treatment before?

Because I’m getting to the point where my ability to function is affecting my ability to be successful in my job. Plus it’s really hard to study for a test, successfully, with ADHD. Between the inability to focus and the ability to have any functioning memory what-so-ever…

See, Franklin University, my current school, doesn’t really have tests outside of math and science. We have big final projects and an abundance of papers instead. So I don’t really need to memorize facts. And I am really good at finding sources and writing papers. It has gotten me far at Franklin. It has gotten me Summa Cum Laude. But that won’t fly in grad school. I’m assuming I’ll have finals to take. Which scares the shit outta me, if I’m on my own.

And for now, I’m on my own because my pulse is 120.

Actually, it’s currently 114. I know this because I’m now wearing one of those watches that tracks your vitals. I’m hoping… see, I get really stressed out these days when someone takes my vitals because I know they aren’t great. At least my pulse isn’t. So it makes me anxious which increases my heart rate. I’m hoping if I can have long term tracking through the day, every day, without me thinking about it, that my pulse will be better and I can show it to my psychiatrist. The goal is a consistent average of under 100. Or rather, a consistent high, of under 100. Somewhere between the two.

So for now I track and then hopefully I’ll stabilize and we can get me on ADHD meds.

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Do What You Can

Posted March 4, 2019 By kmarrs

This started as a Twitter thread, so you might have seen it there, but I want to expand upon it, and I want to do that here, in long form.

Sambam is at that age where it’s fun to do chores that aren’t her own.
Ask her to clean her room? It’s the end of the world. Try to do dishes (my chore) without her help? Also the end of the world. I let her help until (if) she gets bored then I let her move on. And when it comes to her room (her chore), once a day I set an egg timer for 10 minutes and tell her to do what she can but once the timer rings, she can be done.

In reality, all her room ever really needs is that 10 minutes a day, and usually, it’s done in 5. But instead of overwhelming her by the limitless “clean your room”, I redirect it into a clear time frame with a set beginning and end. And reframe the word “spotless” into “do what you can”. This allows an overwhelming task to feel manageable. Possible. And I get a much better end result. In 10 (5) minutes, instead of the 10 days, it used to take.


Now she is happy to do her chores. Is excited (bossy) to help me with mine. And our relationship has a lot less stress in it. She is my heart and is growing into a functional and happy and beautiful young lady!


(Also, her hands are seeing work for the first time and she earned a tiny blister she’s very proud of. She worked herself on the dishes far harder than I would have worked her. But she was having fun.)


Do what you can.

That is just such an important concept!

So many of us are sick in one way or another. Mental health, chronic physical health. So many of us are spoonies. And when you are a spoonie, being given an open ended task like, “clean your room” or “vacuum the carpets” can seem so overwhelming.

I’ve seen this concept stated in many ways by many people, but I’m going to work it my way and see what happens.

Your bathroom is a mess? Start with the clutter around the sink. Put everything on the counter in its place. Now wipe it down. Out of spoons or otherwise need to move on? You did what you can. You’re free to go. But be proud of what you did! Tomorrow you can tackle the toilet.

Not out of spoons and the counter looks great but you want to do a little more? Go for it! Nothing is stopping you. Do what you can for 10 minutes. 15 minutes. Stop when you need to stop. Continue on when you have the spoons and will.

Vacuum one room a day. Look. I get it. Pushing the vacuum around takes a lot of spoons. So just get your living room. Or your office. Or the one room that needs it the most. Do what you can.

Writing a paper for class and it needs to be 6 pages and that feels overwhelming? Well, unless it’s due in like an hour, write the introduction and walk away from it for awhile. Go do the dishes. Get a snack. Just walk away. But while you do so, work the paper around in your head. After 15 minutes, come back to the computer and get down what your brain tossed around. Polish it. Add a little more. Just until it starts to get a little overwhelming again, or right before, then walk away again for awhile. No one said you have to write the entire paper in one day, unless you procrastinated. Take your time with it. Take little bites as you can. Bit by bit those 6, 10, 20 pages will form.

