Monday, October 19, 2009

My Boy, the Scholar

My Boy has hated school since...well, forever. Even in kindergarten...he wasn't that crazy about it. He actually loves it for about the last couple of months of the school year...has something to do with the impending departure (he's going to miss his teachers, friends, etc). But ever since first grade, it really has not been good.

We saw the pattern - the first half of the year he would struggle. The second half of the year, his teachers would finally put a plan in place to help him (usually revolved around a behavior chart). I even inquired in the first and second grade (to his teachers) if he might be ADD or something...they both didn't think so. He was also seeing a social worker back then - they didn't see it either.

When he first starting seeing the social worker he was really, really angry. It was in the Spring of 2008 (or was it 2007?) we started reading about the side effects of allergy meds...depression and anger was very common in kids his age (although the doctors said it was not a side effect). We learned about these "unofficial" side effects by reading other parent's concerns on the Internet (thank goodness for the Internet!).

We recognized within weeks that the depression and anger started to subside when he went off the allergy meds. It was then that we decided that mental health was way more important than allergies.

But, even after that major change - he still struggled in school. Never mind the fact that he hated it - we know he's smart, but he just could not get into it. So this year we requested the behavior chart start on day one of school - no more waiting until the teachers decided it was necessary. We also started taking him to The Bridge, Youth and Family Services.

It didn't take long for the therapist at The Bridge to diagnose him with ADD. His pediatrician prescribed Focalin. Now I'm sure some parents are against giving their kids meds...but please refrain from slamming my parenting for trying it! (not that anyone reads my blog & would post a comment anyway! LOL).

I am here to say that as it stands right now, after 3 weeks of Focalin - I am pleased with the results. My Boy has admitted that he actually LIKES school now. His behavior chart is, well, off the charts. Nearly perfect days EVERY day. I'm starting to wonder if he still needs it. He's doing his homework BEFORE he gets home (at after school care) and tonight he was so excited about being in the sign language club at the YMCA that he was teaching My Girl how to sign too. Hello, my kid is IN a club and is participating!!

So don't let anyone tell you that its not okay to try meds. I was always concerned that if it came to needing them, that he was going to be all fuzzy and zoning out (reminiscent of my own college days!). The side effects for Focalin are supposed to be decreased hunger and difficultly falling asleep. It hasn't happened yet, and I'm hoping it won't because it is all going so well.

I am so proud of My Boy. He's making such great strides. I get emails/calls from his teachers about how proud THEY are of how he's doing. I always knew he was smart, I was always afraid he would never like school and would fail. I'm so pleased that My Boy is doing better...and is even enjoying himself. Who knew!?

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