Justified Choices

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.

10 comments on “Justified Choices

  1. Pingback: ADHD Report» Blog Archive » Justified Choices

  2. I am sorry you had to go through such a rough evening! I am, in general, against medicating so many kids for ADHD. But, there are children who NEED the medication. I am glad that you have something to help. I have a feeling that my eldest Wingman is going to need something similar when he is older…. sigh….

  3. Poor Mom, Poor J, and poor teachers 😦 So sorry you all had a rough day. It sounds like you are TOTALLY doing the right thing with the meds. It’s obviously helping him to be a happier little guy and that’s they main goal for all parents, great job on helping him be a happier kid.

  4. I too struggled with the “medication question” and put it off for a while – then took the plunge. I wish I had tried it earlier. It has made a huge difference in our son’s ability to cope with school and I can’t help but wonder where he could be now if we’d only started the meds earlier… and then I have to nip that line of thinking in the bud. No going back – what is done is done and we have to focus on moving forward. But I do wish I hadn’t been so closed-minded to it in the first place. 🙂 Peace!

  5. Boy have we ever had that happen here too. When we have forgotten M’s medications I am always quickly reminded why she is on them. Going out into public when she is not on medication is always a huge challenge. Usually I avoid it at all costs but when Joe travels I often have no choice.

    M used to obsess over wanting something at a store too. I know what you mean about taking it to a new level. People say, “Well…my child gets upset too and wants a toy at the store.” Ummmmm…yeah….probably….but not like M did before she was on medications. I used to have to take her to the car and that was always dangerous since she was so out of control. She tried to bolt across the lot and often then refused to get in her seat belt and would cry for up to an hour as I sat there crying myself. We also too struggled with hitting. Once on meds these incidents became practically non existent.

    Sounds like you made an informed and good choice for your child.

    I don’t think all kids should be on medications but many benefit from it. They are not a cure and lots of behavioral work also needs to happen.

  6. The only meds Tc is on right now is Clonidine that helps him go to sleep. But we will see where he is at this summer and I used to be against meds too but if they help, that is what matters!

  7. (“mabel” may be a spam comment)

    I’m cracking up. Because it reminded me of 2 years ago when I was teaching, one of my students was … I’m going to call him a media like image of someone with autism with the tics and the low verbal skills (just for the sake of drawing a quick character sketch of him). He spent a week so off the chart that I thought I had completely lost my skillz and my mind. I finally said something to his case manager who had been noticing it too – she emailed home and it turned out his parents had been having the same questions as you – so they pulled him off his meds and then waited to see if we noticed. They hadn’t told us b/c they wanted an honest opinion – as soon as they found out we’d all gone crazy with their son that week he came back to school on Monday with his meds and back to his usual unusual self 🙂

    Strangely it’s one of my favorite memories of teaching 🙂

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