Do what you can.

Don’t ever berate yourself for not having what it takes to <insert task here> in one go. But don’t just do nothing either. Idleness won’t help. It’ll only make you overwhelmed with the task in general.

Back to Sammy.

We used to just tell her to clean her room spotless and, especially to a young child, that was the single most horrible thing we could have done (aside from actual child abuse, I acknowledge). To her little mind, it was the end of the world because it was so overwhelming. So one day I set an egg timer for 10 minutes and told her to do what she could. As long as she actually worked for the full 10 minutes, just putting away what caught her eye, or whatever was closest, or no method to the madness, just honest cleaning… whatever the end result was, she just needed to work for 10 minutes. I figured 10 minutes a day for a week, and we might have a spotless room.

But she bloomed. Suddenly she didn’t have to clean indefinitely. She had a clear and solid end insight. So instead of letting it build up in her mind into this huge overwhelming task, and accomplishing nothing at all (or worse… continuing to play and letting it get messier)…

The entire room took her about 5 minutes and she bragged about it. It wasn’t an ordeal. It wasn’t overwhelming. It was 10 (5) minutes worth of honest effort, end results be damned, and the end results were amazing. Better than what usually resulted in 10 days worth of tears and frustration, and mostly procrastinating.

I have executive dysfunction. It’s paired with my ADHD and depression. Tasks can seem so overwhelming and impossible to start. My head paints this big picture that <insert task here> is going to take a million hours of exhausting, mission impossible work. As a result, I’m afraid to even start. It’s just built up and overwhelming and I can’t seem to make myself start.

When I do eventually start the task, more often than not, it takes a hell of a lot less time than I feared, and not nearly as much effort as I assumed. It seemed endless and impossible, but in reality it was manageable and not that big of a deal. Certainly not what I built it up to be.

Getting started is the hard part. With me. With Sammy. And possibly (probably) with you.

So buy a little egg timer. Set it for 10 minutes. Now, not forever from now. (Or if you’re like me, give yourself a little more leeway and start at exactly x:00 or x:15 or x:30 or x:45… it just feels more solid and definite.) Set that timer and just start. See what happens.

And do what you can.

Oh! And one last thing! Don’t set yourself up for expecting perfection in the results. No one ever needs that. Your honest best is your honest best and don’t let anyone, including yourself, expect anything more from you.

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ADHD

Posted January 24, 2019 By kmarrs

So many years ago I suggested to my meds doctor that I might have ADHD. She was willing at the time to medicate me for it, but insurance put up a fight and I just wasn’t up to fighting.

Now I have come to the terms that I almost definitely, though it’s self diagnosed, have ADHD. There is no denying it. And I’m to the point in my education and career, that if I’m going to succeed, than I need medication.

So I called my meds doctor the other week and asked her if I could come in sooner than planned and discuss me starting meds. I’m willing to go through the diagnostic criteria, and I have a better handle on the symptoms now, that I can really make a case for myself. So I should hopefully be medicated starting in maybe mid-February.

I’ll check back in around then to fill you all in on how that goes. I’m also due for a meds update post, but I might as well wait until I know what’s going to happen with ADHD treatment.

Also, while we’re on the topic, I’m pretty sure I’m autistic. They are comorbid a hell of a lot of times. However, I will never seek diagnosis there.

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A Brilliant Mind

Posted March 29, 2013 By kmarrs

We all brag on our kids.  So know that I know we all consider our kids to be the next Einstein, Henry Ford, Marie Curie, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Da Vinci, or in my case, Sheldon Cooper.  I do wholeheartedly get that.  Please understand that, as I quote the following comment left on Thawed, and then get into my response.

