Like a Girl

I can't count the number of times I've heard (or read) someone point out the fact that "ADHD presents very differently in girls vs. boys." And I would nod in perfect agreement, because yes! I have heard (or read) that many times! But if you'd asked me just how, exactly, ADHD presents in girls, I'd have absolutely no idea. "Differently," I'd probably answer in a serious and authoritative tone, because I love to bullshit my way through questions. "ADHD presents differently in girls." I mean, not shocking, as I do not have a daughter and certainly never struggled with ADHD as a child myself. Until I learned that actually, I probably did. (Struggle with ADHD as a child, that is. I did not discover the existence of a long-lost daughter I forgot I gave birth to. Just wanna make that clear,) Still maybe not all that shocking! I only learned the specifics of how ADHD presents in adults like, last month! And only went to my doctor two weeks ago like, uhhhh I think this is me? And I was right and it totally was me and now I'm finally medicating the right part of my brain for the first... Read more →


A Diagnooooooooooooosis

Well. It sure has been a WEEK. Or technically, it's been three-and-a-half days that FELT like a full week. It's also been a roller coaster of emotions and a water slide of productivity, and okay, that's enough silly metaphors for today. Sometimes, I'm like THIS! But then I realize I need to change that first lyric from "For almost 30 years I knew something was wrong" to "For over 40 years," and suddenly I'm less at the 'I Want' Song portion of my life's imaginary musical and more like TIME TO ANGRY DANCE! (I only said I was done with the silly metaphors. I still have plenty of oddly-specific yet thoroughly tortured ones left.) "What if it was ALWAYS this?" I asked Jason last night, almost through tears. "What if everything, all of it, was actually just this?" I was angry and frustrated because the Vyvanse was working. Because I could clearly, easily and unequivocally tell the Vyvanse was working, because the Vyvanse kicks in your brain door and flips whatever switch it needs to switch within a couple hours. As opposed to an antidepressant that you need take for at least a couple weeks before you can decide if... Read more →


Gamechanger

So this happened. I, a grown-ass 42-year-old woman, was (just! like yesterday!) diagnosed with adult ADHD. I imagine a lot of people are reading that and thinking, "Well, yes, Amy. Have you met yourself? Ever read your writing?" Other people who've known me for years, on the other hand, have already responded to the news with, "Huh. Really? Are you sure?" Either way, it feels weird! I have two different children with two different flavors of ADD/ADHD, so you'd think at some point (like maybe while filling out my four dozenth Vanderbilt parent rating scale) I would've stopped and thought, gee, this feels familiar. But it's that "adult" bit, which is admittedly different. I don't think I ever looked up that particular symptom list or that specific rating scale. And why would I? I was a quiet, well-behaved child who earned straight A's all through school and college. I landed my first real editorial job before I even graduated, and accepted my first big promotion the same day I left to go take my final exams. I used to churn out 10, 15. 20 blog posts a week for years without even part-time childcare! And I've spent more than a... Read more →


tO qUIT OR nOT tO qUIT, pART tWO

A belated thank-you for all the feedback from...wow, was it only last week? Just a mere 47 impeachment news cycles ago? Anyway, thanks for all the feedback/advice/commiseration on whether we should let Noah quit the saxophone. (I didn't realize CAPS LOCK was on when I typed the original title of that post, then I decided to just keep that way for funz, and now here we are a week later, stuck with it again because STYLISTIC CONSISTENCY.) Your comments were all (mostly) very helpful, and I hope that it speaks to my growth as a Blog Person that FOR ONCE, I was able to read a ton of conflicting advice from the Internet without my head exploding like an anxiety balloon and/or me getting all snippy at people because THAT ADVICE IS NOT RELEVANT TO OUR SITUATION BECAUSE OF REASONS I COMPLETELY FORGOT TO INCLUDE IN MY POST. THIS COMMENT SECTION IS RESERVED FOR OMNISCIENT BEINGS ONLY. One of the background details I didn't include (because the post was already rambly AF enough), was that Jason played the saxophone as a kid. As did his big brother before him. His parents bought a really, really nice Yamaha sax for his... Read more →


tO qUIT OR nOT tO qUIT

A question, for you, O Internet: How do you decide if, and when, it's okay to let your kid quit? My children have quit lots of things. Every sport they've ever attempted, for example. I still have a garbage bag full of karate belts in the basement somewhere, probably buried under Ezra's cricket equipment. (That passion flamed out when he realized he actually wasn't any...good? At cricket? And that was fine, because I was likewise not any good at being Team Parent. I still have the t-shirt, though!) They're all good strong swimmers but begged to quit lessons once they hit the higher levels that involved the diving board and the unheated pool at the Y. And we let them quit because we got super sick of listening to them collectively bitch about it every goddamn Saturday morning. Ezra dabbled in guitar and attempted violin (arrgghhh my earssss) before finally settling on the flute -- which he loves! And actually IS very good at! Like kinda phenom good at! Which is great! Except it means the cheap little student flute we bought for $75 off Craigslist is no longer working for him and I just learned what an "acceptable" flute... Read more →


