Not a day goes by when I don’t wonder if medicating my child is the right way to go. He has been diagnosed with Autism, ADHD, Severe Separation Anxiety, and Sensory issues. He is taking medications for ADHD and Anxiety. The very first set of meds he was on in October did nothing, but he was far worse when he was off of them. This set of meds, doses since beginning of December, have made some huge differences. His teachers comment all the time on how much progress he has made and how much they enjoy having him in class. People at church stop me and tell me they are noticing a change in him. Still, Some days are hard and make me question if it is the meds or the training creating the difference. But days like this past Friday remind me that it is the right choice for our family.
Some how I forgot to give him his meds in the morning. When I went to pick him up from school a few kids came out before him and the teachers mentioned to the other parents that it had been a hard day for all the kids in the class. Then J came out. His lead teacher told me that it had been a rough day. He constantly needed to be redirected, he had a few meltdowns, and he really couldn’t focus. His teachers were chalking it up to post-Valentines sugar rushes. It was at that point that I remembered he hadn’t had his meds. We really needed to go to the store for pull-ups and diapers, but Little J fell asleep in the car. So I dropped Little J off at home in his bed, hubby is on Mids so he was home, and J and I headed off to the store. While we were there he continually asked for a toy, normal for a 4 year old but he took it to another level. He started lashing out trying to hit me. so I put him in the cart and he kept climbing out while we were moving. He repeated the word “toy” like an angry mantra. then while we were looking at grownup books (I needed to pick one for book club) he saw the fruit cups and changed from “toy” to “fruit.” Now I may have bought the fruit if it wasn’t for the anger and hitting and the fact that we had some at home. I decided we were done. Unfortunately I couldn’t leave without the stuff in the cart so we went to check out. He continued to lash out and almost fell out of the cart. the cashier was trying not to stare, but did tell him if he didn’t sit down he would fall out. I was trying my best to keep out of arm’s length and ignore his “fruit” diatribe because engaging him when he is stuck on a loop does more harm than good. When we got to the car and I buckled him in he was still very angry. By the time I started the car and looked in the mirror, silent tears were falling on his cheeks. I felt horrible because I knew it was partly my fault. I should have given him his meds and I should have fed him before taking him to the store (he is extra cranky when his blood sugar is low.) I debated giving him meds when we got home but I felt like it was too late, plus he needed a nap and he can’t take ADHD meds before sleeping. When he woke up he was still in a super bad mood, unfocused, and just not himself. Luckily in the cabinet I have the old dosage which is 1/2 of the current one so I gave him his meds. Within 40 minutes he was J again. It kicked in sometime during dinner.
So after that day, I realized our choices are truly justified. One day like that in 2.5 months is one day too many. If he wasn’t on meds, I would need to be. My nerves were completely frazzled and I’m sure I owe his teachers an apology, they are saints.