My youngest child was diagnosed with adhd at the end of last year. He'd been receiving speech therapy through the public school's special education program (and early intervention before that), and the original reason was he was delayed in his speaking.
I was volunteering in his class at the neighborhood school when he was in 1st grade. This was a classroom where the teacher followed a more traditional model of what to expect of children's self-control and behavior. Chet did not fit this model, and I could see that in that setting he was guaranteed to always be 'wrong'. I could see that this teacher and others in this very small school were believing that this moment in my child's development was the totality of his being. They were beginning to treat him as such, and worse, he was beginning to believe them. I removed him from the school with every intention of homeschooling, but as a hail Mary pass I checked into the charter school where he had gone to preschool. It is a K-12 school, and a bit of a commute from our home. (I'd had serious doubts about sending him to our neighborhood school when it was time for Kindergarten, but the benefits of having 2 boys in the same school, with at-our-driveway bus transportation just won out. I've seriously regretted that decision.) I called the charter school and darned if they didn't have enrollment open for new students, and darned if it wasn't closing that very Friday--I called on the Wednesday!
Long story short, he was now in the right school, a place that is tolerant and encouraging of free spirits and non-conformers. And he was still having problems. We expanded special ed services to include learning disabilities and that's when I saw the ped for the diagnosis. I'd hoped he'd mature over last summer and settle down so he could begin to take in what school had to offer, but it appears this wasn't something he could settle down from. The speech and language comprehension tests had him scoring below the 5th percentile, and the IQ test scored him around 60! This is a beautiful, very intelligent boy, and the staff recognized this. The special ed teacher asked if I was going to try medication and I said I'd wanted to first see if the expanded service might be of benefit to him first. She said her "expanded care" worked out to about 90 minutes a month. She said, "I'm not advocating for medications. I'm advocating for HIM. He should be at the top of his class, he is so intelligent. But he's just TORTURED by his ADD." It was then that I decided to try medication.
Medication vs no medication/natural treatment seems to have the potential of emotional heat, and I wonder if it's been dealt with here? Hopefully people are tolerant of each other's choices and listen respectfully to each other. I'd expect that of an AP forum. I am looking to expand my knowledge base, and use the summer to research other alternatives to medication. In the meantime I was hoping to find other parents in similar situations where I can ask what kinds of experiences their children might be having with medication--and just know that I'm not alone in coping with the behavior an ADD child exhibits. I'm an introvert, a quiet person by nature, so it's quite a joke of the universe that I would be paired with a child with adhd. I want to be the best partner for him that I can, and the support/advice/experience of other parents will help me to do that.
Sibling relationships is another area I'd love some support in. The older child doesn't have a lot of tolerance for the younger's behaviors, and doesn't see how his reactions inflame the behavior.
Am I in the right place here?