My oldest son (age 7, he’ll be 8 at the end of December) was diagnosed ADHD (combined) & ODD on November 16th. We knew he had trouble staying focused and listening and following some instructions, he also had a defiance streak among other issues. It wasn’t until he started 2nd grade this year that the issues started showing themselves more in the school environment. His defiance was aimed towards teachers instead of just us, he lacked focus and couldn’t control his verbal outbursts, which made him a disturbance in the classroom. He ended up having to spend just about every day in the office.
In the few short weeks since school following the start of school which was August 10th, I got note after note home from his teacher. We scheduled a parent teacher conference by the first PTA the following month. Pretty soon 2 months into school he had 2 referrals with a third on the way. He was even seeing the guidance counselor once a week and she recommended the teacher fill out a form for his Pediatrician. We had 3 parent teacher conferences and eventually all this struggle led to what the school calls an RTI which is an Intervention done by the school officials (principal, guidance counselor, teacher) so they could better assist him with trying to do better, keep busy and stay focused. Since they knew he was about to be going to the doctors for an ADHD evaluation they were making changes that were typical for an ADHD child.
Surely enough between the form the teacher filled out and the form I filled out for at home, along with his report card, his conduct markings for the first 13 weeks of school and the referrals plus the information I gave about him on a more personal note. She did not hesitate to diagnose him ADHD and ODD. She also referred him to a psychiatrist for further assistance on other issues. She then prescribed him Vyvanse that day and I started him on it the next day. We let him know that the pill wasn’t magic and that he also had to do his best along side it.
On just his 2nd day on the medication I got the first ever positive note home! I was thrilled. After a week his conduct report came home and it was a 71%, it’s never even been close to that. We noticed a drastic change with him at home too. He’s more attentive, focused and less defiant.
They have an app called Class Dojo and all school year it’s been negative after negative to the point where he was so bad at school he missed out on 2 school functions based on his conduct. Since the medication he hasn’t had a SINGLE negative mark on his Class Dojo, they all look like the photo below. Amazing. His second conduct report came home this past Tuesday and it was 100%. It’s a complete transformation.
For 2 weeks I’ve been getting notes home about how good he’s been doing. It’s like he’s a different child. I was skeptical about medicating him at first. I didn’t want to be one of those parents who jump right into drugging their children for all their problems. But ever since he started taking it and I’ve seen the incredible changes there is no doubt in my mind that this was the best choice for his education, his well-being and his overall function.
I know his 2nd 9 weeks report card is going to be too far gone to repair, but I’m pretty confident that by the 3rd 9 weeks his grades are going to drastically improve. We’ve seen the improvement just in his behavior in the 2 short weeks he’s been on the medication. We’ve also seen the graded work that has been coming home. It’s a major change to what we were considering the norm.
Here’s an example of a few weeks prior vs. the 2 weeks on the medication.
Here is his 1st 9 weeks progress report.
Also his 2nd 9 weeks progress report which has improved a little bit from the first 9 weeks, so I am looking forward to seeing the changes in the 3rd 9 weeks now that he has something to help him focus more.
I’ve heard of so many people having children misdiagnosed and many parents against medicating their children. I was worried about all the same things, heard all the same horror stories. I put my worries aside to do my best to help my child. I was so ready to suck it up and figure something out no matter what it was. I was at my wits end. Tired, no exhausted, and completely stressed to the max. Sick of crying day in and day out, begging for answers that never came. This may not be the complete answer, but in just the short time he’s been diagnosed and medicated… it’s amazing how much that child has changed and how his behavior and focus have gotten so much better. It’s like the child I always knew he could be, he just needed help getting there. I’m proud of him and I tell him every single day.