Guest blog: A Mama’s got to do what a Mama’s got to do!

I am Amy Albers. I have a blended family with one 15 year old step son, a 4 year old son and a 3 year old daughter. I live in a small town in northern Wisconsin and currently I am a stay at home mom obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Business.

tantrum_boy_flickr_user_Sherif_SalamaA four year old is restless, active and excited about every new turn their young life brings. But when the child is beyond control with these factors a parent may question if everything is alright.

That is what I did. I questioned why my four year old was running laps around a soccer field instead of playing the game with his friends. I questioned why he would become overly upset about his glass of milk not being filled to the exact level he wanted it, creating a two hour temper tantrum out of the ordeal.  I questioned why he had to play at the table in his preschool classroom because he just could not sit still for the one book story time.

After talking for weeks with his pediatrician and filling out paperwork after paperwork on symptoms of ADHD he was diagnosed shortly after his fourth birthday.

My step son had symptoms similar to ADHD but since I met his dad when he was nine, his issues were never really addressed and so I came in at the end of his “behavior that is just due to his parents getting a divorce”. This was the only time I had been around a child that had ADHD behavioral similarities so it was all new to me when my son’s pediatrician came to the conclusion of ADHD for him. Now the first step had been taken in terms of trying to better understand his behavior. I felt like the world was becoming clear after being in a four year hyperactive fog.This hyperactive fog that I had been going through with my son was finally beginning to have a clarity that I had never dealt with before.

With that huge first step out of the way, my family continued on our journey that would test each one of us. I wanted, and still want, the best environment for my son whether he is at home or at school. I do not want him to be left behind because his brain functions differently with learning styles and comprehension. My husband was still convinced that he was a four year old boy that just had trouble siting still but would grow out of it. My husband, an over the road truck driver so he is home about five days a month, did not have to deal with the teacher’s phone calls about our son not participating in school that day. He did not have to deal with the over exhausting melt downs that our son was having at least twice a day. He did not have to stand there and tell others that our son just wants to play and play and play, even if he did wake up at one in the morning and would not go back to sleep.

I never blame my husband for his nonchalant manner about the issues at hand, but I was excited that the pediatrician was on the same page as I was. I was excited that with this diagnosis came an option of improvement. I was excited that I did not have to wait around for years to come for him to “outgrow his ADHD behavior”.

With conflicting views on if our son does indeed have ADHD, the conflicting view on what to do next also strolled in. I was all aboard getting him behavior therapies and medication in order to better his learning and understanding abilities. My husband was all aboard waiting it out because a four year old does not know how to tell you what he is thinking or experiencing, this being even more fitting because our son has a sever speech impediment. My husband also did not want a zombie state taking over my son, for example having him zone out and sit there not having any interest in anything due to the medication.

While we discussed the best options for our son, I read every article on ADHD medication and treatments as I could find. I joined social networking sites pertaining to ADHD information and support.

My husband worked.

One night after a frustrating conversation about at least trying medicine therapies for our son I decided to just take a break from talking about it with my husband; I would be the best mom I could be while I supported my husband with his strong ideas of not medicating him.

That same night, while in the middle of an hour screaming match with my son about going to bed, my son kicked me in the face causing me to get a bloody lip and a bruise under my eye. I was tired of fighting with my son to lie in his bed. I was tired of the teacher’s phone calls. I was tired of the constant running. I was tired of life.

I called the pediatrician the next day and filled a prescription of Adderall for my son. I explained to the doctor my husband’s views on the matter and we decided to start my son on a very low dose to determine the side effects.

After a few days of our son was able to focus on schoolwork, sit still for two books in a row and be overall nicer to everyone he came in contact with I was ecstatic to have been able to help my son function. I was extremely nervous about my husband’s reaction though.

When my husband came home after our son had been on Adderall for four days. My husband’s first steps into the house he was greeted by a big hug from our son instead of a grunt of anger over something or a flash moving by him. My husband was able to sit down and read him books and have a five minute conversation with him over his day at school. My husband was able to connect with our son for the first time.

I will never forget the look from my husband as he said “Hey Amy what is up with Vinnie? He is in a great mood and he is actually functioning.”

I was thrilled he noticed the difference. I was even more overjoyed when I told him our son had started taking Adderall and it seems to be working so well.

