Medication Didn’t Dim My Son With ADHD. It Helped Him Shine Brighter

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Image result for Medication Didn't Dim My Son With ADHD. It Helped Him Shine BrighterIt’s not about masking the real person in there, it’s about giving your baby the tools he needs to be successful.

Imagine a firecracker of a kid who never stops, from dawn till dusk. He’s a giant ball of action who tells amazing stories about coconuts and baby heads, and sleeps with earmuffs on so that “earworms” don’t get stuck in his brain.

JESSICA SULTAN
Meet my son Daniel, A.K.A. “Dan-Yell.”

Now imagine that over a period of seven years your kid begins to struggle in both academics and social skills. He’s super bright, but can’t sit still to finish his assignments and couldn’t care less about learning to print. He slowly and systematically alienates all of his siblings and peers with his irritating and sometimes-aggressive outbursts. He can’t sustain relationships. He starts to cry often and hit himself, saying he’s a bad kid and everyone hates him.

You consider medicating. You worry a lot about changing the specialness that is your kid — about dimming your Dan-Yell.

You go to parent-teacher interviews in the fall and are told that 13 out of 18 parents in the class have specifically asked for their children to be kept away from your son, as he either hurts their kids with his at-times violent impulses or is otherwise a bad influence. Your heart breaks. This is non-culpable behaviour, a challenge your baby needs your help to overcome.

Imagine then that he’s diagnosed with severe ADHD. No one is surprised. You’ve tried everything over the years that you and his support team can think of to try and help your little guy. It’s not working.

JESSICA SULTAN

You consider medicating. You worry a lot about changing the specialness that is your kid — about dimming your Dan-Yell.

But you understand that medication is not about masking the real person in there, it’s about giving your baby the tools he needs to be successful — to allow his brain to function as expected in non-ADHD individuals and to have a fair chance at happiness in life. It levels the playing field. It is not about equal: it’s about what’s fair and right for your child.

So you medicate. And all of your lives change almost overnight.

You cry. Because this normalcy that had been denied to your child is exactly what you’ve been striving for.

Your baby is happy. He smiles again. He can sit through a meal without making weird noises (although, admittedly, you miss the strange sounds that are just part of Dan). He reads a whole book — a novel! He plays with a set of Lego, something he has never, ever, not even once in his life sat still to do. He gets a set of K’nex and blows your mind not only by spending a full hour quietly focused on it, but actually (gasp!) taking time to read and follow the instructions.

JESSICA SULTAN
Daniel shining brightly!

When you talk to him quietly at bedtime, his formerly constant motion has stilled and he loves to hold your hand in his warm little palm and tell you about his day. One night, he whispers in your ear that he feels weird. When you ask why, he says “I’m not used to being the good one.”

Then — then! — one day, this day, he comes home with the most amazing news. He’s been invited to a BIRTHDAY PARTY. He has a FRIEND!

More blogs from HuffPost Canada:

  • 10 Ways I Prep My Child With ADHD For A Successful School Year
  • ADHD Is Real (And Not A Result Of Bad Parenting)
  • Children With ADHD Are Suffering Because of Lack of Awareness

And you cry. Because this normalcy that had been denied to your child is exactly what you’ve been striving for.

This is mental health. This is love. This is my amazing son Danny who has not been dimmed; rather, he’s been given the tools he needs to shine his brightest.

Source:https://www.huffingtonpost.ca
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