Monday, March 31, 2014

It's Official, & I feel validated.

This entire post, is in reference to my loving son,
and his recent, "official" diagnosis....

that title, sounds horrible, doesn’t it????

Maybe I should explain a little more, where I’m coming from here……… Samuel had two appointments after the initial evaluation last week, with the local county mental health office.
TWO specialists/evaluator professionals, "diagnosed" him ADHD w/Impulsively.... Just like Momma.

(insert sarcasm here)
Yes, I know........... 
I'm going to call the place he's going to for counseling/behavioral therapy "CBH"....... MANY of you will know where I'm talking about. . Well the first person that evaluated him, said he's one of the more severe cases she's seen at his age. (turned five last December)

She said, Normally they require 3-6 months of behavioral therapy/counseling before even mentioning medication. Well I did her the enormous favor of announcing, that I'M READY FOR MEDS, IF THATS WHAT IT TAKES TO KEEP HIM IN SCHOOL.....
Once I expressed a FEW of my concerns, (examples below) She wrote on her papers,,,, there's NO NEED to require what we have already been doing, thru the Head Start program and Early Intervention/ESD... 

------here's  a few of the examples I gave--------
~~~in the last 3 months he's been sent home from preschool at LEAST one day per week (only goes 2 days/wk) and during last week, they had a 3 day week, (one extra day of school) AND he was sent home EVERY DAY.... The last day they called in just 35 minutes of me dropping him off.