My husband glanced over at me and said, “Hum I guess that works.”

And that was the end of that battle. As the medicine has really been working well for our son I do understand that it takes time to find the right fit of medicine for each individual or sometimes medication is not the best choice at all. It works for our situation really well.

I cannot wait to see where this journey will take my son and how he will get to his final destination in the end, but I will always be there for him every step of the way.

Adrienne Ehlert Bashista is the co-editor of and contributor to Easy to Love but Hard to Raise: Real Parents, Challenging Kids, True Stories, and is also the author of two picture books about Russian adoption. She’s had stories, essays, and articles published in a variety of journals, both print and on-line. She is the owner of DRT Press. She was a school librarian for many years before giving it up to devote more time to the rest of her life. She chronicles her adventures raising her son, recently diagnosed with FASD in her blog, A Square Peg, a Round Hole. She also writes for the blog for Easy to Love but Hard to Raise and her writing/speaking website is adriennebashista.net. She lives in central North Carolina with her husband, two sons, two dogs, 21 chickens, and a lot of bees.

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* reader's story, adhd and outbursts, adhd behavior problems, ADHD medication, adhd symptoms, caregiver stress, General ADHD, NEWLY DIAGNOSED, parenting ADHD, parenting/FAMILY ·

About the author

Adrienne Ehlert Bashista is the co-editor of and contributor to Easy to Love but Hard to Raise: Real Parents, Challenging Kids, True Stories, and is also the author of two picture books about Russian adoption. She’s had stories, essays, and articles published in a variety of journals, both print and on-line. She is the owner of DRT Press. She was a school librarian for many years before giving it up to devote more time to the rest of her life. She chronicles her adventures raising her son, recently diagnosed with FASD in her blog, A Square Peg, a Round Hole. She also writes for the blog for Easy to Love but Hard to Raise and her writing/speaking website is adriennebashista.net. She lives in central North Carolina with her husband, two sons, two dogs, 21 chickens, and a lot of bees.
  • Nkarp

    Thanks for sharing! I am going through the same things with my 4 1/2 year old. My husband & I are both leary of any medications. We have been told all the same stuff… “he is a boy” “he is the baby” “he is acting out for more attention because you work” etc
    I am also told my pediatrician “he is too young to medicate” I am at a loss for what to do! I have been doing research and more research and hearing stories like yours keeps me positive that one day soon we will have “OUR” story of success!

  • http://argonnechronicles.blogspot.com/ Dee

    I won’t deny that the husband’s reaction: “Hum I guess that works” would have aggravated the crap out of me.

  • Shannon Moore

    We give our son a cup of coffee in the morning and afternoon and it has the same effect. For those who are still wary of medications…

  • http://mariner2mother.wordpress.com/ Susan S.

    I am so thrilled for you that the medication is helping your son. I see that with parents (your husband) who deny the medical diagnosis and don’t want to even try medication, it can often come from a place of, “if my kid is defective, what does that say about me” type of thought process. I hope that in time, your husband will truly embrace that this is not about him- it’s all about your son and how to help him. You go mom!!

  • Sbweeks

    Thanks for sharing this story. I’m having some differences with my husband now. My son has been taking medicine for over a year now and my husband all the sudden is okay with him stopping the medicine. I’m a stay at home and have more intereactions with my son. He is an intelligent kid but is impulsive. He has hit me and thrown things at me in the past. I’m scared of how his academics are going to suffer as well as his behavior. Most importantly if what he will do to me or other people when he’s upset.

  • http://dfdancesinlife.wordpress.com/ Dragonfly Diva

    Your post brought back lots of memories for me.  I’ll never forget the time when my son was about 18 months old and I gave him one of those baby Pop Tart things, and when he picked it up and went to take a bite it broke in half.  We had screaming and crying for the next half an hour or more.  We did not get a diagnosis until he was almost 7, and my husband and I were both leery of medication, but decided to give it a try.  Two days later I had a 20 minute conversation with my son sitting on the back porch.  Usually to have that much stationary time he had to be buckled into his car seat on a long drive – LOL!  I was totally thrilled.  We’ve been lucky…he’s only been on one medication and it works for him.  We’ve only had to up the dosage as he gets bigger.  It is a winding road you will find, no matter what.  Of course raising children in and of itself is a winding road, but ADHD makes the bends a bit bigger, and the hills a bit steeper sometimes.  I’m so glad you and your family have gotten to this point in the journey and are finding a bit of peace and positive change.  Keep learning as it will definitely help you along the way – and encourage your husband to learn along side of you.  Even if you don’t agree on everything you read every little bit will prepare you for the road ahead.  

