We enrolled The Boy in the Young 5 program at the suggestion of his Preschool teacher. She said that Kindergarten isn’t what it used to be when she first started teaching. Kindergarten is more geared toward education and less geared to play, now. As she described the new kindergarten, it sounded as if he would be expected to sit in his seat and pay attention, and the children would be marched around the gym [goose-stepping] instead of free-play. She thought that this high energy boy would thrive in a less structured environment like the Young 5’s. I cried. All I could picture is that my son was going to be the oldest kid in his class on graduation day. One friend reassured me that she was held back but ended up graduating on time, and with honers. Another friend suggsted that the boy would have such an advantage, and would more likely be a leader than a follower. The thought of my kid having an extra year to grow and mature before being thrust into academia won out over the possibility of him having to struggle and be stressed. Actually, the one comment that made me decide was from my father-in-law, a man of few words and whom I respect and love very much. I whined to him about my fears of my son getting his diploma just a month shy of his 19th birthday, and I mentioned that daddy and I both were already enrolled in college before we turned 18! He said, with a smile on his face: “And look how that turned out.” [Ouch, but true.]
I got my first phone call after two days of school. My boy was too active for the active-kid’s class. *Sigh By the end of week 1, I was in a meeting at the school to discuss his activity level. The teacher assured me that he was a sweet and sensitive boy, who was full of empathy and compassion for his classmates…but that he was doing cartwheels on the rug during rug time. He had absolutely no spacial boundaries and would get right into the other children’s faces until they pushed him away. He was climbing over desks and accidentally knocking them over, she reminded me that he was not aggressive, just very very active. Over the next two months we had “Connors Assessments” done by teachers, & family members. We had observations done by the school psychologist, school occupational therapist (to help with sensory issues), and an outside (but contracted through the school) psychiatrist. All of which suggested that our son would most definitely benefit from medication. My husband wasn’t convinced. Hubby took the “boys will be boys” stance. He filled out his Connors test with mostly “No” and “Not often” where everybody else was saying “Yes” and “extremely often” on the same questions. Lets face it, hubby thinks the boy poo’s rainbows!
At the end of October, and at the suggestion of 5 of the boy’s previous and current teachers and aids, a speech therapist, occupational therapist, psychiatrist (school’s), psychologist (ours), and our pediatrician, we started our first ADHD medicine. It was the lowest dose of Metidate (methylphenidate 10mg). The difference was immediate. It was amazing to have a conversation with my son and actually have him make eye contact. I hadn’t realized it before, but talking to the boy was much like talking to Stevie Wonder (picture head movements)—Boo! Poor taste joke! The new drug worked for a month or so and then the teacher called me up one day and asked if I had remembered to give him his medicine. Yes, same time, same breakfast, same everything. Apparently his body had gotten used to it. Our pediatrician raised the dose to the next step up, 20mg. The boy showed signs of OCD behavior the very first day. After three days on the new dose, I got another phone call from the teacher. She said the boy was very stressed if anything was out of order, or the other children did something that was against the rules. She told me that he got up while she was teaching the class, and went to the white board and proceeded to put every student’s name card in a row all the way across the board. Then when cleanup time came and went, the boy continued cleaning the floor until every speck of paper or fodder was cleaned off the aged school carpet. There was no stopping him. He absolutely HAD to do these things. I called the boy’s pediatrician and he said, “Oh, that’s not good.” and prescribed the next drug.