Life can be strangling when you're 13.
It can choke the very breath out of you.
People expect more from you.
More responsibility, more output in your schoolwork, more leadership.
When you think you're stupid, it can be very worrisome.
When things come at you faster than you can process them,
and you can tell that those around you get it,
but you don't,
you try really hard to fit in,
and not stand out
To not be noticed.
As the parent, it's very hard to watch your child struggle.
Oh, there have been definitive victories over the last several years:
An increased ability to feel comfortable in social circles
and to have lovely, interactive conversations with adults.
Better self control when facing consequences for poor decisions.
Approaching parents (but only parents) for a hug at the end of the day.
Staying focused when working one-on-one with a tutor and progressing in schoolwork.
Some days are so good that you wonder if it's really necessary
for him to continue taking the medication that's helping him manage
his hyperactivity and impulsivity.
The long-term implications of taking any kind of medication for an extended
period of time is not well understood.
Why take it when you don't need to?
But when you try to wean him off (several different times),
he can definitly tell the difference.
On the first day, you hardly notice a difference.
But by day 3 without the medication, anxiety levels are higher.
You notice he's pacing the house more.
He's much more irritable and antagonizes his siblings nearly relentlessly.
He reminds you every night that you NEED to go get his prescription refilled.
He needs it.
There is much less peace in the house.
Even the pediatrician, at his yearly check-up, suggests that it would be fine
for him to continue taking this.
That this particular medication, Intuniv, is not a stimulant,
it's not understood to be addictive.
So we are continuing with a 3 mg. dose.
Yes, you never know the long-term implications.
But when diet changes (including complete avoidance of dyes and HFCS)
are nearly impossible to afford or enforce because of resistance
and what seems to be sensory issues,
you consider other options.
Last year, regular use of essential oils became an alternative.
Though he has his favorites, and there are definitely some that help him,
particularly in the areas of calming, none have brought him
that clarity of mind and peacefulness like this medication.
So, here we are.
A new school year.
A successful 1200-mile road-trip with your Mom and two sisters during summer break under your belt.
It wasn't too bad, was it?
You stuck closer to your Mom than ever before especially when we went
places that you had never experienced before.
But you tried new things, met new people,
and are moving on.
To read even more about the strategies we have tried with our son, what has worked,
and what has not.....go HERE.