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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Other things you should know, if you don't already

Kilian's been diagnosed with ADD, and the principle that Parents Must Present a United Front is being severely tested. El Husband and I have very different ideas about what's going on, and we've had a lot of fights about it. For the record, he's won every damn one.

In a nutshell, there is strong evidence for a physical component to ADD's etiology, and I think it might be worthwhile to try Ritalin. It has helped in some cases, and might make a difference in his ability to concentrate and remember things. There is all kinds of conflict Out There about this, and I don't want to get into it here. Yes, I've read both sides. Yes, if there's a chance Ritalin can help, I think it's worth a try. If it doesn't work, at least we'd have tried it and we'd know for sure. Even if it did work, I don't think it would be a total solution because of the attendant psychological problems.

The psychological problems. Hm, yes. Chicken-or-egg debate, that one. Are they the cause of his behavior, or are they a result of his condition? I say the latter: his inability to function at the level of his peers is wrecking his self-esteem and making him act out. Da Husband says the former: some buried inner conflict his making him have ADD. I advocate trying ritalin or some such to see if it can help him focus, and then working out some coping strategies to help him get around this limitation. I hope that if he can function better, he will feel better about himself, and some of the depression will lift. Husband advocates sending him to psychotherapy to locate the source of this inner conflict that is making him depressed and apathetic and forgetful. Frankly, I expect that after two years of therapy, the therapist will tell us that his ADD makes him unable to function at the level of his peers, which is wrecking his self-esteem, and she recommends ritalin and coping strategies. And we will then be where we could be now if a certain spousal unit would listen to me.

The other thing is that he is "Gifted", a term which I hate. It is not just a gift: a 130+ IQ is also a curse for a kid in an ordinary elementary school. Especially when that kid has behavior problems. (No, the behavior problems are not just a result of the giftedness: we checked.)

So that's the background to our problems re his relationships with everyone in the family, his steadily slipping grades, why he dropped out of hockey and broke his mother's heart, and why he keeps getting in trouble at school. He was diagnosed shortly before his tenth birthday, it took us a year to get an appointment with a therapist, we are trying to figure out what all our options are, and that's about where we stand now. Just so you know, because this is sure to come up from time to time.


Elemmaciltur said...


*pats pats* I'm sure that it'll be better soon. In the mean time, keep listen to "Verkehrserziehung" and have a good laugh!

And don't forget that I tagged you for the Meme. ;)

KimberlyDi said...

OK, I can finally offer you my tried and true experience. Ritilin is not the root of all evil. My son excelled when he had his Ritilin and was frustrated to tears and always in trouble when he wasn't on it. He just couldn't focus. I'm a self-diagnoised Adult ADD and have experienced the difference between life without and life with an ADD medicine. I didn't take Ritilin. I took Strattera and I would still be taking it today if 1) I could afford it and 2) it wouldn't raise my blood pressure (to be honest, it could have been the other med I was on too). It was a miracle to be so focused and organized at work.

When my son was starting highschool and was old enough to choose, he decided to continue the ADD medicine after 1 month of desperately trying to concentrate at highschool without it. We always took a medicine vacation during the summer vacation. Nothing has stunted his growth (he's a full head taller than me.)

My son has always been a straight A student. He's not a trouble maker. He just had a problem controlling his impulses.

ADD isn't the end of the world. It's just a different path.

Chicka said...

Oh my god. I could've written this phrase: "a 130+ IQ is also a curse for a kid in an ordinary elementary school". Kasha is cursed/blessed with an IQ over 130. It's terrible - especially in a school that will do NOTHING for her. Luckily we got a good teacher this year that tries the best she can. It's not what Kasha needs, but better than nothing. I do what I can at home.

Sweetie, Please, PLEASE know this has nothing to do with your parenting. Some kids are just wired weird. My hubby is ADHD and had he known years ago, he wouldn't have been the scheizkopf (sp?) he was all those years.

To be honest, what's it gonna hurt to at least try the meds? Hubby is on Concerta right now. When he remembers to take it (or I remind him) things are a lot better. The meds aren't a cure all - just a help to focus.

Know you're not alone, my friend. Email me if you want to scream/whine/vent. I'm always here.

We tried all those behavior "modifications/consequences" things you listed in a previous post on our most difficult child. They simply didn't work. (We do believe she may have some mild ADHD, but she's HIGHLY creative, also.)