Several years ago we began what proved to be a very slow process of recognizing that one of our children had an attention/focusing problem. The process took us to conferences with teachers, appointments with doctors, very expensive testing, and then the confusing decision of whether or not to medicate. We researched and researched and prayed and then we medicated.
While we may have thought the process would ease when we decided to medicate, there were dosage problems and adverse reactions to two of the three classes of ADHD drugs. The third class of drugs still had frustrating side-effects for our child, but the medicine also did what it was supposed to do. It made our child's life a little easier. We willingly hand over $$ every month for the pills knowing it's the right thing at this time for our child.
In the ensuing years, I have had the opportunity to support a couple of acquaintances as they each began the ADHD journey with their own children. I have listened as they debated whether or not to medicate. And I have shared their frustrations when other parents have announced that the problem with America is that "poorly disciplined" children or children with "no issues" have "lazy" teachers and "pill happy" doctors "needlessly" medicating children. (Did you like all my "" ?)
I wish my child could focus as effectively OFF the pills as my child does ON the pills. But that's not the case. As we tell those who ask, it's just not that big of a deal now for us and our child's life is better because of the medication.
So what's the problem?
Last week a much-trusted and beloved teacher asked for a conference with me, and during that discussion she confirmed what Checkered and I have quietly suspected for a while. Another of our children is struggling with attention and focusing. And so we begin a long journey again.
And me? My "it's just not that big of a deal" bravado slipped a bit.