The Long and Winding Road
YOU HAD ONE JOB. OKAY, MAYBE THREE.

Pretty Okay

I hope I've told y'all this before, but just be sure I'll tell you again: You are the best. You. And you. All of you. I'm making swirly-type all-inclusive hand motions at my laptop screen. Thank you for all being so polite and kind and encouraging this week, in comments and emails. I've read every single one and hopefully can start plowing through some replies soon.

(As for the TwitBookFace thingies, I hope you'll forgive me for being too skittish to look over there right now. Everything is too calm and reasonable! The crazy/mean people must be hiding somewhere else! Let's...not go looking for them.)

Anyway, I'm not entirely sure what to write about next. It's been a lot to process. I guess let's start with some blunt talk about ADD/ADHD medication. What could go wrong? That's not controversial at all! Ha ha! Man, it's too early to be this drunk. 

Noah started his medication yesterday morning. We waited until he could see his regular therapist on Monday, who guided us through the conversation about ADD and what it is and what the medication does. And what it doesn't, since Noah was very scared that it would change him or make him "different."

(She read selectively from a great book called Help Is On the Way. A little long for Noah's attention span, but he really absorbed the main points that ADD is not his fault, lots of other kids have it too, and that he's surrounded by people who can help. Very nice, if you're looking for something like that.)

Noah was not alone in those fears, once upon a time. Back in kindergarten, when we first suspected Noah also had ADD/ADHD in addition to All The Other Acronyms, Jason was very much against the idea of medication. For the "usual" reasons: That it's a cop-out, an excuse, a way to make our lives easier by doping our kid up. And yes, he worried it would change Noah in some fundamental way. Diminish him. Fade him like a copy of a copy. 

I have only given out two doses so far, so I am far from an Informed War Weary ADHD Med Veteran here, but I can already give you my opinion on those reasons: HAHAHAHAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. 

It was Noah's ability to describe what his brain "sees" and "feels like" that made us realize that no, it wouldn't be about US at all. It's about making his life easier and easing some very real suffering. Noah's confidence and self-esteem were crumbling; his anxiety about being "bad" or getting in trouble all the time was giving way to depression. This is for him, not us. 

(Not to mention that the medication doesn't kick in until he arrives at school, and wears off like clockwork not long after he gets home. You're welcome, rest of the world! Enjoy my calm kid and send him back once he starts bouncing off the walls again.)

I picked Noah up at the bus stop yesterday and resisted the urge to just blurt out, "WELL? ANYTHING TO REPORT?"

He was in a cheerful and chatty mood — his lost library book had been found (he did return it; he just forgot that he returned it), they learned about newspapers in social studies and he wanted to make one at home.  

And then, no fucking lie:

"Thanks for giving me that medicine, Mom. My ADD is gone and I figured out that I'm not a dumb kid. I'm a smart kid who is good at school now."

Just like that, all matter of fact. Are you kidding me?

My questions poured out almost all at once. Really? REALLY? You could tell? (Yes.) Things felt different? (Yes!) Any headaches? (No.) Stomachaches/dizziness/dry mouth? (What? No.) Did you eat all your lunch? (Yes.) How do you feel now? (Fine.)

(Mom, why are you crying?)

He told me that he still chose to play alone at recess, preferring the company of an imaginary Olaf the Snowman from Frozen. He seemed relieved about that, though, and confessed that he'd been afraid that his imagination would go away with the ADD. Aw, buddy, no

Over the next couple hours, I watched and listened. I took notes. Noah was still doing his usual nonstop talking talking talking Star Trek LEGO Movie Lord of the Rings etc. But he was talking at a lower volume, and not quite as fast and breathless. He was not spinning around the room. He had a snack and I told him to do his homework. He didn't want to do his homework, but before his shoulders rose too far in protest, he stopped and said okay

"Can I take a break halfway though? I have a lot of homework."

Of course.

"Did you see that, Mom? How I calmed down and said okay?"

I absolutely did. 

We high-fived. Noah beamed at me.

