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June 18, 2008

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My Reality

J is a lucky little guy to have you for a mom. You are good at getting to the root of the problem and take action with it.

I hope all goes well with the triplets therapy.

(And you have used J's full name in this post.)

Erin

You're doing exactly what J needs you to do. Yes, ADHD is overdiagnosed. That doesn't mean there aren't children who have ADHD and who need treatment, including appropriate medications. It will be a hard road but you've been dealing with it untreated for such a long time, I'll bet you'll all finally start to see improvement and will all be happier.

I don't know how you find time to do all the therapy! We're trying to fit in PT and ST for K and having trouble--I hope that you have great therapists who will be able to help the triplets with everything that they need!

SAHW

I'm visiting from NCLM and just wanted to chime in that I used to work in Early Intervention and think it will be great for the triplets even if they don't "need" it, because any child can benefit from extra directed attention.

Seems like you have your hands full at the moment...but it seems like you know what you're doing and your kids are in capable hands. :)

AudreyM

Wow! That's a lot to deal with but, I know you and your family will handle it with grace and confidence. Your kids are so lucky to have such caring and determined parents. Glad you seem to be at the root of everything and can start to work things out. Your amazing!

sims

I just wanted to give you encouragement about the great outcome of treating ADHD. My husband was diagnosed with ADHD after extensive testing when he was younger and placed on medication as well as given many very specialized tools to help him learn. He is now in his final year of law school at a top 50 law school. So, all of that to say, good for you for doing all that you can to ensure that your smart child is given every opportunity to suceede.

meghan

So glad you are taking advantage of the I and T program in the county.

As for J, I actually work with the women who wrote that book, they refer some of their tougher behavior management cases to me or another co-worker (I work primarily with their clients with autism but occasionally some ADHD too). If you ever want to bounce something off someone or just a second set of ears, please email me. and for whatever it's worth, it sounds as if you've got a great plan for J. Best of luck to all of you!

amber

talk about having a full plate! it's great that you finally got a diagnosis for J and can start tackling the issue with a sound plan in mind.

as for the triplets, sounds like the assessment was a good thing. and with all of the kids, you guys just keep doing what you know/feel is best for them and don't let everyone else and their 2 cents get you down.

lots of love to you all.

Rachel

Thanks so much for posting about this - it's really interesting to read about the full process of getting a diagnosis for J and I think you're doing a wonderful job in creating a treatment plan. I obviously have never had to deal with children of my own, but I have spent a lot of time babysitting for children with special needs and early awareness and intervention seem to make such a difference for many children who are just figuring out how to behave around other people. I really hope that the behavior modification and medication help J to control his behavior.

April

I'm glad to hear you have some answers on J and that you have a plan of action. You and your DH are great parents. Best of luck to you on the next phase of the adventure.

Cindi

J is very fortunate to have you and your husband to take care of him. As a teacher, I've seen children with many different issues and parents who think that yelling at their kids will take care of any problems. I've also seen parents at the other end of the spectrum, those who WANT their children diagnosed with something that will get them an IEP, so they can receive SSI benefits.

It takes special people to take on the challenge that you have, and deal with it in a consistent, respectful manner. My hat's off to both of you!

Kristy

WOW you are going to be even busier. From what you said it looks like the triplets are doing well for their adjusted age. Have fun with the therapy sessions, it will be really good for them.
That is great you got a diagnosis for J. Mostly because now you won't feel crazy and because you have a plan of action to help him and your family.
Good luck with everything!!

Another DC Karen

J sounds like such a sweetheart. Glad you're putting a plan in place so he can shine.

Erin

It must feel wonderful to finally have a plan that you are comfortable with. I am sure you have some busy times ahead, but it's wonderful that you are so proactive in helping each and every one of your children reach their full potential.

Melanie

Hi Karen,

I've worked with kids with special needs (and kids without special needs) for almost a decade. And I have met dozens of kids who have been medicated for, imo, no reason. But one little boy sticks out in my mind - he was three, and the biggest terror I had ever experienced. I had him first as a camp counselor in the summer and then again in my preschool class. The other adults and I were actually afraid of him, some days, because he would lash out and injure the other kids. I remember one day, he took off his belt and beat another child with the buckle. He was always bouncing off the walls and no amount of adults could keep him under control. The preschool was about to ask him to leave when his parents took him to some doctor who recommended meds for ADHD.

