Why we medicate our child….

A Post I wrote a few months ago that I want to share with you on why we decided to medicate our son!!

Some people don’t agree with parents who medicate their children. I know some people don’t agree with the fact that we have decided to medicate J following his ADHD diagnosis.

ADHD is a chemical imbalance in the part of the brain that controls concentration, attention and impulsivity.

Some people don’t believe in such things as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. They believe its an excuse for naughty, misbehaved children and bad parenting.

If its bad parenting, then why is K good? They are both parented exactly the same.

I challenge anyone who tells me that J is just a naughty, unruly child to come and live in our house for a week! I tell you now, you would not last 5 minutes!

On a daily basis we face several tantrums, violence,along with aggressive and oppositional behaviour. We have our house wrecked, our tempers frayed, and our relationships tested.

A good day is when J hasn’t attacked one of us. The verbal we can handle, it’s the physical attacks that are the worse, and as he gets bigger, he is getting stronger.

We try to avoid taking J out incase he has a tantrum in public. This can be anything from feet stomping, to full on hitting out. People think nothing of Tutting as they watch. Last summer we had to go in to town to get school uniform for J, so he had to come with us. After a while, he got bored so he kicked off. P walked with J, and I followed behind with K. Behind me I could hear an older couple discussing J and his tantrum, tutting, I could feel my blood boiling. I wanted to turn round and tell them that he doesn’t like crowds, his attention span cannot handle 30mins at the shops and he takes his frustration out by throwing a tantrum. Instead, I kept my mouth shut, did what we had to do and got out of there as quick as we could.

J doesn’t handle social situations well. He doesn’t know how to behave socially. He does not know that sometimes he is being inappropriate. He comes across as rude. He doesn’t mean to be, he just doesn’t know. He will talk to strangers about anything, if they respond, they get the Spanish inquisition. He thinks nothing of asking someone why they’re in a wheelchair, or why have they got a cast on their arm.

He has no fear! He thinks nothing of walking out in front of cars, and yes he has done that and had to be pulled back several times.  He does know right from wrong, but when asked, he cannot tell you why he did something.

Then you have the hyperactive side. J wakes up anytime from 5am onwards. 6:30/7:00am is a lie in. He does have occasions where he can sleep in until 8ish, albeit those are rare. From the moment he wakes up to the moment he goes to sleep, he is like energiser bunny…constantly on the go.

Bedtimes can be a struggle. He can spend anything from 10minutes to several hours jumping up and down on his bed. If he’s in a bad mood, he will trash is room. He will hurl things at you, he will scream at you and he thinks nothing of slamming his bedroom door against his wall. All because it’s time for bed, and that’s not what he wants.

K on the other hand, knows the boundaries. She is a year younger. She knows not to talk to stranger. She knows the boundaries that are expected of her and she knows the dangers when out. Ok, so she may not do everything she’s asked (which 4yr old does?) but she knows  when she will get in to trouble for doing something, and generally, she doesn’t do it. Bed times are no problem and she is straight to sleep…yes, even through one of J’s tantrums! That girl will sleep through anything!!

So, as you can imagine, our house is pretty hectic (especially as we have 8.5mth old A too). We are at the end of our tethers and on the verge of breakdowns, so when J’s consultant advised to medicate J we decided to give it a go. It was either that, or split our family up…something which neither P or myself want to do.

So, here we are, medicating our son to not only help him, but to help us as a family. Some people may say we’re being selfish medicating him, but without the medication, we are not being the best parents we know we can be to not only J but to his sisters. Now tell me that’s being selfish?



4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Crystal Jigsaw
    Sep 06, 2011 @ 10:06:48

    I believe medication should be a last resort, having an autistic daughter myself. Only parents who have children on the spectrum will truly know what it's like and no one has a right to judge whether you do or do not give your child meds. I would be furious if I ever thought someone who knew nothing about me or my daughter was tutting and saying we were doing the wrong thing by her.

    People have no idea how difficult it can be. But if medication is there and you as a parent feels it's needed, it is your right to do what you feel is best. I've put up with ignorance for the past 8 years since Amy's diagnosis and I've learned to walk away. I also have cards that I keep in my purse and give to people who have tutted at us or shown a sign of their ignorance towards hidden disabilities.

    The card simply says: my child has autism. She is not naughty. Please be patient and understand that this child has a disability. Thank you.

    You could always make your own.
    CJ xx

  2. Rachel Gully
    Sep 07, 2011 @ 08:55:10

    Thank you for your comment. Medication for us was truly a last resort also. We had the diagnosis for a year before medicating, but we had been struggling with J since he was 18mths old. He has had a diagnosis of ADHD, but his consultant also believes he has High Functioning Aspergers also, but slightly reluctant to diagnose at the moment.

    I definitely agree that people do not know how hard it is raising a child with a disability until they have been there. Because the disability isn't physically noticeable, people just assume that he is being a naughty child. Sometimes, he is just being slightly mischeaveous (he is a boy after all), but majority of the time, it's just his coping mechanism because it's all too much.

    I like your idea of the cards!! Xxx

  3. Kerry Davies
    Sep 08, 2011 @ 20:49:42

    I'm reading this with tears streaming down my face. My 9yo daughter has just been diagnosed with ADHD, and her symptoms are SO similar. We have been offered counselling for the next 6 months to see if that helps first, then they will review. She is seperated from her Dad (who was also diagnosed 3 years ago!) he lives in another country and they think this has triggered it. Gosh, i can't believe how similar this sounds. Big hugs to you and your family, Kerry xx

  4. Rachel Gully
    Sep 08, 2011 @ 21:21:33

    Hi Kerry, thank you for your comment. Well done on getting the diagnosis and steps put in place to help your daughter and your family. I do believe that once you have a professional say “Yes, it is …”, then you have more access to help. It's interesting that you say that your daughters dad also had ADHD, as they do say that it could be hereditary (so I was told).

    I hope the counselling helps your daughter. It may help her understand the condition a bit more and they may be able to suggest ways of her controlling her behaviour herself. Do you get any support? Are there any groups you attend etc? I am lucky to have a very supportive community base for children with disabilities who hold regular coffee mornings and group sessions. Sometimes it's good to chat to others who are experiencing the same thing and know what you are going through.

    Rachel xx

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