Over the next couple hours, I scanned for evidence of a crash as the medicine wore off. He worked on his newspaper (he called it School Bus News and filled it with gossip and much intrigue), and started fidgeting a bit more. He asked for another snack, but said okay when I told him it was too close to dinner. He again asked if I noticed his lack of a tantrum or protest. I gave him a thumbs up. Hell yeah. 

Then...he grabbed a therapy chew to gnaw on. I had to remind him not to stand on the couch, and he didn't seem to hear me the first time. Jason sent him to retrieve Ezra from a neighbor's house and we watched him through the window as he stimmed and spun and hollered for no particular reason. Yep. Right on schedule. 

At dinner he told us the ADD was back because everything was distracting him again. Could he have more medicine? 

Tomorrow morning, I told him. 

He hung upside down over the arm of his chair and groaned. But he said okay

Later, he briefly complained of a stomachache. I wrote that down too. 

***

Over and over and over again, I've been reminded and warned that it can take a few tries and some time to find the right medication and dosage, so don't get discouraged. The last thing I expected was any sort of immediate result right out of the gate. I tried to stay skeptical and detached last night, but ultimately failed miserably because I was too busy being absolutely charmed and delighted by my happy, confident child. 

Obviously, I don't doubt there's a hefty placebo effect going on — we told Noah that the medicine would help, and his confidence level was already on the rise once he had a name for what he has, and understood that he wasn't a "freak" or "weird" — he has ADD, like a lot of other kids. We'll see what happens today, and tomorrow, and so forth.  

But for now, day one, done. And pretty damn okay. 

Comments

MKP

This sounds so much like what my brother went through. He went on Adderall for his ADHD when he was 7 or 8, and it made a HUGE difference. He's still him, he's just not fighting against himself. Snaps for Noah :)

twinmamateb

wow. this brought tears to my eyes. I'm glad Noah had a good day!

Suzanne

I had a very wise pharmacist (for me) put it to me this way "if your son had diabetes, would you deny him insulin?" It put it into perspective that he NEEDED to be able to focus.

Here's the thing: I was unofficially diagnosed when my son was, 13 years ago. I admitted that yeah, I am very distracted, but in my career at that time, it was good that I could go 'squirrel!'.

I've been on medication six months and it has been amazing. I can focus. I can SLEEP because I can shut my brain down at night.

My son with Asperger's didn't do well with any of the stimulant based medications, we tried them all. They were fantastic while they worked, but as they wore off, it was murder on him. He's on the same non-stimulant medication I'm on.

OTOH, my younger son started on Concerta this year. He's a really smart kid who would forget to do assignments or turn them in. Now, I go onto the school website to check his work and the turnaround is dramatic. We (my son, my husband and I) resisted medication for 10 years. What a waste.

I'm glad for Noah and hope that this is more than a placebo effect. :)

Emily

Love to you and Noah, Amy. We will probably be heading down that path with Asher at some point (we're not ready for meds quite yet, as it isn't interfering with school, just making things at home... interesting). I think it's wonderful that Noah can communicate exactly how the meds are making him feel - getting the dosage right was a big issue with my husband's ADD, which is the scariest part of dealing with it with my kid (he is NOT a great communicator and I worry that we'll overdo or underdo it). Thinking of you both.

lisa

I didnt even make it to the end of this post before i started crying. GO Noah!

SarahB

Yay! Tears here too. That's just great.

Issa

My oldest has been on Adderall since she was about seven. She's twelve now. It's pretty much exactly how Noah says. It helps her concentrate in school and it wears off by say 4pm. Which is good for her, since Middle School is earlier, so she can generally give her homework some good time before she ping pongs around again. It doesn't change them...it just helps them focus during school, which is all I ever wanted it for. Because really, we had the same issues, albeit different. At some point, kids who are in any way different, notice it and it starts to effect how they see themselves and that can be no good. Or it wasn't in Maya's case, so we tried the meds and well here we are, still doing them. She goes off them for about 6 weeks in summer and then she begs for them back. It's hard to be like that all the time is what she tells me. Shrug.

I'm glad you feel like you have some answers for Noah right now and I hope he continues to feel better about himself.

sarah

yayayayayayayayayay!

