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.
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.