Poor impulse control meant I often had my things broken, witnessed many explosive arguments between my brothers and father, mood swings, I even felt really bad for being ‘the good one’ when I know one of my brothers really couldn’t help it.
There were loads of funny, happy times too as my brothers have an awesome sense of adventure and wicked sense of humour!
And now we have recently had a diagnosis of ADHD for our son.
He started kindergarten this year and began having dramas in the playground and then eventually in the classroom as well.
Extremely impulsive behaviour, immediate retaliation rather than seeking help from a teacher, unaware of his incredible strength when engaging in rough and tumble play.
Poor impulse control and inattention during class escalated to a point where we had to do something about it.
Friendships were becoming a problem, he was starting to be singled out as ‘that’ child.
And home life wasn’t much better. We know what he is capable of, as does his teacher, but his brain wasn’t working as it should be.
We got a referral for a developmental paediatrician. She gave forms for us as well as the teacher to fill in. She ran blood tests, he saw a psychologist a few times, had a hearing test, and the doctor obtained anecdotal information from us.
The outcome from all of this was a diagnosis of ADHD.
This was six months ago. We tried alternative methods to help him with his behaviour such as dietary changes, reward systems, seeing a psychologist, altering the way we were with him.
However none of this really worked.
We were on a little family holiday recently and I asked our boy if he was excited to go back to school. His response: “I hate school. I always get into trouble and I don’t get what the teacher says sometimes.”
This almost brought me to tears. Our little five year old boy already hates school and is getting into trouble far too much.
We felt that by withholding medication we were doing him a disservice. He has a brain disorder and medicine is there to fix it.
Would we withhold meds if he had a kidney disorder? Definitely not. The brain is no different, apart from the large stigma still surrounding mental health…
We are still in the trial phase of the medication, however the difference it has already made to our boy is incredible.
I can see the clarity in him. The mixed up messages firing off in his brain are settled. Some of his school friends are also happily seeing a positive difference, although unsure why!
Here is a very brief description of ADHD:
“ADHD describes a recognised and persistent pattern of behaviour that begins in childhood and in most cases continues across the lifespan.
Key features are inattention, distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
The underlying cause is thought to be neurodevelopmental, mostly via genetic inheritance.
ADHD is not caused by poor parenting or being lazy.
ADHD is a disorder of executive functioning.” (www.adhdaustralia.org.au)
We are working closely with the doctors and the teachers to make sure our boy is able to reach his full potential. If left untreated, I shudder to think of the outcome.