ADHD ADD ASD
Doing our best.
As you may know our daughter was given a diagnosis of High functioning Autism or Aspergers and you can read about that here. But what some of you may not know is that we’ve also had it confirmed that Lizzie also has ‘ Add ‘ for those of you that don’t know what it is it’s Attention Deficit Disorder, most people will have heard of Adhd which is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Lizzi has the condition without the hyperactivity.
What does this mean?
Well the way I can explain it is that her head is messy and jumbled and a very busy place to be. She’s incredibly impulsive meaning the urge to look out the window, look around as if she’s not paying attention, fidget fidget fidget, or splash in a puddle, maybe touch and pick up many many items in a shop or throw stones into the brook, kick stones, do the floss, interrupt conversation, fly of the handle, is incredibly overwhelming. “these are all normal I hear you cry” BUT I’m not talking about the times where these are completely normal and appropriate for a teenager, I am talking about the times When they’re not. Lizzie also struggles with friendship (though that’s gettting better as she gets older) sometimes reacting impulsively or over the top when things don’t go to plan or obsessing over friends.
I can honestly say Add/adhd had never ever crossed my mind. I thought that everything we were dealing with was solely related to the autism so when Camhs suggested it could be adhd and wanted to run a few tests was a little taken aback but obviously my only goal is to help my daughter, so I agreed, fast forward a few months a we recieved the news that she had add too.
To medicate or not to medicate that is the question?
We had and appointments with the adhd nurse to talk things through and get advice on how we can help her the best. In school. At home and in life.
He talked about the importance of eating breakfast which is something she now does without fail as this helps her to concentrate more. Joining an adhd youth club which she was adamant she didn’t want to do. And medication. My first thought was Don’t do it........ drug my child! No!
We chatted about it in the appointment and I went home and I thought about it. I talked it through with my husband and my sister who also teaches her at school. And most importantly spoke to Elizabeth who didnt want to take any her word “why do you want to change me I won’t be me” broke my heart. My sister was brilliant. She talked to her and explained what medication would do. Here’s how she explained it.
“Lizzie you know how your bedroom is very very messy, with everything jumbled up and mixed up! Well What happens when your mum tidies your room for you. It’s still your room but everything is ordered and where it should be! If you chose to take the medication that’s what would happen in your head, everything that makes you you would still be there but it would be ordered and less messy inside there, helping you to concentrate more and organise your thoughts better”
We decided to give it a go. And so we are now 2 days into the medication, she’s on a very small does at the moment of slow release methylphenidate this increases her dopamine levels giving her 3mg straight away and 7mg throughout the day. Hopefully this will help her stay more focused in school. With family and friends and out shooting.
Doing our best.....
I hope I’m doing the best thing for her in giving it a go and if it doesn’t work then she’ll just stop them BUT what I didn’t want to happen was in a few years time when she’s finished school say “we should have tried”
Time will tell. But if your reading this thinking we shouldn’t be trying please know this, it’s because we love her unconditionally that we are. I want her to experience life without all the noise in her head. Even if just for a little while.