Friday, April 15, 2011

A Difficult Decision

I haven't updated in a while. It's mostly been more of the same. Joseph is doing well in school. He's making  slow but certain progress. The iPad has been a tremendous boon. I'm going to be writing about how they're using the iPad in his classroom at school, but this will require some research to do it justice.

One new thing, that tangentially (at the moment) involves Joseph is his sister's ADHD diagnosis we received on Wednesday. It was expected, but what we didn't expect is how much Kristy and I have moved away from our insistence on trying non-medical interventions first. I've always been a big critic of prescribing medications to children to treat long-term psychiatric symptoms. But the psychologist who evaluated her said that therapy would not be helpful yet. And my kids have ADHD because I have ADHD, it's neurological, like my depression, which I spent years in denial about, which kept me from getting medicated. See the thought pattern here?

So we've decided to try medication for Maria to control her impulsive and oppositional behavior. If it doesn't work, we'll just stop. If it DOES work, then we'll know that the medication is what she needs to help her be successful in school and in life.

How this effects Joseph, if it works for Maria, we're going to try it with Joseph too. He's talking more and more, but we frequently can't understand him because he's talking so fast and the words run together. He won't stay focused on an activity that isn't of his choosing (which is also a symptom of ADHD) and with an unofficial diagnosis for his father, and an official diagnosis for his sister, I think it's safe to say we understand what the problem is. So we need to get him calmed down so we can make better, faster progress.

Kristy was previously even more set against meds, particularly stimulant meds. After Wednesday though, she was as ready as I was to put Maria on them. The behavior chart at school has been helping, but improvement has leveled off and sometimes slips. It's not getting any better.

I know the potential problems in later life associated with the stimulant meds, but I really feel that without the meds they do not have the chance to succeed, no matter what else we do for them. This gives them that chance.