I’m sure you already know this, but on the off chance, here you go. If kiddo’s ADHD, showing signs of OCD, and isn’t able to manage in another educational setting (“it’s not them, it’s him”), these are red flags in the special education world. It’s worth asking the school district for a full psycho-educational run down on him. It should include academic, psychological, mental health, and anything else that you’re at all concerned about (speech pragmatics, ability to negotiate a playground, whatever). Your family may choose to homeschool, or to enroll him in a private kinder, and only you know what will work best for him and you, but it’s the district’s obligation to put him in a kindergarten with the necessary supports he requires to succeed (which damn well includes a school bus). Cognitive behavioral therapy and a tightly structured day can do wonders for kids with ADHD, and if that’s what it takes for him to manage school (and the school to manage him) then they get to provide it.

I think this warrants addressing beyond the comments section.

I don’t think the ADHD (or OCD, or any other possible diagnosis, for that matter) is why he doesn’t thrive in preschool, I honestly think he isn’t challenged enough. He went in there knowing basic multiplication so therefor couldn’t take them seriously when they tried to teach him how to count along with the other kids. At the same time he gets stuck counting past 12. It’s a patience thing. As in, he has no patience for the inferior brain trying to teach him.  He has to decide he cares and then teach himself.  Hence him questioning what the hell his brother is taught “at that school” when Thomas made a simple math mistake.  Kid was tired, Luke had no hesitation calling him on it though.

That dynamic of brothers competing aside, there is something in there that can’t be missed.  I haven’t taught Luke math.  Sure, I taught him how to count, and what the numbers looked like.  We even struggled on that.  Oh lord.  But even before he could count successfully past 8, he could tell you that 2 times 4 was 8.  Not because I taught him, but because he was watching me build something that had 4 screws on the one side and just assumed that meant there were 8 screws total.  Sure, he could have added it up, but he could only see one side.  That takes a certain amount of cognative thinking.  He was 4.

I pride myself on my math skills, but I couldn’t have done that, self-taught, at 4.  How many really could have?

He has a psychiatrist who is keeping tabs on him, though yes the school board could apply it to education. But honestly, I don’t want to IEP him if I can avoid it. And when he is medicated, I can avoid it. I was going to stick him in a regular class, the reason it didn’t happen that way is because I missed deadlines I didn’t realize where come and gone, and because of his age, but not the mental curiosities. The strive for pre-K was because he’s only had 1 year of pre-school and just doesn’t seem to be quite ready for kindergarten to me.  (The school bus issue was isolated to pre-K since it’s a separate program that happens to be housed in a school.)

And the relief that came when homeschooling suddenly became a serious option, goes beyond psych evaluations and IEPs.  It goes into knowing kids aren’t meant to fit molds.  Not every child is meant to be a brain surgeon.  And the most brilliant minds out there are going to look at a standardized test and a scantron and ask: what the heck are they teaching in these schools?  I mean seriously, WTF!

I have always known my Lucas was not meant to fit a mold.  And now I’m following my heart and acting upon it.

His mental health is a concern, always. But honestly, so is what the federal government is doing to the education system. I want my little engineer to be able to get excited about robots and spend his school day building his own and then programming it to carry off a hit on his older brother, and not having to worry about the latest standardized test out there.  I think Thomas is about to take his 3rd.  For this year.

I have no doubts this kid is brilliant. But he’s brilliant in a way that won’t come across on a scantron.  It will, however,  come across when he’s making millions on government projects you don’t have the security clearance level to hear about.  Momma just prays it’s ethical.

In a sea of education options, what works for one child shouldn’t have to work for another.  If I honestly thought a public school classroom was the answer for him, I’d go fierce momma and there he’d be come fall, with or with the evaluation and IEP.  Many of you nod your head knowing this to be the case.  Some of you are just thankful you won’t have to help me hide the bodies that could potentially pile up during the process.

