Ok – I’ve bitten the bullet and started my son, Darcy on Ritalin this morning. It’s been a long journey to get to this point, and I’ve learned more about myself and about my son in these months than ever before.
More on that later.
My 7 y.o. son, Darcy, is an intelligent, thoughtful, sweet and caring boy.But he suffers from impulse control issues and lack of concentration. His ability to use his ‘working memory’ is really limited and he suffers also from Dyslexia and has resounding learning difficulties. In his schooling he is so far behind the rest of his class.
Darcy’s Prep teacher was no help – perhaps setting him on a poor path. She abandoned Darcy. She didn’t know how to deal with him, so (she even admitted this to me) she put him on a table by himself, made him sit in the corner, told all the other children not to engage with him. Gave up on him.
I am still so angry …
His teachers in Year 1 and 2 have been amazing, and alerted me to the problems. I am so grateful to Elly from Grade 1 – had she not been such an amazing, caring, child-oriented, supportive and generous person, Darcy would possibly have fallen through the cracks in the education system.
His grade 2 teacher (equally as amazing as Grade 1’s teacher) was recently requested to complete a questionnaire before he started on Ritalin. Questions 1 through 9 – “if the subject scores at least 6 of questions 1 to 9 with answers in the columns 2 or 3 (2 being often, 3 being always) , then the subject is in the ADHD Predominantly Inattentive category.” Darcy got 9 answers of 2 or 3.
“If the subject scores at least 6 of questions 10 through 18 with answers in the columns 2 or 3, the subject is in the ADHD Predominantly Hyperactive category.” Darcy scored 9 answers of 2 or 3.
It’s getting pretty grim reading this questionnaire and the answers the teacher gave.
I’m getting more concerned for my son.
How did I not know this for the first 7 years of his life?
How have I been so blind to the difficulties he’s been through?
Darcy was glad to be taking the tablets. He’s well aware that he needs a little help with school and other things. Tablet (a quarter, twice a day for the first week) went down well! He’s never had a solid tablet in his life, and although I’d described the chalky flavour to him, he needed to sample it for himself. So he sucked on it. YUCK. Thankfully a quarter of a tablet goes down easily with water! I remember my mum used to bury tablets in a spoonful of jam! Seriously.
Half an hour after taking it, Darcy was excited about cleaning up the coffee table so that he could play with his Lego swampland police station. He turned the TV off! He cleaned (and insisted I help) the coffee table with a focus and keen-ness. Not a fury, but there was some firm determination. He then played quietly with the police station for more than an hour, before asking me to clear off the desk so that we could clean up the coffee table!
Who are you? And what have you done with my son?
The first morning of Ritalin was such a success!
In the afternoon, after the second quarter-tablet, we got out to a fabulous playground for a couple of hours. Once the sun had started to lower, we ran onto the cricket ovals and played tiggy with the icy remains of someone’s esky, dumped by a tree. Icy tiggy. Fun, Sunshine. Bliss. We investigated the creek and I nearly fell in… oops.
We came home and played mahjong together and recorded Darcy singing a song he’d made up – entitled today was the “bestest day of my life”.
As I’m typing this (one day later), he’s just come up to me and said, “Mum, this was the bestest weekend of my life”. Naww.
It wasn’t an especially exciting weekend at all, just the usual stuff – shopping, a walk or two, playgrounds, tv, iPad, Computer, Dog. But to him, his life had changed this weekend.
On a 1/4 tablet of Ritalin twice a day.
The bestest weekend of his life! Can’t wait to ramp it up. Can’t wait to see the teacher’s reaction.
Do you have a child who is ADHD?What has your experience been?I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Where to now? Pick a page!!!!