That is an amazing kid you've got there. Cheers to all of you!

courtney

I don't comment here often (maybe once or twice over the last several years) but I just have to stop here and say: You are the best mom. The. Best. Mom. Seriously. Remember that.

Leigh

I'm so glad that you all saw a difference so quickly. I know from experience that it will be easy to beat yourself up for not doing it sooner; don't give in to that. You did it when the time was right, and now Noah is old enough and smart enough to recognize the difference the meds make which will keep him dedicated to actually taking it.

Best wishes!

Shelbey

These stories are killing me! I just feel such affection for Noah! I love these stories, and I can't believe he is so old now. I'm so glad he's feeling better.

Tiffany

Damn tears. I love how aware Noah is. I love that kid.

Liz

So, so happy to hear this. There are so many of us our here in Internet Land cheering you on, Noah!

Elissa

Meant to comment on your earlier post and just realized I didn't. Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us. I'm sure that putting all this information out there can be terrifying at times, but I so appreciate your honesty and have learned so much from your chronicling your experiences. So glad that everything went so smoothly the first day, and thank you again.

Jean

Can I high five Noah too? This post just made my day, and he's not even my kid.

I am soo happy for all of you :)

Karen

Oh, so wonderful! I hope we see the same thing here. My guy is not so perceptive of himself or the world around him so it will be interesting if it helps in that way as well. We are still waiting on the referral....*sigh*

RzDrms

I'm tearing up; I could not be happier for Noah. He deserves to be able to enjoy life to its fullest. I pray this is The Answer, and that this is only the beginning of a more beautiful life ahead. Noah will always be My Most Favorite Internet Kid.

Stephanie

Fascinating!

It's so amazing that Noah can actually feel and understand when the medication is working and when it's worn off. Amazing.

Jenn

This is awesome! I'm so glad it seems to be helping. Like you said, it may take some time to get the dosage right. A lot of meds work really well when you first start them at a low dose, but then the effect is not as pronounced as you get accustomed to it... even if you increase the dose sometimes. Don't get discouraged if this happens. Any benefit is better than no benefit!

NB

Oh, HONEY. Hugs. Giant ones. He's a brilliant little dude, and he's so lucky to have you and Jason in his life. Here's to many more high-fives in the future!

Lisa

I am happy to hear you had a Super Good Fantastic Wonderful Extra-Cool Day. Sure, there are probably still bumps ahead. But forward progress is forward progress and I'm so happy for you all.

Cait

I am so happy that medicine is going well for you. It can really be a blessing when it is needed and it is AMAZING to hear how much better Noah feels about himself :)

LauraC

I meant to comment on your previous post and never got around to it. Long time reader and one of my sons roughly the same age as Noah has ADHD.

Our ped gave us some of the best advice when starting ADHD meds. After 3 days you will think:
- THIS IS AMAZING
- I'm not sure
- this is definitely wrong

We had a similar response when we started meds, like the sky parting and the angels singing. Over time, we had more issues with homework. We asked our psych for a short acting evening med, as needed for homework and sports and GENERAL FUCKING SANITY SAVING ON OCCASION.

Over the years, I have gotten so much out of your blog that I'm hoping to give back in a teeny tiny way to tell you the following:

- Eukee the Jumpy Jumpy Elephant was extremely helpful to read together as a family and to keep around, particularly for his brother

- having read literally every single ADHD parenting book on the market, if you had to read one, I would say Delivered From Distraction.

- our life was infinitely easier after meds, and it had a positive impact on everyone in our family. I needed to hear that when we first start giving him pills, that there were people on the other side who could tell me definitely it was easier.

Jenelle

As a pediatrician and a person diagnosed with ADD as an adult, I think you ABSOLUTELY made the right decision. ADD has to do with chemicals in the brain AND behavior, and both need to be addressed. Think of it this way - if you were diagnosed with high cholesterol, you would need to take medication AND make lifestyle changes in your behavior (healthier diet, more exercise, etc.). Same with ADD; medication to help on a chemical level, therapy/behavior modification/etc. to help on a behavioral level. Congrats on being brave enough to use the tools at your disposal. And congrats to Noah for being awesome!