After the meds, he was one of the sweetest children I have ever known. Helpful, kind, worked really hard to do the right thing, gave hugs and kisses instead of punches and bites. He would sit quietly when told, and while he did not, by any means, have a perfect attn span, he was completely transformed from how he had been. I ended up nannying for his family one summer, and he was always just wonderful, until one day his dad forgot to give him the meds, and I glimpsed the demon child coming back. I realized what had happened, and he got his meds, and went right back to being a sweetheart as soon as they kicked in.

Now, I'm not saying J is a demon child. I'm just saying that this little boy was more than I could handle by a million, and I've handled 12 one year olds by myself and also 6 extremely autistic children by myself. And neither group was anything compared to this one little boy. And after the meds.... he was an angel.

So don't let anyone give you crap about the meds. They aren't for everyone, but they are a Godsend for some. I hope they are wonderful for J. :)

lucky2

As a teacher, I have seen students that have a ADHD diagnosis that flourish in the classroom BECAUSE the family was proactive, responsive and involved in getting them the early help, training and the extra love that it takes to help a child learn how to cope with their attention issues. Lucky J to have you both as his parents.

I agree with the triplet therapy -- I also figure if there is a program that might help (and not hinder) my child, bring it on!

Kim

What a great mom you are to your kiddos! I agree with all forms or early intervention! I have seen it help a lot of kids and think that it is wonderful. I feel so bad for the kids with parents who do not seek treatment for fear that their child will forever be labeled. I know a few of them too! nclm

Leonie

hey Karen,

first of all please do not mistake yourself as incompetent, just parents who have yet to learn more... As I read and scrolled down, I knew where this was headed, (I have been a special needs teacher for 12 years), now I congratulate you both on seeking help from professionals to help J be the best persone he can be (our motto in our house ALWAYS!), and I must commend the professionals too, they have listened to the parents and taken action to provide a little boys with a bright successful future. Yes medication is scary but honestly it helps balance the brain, to help the kids focus. the multimodal apprach is necessary and great, it works best, we have been using it in Australia for years and the kids respond well as well as empowering the parents to care for their children. now I do have a couple of things you could look into, there is a book that i highly recommend, it is written by an Australian Mother, she has a daughter with ADHD, the book is called 'Fed up with Additives' the website is www.fedupwithfoodadditives.info/ She is fantastic and a worthwhile read. Not preaching by any means just trying to help, kid of believe in passing on knowledge so others do not spend a life time searching for the same anwers. if you would like to get the book, email me and I'll sort something out. I really believe in the book, I have a little boy that is heavily reliant on steroids for chronic ASthma and this has helped inregards to his behaviour.

good luck and feel free to ask any questions if you like. oh great job with the 3, I think it is a wonderful choice to see the development team, althought it will be hard fitting it in
cheers Leonie

triLcat

I'll admit that I'm not a big fan of medications for kids. But I see it sort of the way that you see Category C in pregnancy - They should only be used where the possible benefits outweigh the known risks.

Since J is not able to deal with the world the way that he is, the only answer is to find experts and listen to their opinions and if doctors you trust say that he needs medication, then he needs medication. I'm really happy that you've found a medical team that you trust and that are able to give you some support.

You should never feel like a failure for taking a child from a bad situation and making sure that he feels loved and cared for. You're an incredible mom. You certainly wouldn't feel like a failure if he had a congenital kidney problem that you couldn't heal yourself without medication.

All down the line, you've done the best anyone can do for him, and you're continuing to do so. Anyone who thinks otherwise should be slapped upside their head.

Kimberly

Hey Karen,
I have severe ADD (diagnosised at 8, got my H at 13 and then when you become an adult it goes back to ADD (although I think I am still as hyper as always.) You are doing great things for J, and my mom did the same for me, which has really helped me become the woman I am. If you ever need to chat with someone about J is going through, just drop me a line. I am more than willing to discuss my ADD and how I control it (or at least try. LOL)

Kimberly and the GA Guinn Triplets

Lindsay/LJ

Look who is reading your blog...THIS GAL.

We must lunch again soon. I'm all full of vim and vigor.

Casey

I always admire how thorough you are in your posts (and educational for those who might be going through the same thing).
Re: the babies and EI services...we have loved having weekly developmental services since they were about 7-8 months old. They were borderline in qualifying as infants and have blossomed as they have grown into toddlers, but I still love having that extra boost until they turn 3.
Re: J....it makes my heart happy to know that this lucky boy found his way into your home and that you are loving him for who he is and helping him to be all that he can be!

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