Monday, June 30, 2014

Small Triumphs

Well it's the end of another school year.  I know I'll be kicking myself in a months time, but THANK GOD.  I swear this has been the most trying year I've experienced with my children to date.  I'm not sure which of us is more relieved that it's over, Roan or me! 

Last summer it was agreed upon by Eric, myself and Roan that we'd allow him to go off his meds for ADD during the summer break.  He didn't like the roller coaster feeling the pills gave him (time release meds tend to do that) and they made him feel...'meh'; just not like his usual fun self.  He was suffering from some 'hallucinations' as well which were a little frightening to me.  So the decision was fairly simple.  We'd try him without the assistance and see how he fared.  During the summer it was tolerable but became increasingly frustrating.  Life in the house wasn't that wonderful for him.  We were constantly on him for "forgetting"...EVERYTHING.  We felt like all we were doing was yelling or lecturing.  He was really vocal about his disdain for going back on his meds for school, so we gave him a window of time to prove to us and his teachers that he could do it.  Well come December it was crystal clear that he was really struggling to stay focused and get his work done accordingly.  His progress, if nothing changed quickly, was going to hinder his chances of moving into Grade 8 at the end of the year.  GULP. 

Meetings with the teachers, counselors, the principal, Roan, and us were held and they were strongly pushing for him to go back on some form of medication (of course they were).  We were pushing back with the request for the teachers to think outside their idea of the perfect student and make some concessions that were geared to his known, and mutually agreed upon, strengths.   To be frank, they won, we lost.  Because I can't be at the school day in and day out to ensure they held up their end of the deal we had a discussion with his Doctor about new medication options and she presented us with a newly approved drug.  A new pill that isn't time released but a slow release and over time would be 'even' across the board.  He has no ups and downs with it, and the side effects are minimal.  We gave it a go and he has really taken to it.  He doesn't complain about taking his pill, he doesn't bitch about side effects (one of them is drowsiness and since he's always had issues with sleeping, we just give him his pill at night), we see HUGE changes at home and have definitely seen changes at school. 

To be honest, we're not entirely sure if the leaps and bounds of changes we've seen in Roan is as a result of the medication or just maturity.  Hopefully a combination of both, but we're going to maintain it through the summer so he can get a proper start on Grade 8 in September (because YES he did make enough strides to get there).  He is an amazing kid and life for him (and us) has been so much kinder and pleasant since he started this particular prescription. 

The decision to medicate your child for any illness can be extremely difficult.  So many opinions of others (most NOT requested) are hurled at you.  But the decision is your family's and it's private.  You are the ones that deal with the effects of the disorder whether on medication or not.  You are the ones that live with it daily so the decision is yours and your child's.  As a parent, whatever I can do to make life not SO difficult for my kid is one of my number one goals.  Watching him unnecessarily struggle isn't in my cards.  So we did our part, we conceded and it paid off, but as for the school??? Well I've got my issues with them.  That's an entirely different post. 

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