Band Parents

Band Parents

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Day without the ADHD Meds

I promised my 13YO's new psychiatrist that we'd try a medication vacation. She's the first Doctor who has though this was necessary. I got the impression that she was worried about his small size and weight. (The 9 YO wears the same sized shirts. His leg are not as long).

I was expecting (and dreading) him
to be mouthy and obnoxious. But this was not the case. I believe that they boy tried really hard to contain himself. He was definitely restless. At one point I made him drop to the floor and do 10 push-ups. 9I also did 10). About 20 minues later, we both did some situps.

We had to remind him multiple times to eat breakfast, get dressed, brush his teeth and put in his contacts. Actually, as a new contact lense wearer who has had difficulty getting his lenses in, He seemed to not have trouble.

More than once he'd be in the bathroom just singing or chanting "peanut butter jelly, peanut butter jelly." We went to the tree farm and cut down our Christmas tree. He was loud and dacing around, but pleasant. Dad would not let him carry to bow saw, but the boys carried the tree back. At one point I was worried we'd have to haul them both and the tree out of the pond. They wanted to trow sticks and try to break the partial sheet of ice.

After the farm we went to the little town and had lunch. Walking on the sidewalk, he wanted to stomp. This drove his dad nuts. On the way back he stomped a bit and then I told him "take Baby steps now", then "skip".

In the evening we had company. My brother, SIL and their 4 kids came over for dinner. His twin cousins are his age and he usually enjoys spending time with them. But he withdrew. I think he felt like he needed to stay away from everybody. While it was a shame he missed out on visiting his cousins, he was quite aware of his state of mind. This seems like the first time he has been aware of him own actions and state of mind.

In the evening he did complain about his stomach hurting. He did graze all day. We stopped for lunch and he only ate half of his sandwhich. As I expected, he ate the rest about 2 hours later. While preparing for dinner, he scraped a carrot and ate it (while repeating "What's up doc?" about 5 times.

Dad could nto tolerate the extra noise he generated. Dad thinks he can control himself more. I am happy that he was quite aware of his state of mind and his actions. I'd not really like ot repeat the experiment again. If the psychiatrist wants to do it just to assist him in piling on the caliries, I sure hope she gets his records from other doctors and sees that he has been growing and putting in weight in an upward curve.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cleaning my 13 YO ADHD-ers room

Boy, I should have had my camera. I have been trying to be specific with him. My instructions are:

  1. Clothes in the dirty clothes hamper or put away in a drawer or the closet.
  2. Trash in the trash can
  3. Books on the bookcase

The clothes issue wasn't too bad. Go figure, he used to leave a pile of clothing on the right side of his dresser, on the open floor between his dresser and his bookcase. The hamper sat on the left side of the dresser. So it took a year of living here for me to get the bright idea to tell him to put his hamper on the other side of his dresser and instead of tossing the clothes on the floor, toss them in the hamper. It's not perfect, but it does work better.

Book were all over his night stand and under his bed. I moved a bunch of books (kids series such as Jedi Apprentice and Secrets of Droon) into the 9 yo's bedroom since the 13 yo reguarly denies addmittance to his brother to look for a good book to read. I have bought duplicate books int eh past. While I was cleaning under the bed, I found the 9 YO's missing library book. The 9YO asked for permission to look for it in his borhter's room, the 13 Yo denied permission and I believed there would be no reasont he book was up there. Sigh! Won't happen again.

The boy left trash everywhere. Tissues, papers and the candy wrappers. He is not supposed to have food in his room. Under the bed and in particulary, inside the drawer of his nightstand. Ick! I can tolerate a lot of his mess. Not the food wrappers. Then he had left several pieces of chewed gun inside a pencil holder sitting on his dresser. The holder went in the trash.

And oh, the pens and pencils (and marker, highlighters, and even a box of crayons.) He has always been a "collector" of orphaned pens and pencils 9at leat I am tellingmyself they were orphaned). He does not typically do his homework in his room. There is a table in the unused and sparsely furnished living room where he dumps his stuff and sometimes does his homework if he's been banned from the computer desk. So I collected all the writing instrucments and put them in a tim labled "writing instruments" on our bookcase.

