Today I had to take my son to the doctor. The visit was via the request of his new therapist, whom we’ve been trying to get him in to see for over a year. We’ve had issues. Ironic that the issues are directly related to therapy, but they are. As you likely know, we live in the sticks. There aren’t a whole lot of reputable therapists out here in our neck of the woods, let alone ones that focus on kids with likely attachment issues, or that I would trust with my child. They seem to like drier climates. I can’t fault them on that, I do too. But that’s all beside the point. See, there’s one that I think I could trust, and she’s been booked solid for the last year. Finally, miracle of miracles, she had an opening and I swooped in and booked her up with my boy. Please God, let this be help.
We’ve only had one visit with her, and she’s only met with X-man once, but I really, really liked her. She and her hubbs had been foster parents as well, and adopted a couple of kiddos from the Hades we call the system, who also had attachment issues. Short story: she gets it. She knows what it’s like to have an angel one minute and all hell break loose the next. She’s been on the other side of hurt when your mamma’s heart doesn’t think it can take another beating, another melt down, another glance from the I’m-perfect-you’re-not-have-you-heard-of-discipline-mother next to you in the grocery isle (oh wait, I think I was once that girl. Ouch). Anywho-she gets it. And she’s met with him once and agreed that we need to make some moves to help protect him in school. And by protect, I mean help him not get kicked out. Nothing like having your first grader in the office. Again. Sigh. We’re on a daily text basis with his teacher, each afternoon waiting on pins and needles for the latest X-man report.
So, she requested a medical eval in search of a concrete diagnosis so that we can get him rolling on an IEP (Individual Education Plan. ie: the school can’t toss him out because we’ll have protective measures in place). Now, here’s my little bias: I was the MCH nurse and a psych nurse, and a children’s mental health case manager. I’ve seen and worked with A LOT of kids. And I’ve seen and worked with A LOT of kids who’s parents don’t want to parent and as soon as things start to get less than perfect, they slap them with the label of ADHD and toss some pills down their throat. I’m pretty anti-ADHD diagnosis. And I really bristle at the thought of medicating my child. I just think that in so many cases kids can be taught the tools to manage their impulse control and behavior. That’s not to say that ADHD doesn’t exist, or that some kids don’t medically need the medication to balance the chemicals in their brain. I’ve worked with those kids too. And there are some that absolutely need it. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s no one’s “fault” just like cancer or heart disease isn’t some one’s “fault”. It is what it is. I’m just tired of it being a catch all excuse and easy fix band-aid. You know?
So we go to the doctor. And I really like her. The hubbs and I explain background and concerns and she barely bats an eye when we discuss the sordid details of their past lives. We continue to go on and discuss options, goals and what we’re hoping to accomplish, and she says the dreaded words: ADD/ADHD. Sigh. Why must it always be the same initial go to diagnosis? Bless her, she didn’t totally stick with it. I told her my bias, and that I would absolutely try anything, but I won’t be jumping on the chemical bandwagon right off the bat. And she understood. So that’s a start. And I don’t think she’s one of the many who uses it as a band-aid, but wants to use a tool to evaluate him. That’s all well and good. At least she wants to go about things in a scientific manner. And she encouraged continued therapy to work through some possible attachment issues and maybe even depression. So that’s good. But man, I have a hard time with the jump to hyperactivity. I just don’t buy it for the bulk of our society. And I honestly don’t think that’s what’s going on with my kid. Granted, I could be totally wrong (it wouldn’t be the first time) and I will absolutely do whatever it takes to try and help him out. Try to give him the tools he needs to be successful. At this point, we’ll just wait and see.