In the same way I know this to be the answer for Luke, I know pulling Thomas out of school is the worst education decision I could make for Thomas.  Oh my anger of teaching to tests and government interference makes me daydream about it, but he thrives in a classroom.  I know, in my head, better than to mess with that.

Sambam, meanwhile, might inspire a 3rd option.  I’m thinking an all-girls, private, boarding school.  But only when I realize she has my personality, Aphrodite’s beauty, and breathes fire, like the red dragon she is.  Once puberty hits… well she’ll be the one we hide bodies for.  We’re going to need a backyard.

The homeschool program we are placing him in starting this fall, is a virtual classroom.  They’ll provide a computer, and then he’ll have a full class with a teacher heading it, just online.  There will be field trips you can try and make it to. (All across Ohio, hence the “try”.)  There is an initiative to connect those living close to one another for play-dates.  There is a PE log sheet so that they know you are up and outside running around, skinning knees, and pelting daddy with snowballs.  I’ve seen the curriculum for K-12th grade.  Not a standardized test in site.  It’s taught to foster brilliant minds, not convince the federal government of anything.  It’s amazing how much interference we have from the government and yet how uneducated our nation really is.  I know Pat and I aren’t brilliant, but with the freedom this program gives, paired with the structure this program offers as well, I think this will meet all of Luke’s needs.  And I don’t have to worry about Pat trying to teach him algebra, because there is a licensed teacher on the other end of computer who has it covered.

Speaking of, I’ve introduced him to algebra, he thinks it’s silly, but seems to be on the cusp of understanding it.  Give me til the end of summer.  He’s got this.  He already understand that if 2+5=7, then 5+2=7, and 7-2=5.  That is step one to understanding 2+x=7, solve for x, after all.

So in short: while his mental health diagnostics will always be something to work with/around, I think in ways they will inspire greatness, and I think conventional school will only hold him back.  It’s also worth noting that his behavior in the pre-school classroom is spot on.  They find him to be a helpful, sweet, loving, joy to have around.  They just can’t seem to teach him.

As an interesting note, tucked here at the end, that’s why he isn’t going back after Spring Break.  He’ll finish out the week/month, but once we decided to homeschool, it started to seem ludicrous to spend so much time, energy, and money to try to force pre-school to happen.  He isn’t getting anything out of it.  So he can spend those hours each week working on his math workbook I bought him.  As well as the letters and phonics books.

 

Our next step is a lined dry-erase board so he can work on penmanship, and which direction the numbers 7 and 3 face.  It’s the only thing I have to teach him in this exact regard.  He doesn’t seem to need my help otherwise.  Unless you count reading the instructions.  Other than that, I handed over the book and off he flew.

And he does.  He will.  He flies.  He will fly higher.  And I’m actually relieved to be able to loosen a chain or two.

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The Game Of Life

Posted June 14, 2012 By kmarrs

House

Well, we were in contract.  Papers were to be signed on the 29th.  Keys were to be handed over.  Then the bank that was selling, since it was a foreclosure, made a rather large change to the deal, and we said “hell no” and now there is no house.

There was a significant amount of panic.  Along the lines of “Oh shit, we have to be out of here the day after Sammy turns 1.  That’s in less than 3 months, where the hell are we going to live?”

Then Pat called the rental office and spoke to the girl we’ve been working with since day 1 before we even moved in.  They aren’t giving us the boot on August 31st, like we had previously been told.  Granted, with the household head count they aren’t encouraging us to spend forever here.  But they know our situation and we as tenants have given them every reason to be patient with us.

We aren’t signing a year lease.  We are going to live here one month at a time.  We are also looking for another house.  Our house.  Our house we will die in, and pass to our children.  I will be buried in the backyard.  Well, I’ll be planted in the backyard.  As a tree.  My grand kids can plan an entire garden around me.

Pat and I are shopping mortgages.  There is a plan for the 10% down payment.  This will work.  We just have to see what we are pre-approved for, find the house, make our offer, and go from there.

