WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM?
This was my first question to my son’s doctor regarding my his behavior: “What is wrong with him?”
I had been frantically waiting to see his pediatrician for another ear infection. Being up all night with him crying from pain and fever, we were both exhausted.
NOT BEING ABLE TO CONTROL MY CHILD
Upon our arrival, my son refused to get out of his car seat. Nothing worked, from bribery, niceness nor persuasion. Eventually, I got mad. My son would not budge out of that seat and he was screaming bloody murder! People were now staring at us and I could see in their eyes the though I had once made before I was a parent: “That lady needs to get her kid under control.”
Yes, I was embarrassed for people to be witnessing a mom that couldn’t control her child. Just wanting him to be quiet and get him inside to the office, yet he refused to move.
Frustrated, I pulled him from the seat and carried him over my shoulder with him kicking and screaming, into the the doctor’s office.
During this visit is the first time I would learn of ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
Please Stop Staring At Us
As I entered the waiting room with a screaming toddler in tow, an entire waiting room of people were staring at us. Again, I could see the thought on their faces: “Why can’t she shut her kid up?”
They don’t keep us waiting long. We were taken back to a room to wait in private. When the doctor walks in, I am frustrated and in tears. Explaining to the doctor what happened in the car, waiting room and and behaviors that were happening at home, for the first time I hear the diagnosis of “Oppositional Defiant Disorder and ADHD”.
The doctor mentions medication, but not without an evaluation from a psychologist. In that moment I want her to give him something to make this stop – I can’t take it anymore. He hits me, spits on me, screams at me, has meltdowns and he is only four years old.
I already feel like a failure as a parent. We are doing all of the “correct” parenting techniques and have taken parenting classes. The search begins and we are in therapy for years with medication adjustments.
Since mental illness runs in my family, I was trying extremely hard not to medicate my child. As time went on, there are so many incidents with him and it became a matter of safety. No matter how good a parent you are, you can’t be there 100% of the time. Kids have unbounded energy, but the ADHD/ODD child is like a child on speed.
The Decision To Medicate
The final straw was when we were visiting family for a get together. I was in the other room enjoying a few minutes of not having to watch him when family members informed me that our son had done two things that alarmed me that day. He became intrigued from the fire was in the fire pit. Our son was leaning his face down toward the fire to feel the heat. There was also a brick wall that he had jumped off for fun.
It was then I knew something had to be done or he was going to get seriously injured.
Swallowing my “pride” of my past family history and not wanting him to take medicine, I needed to not look at this as a failure. We needed to do what we felt was right and also do what was best for our child to get help.
Did you decide to put your son on medication? What was the turning point for you? I would love to hear your story.