Well, that didn't take long.
I sent Ezra's teacher some evaluation forms and surveys on Monday. She filled them out that same day and faxed them directly to our doctor, like, OMG GET THIS KID SOME HELP.
The doctor called within 24 hours and was like, whoa, yeah, that's ADHD and also OMG GET THIS KID SOME HELP.
This is the book Noah's therapist read to him after he was formally diagnosed and we made the decision to start medication. I just ordered a copy for Ezra, and yes, we are making the same decision for him.
We were very reluctant and resistant with Noah, and in retrospect we agree that we waited too long. Believe me, we tried just about all of the alternative med-free strategies, multiple therapies, diet changes, you name it. We didn't just throw up our hands and spring for the meds to make our lives easier.
(Well, okay, I did throw out one of those ADHD IS A PACK OF LIES-type book that my MIL gave us after a cursory Google search on the author, revealed her to have close ties to the church and teachings of Scientology. Didn't even recycle it. Not even a little bit sorry.)
And look, some of that stuff really IS helpful. Artificial food colors and flavors, to this day, are more or less banned in our home. Avoiding the super-processed kid-marketed food in general, really has an impact. Vitamin deficiencies definitely can make things worse. Breathing exercises are great, scalp massage is calming, etc. We have a therapeutic swing in the basement, noise-canceling earmuffs, fidgets and chews and weighted blankets. All stuff we've had for years and stuff that Ezra has access to as well. (He's been using the swing and earmuffs a lot lately.)
But it wasn't ever really enough. By the time we decided to try medication, Noah was deeply depressed and anxious and his self-esteem had plummeted. He verbally berated himself at every turn, everything was all his fault, he was stupid and no good, a freak.
What's wrong with me? he'd ask us.
And then that day, after school, those words I will NEVER forget:
There's a war in my brain and the bad guys are winning.
Noah's ultimate diagnosis ended up being a lot more complex, but after finding the right medicine at a therapeutic dose, it was a revelation. We have our happy, confident boy back. A boy who likes himself and knows he's capable of succeeding at things, even hard things. He understands that his brain is different than other people's, but since when is different a bad thing? We're all different. Different is NBD.
Over the past couple months, I've noticed a bit of Ezra's light has started to similarly flicker. The way he talks about himself has shifted, the negatives are creeping in. There's frustration and anger and a long list of "I can'ts" and "I'm no good ats."
Nope. Not gonna let that happen again. Help is on the way, Zah, in every single, possible way we can help you.