I don’t have the statistics in front of me but if I had to guess I would think many of us with children have had to deal with some type of developmental or behavioral disorder. WebMD has become a great source of information, especially in early diagnosis. However, once reality sets in concerning our children with these ailments, then what?
My child was diagnosed with a number of ailments and my first thoughts were “why him?” Then, “why me?” In either case, the universe dealt me this hand and I do the best I can to help my boy overcome, sometimes with great success and sometimes not so much.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): A developmental and behavioral disorder that is characterized by levels of inattention, distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that are inappropriate for a person’s age or developmental level. [WebMD]
I had a relative who dealt with ADHD back-in-the-day and he seemed to turn out just fine. But I wonder if he had received better help 40 years ago would that have positively impacted his life today? I do know our society did not look at these ailments as seriously as we look at them today, and many times we are still dismissive. I have been told to control my child, he needs to be disciplined more, or he needs to calm down. It is difficult to accept your child has a psychological or physiological ailment to overcome. Our children can fall through the cracks at school and ultimately in life if not treated.
My child’s mother and I decided to resort to medication to deal with my son’s ADHD. It has seemed to help over the years, but his mother and I are at odds on how successful it has been. Without the medication he has difficulty controlling his behavior. He will bounce off the walls, blurt out thoughts, and is constantly disruptive. Some old school soldiers continue to prescribe the “Word of God” by NOT sparing the rod and taking it to him. However, being the new-age father that I am, I believe in a more progressive approach. The medication has worked but it requires a level of dedication to monitor and adjust dosage over time. The medications that deal with these ailments are expensive and designed for long term use. One word: ca-ching!
Dealing with this situation is one challenge with co-parenting. If you and your co-parent have difficulty being on the same page with regard to these life decisions it can be brutally painful. It is tough to determine what approach should be taken. Each parent desires to do what is best for the child but coming to agreement is difficult. Many times, a decision has to be made quickly, forcing the parents to swallow their pride and move forward. Our fallback decision has been to go with what has been tried and true, tested throughout the years, and move forward. As with all medications, there are risks and possible side effects to consider. Some risks can be quite serious while others are less so. The side effects I’ve seen are with suppressed appetite during medication followed by a huge increase in appetite as the medication wears off (approximately 8-10 hours later). Fate would have it, this occurs just before bedtime.
It is no easy task to help my child to manage these conditions but I owe it to him to try. My child’s mother and I had to base our decision on our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs but we are not neglecting it. It is a matter of future successes defined by current practices for my child.
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