Jackie

This makes me happy and teary. I have been very much anti-med but my kids are not ADD or ADHD so it was just what I heard, the hippie in me that was saying they should just change the kid's diet and it would all be better. I had no real life example of someone who has done everything they can before medication...until now. I applaud you, first for trying everything first and second for seeing when it was needed. I'm so glad that the first day was a success!

Sarah

Had to reply because we went through the exact same things here. My husband resisted, didn't want to label our son. It was only in 5th grade when his confidence took a nosedive and teachers started calling him lazy and he started hating school that brought out the mama bear. Day one, same thing.
We're three years in now, and we are one of the lucky ones who got a winner the first time on the Rx-merry-go-round.
We just had to increase his dosage, actually, and it's so funny because the first day he was on the higher dosage, he was "back". Just like the first day he ever took it and that spark was there. It had been fading so slowly again that we hadn't noticed it was out until grades and frustrations popped up again.
I do still feel like sometimes it's made-up but I think it's like what people with depression say...their medication makes them feel normal, so they think they're better and they stop, and then they realize that the medicine was what was bringing the normal.
We're putting him on a more even playing field to highlight his potential so he doesn't get lost. It's totally for him, and I totally get your post and have cried those same tears. So hopeful that you get the same kind of progress we've had here.

AlisonC

I am crying too!

Stacy

Holding y'all in the light as you navigate this process and find the best path for Noah. With parents like y'all, he's gonna be more than okay.

Emily

So glad, Amy. So glad. He sounds like he really knows what's going on in his head, which must make it so much easier for you guys. And I can see it has. Thank you for your honesty and sharing your story. I know it's going to help a million people :)

Stephanie

I read your blog regularly, but seldom comment -- great writing, BTW. :) My step-daughter is on ADHD meds - I was skeptical, but they really do help her in school. The one side effect we notice is that her mom says her appetite is off while she is taking meds during the week and she doesn't eat much -- but she doesn't take them on weekends, and will eat anything in sight. :) Figure it evens out and her performance and behavior in school is so much better.

Hailey

Rock on Noah!

Jenn

Yay Noah! I am so happy that he can tell a difference. My Jase (42 yo with ADD) text me after his first dose a couple weeks ago with the adult version of Noah's comment. It is sooo nice when your loved one feels more 'normal'!

Loren

High five, Noah! And, you, too! Y'all are rock stars!

sus

I was like you, didn't want to drug my kids...thought it would just make it easier for the teachers and for us. I didn't realize my kid was suffering. I waited until he was 15 and a freshman in high school and FAILING...

Amanda

i have been a regular lurker here since Noah was a teeny tiny baby in a 'save the boobies' onesie. and i know it might be really weird to care this much about internet strangers, but i had to pause halfway through this post to let the tears in my eyes go away. i'm so happy for Noah! and for you!

Chasity Dix

Wow, that made me cry. I am SO HAPPY FOR YOU that this seems to be working. Placebo affect or not, there was a definite change for the better and that's awesome. I am so happy and proud of Noah, and in awe of how you and Jason seem to handle ALL of this so well. At least from my perspective, you're an amazing mom and I hope to be like you when my little fetus is born.

Gina

Oh, I'm so happy it's working for Noah! We met with the same doubts about and criticisms of meds when we started too. But I looked at it this way: if my son had trouble focusing with his eyes, I'd have no qualms about getting him glasses because it helps. Sure, there might be people who worry about jerky kids out there who hassle him & call him 4Eyes, but ultimately he's better off because, hey, he can see now! There was no 'zombie kid' like I'd been warned about. There was no personality change at all. And the BS about 'you're just doing this to make your life easier'...well, they're full of it because I don't even get to see this new and improved kid because he's gone by the time the bus gets here!

Cara

So, look, as a former child advocate who spent a lot of time fighting requests to put foster kids on psychotropics, let me just say that yours is exactly the type of situation in which I'd have supported it. You're giving him the therapies, the environmental support and the time. He still needs the meds. So, he absolutely should get them. Jenelle above said it best - lifestyle and meds, address the whole kid. You are and he's a lucky kid.

Chi

Big hugs for you and Noah and the rest of your fam. This is great news. Glad he's already doing so well! :) <3

Vicki

Congrats!

