Sunday, October 6, 2013

Was Medication for ADHD The Right Choice?

It has been one week since my son's ADHD was diagnosed and I started him on medication. Truthfully, he received the diagnosis week ago Thursday but I was so flat out swamped with work and then sick with an awful bout of food poisoning, that I couldn't get the prescription filled until Sunday. Not enough hours in the day sometimes.

Anyway, I really struggled with the choice to medicate Christopher because the idea of medication that comes with side effects can be a bit scary. But ultimately I have to say it was the best decision I could have made. Christopher is doing amazingly on the medication and it has really improved his life.

The kiddo is on 10 mg of Metadate CD, which as I understand is the "hot, new" ADHD medication. Hey check us out. We're trendy. Who knew? Anyway, I'm happy with it because it really works and I don't see any side effects other than Christopher's appetite is a bit wonky. Some days I have trouble getting him to eat anything but then it all seems to catch up with him and he's starving a few days later and eats everything in sight. I need him to have all his nutrients though so I do worry on those low hunger days. I guess it's just important to ensure there's always foods that he likes in the house so that I can get him to eat something when I need him to eat something those days.

Other than that, Christopher has done GREAT on this medication. He tells me he loves the way he feels too. He said he could complete his school work more easily and that he didn't have any "do-over" work on the table (which I guess is what you get if the first time you do some work, it's not perfect and you need to do it over. Yeah they are working these 5 year olds pretty hard).

I've also noticed that he's just calmer and his teachers tell me they see it as well. He's not hitting or slamming into kids in the after-school program anymore, which is huge since that was a problem for us.

The big test was soccer yesterday. Christopher has a way of getting a bit intense on the soccer field and next thing you know, every little kid around him has been knocked down as he fights to get the ball into the goal, like he is a one-man soccer team. Last week they actually stopped the game five minutes early because of the intensity and the coaches were afraid someone was going to get hurt.

This week, Christopher was a soccer playing superstar. He has all the speed and all the agility of a fierce competitor but none of the aggression. He's competitive and was matching up pretty well against two kids on the other team that were amazing players (as far as five year olds go) as well. Christopher went after the ball, not the kids and that was awesome to watch. Christopher scored FIVE goals yesterday and I credit his medication for giving him the ability to focus and control himself so that his skills were able to shine instead of his behaviors.

I know it's a personal decision that every parent needs to make based on the needs of their child but in our case, I'm really confident we made the right choice. Please note that I also still think diet plays a HUGE role and so Christopher is still gluten free and artificial dye free. Plus I've started him on a multi-vitamin that has Omega-3 in it since I hear that helps with ADHD behaviors. I figure that I can keep him on a lower dosage of medication if I also treat his disorder with diet as well. This way I can stave off any potential weird side effects that I read about and which make me nervous. So far so good though and I'm hoping for the best.

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