I think I’m actually less stressed right now not having a clue where we will be living a year from now, than I was while in contract with that house.  It had a lot of good in it.  But it was also really broken.  So much energy was going into fixing it.  And it would have been a good house.  It would have been worth it.  But for once I have a weight off my shoulders.  Instead of continuing to try and fix a really broken house, we are admitting defeat and going with plan D.  Or whatever the hell letter we are on.

Luke

Luke had his first appointment with his psychiatrist Tuesday.  This was after my solo meeting with her a few weeks back.  She does agree we are probably looking at ADHD.  The full diagnosis will unfold with time and in this case, medication attempts.  (One of the best ways to confirm a diagnosis of ADHD is to medicate it and see what happens.)

He has started a medication.  I’m not going to discuss what.  Nothing hard-core since he is only 4, but I don’t really feel like discussing what medication I agreed to put my 4-year-old on.  Kids on meds is too heated of a topic.  I did what was right for my kid.  Just as I’ve known meds aren’t right for his older brother.

I think the bottom line of the kids and meds discussion needs to be that it’s a decision made on a kid-by-kid basis with risks and benefits taken into account.  I don’t agree with throwing a pill at the first side of a problem.  But I don’t agree with letting a kid and family suffer because of a refusal to medicate.  And we were all of us, Lucas included, suffering.

Anyway.  As we all know, this is a hell of a process.  Trying something.  Messing with dosage.  Trying something new.  We are on the very first step of the process.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

I’m also in the throws of the preschool process.  Most the people I’ve spoken to previously, said nothing could be done until June.  It’s June.  One application has been filled out.  The rest are incoming.  Oy the preschool process.

Thomas

Thomas is at an in between.  With no real diagnosis in his immediate future, we are just riding the therapy wave.  I’m really curious to see how TK’s behavior morphs as Luke’s treatment sets in.  Luke is such a catalyst to us all, sometimes it’s really hard to know what’s our own personal mental health issue and what’s Luke bleeding over.

Which isn’t to say that on his own, Thomas is a perfect angle.  But without Lucas starting something every 50 seconds, Thomas might well even out some.  And it will be much easier to determine what exactly is Thomas, and then we can therapy and treat that.  It isn’t fair to Thomas, to have his therapy be surviving Luke 101.

Dad

Has pushed back his move date about 12 times now.  I have a theory that in 50 years if they go to tear this place down, they’ll find him crouching in a corner muttering something about storms, finances, banks, and the stock market.  Just a theory but a solid one I do think.  I don’t really want to talk about it much beyond that.

Or maybe I do.

I don’t like that we are kicking him out.  I don’t like that he is going to be homeless once he leaves.  But I don’t like the position he puts me in every damn day.  I don’t like having to make the decision to do right by my kids or my father and it can never seem to be both.  It took me 4 years to realize that in finally choosing to do right by my kids, I’m not in fact a bad person.  I have done everything I could for my father.  More than I should have had to.  I simply can’t do anything more.

Pat

Pat and I are ok.  I think we’ll be better once the above stresses level out some.  But I don’t wake up fearing that, that will be the day he walks out.  I know he loves me.  I know we’re a team.  And he seems to know this past week was totally fueled by PMS.  Hopefully he’s grateful that PMS means we aren’t bringing another baby into this equation.

I feel even as we bicker and I go to bed early some nights because I’m fed up with the day, that we are ok.  I feel that our relationship is solid enough that we can hold hands and hunker down together through life, no matter what it tosses our way.

I also really appreciate all that he does for us and knowing that I have such a strong player on my team.

Sammy

Sammy is Sammy.  She is amazing.  Beautiful.  Spunky.  Full of personality and love.  She is learning to pull herself up onto her feet but unsure what to do once up.  She has 2 teeth in.  She is insulted when her meal comes from a jar and wants part of what everyone else is eating.

