Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

In todays world, most have heard about ADHD. I do honestly believe that it is over-diagnosed, and WAY over-medicated! But, for some, like Einstein, with all the other issues - you have to. :S
Now we KNEW he had ADHD LONG before he was ever diagnosed. Good Ole Boy has it. Most of the family actually suffers from ADD. And we didn't want to go the medication route, so we put off the test for quite awhile. Dietary changes helped some, but not enough. Combining ADHD with all the other behaviors was simply TOO much for me, so in 2002 he was officially diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - combined type. (meaning he has both attention problems and hyperactivity problems)  

So what IS ADHD? 
The CHADD website explains that it is a neuro-biological disorder that is hereditary. It can also be caused by prenatal exposure to drugs and alcohol - which he also had. 

O.k., fine. But what does ADHD LOOK like? 
Well, in order to get a diagnosis these behaviors have to be ongoing for a certain period of time. I know everyone does them occasionally. 
Picture this CONSTANTLY....
* no attention to detail & careless mistakes
* can not pay attention for any length of time
* does not listen
* can not seem to follow through with instructions or requests
* VERY unorganized
* won't participate in activities that make him 'think'
* very easily distracted
* extremely forgetful 
* fidgets and squirms
* won't stay seated when "supposed" to
* runs around and climbs on things constantly
* can't do activities quietly
* always on the go (this has diminished as he's gotten older)
* chatterbox 
* blurts out answers
* major problems waiting in line & taking turns
* interrupts

Now - add these symptoms to the list I posted on CD.... 

So, what do you do after the diagnoses?
We had parent training called PCIT - parent and child interactive therapy. We had counseling for both him and us as a family. Many books were recommended. Many techniques were tried. None worked. Professionals were baffled by WHY none of these worked. We added in the medication. He has been on virtually every ADHD drug there is and maxed them all out. Currently, he takes vyvanse in the morning and dexedrine in the afternoon. Do I see improvement? No. Some days he is less violent than others but there is no pattern.
So what do we do? Honestly, I don't know. I could handle the ADHD. 
I mean, I know Good Ole Boy has it (yes, adults can have ADHD - it isn't always outgrown) and I am sure that Bug and Hunny do to. 
 It's the combination that I struggle with. 
So we keep going to the Dr. every month. 
We keep trying different drugs or combinations of them. 
And we keep hoping that someday, something will work.

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