He darts around the playground, nudging a small child as he whips by. He moves with abandon, no awareness of where he is in space or for that matter, where others are. He flashes a grin at other children and occasionally calls out “come on” but he does not wait for them and they quickly stop interacting with him. He goes up and down the slides with fervor – I am tired just watching him. A small child gets in his way and he pushes by accident and makes her cry in fear. I’m beside him as much as possible redirecting him, making apologies. I glance at the other parents – sitting and drinking coffee while their children play. I’m envious and if I care to admit – I’m lonely being the parent of my son. I try to think of him as spirited but even spirited makes me tired at this moment.
Fast forward several months – after a Psychological assessment and consultation with the Pediatrician we have decided to try our son on a small dose of medication for his Attention Deficit Disorder(ADHD). I am filled with worry and anticipation at the same time. I give it to him with his juice and he swallows it easily. We head to the park with his Respite worker – we have found it takes two of us to keep him safe while out. I haven’t told her about the pill. It’s such a small dose I wonder if I will be able to see any difference. We arrive at the park and he darts for the playground and I feel a small bit of disappointment. He climbs up the slide and then slowly slides back down. He pauses at the bottom and looks around at the other children. He approaches 2 girls who are crouching over a hole in the sand. He asks them what they are doing and I don’t hear the answer – I watch amazed as my son has a conversation with same age peers. He leaves the girls and approaches a boy who is holding a book. My son asks about the book and the two boys head to a picnic table to look at it. They sit there for 17 minutes( I timed it). The Respite worker is stunned. We are both in tears. The medication didn’t make everything disappear but boy did it give our son a fighting chance to make friends and enjoy life.
Medication is a very personal decision and one that only parents can make for their child. Too often I hear people making disparaging remarks about parents who choose to medicate. That is why I wrote this post. To give you a glimpse of what life was like without the medication and to know that if you have chosen medication for your child you are not alone.
Tina is a full time working mom of 2 boys and married to an amazing husband. She blogs infrequently at Spirited Blessings