Sunday, January 15, 2012
Throughout the past several months while I haven't been blogging, we've been working hard to help Xavier with his ADHD issues. We had a point where we had to call the Dr and say "you know what? We think something else may be going on. The meds aren't working, and he's sometimes acting like Curious George on crack."
We were referred to a psychiatrist who thought that it might be possible that Xavier may have Bi-Polar, but it wasn't concrete enough to give an official diagnosis. it does run in the family. After talking to family members so I had enough information to hand over to doctors while we tried to figure things out, I found out my paternal grandmother was Bi-Polar. I knew she had been in a mental hospital at one point in time, but never knew the official diagnosis.
That said, we're still working with severe ADHD, and if things start to change again, we will revisit it, as suggested by the Dr. He is too young right now, and too low on the spectrum for it to be diagnosed anyways. We (combined minds of several doctors and parents) think that his Curious George Mentality happened when he outgrew his medication. So over the past few months we have been trying to find the right medication, and the perfect dose.
Yay that we finally found it! It took awhile and we had some rocky moments, both in school and at home. But the special education resources at his school are amazing, and I have developed a bond with his special education teacher. We're actually now working together with other parents to create informational sessions for new parents with children with special needs. Its amazing how much help it can be to know you are not alone when you have a child who is not "typical."
But still, the mornings and evenings can be tough, even with the right meds. Before meds kick in, Xavier is like to bounce all over the place, unable to focus for more then three seconds on one thing. He bothers his brothers by getting in their space, which causes epic tantrums from all three (add four if you want to include J who deals with the kids in the morning.) And at night when the meds have worn off, he's again, all over the place.
Until two weeks ago, when, one morning, Xavier woke up at 6:15, an hour earlier than his brothers. J gave him his booster meds with breakfast, and without anyone around for him to bother, Xavier was quietly able to get his school stuff ready, and had plenty of time to play before we had to leave for carpool. By the time the two younger boys woke up, he was engrossed in his own thing and didn't bother them while they had breakfast. It was a huge change. Normally I wake up to everyone yelling or screeching, and J losing his patience. This time I woke up to happy smiling faces.
It was such a profound difference that J decided to try it each morning. Xavier got a Lego alarm clock for Christmas, and we set the alarm for 6:15. J sets his for the same time, and each morning, they quietly walk downstairs together, have breakfast, get things ready for school, then Xavier goes off to play quietly.
And every morning, EVERY morning, it has been...peaceful. It's odd and wondrous at the same time. At one point you want to smack yourself upside the head and wonder why you didn't think of trying this before? Could it truly be that if we had tried this years ago, we would have had a more peaceful morning?
Not only are the mornings great, but because he gets his booster early in the morning, Xavier can take his real medication a little later in the morning, which allows it to last longer through the day. Which means that he can focus better on his homework, and he is calmer, and more able to socialize with the family without anyone going crazy!!! It's a freaking miracle!!! I finally have this kid, whom I adore but could never really have a conversation with him without him being silly or losing focus, BUT NOW I CAN!!!! I can sit with him, and we can talk, and we can listen, and we can joke together, and it's not hard!!! It's amazing! And I can see it in him too, that he is loving this new found ability to really join in on family stuff without losing his ability to control his impulses. He can play with his brothers without ticking them off. He's become this big hero to Soren, who now follows him around like a puppy. Soren will now do anything to make his brother laugh. And where once Ashe and Xavier were always playing a metaphorical tug-o-war, the bickering is so much less and they are really beginning to create a bond of friendship.
Xavier has always had a hard road to walk. Even with parents who would do anything for him, and friends, it's tough having to deal with stuff like this, things you would not wish on anyone. And the sad aspect is that most likely, he will always have to deal with ADHD and how it will affect his life. It will affect everything: work, home, social, love.... Things we take for granted on a daily basis are a hundred times more difficult for him, even with medication and a lot of support.
BUT... I gaze in wonder at my oldest son lately, my husband the genius who put two and two together, and my happy family, where the quarrels are almost nonexistent now ( ok well, lets say normal for a family of five...) and I am filled with such gratitude and hope. Hope that no matter what we go through, we go through it together, and as a team, there may always be new things to find to help our son on this path called life.