I wouldn’t change a thing about her.  Though I am sad to see her baby days flying by.  As excited as I am to see who she grows into, I’m not in a huge rush.  This is my last baby, and I’m enjoying every minute of her first few years.  Then she’ll turn 3 and she is so her daddy’s problem.

I jest.  Maybe.  I’ll let you know when she’s 3.

Work

I don’t know if I’m full-time.  I applied and have hit the interview phase, but my boss has been on vacation all this week.  I imagine interviews will start next week.  I know of at least one other person who is for sure applying.  She hopes to have the spot filled by July.  So I imagine I’ll know by July.

I’m in the most weirdly laid back place regarding this. I don’t feel that I have to OMG get this promotion or my family won’t survive.  Yeah, it would be nice, but the most basic needs are being met.  I’m mostly excited that this will let me advance my career and have those extra 15 hours a week out of the house.  The extra money is just gravy.

Pat, I’m sure, would argue it to be very important gravy.  And yeah ok it is.  But I find this laid back attitude to be helpful.  It allows me to not stress over this.  I feel I have enough to stress about.  (See above)  So one less thing, is really nice.  Promotion or no promotion work is going great and it’s really the only thing in my life not stressing me out.

Me

I’m surviving.  Some nights I survive by crashing when the baby does so that I can just be done with the day.  I’m maybe a touch depressed.  But I’m so stressed by all the plates I have in the air, it’s hard to feel I’m not justified in being depressed.  I’m not choosing to medicate it.  Not yet anyway.  I’m not suicidal and usually not homicidal.  I’m functioning.  I can get up and go to work without crying over it.  I don’t even cry when it’s time to go home.

And as I see most everyone around me overwhelmed with stress right now, I think that I’m really just 1 in the crowd.  Something’s in the air.  So if I’m patient and just keep doing what I have to do to get through this.  I’ll be ok.

I have 4 folders in front of me which hold 4 of the plates in the air.

  • 1 is the house folder.  While Pat is doing the majority of the mortgage shopping, I’m talking to my company’s mortgage department for the 2 of us since I am the employee.
  • 1 is the Lucas folder where I’m tracking his diagnostic developments and his medication process.  I’m also tracking the process of getting him in preschool this fall.  This is a thick folder
  • The Thomas folder is sitting untouched recently.  As we ride the wave, there isn’t much to add at the moment
  • The final is my personal folder where I’m tracking things I need to track, mostly for my career as mommy.  This folder is new.  I’m not sure what all will end up there.

I guess with my OCD approach I’m allowing myself to approach this systematically so that I’m less likely to forget some detail or get overwhelmed by all that there is.  One folder at a time.

My therapy is drawing to an end.  I haven’t been cut loose yet.  We are mostly just looking to see where the next few weeks land me.  There isn’t anything scheduled but I know I can pick up the phone and make an appointment anytime.  And I think that’s exactly where I need to be therapy wise.  Unless my therapist can secure me a mortgage offer or find me a house, there isn’t really much therapy can take care of.  These aren’t mental issues I’m working through.  And all things considered I’m not doing too horrible of a job working through the life issues.  And therapy these days has just become rehashing the same topics.  Not solving, just updating.

I am looking to have Schizotypal added to my chart.  Not because it’s something I need to have treated now, but this way should it develop into something more in the future, the history of where it began is on record.

I suppose that is everything.  I suppose that is enough.

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Diagnostic Duo

Posted May 10, 2012 By kmarrs

Ugh, I’ve been wording this post for like 3 weeks now in my head and hours into days on paper.  I need to get it out but there is so very much to say.  2 boys, in various stages of being diagnosed, with various behavior issues.  All at once, it’s a lot.  But I’m hoping that by not putting anything off, at some point it will be like a switch has flipped and we’ll go from not wanting to be their parents at times, to always being able to enjoy them.  I don’t want perfect.  I want manageable and we aren’t there.  But we are fighting hard to get there*.  Every. damn. day.  They are being seen, we are being seen.  We are learning parenting strategy tailored to their needs.  They are learning how better to express themselves.  Meds will be involved at various points for them.  And I’m sure us the parents off and on as well.  We are working so very hard for this.  So I have to believe that light switch will flip and we’ll come out the other side healthier and stronger.  I adore my boys.  They amaze me daily.  But they also horrify me daily and that’s not cool.