Kari

What makes my heart soar is that you have instilled in Noah a love of self. He likes who he is, hence the fear of changing that. What a gift for him to feel your love and Jason's love so much that he knows he's worthy, he's awesome, he's Noah. I love that Noah is such a fighter, I hate that he has had to be at such a young age, but what a gift to be so young and already know that he, himself is worth fighting for. You all are such great, great parents.

Cali

So very happy for you! For when Noah is a bit older, (my son is 9 and loving these books) the hero of the Lightning Thief series (Rick Riordan author) has ADHD as well as dyslexia. Riordan talks a lot about the outside of the box thinker- creative wonder of kids with ADHD- Percy Jackson discovers it is not only ok to be different, but it can be an amazing thing. My son also loves Harry Potter, and LOTR, so I thought the Riordan books might be something Noah would enjoy.

Myriam

Your doctor probably explained that, but just in case… The medication indeed has short term effects, like helping Noah concentrates, but it also has long term effects, in helping his brain create new and more effective pathways. In giving him a medication that helps him to "function effectively", you allows the brain to train itself to connect properly.

Tiffany

Nothing wrong with some placebo effect goosing the medicine's actual effect. :) I know Noah's privacy is a more complex thing for you to navigate now, but I'm so glad to know how he's doing. I'm over here cheering for him, in what I hope is a non-creepy Internet Stranger kind of way.

Anna

Yay for Noah (and you guys)!!!

Chris

Been reading since Noah was wee, and I am totally bawling at this. How wonderful that he can tell you it feels better in his own words. <3

Rachel N.

This brought me to tears, because we went through a similar period in second grade with my now 8th grader. She was getting in trouble all the time, losing friends, losing confidence. We resisted the medication for the same reasons, and finally talked to, you know, A DOCTOR about it. We agreed to give it a try.

After 1 week I contacted her teacher and asked her how it was going, and she said it was like night and day, a different child. Not a bad different, a glowingly positive different. Still the same beautiful personality, but with the ability to focus and sit and absorb and learn and just BE in the moment.

We've never regretted getting her the treatment she NEEDED, and I'm so glad you're getting some positive steps forward right from the start. I'm blown away by how well Noah can verbalize what's happening with him. What a blessing.

Lisa

I love your writing and often send links to my sister. Noah's struggles break my heart, but you have such a great attitude. This post and the one before brought me to tears. Praying that everything keeps improving and Noah stays....Noah!

meeshie

I'm so happy for Noah.

And.. I wanted to touch on something you said before.. before I forget again in the midst of my own stuff. :)

The reason the spectrum became the spectrum in the latest DSM was because of kids like Noah. Kids that weren't really austistic or really anything else but were SOMETHING DAMMNIT and fell through the cracks and couldn't get help and... yeah.. you've been there. You know. And you've been REALLY lucky.

It doesn't change who he is. It just gives the "authorities" and the insurance company something to nod at so that you can get the help he needs without fighting tooth and nail because of his 'sorta kinda sorta'.

It's okay. Really.

Suzy Q

So happy for all of you! What a great kid.

Kat

Thank you so much for sharing this stuff. You are such an amazing, compassionate, caring mother - it really inspires me to be kinder, more patient, more fun and more encouraging with my own child. It's hard to balance life and all the challenges along the way with a smile on your face for your little one, especially when your little one is facing some of those challenges themselves. Thank you for being so honest, for not hiding behind a "I know everything and have totally got this" wall. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Ladotyk

God that must feel amazing for you both! I am so happy that things are working so far. You heave such a healthy take about what is best for Noah and Noah alone, and you sound at peace with yourself. Nicely done, mom.

Trasherati

Completely ferklempt now, for all y'all.

junkie

oh, wow...my happiness for him (and y'all) is overwhelming.

sure, there's still a long road ahead, but damn if this isn't a good start for that road trip, huh?!?

yay!

Astrid

The best best best best thing about medication for ADD is that it does take effect pretty much immediately. That's so not true for most other psychotropic drugs. I was never able to stay on antidepressants for long enough for them to actually start working, but Ritalin started helping me RIGHT AWAY and didn't make other parts of my life horrible either. I wish it didn't have such a bad rep these days, because for people who really need it, it's a god send. But Noah is exactly right. The effect can be so obviously drastic all of the sudden and it's incredible. I'm glad it's working for him and for your family.

