by Guest Parent Blogger: Nancy Oliveira
My son was always extremely busy. But it wasn’t until he was in 3rd grade that the teachers at his school let me know the same thing. He was quickly evaluated after a brief meeting to talk about what I see at home and what they see at school. It was determined that my son has ADHD combined type. We chose to keep him medication free. We felt that we have been tolerating his business all these years without meds, so we didn’t see the point in medicating him. He is a great kid!! He DOES WELL in school!! Sure his teachers have and do say he is busy and is often easily distracted, but he is doing it… completely on his own…. MEDICATION FREE!!! I am so proud to say this because he is a lot of work in the course of a day.
So much energy is required just spending an afternoon with him, not because he gets into trouble, but because he is so bouncy… rolling on the floor (constantly!), squirming in his chair, speaking LOUDLY and incessantly and always BORED!!! He is also very emotional… and sometimes draining because of this. He complains a lot of stomach aches, arm aches, headaches, foot pain, leg pain, you name it and he has it.
How do you cope with a kid who is always complaining, super energetic, easily becomes anxious and ultra- sensitive?? Doctors would argue that meds are the only scientific proven way to treat the symptoms of ADHD. I chose to tolerate my son with lots of patience, love and encouragement. We reward the good not with cheesy stickers (he’s nine… c’mon!!!) but with extra time on the computer, later bed, etc… things he can relate too and things he prefers. We also keep a tight schedule for him. He knows that every day at 4pm is homework time.
My hope is that I can reach some parent out there that has a child that sounds similar to mine that either hasn’t gotten a diagnosis yet or is newly diagnosed with ADHD. Take it from me and do these things … immediately.
- Get an evaluation (preferably from the school, and then follow up with a second opinion).
- Gather all the information you can and then make it work for you and your family.
- Realize that it is not always a good idea to tell your child that he/ she has ADHD.
- Set up house rules and consequences for breaking those rules.
- Set up a routine for your child with your child’s input.
- Use plenty of praise to your child, lots of fairness, firmness and LOVE.
- Get involved in a support group… even if you go a few times… to get ideas and to bounce things off of other people going through the same thing.
Good luck on your new journey!!!