Thursday, February 26, 2015

So... the problem is not ADHD

We have had our little Hamslice on medication for more than two weeks and it has not been effective. His teachers have actually said that his behavior is worse ON the medication than au naturale. Here's what it looks like:
  1.  Hamslice takes a pill
  2.  20 minutes later he is lying on the floor with overwhelming fatigue
  3.  He is ornery all day because the fatigue doesn't ease up until the med wears off. 

His pediatrician says this is not a normal reaction to the meds, and he prescribed a second stimulant brand. Same result. And an interesting side note is this: his concentration is not any better on medication.

Our friends and family who are now as out of ideas as we are have helpfully recommended the "dye free food diet" and "gluten free living" to us. How are they supposed to know that was our first line of defense when all of this descended on us two years ago? Oh, and they forgot lactose free living, we tried that too. Oh, and probiotics. And chewing gum. And mint. And Vitamin D supplements. and Occupational therapy with skin brushing. And swinging. And trampoline exercises. And a rigorous fitness plan. And talk therapy. And bite plates. And sensory stimulation using velcro and various textured ribbons.

My gut says that Hamslice may have some of the same problems I had in early school years, where my hearing was a huge problem for me. I would spend hours in class being tortured by the sound of the other students eating white bread and cheese and apples and blinking and chewing gum. Other days the sound of my own heartbeat would be so loud in my head that I couldn't concentrate. My peers were such a cause of agony that I didn't want to be around them. The teacher's voice sounded like a bass drum in my ears.

It hit home for me over Presidents' Day when I took Hamslice to see the Sponge Bob Square Pants movie with his friend J. After the movie we went to lunch at Chick Fil-A and they sat side by side. J was perky and excited by the movie, Hamslice looked like he had been punched in the face fifty times. The movie was bright and VERY loud.


Next step is to try noise cancelling headphones to see if we can ease up the sound and give him a little peace in the classroom. His teachers are now magically more compliant than they were two weeks ago, so we are able to try some new things.

Stay tuned...

Monday, February 09, 2015

Behavior Update

So those of you who really know us are aware that along with all of the hilarity of Hamslice comes the behavior issue as well. Here's how it has been playing out this year...

Right away in the school year his teachers really came down on us about behavior, but it was a 360 degree "your kid is bad" approach, which served only to make us defensive. We spent a good deal of time arguing with the administration that no, indeed he is not totally bad and can you be more specific in his badness so we can address something measurable.

They asked us to go to his pediatrician and get ADHD medication. So I had them fill out the paperwork to get a prescription, and they went completely OVERBOARD and marked him as SEVERE in all categories. This made me really mad. 

This went on until Christmas Break. When Hamslice returned from break, his teachers sent home notes thanking us for his much improved behavior, and we were able to remove all of his behavior accommodations. However, because we had all been sick over the break, we didn't actually PUT him on medication, so now their credibility was shot with me.

Fast forward two months and I have been hearing from Hamslice that he is unhappy and that he wishes he could just control his behavior a little more so he would be more successful in class. We discussed this with his therapist and she mentioned that we could medicate just to control his emotional impulsiveness (aka tendency toward acting like a baby and falling to pieces at every little thing) which sounds like a good plan to us.

We spoke also with a few of our trusted friends who suggested that we test run a stimulant by giving Hamslice coffee and seeing if that does anything.

This weekend we gave him a mocha coffee and for three beautiful hours he acted his age. Hambone and I were able to take a deep breath and relax for just these hours. After the coffee wore off, we were back to business as usual.

I believe we have an answer. We talk to the pediatrician on Thursday to get started.