Jelourai

I have no wisdom to offer, just support. Noah is (as you know) and awesome and amazing kid, and you are awesome and amazing parents. Now stop making me cry! Love to all.

Cassie

Someone else said it, but I was to chime in. ADD drugs really were instantaneously effective for me. Like flipping on a light switch. Ritalin made me jumpy, but adderall just made me my regular self. The only placebo effect that I noticed was that, initially, a very low dose was effective, but after maybe a month, I needed to up it. To me, it seemed like I was finally able to do all the things that I had been WANTING to do, like actually get shit done during the day, that I was excited about it and focused on it, so I did it. But, after I got used to being able to focus and be productive like a normal person, the ADD started to creep back in. It was like an adrenaline rush of relief to remember I'm a smart person and that boosted the medication.

On a side note, my doctor now recommends breaks from the meds, to prevent getting used to them and having to up it again. So, I don't take it on weekends. I'm on Vyvanse now, and that doesn't seem to build up in my system the way Adderall did. when I was on Adderall XR, I got to a point where it felt like I was normal all the time, and could even go a day or two without it and be fine. It seemed to build up (which I actually liked) and stayed more even. The Vyvanse shuts off.

Sarah

I'm so happy to read all of these. So happy, and so hopeful.

Cheryl S.

Wow! How amazing that he could feel the difference after just one day.

I'm starting down the road of a 504 for my daughter due to increasingly difficult to manage anxiety, so I'm sure we'll be discussing meds at some point too (Jess is 8, so about the same age as Noah).

I love reading about Noah and his triumphs and how you handle all this. It's nice to feel like there are other moms out that going through some form of this craziness (I know mine is "minor" compared to some, but it's alot to me!)

Brittany

As a special education teacher, can I just say you are amazing. I wish every kid who struggles with a disability had the support of a mom like you. It makes a huge difference (even if it doesn't always feel that way.) Noah is a very lucky kid.

maggie

So glad it's working for him!! The only thing we noticed when we started by daughter in the 5th grade is that she isn't a big eater during the day, but at supper and snack time she was ravenous!!! Just let her eat a little more in the evenings. Love your writing also!!

kris

Yay! So happy for Noah. I am crossing my fingers and toes and whatever else I can that the good continues for him.

Zak

Much awesome. High fives all around.

Korinthia Klein

That's awesome. Hope it continues to go so well.

Becky Johnson

As someone whose son did not get the diagnosis until 4th grade, I am so happy that you figured it out early! There are ups and downs with the medicine. My biggest tip is to watch for behaviors returning as indications that your dosage may need to change. The teachers will have to be your eyes and ears for that because if it's working, you'll rarely see the improved behavior yourself. We also used what the called a "mini pill" for days that had large homework loads or projects. It lasts about 3 hours. He's in 8th grade now and I can't imagine what the last 4 years would have been like without the medicine. Good Luck and great job!
Becky

Christy

Yay Noah! :)

Susannah

I rarely comment on blogs anymore because I guess I'm a jerk, and I never comment on blogs that have so many comments because I want to be special (and I'm a jerk)...but I just have to comment here. I actually almost cried reading this. I am SO happy for you and your family and especially Noah. No one should feel their brain isn't right, especially a child.

I am just so so happy he is responding to the medicine, placebo or not. :) xoxo

Jen

Talking to my brother recently, who was diagnosed with ADD in his late teens, he said how much he wished he'd been diagnosed & medicated sooner--so that he didn't have to go through so many years with people thinking he was just a jerk who couldn't control himself. It broke my heart, and only heightened my belief that usually, the earlier the diagnosis and treatment, the better. You and Jason are doing a great job with Noah--shown by his sweetness and self-awareness in all of this. I hope it continues to get a bit easier for all of you.

Sue

YEAH!! When it works, it usually works like you described. I teach kids like Noah and others, all with learning differences, so I see a lot of this sort of thing. I am SO pleased for Noah and the rest of you. It is always such a relief and feeling of success!!