  • http://mettemia.wordpress.com/ mettemia

    My name is mettemia and we live in Norway. We have a son who`s got Adhd when he was 6 years old. We started on medication at once, and it worked out just fine for him and for us. I struggel to get Adhd to be something positive. Because, Adhd can be positive! Our son got Tourettes at the age of 8…….he had some “funny” movements and som “different” noices. But he, and we, copes with that to. He is now 10 and do well in school and have god friends. I write about him, us, Adhd and Tourettes every day on my blog. Blogging about life, diagnoses and children is soooo nice…….I love It. Lovely site. I follow you <3 

  • http://www.facebook.com/jennifer.slinker Jennifer Slinker

    Aderol did not work for my son, but Focalin X-ray did! So thankful for it, although I hate the idea of medicating him. It makes a world of difference!

  • Jennifer

    Hello, I am a high school senior at Southmoore High School
    conducting a study to see if there is any correlation between organic and
    artificial food dyes with hyperactivity (ADHD). If you are a parent who has a child
    with ADHD, I would greatly appreciate it if you would take this survey to help
    me with my science project. It is an anonymous survey and all results will only
    be used for this project. Thank you for your time! Click this link to take the
    survey http://www.mooreschools.com//cms/module/selectsurvey/TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=2210

  • confession of a adhd

    Adderall contains a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. You are giving drugs to a 4 year old because You cant handle it. Maybe its the way you are! and the Society who doesnt understand him.
    above all your impatient attitude triggers his adhd! Lack of go in you- triggers his adhd! maybe its the food you serve that triggers his adhd? maybe its the home enviroment that triggers his adhd? maybe its to warm in his bedroom that triggers his adhd? it could be the cow milk- because its contains more bad then good that triggers the adhd?

    Someone who has adhd thrives on what’s interesting and fun! A adhd individual worse enviroment is: typical classroom environment, a clutterly home- to many distractions, A place that has no structure at all- a adhd will do whatever because of the feeling of rastless, cant focus beacuse its not consitent, to many things everywhere- makes the brain overwork- the brain is drained out but not the body. And when that little brain that you happily fed drugs- its not even developed gets overworked- it gets worried! frustrated! the thoughts will jump over miljons of topics in the head.

    Seriously?! – its not even half of what a adhd individual feels inside. The child isent a retard beacuse you cant handle or understand your own cognitive behaviour!but thankfully there is Cognitive-behavioural-therapy to use!
    http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Cognitive-behavioural-therapy/Pages/Introduction.aspx

    *why dont you give him omega-3, omega-6, omega-9 and vitamin D and E.
    http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/1684.html

    *Chain Weighted Blanket MAKE IT EASIER FOR HIM TO FALL ASLEEP!
    http://www.bringwell.com/export/products/

    *an adhd individual is very creative something you obviously not! you can easily make a award chart- you can make it into a figur he likes-He will found it fun if you do it togeather! and encourage those good behaviour of his and increase and evenetuelly those bad ones will fade away!

    *let him join some sport- fotball at the age of 4? children develop differently. its not commen that every 4 year old plays with others- some still perfers playing alone or in a smaller group. A adhd person finds it owerwhelming being around to many people , be in big groups especially if its a lot of noise! its creates stress inside.

    My advice is swimming- a activity to do alone or with others. Spending time in watter, having fun with family, learn to float, swim, play with swimming toys. use your imagination- my adivise always create a winning competition by using Pedagogy in a smart, tactic, fun way. -lets see how many ducks/toys you can grab in the water? spread them out in the pool!
    for ex if he needs to put his toys away- you say
    -sweetheart how about you make all your toys disappear by putting them away before this clock goes off! egg timer? phone alarm? he will then start to understand time, he will also train to finish a task. obviously you need to set yourself as an ex, you need to do something aswell before the time is up.

