Ages and ages ago, Ezra was formally diagnosed with ADD. His teachers all reported a lot of trouble with his attention and focus at school, and after a lot of back and forth and assessments and whatnot, we decided to go ahead and give medication a try. (Noah has severe ADHD so it wasn't our first medication rodeo.)
Sure enough, after a month or so, the teacher reports and assessment forms all indicated marked and noticeable improvement. It worked!
And then I found a couple pills in his pants pockets. And then I found the rest in the bottom of his laundry hamper. He'd never figured out how to swallow them, didn't want to admit that he couldn't swallow them, and thus, never took a single dose.
We dropped the entire topic after that. I never told his teacher anything changed, and she never brought up any attention-related concerns again.
In the years since, though, hoooooooooooo-boy. The placebo effect has NOT carried over at all. Every teacher and coach and camp counselor has the same report: Ezra is very smart and talented but struggles to pay attention. Ezra requires constant reminders to stay focused on what he's doing.
We saw it too. He's not hyperactive at all, but he's just...so scattered and distracted. Music and swim lessons and cricket games -- all things he loves to do and really wants to excel at -- are a constant battle of EZRA EZRA OVER HERE EZRA. His handwriting was illegible. His grades started to slip. I'd find dozens of title pages and half-drawn bits of comics and short stories that he'd start and re-start over and over again. I repeated myself constantly. EZRA EZRA EARTH TO EZRA.
He developed a nervous tic with his hands and mouth back in...yikes, preschool that we've been waiting and waiting for him to outgrow. Instead, it just got worse and worse each year. He couldn't stop it, he told us, because "it's how I get my brain out of my daydreams and back into real life."
(He actually got permanently benched last season in cricket because he simply could not stay focused on the ball and it would roll right by him while he stared into space and ticced and ticced his hands. The coach could only yell "EZRA READY POSITION!!" so many times before giving up.)
We did all the standard recommendations to help with organization and focus and study habits. I took him to rule out hearing and vision problems. (He is a touch near-sighted in one eye, but his teachers always put him in the front row already, so it's unlikely to be the cause of his school issues.) We tried fidgets and the noise-cancelling ear muffs and wiggle chairs.
So a few weeks before school started, we took him for a fresh re-evaluation for ADD.
He feels great. He's doing great. His tic disappeared almost overnight. His handwriting is better. He tackled a back-to-school art project that was due in five days and completed it in one. His flute teacher is just like, "wow." He started writing a new book. It's about a cat family who moves to a farm.
(And he's definitely swallowing the pills this time. Don't think I didn't turn all his pockets inside-out already.)