Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Our Journey with our Daughter's ADD

Day 4 NaBloPoMo

It's been a few years since my 10 year old was diagnosed with ADD/ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder). She was in third grade at the time, and now she's in fifth. We went through the testing process to see if she could get on an IEP (individualized education plan) and she tested within normal limits. So she would receive no additional resources at school. 

We were tasked with finding a tutor and a therapist for her. Unfortunately, any tutor we found, (typically high school or college students) would quit a month or so in because of their own homework or jobs). The therapist sessions stopped when I changed jobs and got new insurance. 

We chose not to medicate her for ADD initially because we didn't want to go down that path. Maybe I  didn't want to believe she really had a condition or problem. I kept wanting to believe it was just a phase. Except unfortunately her report card last year had an F and a D due to missing assignments and bad test scores. She also did poorly at reading counts points (reading comprehension). Doing homework with her (for her) was also extremely tedious and challenging. 

The biggest issue we have had with her is her though, is her behavior. She can't control her impulses and hostility. She lashes out, teases the other kids, hits, kicks and is just extremely negative. It affects our entire family and our home environment. Constantly reprimanding, reminding, yelling, threatening, etc. It has been emotionally draining. 

We decided to seek medication at the start of this school year. Our friend's son has the same diagnosis and he had just started Vyvance and was doing great. We started our daughter on Vyvance and have been working on finding the right dose and if we need a calming med to supplement it. It's hard to gauge whether or not the medication is working sometimes because it is slow release and usually wears off by the time we get her from school and start to work on homework. By that time she is very irritable and negative again.  

Other side effects have been difficulty falling asleep and loss of appetite. She is already underweight, so this is not good. Now we're pushing her to eat, and that's never a good idea (starting a control thing with food and possibly developing anorexia). She has lost six pounds since being on Vyvance. 

But the good aspects is she is able to follow instructions and stay focused on completing tasks. She is also less impulsive and hostile. She has been a lot more affectionate and sweet with me. It's hard to say if some of this mood fluctuation is due to prepubescent hormones either. 

But I think we made the right decision on getting her help. Her behavior and attitude was affecting her home life, academics and her peer relationships/friendships as well as her self esteem. I was feeling very hopeless, sad and angry with her. It's not a good feeling to have about your own child. Also, all the yelling/lecturing from her dad and the crying/whining/tattling from the other children added to the complete chaos of our home. All I could think about was running away and getting away from the crazies. 

Now, I could still really benefit from counseling and getting it for my daughter too. We have to wait again to see about the new insurance plan we'll be getting from my husband's work (for an arm and a leg). Perhaps I can join a support group. 

A friend of mine said I should try taking one of my daughter's Vyvance because it would help me clean the house better. Hmmmm... apparently this is a thing? And all this time I thought beer would help me in the housecleaning process...

If you have any insight or experience with ADD, please leave a comment. 

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