    *A adhd person doesnt like to be around to many people especially not when he or she has to prove that they are as good/better/best.
    A adhd person has high demands= its never good enough! very dangerous if the parents doesnt know psychology/ adhd/ hasent got the patient with their own child/children.

    *Get a dog! if not def get him envolved with some activity. why?!
    *a adhd individual has moodswings- danger is when the individual tend to crash into being depressed! can happen to a 4 year old aswell! With activity = The dopamine naturally produced by your brain makes you feel good and have self confidence.
    http://www.wikihow.com/Increase-Dopamine
    Get him a trampoline!

    *work memory. are your helping him with his memory?! are you prepering him so he wont get bullied in school because some things is harder to learn and kids are cruel!
    have you for ex put up the alphabets in bedroom- for him to memorise!? is his room adhd friendly?! or is to much going on that can distract him and make him lose his focus easily?!!
    *education. Have you looked in to adhd schools- where the enviroment and the education is adapted after adhd needs? as simple as- the children are always in the same class- its the teachers who changes classroom and not children! Be part of a class that has max 15 students, 1 teacher and one extra.
    he wouldnt have to be on the pill! and the best part no drugs to destroy the body and that brain of his which isent fully developed til the age of 25- thats how long it takes for the brain to develop!

    *adhd- the diet is important! coffee is not the answer!!! give the child rice milk! watter with lemon!!!!!
    http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/guide/adhd-diets
    http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/9136-3.html

    *relaxing- teach him to relax! a adhd individual has problem with this. Before going to bed- let him bath in levender- KNEIPP Deep Sleep Mineral Bath Salt Valerian and Hops.
    http://www.kneipp.co.nz/bath-salts/

    End the night with 3 books and the chain weight blanket. again – is his bed placed in a adhd enviroment? is his bed placed in a room that makes you want to sleep? does the body and the brain get ” its sleep time” you can make the body and the brain understand that, if you know how to get the
    Melatonin to produce in the body naturally!

    turn the tv/computer/ipad off! turn the phone off! give him a space in the home- adapted for him and his needs! Melatonin gets effected by the these things =makes it hard to fall alseep.
    You say you have read so much about adhd.
    If you had how could you have missed the simple conclusion- FACT
    that adhd symptoms triggers because of People, enviroment & situations -(very individual depening on how each person tackles it).

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/This-Book-Will-Make-Confident-ebook/dp/B00EIFS6L8
    a great book that is helpfull for any adhd individual no matter the age.

    you are willing to pay for the drugs to demage his body which isent developed jet! feed him drugs! whats the benifit for him and his body in the long run?
    I havent seen any good in amphetamine addicts or any addicts on the other hand! I guess you were going mad because it took up so much of YOUR time & energy- writting a book requires time! Is it more important then your child? try mindfulness!
    giving your child these quickfix- is also a clear message that you dont like his true personality. A adhd person is full of life, enthusiastic, always on the go, with the right tools, support from loved ones who understands adhd and hunger for life – have the authorization to be the person he/she is= the child will grow up to become an amazing adult. if the drugs hasent effected the inner organs! And NO your childs true colour doesnt shine when being on DRUGS!

    Some people aim for the starts, smarter ones aims for the moon! a adhd person goes for the universe – they have the energy, always finds the answers to solution/s the best way! we think outside the box! our empathy level makes us more human as we understand perfect and clearly feelings. I understand its not easy for you if your partner is home 5 times a month! i understand why your child was playing instead of listening to the story. Probably a boring teacher with a boring voice and boring book!
    next time question the teacher instead of your child? its the teachers job to encourage a childs curiosity to absorb information and your job as parent aswell.

    whats the point of parenting if you havent got patient? what the point of parenting if you cant handle it?! Clearly the love to yourself is more important. – you have not read enough to understand that having adhd is a gift! a adhd individual will do all those things you boring so called NORMAL people cant handle! He is 6 years old today which means you suffered for 4 years, you gave up and gave him the quick fix! You couldnt handle it! Which is fine- but the solution is not to fed him him drugs! Have you explained to him whats in it? is he really ok with being on these pills?! personally i think he is NOT mature enough to make that decision! Not only are you deciding for him but you are taking away his human rights to be him!
    the sad truth is that his body will stop responding to Adderall- what will you do then? give him stronger drugs! http://www.ritalindeath.com/

    Above all! you are ignoring the personality and the personalities need for surten things to function better- but you rather pay money for quickfix instead of invesigate what your child would be happier with in the long run. No wonder why his adhs triggerd in the first place! You cant handle it! he feels that! he knows that! Well done you!

    im very keen on finding out how he is doing today being 6? hows the heart? whats his personality like? is he confused over who he really is- being on drugs you are someone else! Above all I guess you are happier and sleep better knowing he is controlled by the drugs and behavs the way you can handle him?!

