My son was diagnosed with ADHD or Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in 2017. Most parents that don’t have a child with ADHD would frown upon most of this article and what I’m about to say. However, this isn’t your son and isn’t your battle. Kaleb was like any child, he loved to run, play and enjoyed your company. He’d love to play outside and was always on the go. These were all normal child behaviors, he had a hard time listening, he couldn’t sit still, and was impulsive. Again, this was very normal for his age, and children in general.
Kaleb started school like every other child, and for the first few days everything went great. About four days into his first school, I started to get phone calls from the principal and teacher letting me know that I’d have to come and pick my son up from school and that he had bolted straight out of the classroom and was running around campus and away from the teachers. My son was labeled a flight risk for the first two weeks of school. Again, I thought maybe this was him adjusting to school and it’d get better. Unfortunately, I was sadly mistaken and didn’t realize the reality of what was to come.
A month goes by and my son is still getting in trouble. Everytime they would change classrooms my son would run, he wouldn’t listen to the principal or the teacher. In the classroom Kaleb couldn’t keep still, he would fidget and constantly move his feet and couldn’t stop interrupting the teacher.
After three months of this tiring system of picking my son up early from school for behavior the school gave him his first suspension due to behavior. At this point I was called into the school and was told that my son was far more active than any student they had in the classrooms and that they couldn’t control him. They then suggested that Kaleb should be put on medication. I’m going to apologize now as I warn you for my quoted language. I told the principal, the guidance counselor, and the teacher all in the same room “There isn’t a problem with my son he is perfect at home, it’s your lazy fat asses that can’t do your damn jobs. You guys think that my son needs to be medicated for your own damn benefit and you can f*ck yourself”. Looking back on this, I probably wouldn’t have apologized, but I might have talked it out. I was appalled and disgusted with the school system for suspending a child so young, he couldn’t understand that it was a punishment. My son honestly thought he had a vacation from school.
On the fourth month into this school, my fresh little boy in kindergarten got expelled from school and cancelled his out of area contract. At the last possible moment I had to find my son a school that was decent for the area. After being out for a week and missing much needed classes I placed my son into a private school.
Two schools after this horrific experience, I faced the same issues at each. Finally I placed him into what is his final school now, this school went above and beyond. I started out by placing my son into the school with a two page note explaining the hardship and that my son needed a little extra attention and help. This in my eyes was the point that I knew I needed to step in more and see what was going on. At home ( were it was mostly quiet or serene for him), Kaleb was a polite and calm young boy. However, one day I stopped into his new school and got to see a glimpse of the little boy the teachers saw.
My son was a saint at home, the on the go that I saw was not as bad as the version the school saw due to the excitement level. I started to come in more and more until I realized I had been in the wrong for over a year. My son had a problem that was affecting him greatly.
When I went into his classroom I would see : running around the classroom, his feet moving in circles or hitting the chair, his hands or eyes wandering, him yelling out things to distract himself and others, and overall a bad attitude. I told the teacher she was allowed to video my son and send it to me in a fit so I could see what she saw. I told her I wanted to get this resolved. I was in tears the first day I saw the video of my son, he was in a repetitive rage. The teacher told me previous to the video he threw his pencil and his things and she said she could tell he couldn’t concentrate or focus and he was agitated. For the first time, I wasn’t fighting her suggestion of getting my son checked.
I brought my son to the doctor where he watched my son for an hour while doing his physical and then his brothers. The doctor then approached me at the end and asked me the serious of questions : Is he restless? Does he seem like he is a on the go machine? Does he interrupt often? Does he act without thinking and then can’t explain why? I answered yes to every one of the questions. That’s when he explained that he had ADHD and asked if I’d like to know how to help the problem or if I’d like to medicate.
Growing up I always thought that if you had to take medication for a mental health issue or things like ADHD that you just wanted the medication and there wasn’t a need for it. I’ve also had the idea in my head that medication was for the lazy mom.
Needless to say I didn’t want to be that mom! I took the route of a different diet. This didn’t make a change for him in the slightest. I tried to keep him busy with activities and “keep him busy”, but that was failing as well. I didn’t chose the path of medication until one of my son’s principals addresses me in a meeting with the statement “your son is one of the worst behaved students we have here, he needs more discipline, what are you doing at home?”. I couldn’t believe my ears, it wasn’t due to lack of discipline…
After the span of two years and this awful battle of giving him medication and having to change the times ( the time does matter due to the time that the medication would kick in before classes) , the dosage, and many other factors my son is now functioning normal.
I want to let you know several things that will be told to you, but are a lie.
ADHD medication makes your child a zombie. -This is a lie! If you child truly needs the medication like mine did he will still be off the walls. However, he will know the difference and be able to control it better. He will be able to sit in a classroom and learn instead of focusing on the next thing to do.
ADHD Medication is for lazy moms that can’t discipline their child. – This is also false, and after so many years of telling myself this it’s just false. My son was very well disciplined and knew right from wrong. There were many times he would break down crying and let me know that he didn’t know why he did what he did or he couldn’t remember doing it. He would cry to me and tell me he couldn’t focus and he hated school.
ADHD IS A FAKE CONDITION: Also false! I was one of the believers at a time that adhd just didn’t happen because back in the day it didn’t exist. However, it’s a real thing.
I hope this article helped you, I know it was long for some people. However, it’s important that you see you’re not alone. It’s not an easy journey. I also wanted to give you guys an update and let you know that medication was a right choice for us, it doesn’t mean it is for every child. Kaleb can now focus on his work, he enjoys sitting down and coloring or playing with legos. ( something he couldn’t focus on or sit still for before).
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