I ended up filling up a tall kitchen garbage bag of "stuff" from his room. This incleuded the above wrappers and pencil holder. Also finding their way there were paperclips, rubberbands and some small fast food restaurant toys. I saved some hot wheel cars and dice and removed them from the room. I must have put about 5 small rubber bouncy balls in that bag.

Next up is his closet. I need to recover from the rest of the room before I tackle that closet.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New ADHD Doctor

Yes, we had to find another Mental health provider.

Maybe I'd better state that this is for my 13 YO son. He was diagnosed as ADHD at the tender age of 4. It was not a big surprise, but I did ask the Psychologist if she was sure and what were the specific behaviors that led her to the conclusion. (I was on Ritalin as a child and I have a brother who struggles with ADHD).

We say Dr. B for this condition for 7 or 8 years until Dr. B decided to teach full time and not do see private practice patients. Then we went to Dr. H. Old wonderful Dr. H is a pediatric neurologist who treated both me and my brother. I was amazed he was still in practice. Then after about o year and a half of taking my son to the doctor my Mom described as "The most woderful man int he world" in my baby book, we moved.

So we got a recommendation to the Mental Health facility associated with the new city's Children's hospital. We visited wiht the Nurse Practioner twice, but my insurance would not cover visits to her. Since the Children's Hospital Metal Health department was so busy and my son is 13, they sent us to a new Mental Health center on the North side of town near where we live.

Dr. F is young and enthusiastic. She is going over everything with a fine tooth comb. This is good and I know it's good, but I do find myself wanting to sigh heavily at some of her suggestions and concerns and tell her "we've tried that." LOL!

She is concerned because he's in the 25th percentile of weight for his age. She wants me to switch to Whole Milk and give him high calorie foods. Let me tell you, there is not a lack of high calorie foods in my house. I keep cheese, pepperoni bites and other quick snacks just for him. He's always been in the 25th percentile and his progress is good. (He was wrestling at 86 lbs last year and this year he's weighing in at 92 lbs.)

Becasue of his size, she'd like us to try giving his a medication "vacation". This scares me. Then child is quite impulsive. He also gets a mean and nasty mouth on him. But mostly he has a tendancy to wind himself up so high during the day, that he had no idea how to bring himself down in the evening. We are going to try it the Friday after Thanksgiving. I certainly will no thave him do it on a day when he's home alone. But who knows, maybe it will not be the trying day I imagine it to be.

Friday, November 07, 2008

High School choices.

We had the intention, even before we had children to give the a parochial school education. DS13 is in 8th grade. The Archdiocese we live in recentally did away with the feeder school system for high school becasue of the proliferation of private vs parochial schools, the intenness of Athletics and the accusations of some schools being able to recruit and others not. There are 16 Parochial and Private High Schools in the "Greater Metropolitan area." Ok, 6 are Women only, so that leaves 10. We have narrowed it down to 2 that our public school district will bus too, a co-de and one all Male.

There are only 3 good reasons to go to the one school,
  1. It's a lot cheaper
  2. My moderately athletic son could make the teams - especially Wrestling
  3. Girls go there.

When we move in July 07, to choose what area we moved to, I first tried to think "where do I want the boys to go to High School and I chose "M". So once we did move, we signed the 13 Yo up to wreatling with the club at "M". So we did a good sales job. It's a really great school. They have a house system (yes, like Harry Potter) to keep the boys from getting lost. They are in their 10th year of supplying laptops to all students and 50% of the texts are electronic. (Hello $3000 difference in yearly tuition). There is a real family feel. He's excited to go there. Right now the plans are for him to be a member of the marching band in the fall, wrestle in the Winter and try out for the baseball team in the spring.

But this has been an interesting journey. Since the poor kid probably won't do much College searching - one of my benefits is Tuition Remission at the University I work for, he gets to do it now.