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Monday, October 24, 2011

Took the plunge

We've done mostly everything biomed and after 5 years, we have come to a point where life has to improve for everyone in the family. My son doesn't really have hyperactivity issues but has severe focus issues. His ADD has really come in the way of his own confidence and our enjoyment of each others' company. I'm always yelling at him and he's always too distracted to care and it always ends in tears. No fun for him and makes me feel like the worst mommy ever. It's really not pretty.

He knows he can't concentrate and it hurts him so much. He doesn't understand why he can't think like everyone else and he always feels like a failure. Unbeknownst to me, the first week of school his teacher asked the class to set goals. His goal was not to make good grades, make lots of friends or even be the line leader. His goal was to concentrate better. Talk about a heart-breaker.

We picked up the Ritalin on Friday. We went to our ped for it since my DAN doesn't generally do stimulants. Our ped started him Ritalin but he likely will not stay on it. It's the oldest and most well known drug and he wanted to start with something they know the best. For the first month, he stays on normal Ritalin (not slow release) because it clears the system fast and if he does have a reaction, we want it out as soon as possible. So for the first week, we just stick with 2x a day of 5mg each. We watch and report back to the doc a week later. Then we'll adjust the dose again and titrate up as we feel necessary to get to the right dose. Once we get there, we'll consider going to long acting and possibly a newer drug that maybe has fewer side effects.

Since we started Saturday, I've noticed that he doesn't sleep very well and has very hard time falling asleep. He already gets 1mg of melatonin at night. I'll be upping his dose to 3 mg and see if that helps. It is a side effect of stimulants.

Today was his first day of school on ritalin and his teacher noticed a huge improvement. She said she knew just by looking at his handwriting that he had started (I hadn't told her but she was aware it would happen).

I never wanted to go to meds but biomed just never made a difference. I would never recommend someone try meds first before biomed but for those of us that have done our due diligence, I'm all for doing what works. I resisted long enough. I've known enough ADHD people personally that have told me how medication has made all the difference in the world for them. How they finally felt normal. I can't and won't deny my son that chance. I put it off as long as I could because I just never felt comfortable putting him on it so young (especially after a Dr. put him on antidepressants when he was 3 to disastrous effects). 

Now he's 8, I'm still not happy about it but I feel like it's really the only thing left for me to do. I might end up regretting the decision but I can't tell you how easy homework was today. He's outside playing right now because he got done with his homework faster than ever and not a single instance of yelling. There was actually quite a bit of humor involved as he came up to me as "Paper Head." He put his homework in front of his face and walked around with it until I checked it. Laughing during homework time with him has always been rare.

We call it his "thinking medicine" since it's to help him think better. Today I struggled with my NT son and his homework and my ASD son said NT son needed some of his thinking medicine.  ;)

So for any of you struggling with the decision after years of biomed, don't beat yourself up if you go there. My son is recovered from autism through biomed. His ADD has only gotten worse. Maybe with this, life will be typical for him and that's really what all of us want.


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