Thomas had his mental health evaluation with his pediatrician about two-and-a-half weeks ago.  I’ve been processing the knowledge and finally got a chance to sit down with his therapist alone this past Monday.  I wanted a chance to talk one-on-one honestly, without sensitive little ears hearing, and on an adult level.

There is a lot to spit out, and nothing yet set in stone.  Not that you can really set anything like that in stone.  So I suppose it’s better worded as nothing yet in print.

Right now we are leaning away from the diagnosis of ADHD.  Not because he for sure doesn’t have it, he just doesn’t yet meet the criteria.  Will he at some point?  Maybe.

What he is meeting criteria for, but only just barely and his pediatrician wants to see how this develops before this goes on written record, is Oppositional Defiant Disorder.  So basically my 8-year-old has issues with authority.  Which: duh and just grand.

The main concern, really, is that he’s bored.  He has this uncanny ability to lose himself for a long time in a subject he’s interested in.  Read endlessly, write plenty.  He just has to be interested.  If he isn’t interested, you don’t have his attention.  Then, he’s playing the role of classic ADHD.  So the question becomes: is he really suffering from ADHD, or is he just a really bored 8yo with limited ways to express this.  He’s in a structured class where the teacher has to teach not to the most advanced but to the least advanced thanks to no child left behind.  Not even the average anymore like back in my day.  So someone reading at 2-grade-levels ahead of himself, learning slightly more advanced math at home, is going to be somewhat bored.

The doctor expressed curiosity at what his behavior would be like if he was challenged a bit more.  Not skipping a grade challenged, just more freedom to explore thoughts that fancy him, challenged.

We may never know.

I brought up the possibility of homeschooling him, but that brings out a whole new set of challenges, sadly.

In the meantime, one of the biggest issues is that he turns in the bare minimum to get the grade.  If he has 2 lines to answer a question, he writes 2-3 words.  If he has a page or so to use for his answer, he writes 2-3 sentences.  So we are going to focus on encouraging more in-depth answers in his homework for the rest of this year, and then in his blog, I’m going to give him weekly or bi-weekly topics to write and I’m going to expect length.  Practice.  Practice.   Practice.  I don’t want novels from the kid, I just want him to utilize the provided space.  Because I’m assuming if an entire page is provided, she’s expecting at least the majority of it to be filled.

I think therapy, and taking care of Luke’s behavior issues, will get us a long way with Thomas.  Thomas isn’t perfect by far, but Luke is a catalyst.  Sometimes it’s hard telling what is actually Thomas’ behavior when hurricane Luke is on a roll.

Luke had to go to the pediatrician appointment with us.  I wanted Pat there, which meant all 3 kids.  In the span of an hour, the doctor went from thinking Luke may have issues as well, but he’s 4 so it’s hard to tell, to fulling agreeing there is something major up with Luke and being thankful he doesn’t have to try and diagnose it.

Which is OK.  He is a pediatrician.  He is not a mental health specialist.  The Psychiatrist Luke sees starting May 22 is, however.  And he is 4.  It is hard to tell what’s just 4-year-old and what is something more if you only see him for bits and pieces of time over the years.  I’m just grateful how fully on the same page the kid’s doctor and I are.

