I can take no credit for today’s post. It is a guest post from one of my most favorite people online. I have had the pleasure of meeting Rhea from OhRheally.com offline twice and online almost everyday. She is one of the sweetest and funniest people you could ever hope to meet and I am proud to call her my friend. She is sharing a very touching and personal guest post with us today and I would love it if you could leave her some love! You can also check out Amanda’s post today on the same topic.
My son was diagnosed with ADHD in Kindergarten. It was a condition I had suspected for a very long time but tried to dismiss it. I didn’t want to be one of “those parents” with an unruly child that just blamed ADHD instead of taking the blame for her child’s rotten behavior. But when his Kindergarten teacher asked me one day if I had thought about evaluating him for the disorder I was both relieved and heartbroken.
I was relieved to know that I wasn’t just imagining it and I was also crushed to think that my child would forever have a label.
Anthony, the loud one.
Anthony, the obnoxious one.
Anthony, the one with ADHD.
I thought he would never be just Anthony again.
I had to come to terms with this and I had to mourn for the “normal” child that I thought I lost. I was mostly just heartbroken for him. No mom ever wants to see her child struggle in anything. His whole life was going to now be a struggle.
It was a whole year before I even told him he had something called “ADHD.” I did not want him to feel bad about himself. This beautiful and happy child with the neatest personality and old soul trapped inside a little six year old body. I did not want to lose that. Not yet.
It took me even longer to come to the decision to medicate him. It was not a decision I came to lightly. My husband and I said long before we ever had children that we would never put our kid on meds for ADHD. That it was just a lazy card for people with no parenting skills.
Ha! I was so arrogant then.
Today, my son is on the ADHD medication called Concerta. So far I am very happy with it. Unfortunately, I had to make the decision to medicate him on my own. My husband is still very adamant that he does not want his son medicated. I can respect that position, really. But, this is my child, too. And, when I was seeing my child struggle to fit in and being in trouble all the time, I couldn’t just not do anything anymore. I did what any good mother would do. I got over myself and I helped my son.
Anthony is still Anthony. I think the big fear in medicating a child for ADHD is the worry of losing your child’s personality. That is not the case! He still talks non-stop. He is still the old soul who likes to drink tea and chat with adults. His ADHD is still there. We can be driving along talking about one subject and something will catch his eye and he will change subjects mid-sentence. It amuses me. Medication does not cure ADHD, only helps tone it down. Now, he is not the boy who is always in trouble. He can now complete two hours of homework without much fuss (what’s up with that second grade??). He is doing well in school. His teacher adores him. He is still just Anthony.
Rhea Tabler blogs about her life raising (only) three boys in San Diego at www.ohrheally.com. She is a retired surrogate, home-school dropout and loves to use her social media influences for good. She would love it if you followed her on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/OhRheally) since that is where she spends all her free time!