Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:06 PM
Hi. My DS was diagnosed with ADHD late last year, just before he turned 10. I completely identify with your post, so thought I'd share where we are a little further down the road.
I came to an epiphany one night just after his diagnosis, after years and years of questioning myself and blaming myself. I realized that DS didn't have ADHD because of me or something I'd done, but rather that he had coped with it for as long as he had, and as well as he had, because of us. I looked at all his achievements he'd made in spite of his ADHD...excellent naplan and academic results, a marked decrease in public meltdowns, a good social circle and the ability to persevere. That lightbulb moment was very important and I haven't had the guilty feelings or questions since.
I had always been anti-medication, and struggled with the decision as to whether to medicate DS. His paed asked me to think about what we had tried before arriving at this point - diet, behaviour modification plans, behavioral psychs, and so on. She reminded me we had exhausted so many options, with some limited progress in some areas but an obvious escalation of his inability to cope with frustrations and control impulses, as we were having increasingly frequent meltdowns at home (3-4 a week) which were becoming violent. DS was working so hard to keep it together at school and socially that he was unleashing at home. I also, at this point, had to consider my younger DS who found his meltdowns confusing and upsetting. DS's grades were also slipping, while still passing everything he was increasingly unable to concentrate on tasks long enough to show his real ability, and I understood this would become harder as he entered upper primary.
My mother and DH asked me, what it this medication works for DS? For some kids it can be like a light switch, calming the mind and slowing down thoughts enough for them to THINK before acting. What if this was what it would be like for DS? Could I deny him that because of my moral opposition? Would I deny medication that could improve his quality of life if it were a medical issue, rather than a behavioral one?
So we started medication in November of last year, he slowly worked up to 2x Ritalin tablets each day (breakfast and lunch).
It flicked a switch for him. He is looking at a B for behaviour at school this term, a far change from his history of D's. His tantrums have lessened in frequency and intensity. He no longer makes annoying noises without realizing. I know when he hasn't had a tablet because I see it in his body movements, he becomes jerky and unsettled.
His appetite has lessened so we stocked up on sustagen which he sometimes has in place of lunch. He struggled with taking the tablets, and was very secretive about it. Finding out another classmate also takes them, and finding the courage to tell his best friend, has helped him overcome this.
Anyway, that's our story so far. I'm not sure if any of it is helpful, but hope knowing I felt just like you helps in some way. Best of luck.