    I have adhd! my son had adhd! which means its 100000 harder for me then for you! as i get easily distracted, im ruled by heart! and what i like!! i have also menaged life without these things that i suggest. I also have a bachelor degree- i fixed uni without drugs! I am single parent, It takes me 45 min to nursery, 40 min to work. Im being reminded every 10 min by the duck sound on my iphone with messages of what i have to do- before being at work at 9.00. My son and I have a wonderful relationship, our first song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xn05sF4eGIw
    our motto is I can do anything i put my mind to. I started with the alphabet at the age of 2 and made him a poster that hangs above his bed = memorise it. I take him with me to the gym where we both have quality time, together or alone- he plays with the other children or he just sits with his trains, being happy being on his own. He has always been able to entertain himself! for me thats sign of confident and being happy with his own relationship. in the end is the relationship you have with yourself that is most important right! He is the silent type- but he can get very angry .ex if the watter isent cold enough! he is very sansitive! when he is sad he is devastated. Everytime i drop him off at nursery his friends comes runing and screaming his name hugging him. When we leave the treamtment is double!- and both time its to much for him. he doesnt like the loud noise. he treats both our bed as a trampoline, but he happily is calm, relaxed when reading our 3 bedtime stories. it used to take him 4 hours to put a sleep. i always gave in and started sleeping with him the same time. He is very need of protection- he wants to be hold. he wakes up worried, devastated if im not there. He has always been a terrible sleeper. and my ex exoposed him to that horrible crying out method, several times- heartbreaking- i was never ok, its a horrible method- it doesnt do any child any good. Not to long ago i got the blanket and both me and my son falls asleep better- we dont have tv or any gadgets on after we come home from nursery. My son is also not aloud to watch stereotypical boys films, guns, fights, battles, etc etc. I also when organizing his birthday party inform parents please do not buy any weapons! I sleep better knowing that i dont ignore my core values, My son is my universe! he brings out the better person i want to be! I have gotten more emotional because i feel more, feel other peoples pain more. I look at my childhood, the one i didnt have! I took medication 3 months ago- dr wanted to feed me more and stronger. I lost 11 kg in 12 weeks- i didnt have the energy to workout- from having a toned body i was suddenly just bones. i lost the joy in life! Life was suddenly more boring. I was angry, worried, my head was very tired. I was knocked out! the worse bit was when i no longer could take it anymore- i was so low with myself, i didnt eat- i wasent hungry, i drinking ocean amount of watter. I was spending more money on meds instead of food and im a healthfreak! Didnt workout, didnt spend time shopping- my impulsive shopping was under control but more money went to the meds instead of clothes, i wasent sleeping at all- my brain was in auschwitz and i felt the pain in my body. i was unable to function, act, or move. I was an angry zombie scared to fall asleep. I will never again take them! i survived 32 years without them!
    If people dont like me for who i am then f off- its not gonna stop me for aiming for the universe. i have already made 3 of my dreams come true- my biggest one was my
    career. Im not perfect! I never get satiesfied with anything i do – i always think i could have done it better- the reason for why is because i believe, you can always learn more, you can always collect more information to take adventage of when ending something. Im not perfect! i def not the type of person that points finger at how other people do things, and want the same respect in return- which i dont. This post

    made me so upset! i cant help feeling sad and angry and my head screams!
    she is giving the boy drugs beacuse its easier?! hitler gave his solider same- so they can zomb out, focous on fighting, eat less, sleep less, controll them.

    a successfull story is when the society and ignorant people realise ADHD Isent
    a handicap! People in any society would benifit of adhd envrioment- living in the freedom like they did in the stone age! people wanted to have adhd back then! we were the better hunters! builders! stronger! had more energy! we werent made to sit still in a classroom….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aalD-NRFnk0

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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