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

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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