Unlike Thomas, I will be much less hesitant to medicate Luke.  You all should hopefully know by now I don’t like throwing a pill at the first sign of a problem.  Especially when young, growing minds are involved.  But for Luke, it’s getting near life or death.  Self-inflicted, horrendous accident, or parental temper (not so much this one), he needs meds for his own safety at this point.  He is a really hard kid to parent and it is really hard to want to be his parent so much of the time.  I get that he is 4, but this is beyond 4.  This is something not right.  At 4 he should not still be chewing on books, toys, furniture, and people because he is bored and seeking stimulation.  And not everything he is finding to chew on is safe.

Meanwhile, we are undergoing “battle preschool”.  We spent so long trying to even determine if it was possible this year (and focusing on getting him into therapy, etc) that we missed 2 of the most important deadlines for the 2 school options we were considering.  Yes, waiting lists.  But I can’t put all my eggs on 2 waiting lists.  So I’ve spent much for the past couple weeks chasing down leads and following them.  And then those leads creating more leads.  And while I may not have any concrete placement until the end of the summer, I’m determined to have him on more than just 2 waiting lists.  Even a dozen waiting lists are better than just 2.  The more lists, the better the chances.  A couple of offers, or even just one, would be awesome.  We’ll just have to see.

We are carefully looking at government-funded head start programs and possibly title 20.  With a diagnosis and our income bracket, he has chances there.  I will just have to fight for him and his best interest.  No one is more prepared to fight for this kid than I am.

There was brief talk of possible special needs based on his behavior issues.  That was quickly shelved, though not fully off the table, because hopefully by class start he will be on meds and his intelligence level, no offense, to the special needs classroom, is what we need to cater to.  He isn’t delayed, he is just a handful in behavior.  And maybe that will lead to special needs in the future if he can’t handle a typical classroom, but I honestly can also see him becoming the classroom bully out of boredom, and I’m not willing to do that to the poor kids who need to be there when he maybe just could be there.  I guess the deciding factor for me is that he isn’t actually disabled, I don’t believe anyway, he’s just stubborn.  But he could also do multiplication before he could properly count, so I’m going to do my damnedest to challenge his intellectual ass.  I just don’t feel that particular placement will be fair to anyone in that class.

But, if meds don’t help, we may have no choice just based on a need for a smaller class allowing for more 1 on 1 time.

I guess that is for now until the Psychiatry appointments start for Luke.  The first is the 22nd of this month.  It’s an hour long, but it’s just me, no Luke.  After that, she’ll see us both.  Hopefully, by the end of the summer, we’ll be closer to answers.  But as you are all aware, I’m sure, this is quite the lengthy process.  I am, however, willing to see it through no matter what it takes.  It is unquestionably worth it.  I love my boys and I’m looking forward to liking them a lot more than I currently do.

*The kid’s pediatrician actually said something that surprised me.  It wasn’t an off-handed comment.  He made sure I had stopped my mile a minute thought process, hushed me to silent, and looked me deep in the eyes as he stressed what he was saying was something he never said and didn’t take lightly.  Apparently, in his many years in practice, he has never seen a set of parents as proactive and forthcoming as Pat and I.  We were honest, frank, knowledgeable and doing our best to be ahead of the game.  Getting things handled before they got worse, not after.  We weren’t playing games.  We were there with all cards on the table willing to do what it took and before it got worse.  And even though, for Thomas, there is a stall in the process while we focus on therapy and wait for the diagnosis and meds, we are still very ahead of the game.  And apparently, that is rare.  He said he’d spend the rest of his life running that hour-long meeting over and over in his head.


To me, it’s common sense.  Between Pat, and I and our even just immediate family members, there is a laundry list of mental and behavioral issues.  You name it and it’s in our family tree somewhere.  We knew what combining our genes could lead to.  And we knew the best way to prevent it was to seek help at the first sign of trouble.  You catch it early, it is a lot less likely to progress to a life hindering illness or issue.  Why wait when you can treat it now?  And we both are well aware of what to look for.  Sure, we could miss something.  But the list of symptoms we know to keep an eye out for is a lot longer than the list of symptoms we don’t know.

There is hope.

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