Sue

The best indicators I have found for dosage is to look at handwriting quality and math accuracy. When those two things start to go, the dosage may need to be adjusted.

Laura

The medicine really does work that quickly. My third grader has taken ritalin since 1st grade. Kindergarden was a heartbreaking mess of a year. Every year it gets better and better He's so calm on the medicine that he doesn't seem as crazy and silly, so we often don't give it to him on the weekends. The worse side effect is that he doesn't have much of an appetite. He makes up for it at dinner usually and he is growing normally. One day I forgot his medicine in the morning and SERIOUSLY - by 10am his teacher called me and asked what was up. She could totally tell. Keep in mind - these medicines are not depressants - it does not "zombify" your kid. In a non-ADHD kid these medicines would make them hyperactive. Kids with ADHD are often calmer on caffeine (not that I recommend it) and hyper on benadryl. Their brains really do work differently. In a perfect world our sons schools would accommodate their different brains - but in the mean time there is no harm in giving them tools to learn.

Noelle

You are a really good mom, Amy.

Tracy

My dd was 12 when we finally got the dx of ADHD. She is also pretty bright. Together with the doctor, we decided to try medication. By then, we'd done pretty much everything we could short of calling the witch doctor… so why not try it.

She is on Vyvanse, which is a long-acting ADHD drug, and after 2 days, she came home and said to me - MOM. MOM. I can MULTI-TASK.

After 5 years, and a lot of learning other skills, she can usually handle a school day without it if she forgets to take it (she has to be able to take it herself - she's leaving for college next fall!), but she says that it is always better when she has it "on board". She's decided to take it through college, and then decide whether to continue. We've had one dosage change in that time period (she grew, more weight, more drug…), but for the most part it's been a good thing for her.

I do not regret putting her on medication one bit. She was in tears every day, forgetting to do homework, forgetting to turn in completed work, feeling like she couldn't find the right thing to listen to.

I'm so glad for you that it is helping. Hang in there.

the bee

Better than ok. Fabulous for everyone.

Mrs. Flinger

OH SHIT. No kidding. After my diagnosis (and medication! AND THERAPY! IN GROUPS!) we pursued Lauren's diagnosis. Turns out, she's not just like me, she's EXACTLY (sorry, kid) LIKE ME. And *she* knows the difference. Again, Amy, I find that I can come to your blog and resonate in ways nobody else is being nearly as forthright. SO THANK YOU FOR EVER. And ever. XO

Katy

Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus of support. We started my son on ADHD medication a month ago and it's been life changing for all of us. For me, the kicker was when he asked me if the kids at school would stop calling him "bad boy" if he took the "good choices" medication. The change in his school and home experience has been soooooo dramatic. We aren't looking back.

Christine

Gooooooo Noah! And go you guys. I'm so happy he has you guys.

Kristina

Yay! I've been reading forever, never commented (didn't want to seem like a creepy creeper who creeps)

But... I just wanted to say how fantastic this is, and how happy I am for Noah and your family.

Shannon

I somehow missed the last post, but now I'm all caught up and sending you love and hugs. You are an amazing mom and I know some people hate hearing this, but Noah truly is so lucky to have you. I'm an SLP who works with lots of families and some kids truly aren't so lucky. This post made me so teary. Noah is such an awesome kid and I hope that things can continue to go so well for him and for you guys. Love to you all.

Jenine

Best to your family. I hope this is a good tool to help Noah. I love the placebo effect - power of the mind! You are being a good advocate for your kid. And a good Mom.

Lissa

Go Noah and go Amy!

When we had to explain the diagnosis & decided to start meds, someone suggested the book "Cory Stories" by J.Kraus. After my son read it, he looked at me and said, "I think I have this ADHD too". It was a great tool for helping him understand what he is living with.

There are a lot of us on this path with you, feel free to reach out for help any time.

Erin

This gave me tears. I am so, so glad for you and your family, and optimistic that you will continue to have many, many good days. Hugs to Noah.