Here We Go Again

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... Read more →


Atypically Awesome

Jason and I binge-watched Atypical on Netflix a few weeks back (and if you haven't checked it out yet, GO NOW DO, it's wonderful). I could probably write a dozen blog posts on all the many, many thoughts and feels I have about this show (which I repeat, is wonderful), but for now I'm going to go off and ramble down a completely different tangent. HOWEVER, the fact that we watched it will be important later. (Now THAT's how you structure a coherent blog post, folks.) Back when Noah was officially diagnosed with ADHD, we teamed up with his doctor and therapist to talk Noah through his diagnosis, what it meant and what would happen next. We didn't take the decision to try medication lightly, and I certainly had no intention of just handing him a pill, like here, take this, without thoroughly explaining what it would do and what potential pros and cons we'd need him to self-report going forward. There was a book and several sit-downs and lots and lots of follow-ups and check-ins. And then his Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis happened. In kind of a short order. And...well, we didn't tell him. That sounds horrrrrrrible, I know.... Read more →


QualityTimeXtravaganza

Jason was lucky enough to take a couple days off this week, and spent them either 1) getting at least one of the two children responsible for most of the screaming/tattling/HE'S BREATHING MY AIR sort of hullaballoo out of my hair, or 2) spending quality one-on-one time with our middle and youngest children, reinforcing good positive attention behaviors with a side of spoiling and all that jazz. Technically a bit of both, I suppose. Both days involved the aquarium and copious amounts of dessert. Jason also sent the following photo as evidence of Ezra's Scrabble prowess, but in doing so revealed himself to be a dirty cheat who plays acronyms and two-letter words the second I'm not around to challenge that shit. (Note: Jason won't play Scrabble with me anymore.) Last night it was my turn to treat a kid to a special time out, and I landed either the best or worst assignment, depending on how you look at it. I took him to see DanTDM Live at the Baltimore Hippodrome. Who is DanTDM, you might ask? A perfectly reasonable question that I'm still not sure I can answer. DanTDM is a small and highly energetic British human who... Read more →


Before the Fall

IT'S ROSÉ WEATHER, MOTHERFUCKERS. (Or, if you're my fruit-and-vegetable-texture-adverse child, it's purplish-brownish yogurt/spinach/frozen-berry-blend smoothie weather, which admittedly isn't as pretty, but he swears is delicious and solves quite a few nutritional/digestive concerns. Plus it puts the stupid-expensive blender Jason bought me last Mother's Day to good use.) I always spend this time of year in half slack-jawed amazement at how happy and mentally healthy this sort of weather makes me, and half in scrunched-forehead confusion at the idea that there are places with this sort of weather ALL THE TIME, places were I could hypothetically live and feel like this year round, because? I don't know. I like to babble bullshit about "liking having different seasons" when honestly, at least two out of four of our seasons can probably go fuck themselves. We met with the middle school's special education team yesterday to officially plan Noah's transition. It went well. I had to push to keep a few goals and accommodations in place because technically he's achieved said goals and doesn't currently use those accommodations, but given our history with rocky starts to new school years (and how hard the transition to a new school turned out to be last... Read more →


Noah For President

We had an IEP meeting this morning, a pretty big one. It was the first of TWO meetings planned for the transition to middle school (heyyyy there, fellow olds!) and this was also a "re-evaluation" year, which involves a metric shitton of testing and assessments to determine exactly how Noah's disabilities are impacting him at school. Of course, in my paranoid, neurotic brain, you can go ahead and replace "how" with "if," and then spend a few sleepless nights practicing the imaginary arguments you're going to have when the IEP team decides your child no longer qualifies for any services or accommodations, bye bye, have fun in middle school, watch out for the grizzly bears, good luck to ya. (That did not happen, by the way.) We knew going in that Noah did very well on all of the individual tests and assessments. His grades this year have been outstanding, and barring that one unfortunate debating debacle early in the year, behavior reports describe him as focused, hard-working and an all-around delightful, well-behaved kid. In some schools, yes, those positives can be spun into a "it's time to reduce services/increase mainstreaming/drop to a 504 plan" kind of discussion. Our school,... Read more →