Coasting Along

Luke has been on the Concerta now for 9 days and it’s going great (I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to say that about an ADHD medication). Yes, the first day on Concerta was the worst day since starting ADHD medication trials, but the 8 days since have been fantastic. Luke is much more calm and less fidgety (his soccer coach named him ricochet on the first day of practice, before ADHD diagnosis). He enjoys writing, drawing and other crafting projects now. He has been a little more irritable the last few days due to the fact that they have been out of school for 6 days straight now (holidays, weekend, snow days) — being out of school means spending a lot more time with his big sister which means a lot more of your typical “sibling aggravation.” All in all, I am happy to report we have finally found a medication who’s benefits far outweigh its side effects. Everyone in or home is happier than we have been in quite some time.

So yes, the discovery of what appears to be the right medication for Luke is definitely one difficult hurdle overcome. However, there are still so many hurdles for Luke in his ADHD life. One hurdle at a time though.

We are still working on his evaluation by the school special education department so he can receive some much-needed services from the school, most importantly in my mind right now, occupational therapy. I did receive the evaluation report from the private occupational therapist this week and will send a copy to the school occupational therapist tomorrow. Here’s the results of his OT evaluation:
1) actually average with his fine motor skills — this is what I thought he needed the most work with (shows you how much I know!)
2) above average with manual dexterity (woo hoo!!)
3) below average with bi-lateral coordination (repeating patterns with his arms and legs)
4) poor concept of spacing and placement in handwriting (we were already acutely aware of this deficiency)
5) overall typical performance in sensory areas but needs definite improvement in auditory, vestibular (movement), behavioral, and emotional

Here are the 6-month goals the OT recommends as treatment for Luke:
1) utilize a tripod grasp with engaged thumb to correctly write his name with use of lowercase letters (I purchased special pencil grips from the teacher store but have come to find out he’s not using it at school — will require him to do so going forward)
2) copy an age-appropriate sentence with spacing between words, minimal verbal cues for accuracy
3) independently complete 4 functional bilateral coordination tasks with minimal verbal cues
4) correctly copy numbers 1-12 with correct formation and orientation
5) form all lowercase letters with 90% legibility
6) catch a tennis ball with both hands 8 out of 10 tries

I felt really great about this private OT and her services. However, even with insurance coverage, I cannot afford the weekly OT visits (for at least 6 months) she recommends for Luke. So, we have engaged the school in the process of evaluating him through their system to determine if they can provide OT services. Once a determination is made on what, if any, OT they will provide for Luke, I will work with the private OT to fill in the gaps. Of course, we will work with him at home in whatever ways we can to help him improve.

I know I lean on this word too much but, I am HOPEFUL the school will step up and provide this service to him. I am learning how powerful hope really is to the human spirit.

COVER3D_400sq_bestsellAward-Winning Blogger. Freelance Writer. Author. Warrior Mom.
A self-described “veteran” parent of a son with ADHD, Penny Williams is the author of the Amazon best-seller about her parenthood in the trenches, Boy Without Instructions: Surviving the Learning Curve of Parenting a Child with ADHD. She is also the creator of the award-winning website, {a mom’s view of ADHD}, a frequent contributor on parenting a child with ADHD for ADDitude Magazine and other parenting and special needs publications, and co-founder of the annual Happy Mama Conference & Retreat, a weekend away for moms of kids with neurobehavioral disorders. Look for her second book, What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting ADHD, in late 2014. Follow Penny at http://BoyWithoutInstructions.com.

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Related posts:

adhd and school, ADHD medication, attention/focus, learning disabilities, occupational therapy, school failure, special education (IEP), treatment ·

About the author

COVER3D_400sq_bestsellAward-Winning Blogger. Freelance Writer. Author. Warrior Mom. A self-described “veteran” parent of a son with ADHD, Penny Williams is the author of the Amazon best-seller about her parenthood in the trenches, Boy Without Instructions: Surviving the Learning Curve of Parenting a Child with ADHD. She is also the creator of the award-winning website, {a mom's view of ADHD}, a frequent contributor on parenting a child with ADHD for ADDitude Magazine and other parenting and special needs publications, and co-founder of the annual Happy Mama Conference & Retreat, a weekend away for moms of kids with neurobehavioral disorders. Look for her second book, What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting ADHD, in late 2014. Follow Penny at http://BoyWithoutInstructions.com.

One Comment

  1. SH says:

    I hope you do get the support you need from your school system. In the meantime, however, you can do so much to support your son at home. I knew my daughter had motor skills problems from the time she was 2 yrs. old, but couldn’t get anyone to listen. Toddlers will be toddlers, right? We recognized the signs because we have other ADHD members in the family. Anyway, when we did get her in the system for OT – covered by Medicare here in Canada – it only supported once a month following at the Children’s hospital. Private OTs are expensive – as you say – even with extra insurance. Because of this limited intervention, they set us up with a whole program to work on at home – saving the monthly visit for follow-up, evaluation and adjustments for future progress. This really helped. After a year and a half she had improved so much that she was kicked out of the program – the spots are reserved for those who REALLY need them. This leaves parents to carry on to ensure kids live up to their potential. (I am very grateful for the help I received from these very dedicated and overworked care professionals!)The short-version – play as many physical games and sports as possible. In time, practice really does make perfect. My girl, now 9, has thrived in soccer, skiing and karate (a skill requiring lots of concentration, discipline and memorizing of movements). Perfecting the timing of having to kick or catch a ball, or mastering the intricate movements of the katas in karate is great practice. If you can make activities like these fun and part of your normal routines, it will not seem like more work to your fun-loving butterfly. 🙂

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The "ADHD Mommas" are not medical or mental health professionals, nor an ADHD coach. Any opinions shared here are just that, opinions. I, and the other "ADHD Mommas," are sharing our experiences with our own ADHD children. Please do not re-post or publish any content or photos without a link back to {a mom's view of ADHD}. Have the courtesy to give credit where credit is due. Copyright protected. All rights reserved.

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