Musingsfromme/Jill

I teared up reading this. Have been down this route. Got roadblocked in denial. Had same fears about meds. Caught off guard by how much a kid on meds changes. Fears allayed. It's a long road to hoe as they say. Every kid is different. But once you have a name, meds, behavior tools, coping strategies, and a team of people who have your back, life is most certainly good...if not awesome. I'm SO glad that Noah is doing so well. What a bright, insightful boy you have!

Molly

You're a good mom, Mom.

Sarahd

So so so so so so so so so happy for Noah! And for you! Good luck guys!!!

Arnebya

Pretty damn ok is good. And pretty. You're pretty. It's good.

He. Is. Good.

Maggie

Am in tears. Between your news and the comments, am just so happy. So very happy for Noah, and for you. This is so timely for us, our afternoon was spent yesterday in my daughter's first SST meeting, therapy, lots of thought about ADHD, should we-shouldn't we start meds? It's all pretty new for us so we want to live with it for a little while, but thank you so, SO much for sharing. SO happy for Noah!!

MamaMassett

I have not been through this as a parent, but as a sibling. My brother was diagnosed with ADD when he was 8. His "chosen" medicine was Ritalin. The difference of my brother on Ritalin and off is night and day. He is 29 and still takes it. I am so happy to hear that things seem to be going well! I teared up when he said his "ADD was gone". Thank you for sharing.

Maggie

This made me tear up! GOod for Noah and you! I had my daughter evaluated and they said she did not have ADD/ADHD, but I still wonder. She has so many of the behaviors and I am so worried I may be doing her a disservice by not pursuing a diagnosis more forcefully. She is 8 years old and can't sit still for a minute unless she is in front of a screen. She has the same low confidence because she is always getting in trouble for not paying attention or sitting still. UGH, your comments section is not the place for this, but I just feel lost.

Cynthia

I am also a long time reader, but first time poster.
You and your family amaze me and I love to hear about the good, the bad, and the ugly.
I wanted to inform you and your readers about another option that may be helpful for those on the Austim spectrum. Lineagen is a company whose mission is to enhance and acclerate the evaluation of medical condtions to allow for the best options and outcomes for the pateint and the family.
As I know you are heavily researching options look at ther website; Lineagen.com. This is an amazing company that is changing the lives of many. I would be remiss if I did not post about it, even if it only helps one family in need.
I wish you, your family, and all those out there dealing with this issue lots of love and support. You are all wonderful parents and I aplaud you!

DontBlameTheKids

YAY! I am cheering for you both!

Cathy

Noah is so fortunate to have you and Jason for parents. Congratulations to everyone!

Kate

OMG. This made me cry, both in happiness for for family and in "oh crap, what should I do with my child". Any chance you would be willing to email the name of your developmental pediatrician?

Sydney

Seriously! Quit making me cry into my mashed potatoes.

Great job Noah! The Interwebz are proud of you!

Plano Mom

Good for you. I resisted far too long for my son. By the time we got him on meds, his confidence level AND his motivation for school had been beat out of him. Yay Noah!

Rebecca M

SO glad to hear he's doing so well. I have the inattentive type of ADD (no hyperactivity) and I wasn't diagnosed until well after I graduated from high school. It really DOES help to know that what's different about you has a name, and that you're not the only one. I'm always glad when kids don't have to go through the kind of things I did.

As for people afraid of "zombifying" kids with medication... I was far more zombie-like WITHOUT it. Having untreated ADD is like having a weight tied around you that keeps you from doing all the wonderful things you're capable of. Medication (and other treatments) help to lessen that weight.

Rebecca M

Also, it's WONDERFUL to see that Noah's already developing his own coping skills along with the help of the meds. Taking breaks during long tasks is exactly the kind of thing I try to do.

Nicole B.

So glad to hear things went so well! I hope they continue to do so. : )

Dawn

The answers to the questions you asked when you picked him up from school made my eyes leaky, too. It must be such a relief to see your child able to stop struggling quite so much.

Kelly Q

I've been reading your blog forever, but just wanted to comment and say "Go Noah!" and "Go Momma!!" I wish you all the luck in the world. ... and my words to live by are always "you gotta do what's right for your kid." Clearly, you are doing that and Noah will be all the happier for it.

The comments to this entry are closed.