~~~one day at the daycare center last week,,,, he was still being disruptive in the "time out corner" so they sent Samuel to the office for his time out, basically compared to "Principal's office" type thing. they said he USUALLY realizes how serious things are and calms down. for whatever reason, he didn't calm down, he continued to run from the teacher, eventually running out of the building into the parking lot. when the teacher called ME in a PANIC,,,, She said they "normally end up calling the authorities because if the child gets hit by a car while signed in on their 'watch' they are liable"--well good thing  I was just four BLOCKS AWAY... and I got there in time. . . 

~~~Samuel will "recite" the rules for anywhere, (school, home, playing out in the yard, ETC) to you, 3 or even 10 times in a row. I'll make him repeat something like, "I won't chase the basketball into the street" and the MOMENT that ball rolls into the street,,,,,,,, HES RIGHT BEHIND IT.
this kind of situation is especially dangerous when there is other kids playing, because then he doesn't even seem able to HEAR ME yell his name. but, upon him hearing me, he turns around, and you can SEE the look when he realizes he broke the rule. He's completely remorseful, usually asks, "how can I fix it" or make it better, and seems to get so mad at himself, that he ends up embarrassed and feels BADLY ABOUT HIMSELF..... 

There are TONS more examples, I really could go on and on. He's started to share his feelings/fears/frustrations with me in recent months, too. 
A few weeks ago,
Sam asked me while we were in the car, "why don't the other kids want to play with me at school"
I didn't even know what to say.... I didn't expect that one.... I ended up saying, "probably because you get in trouble, and even though you may not mean to be, the other kids don't want to get in trouble too, so they stay away. they probably would LOVE to play with you, but they don't want to be in trouble, or their parents called. "
that answer seemed to work for the most part. But it's becoming blatantly obvious, he notices the difference between HIS behavior, and the other children's behavior. 
So, at CBH last week, part of the evaluation was going over all the referrals he's had from the early intervention program, head start, his pediatrician, ETC.

I noticed on one of his FIRST evaluations, his age was "30 months"
and it notates, "Samuel shows some signs of IMPULSIVELY issues along with possible hyper-activity for his age group"

When I read that, 2.5 years ago.... I thought to myself, he's WAY TOO YOUNG for that to be an "issue"
seriously.... he's a TODDLER..... okay a BUSY toddler... so what???

I guess the here/now/present time is the WHAT I was wondering about . . 
raising a kid, ANY KID,,,, isn't easy..... I mean, if you CARE about how they turn out, it's not. You pile on top ANY issue, I don't care what it is, then the "job" becomes harder..... 

Before I go any further,
I need to explain that I LOVE THIS KID FOR WHO HE IS.... 

I love seeing him "comfortable" in his own skin.... I want him to be happy, and even with all things considered, he IS a pretty happy kid. 
I love his "ticks" and how tidy/clean he likes things, the personality traits he has where I feel like I'm looking at a reflection of my younger self, and even the moments where I think, well where the HELL did you pick that up from? LOL

I LOVE ALL OF IT.... That's HIM. . . . a little "off" the beaten path, marching to the beat of his very own drummer. I wouldn't have it ANY OTHER WAY, in all honesty. 
My only "issue" is when I see him feel BAD ABOUT HIMSELF..... If this kid is going to have any chance of NOT following in MY footsteps, with self-medicating later on,,,,,, I gotta do something NOW, before he withdraws from his peers, before he gets a complex about WHO he is, before he even knows what that means.
if in reading this, you're thinking, how can this chic be thinking of medicating her five year old?
My answer is,
I've tried EVERY SINGLE RECOMMENDATION I've been given in the last two years.... EVERY one of them. I'm not exaggerating... I'm not too proud to ask for help... I'm OPEN to new ideas, especially if it helps my son, grow up to be a good person... ANY & EVERY IDEA,,, I tried at least once,, if not more than once.

Can anyone else say that?
I've cut out certain food groups;;; refined sugar, colored dyes, carbs, did gluten-free , the Mediterranean diet, JUST to name a few................. All at DIFFERENT times.... 
and think about how EASY that is, when he eats at four different places, during any given week.!!!!!
YOU NAME IT, I"ve done it..... and saw NO DIFFERENCE for better or worse....... NONE.....
Now, just in general terms, we don't eat fast food, or junk food, or refined sugar... first and foremost it's EXPENSIVE... and we can't afford to waste money. Secondly, Sam has followed a lot of my eating habits, and I generally eat healthy... I love fresh foods, salad, veggies, fruits, ETC.... Samuel doesn't like bread, or rolls, or many bread-products. He will want candy once in a great while, but he takes a couple bites, and "saves it for later" AKA, I throw it away later after he forgets....

Some of his MOST favorite things, are ; homemade chili, Beans of ANY kind, Cantaloupe, watermelon, Salad w/homemade ranch dressing, broccoli, green beans, pears, peaches, spaghetti w/meatballs (he eats the sauce & meatballs, not much noodles) and he used to love macncheese, but he's kinda growing out of that lately.
I tried "time out" w/timers, the way "super nanny" does it, with the explanation/apology followed by loves/hugs afterward. He eventually took HIMSELF to timeout, after acting out. 
I tried taking toys to "TOY JAIL" aka the top of the living rm closet... he would have to WORK FOR/EARN his toys back, w/good behavior and/or extra chores around the house. . . eventually - that ended when he bagged up TWO trash bags of toys from out of his room, and told me to take them to the thrift store, give them to some other kid that doesn't have toys to play with.. and YES I DID IT... and yes , days later,he bagged up MORE TOYS.... where did my leverage go??? to the thrift store.
"sticker charts"
is the one we are still using, but it doesn't really help... he's NEVER gotten the sticker for "circle time" @Head Start,,, his very hardest part of the day. Sure he doesn't have a BAD DAY, EVERY DAY.... but if the sticker chart was working, , , there'd be MORE good days than just "same  as usual" right?  I still use it, because it's SOMETHING.... something for him to hold in his hand, show me, be proud of, but that's where it ends... and he's had his very worst days, since we started the sticker charts, too.

As I'm explaining these aspects of our life,,,,, I realize there are some parents out there, that take things to extreme, or automatically think their child has ADHD , tries to convince others they are ADD/ADHD as to benefit themselves in some way. . . . . 
Please be able to see that this is NOT where I''m coming from. . .I only want my son to SUCCEED in school, without feeling like a failure, without getting made fun of/bullied for his differences that are most obvious in a classroom setting. I mean, if I do nothing at this point, , , the end result will be him being banished from grade school. 

I've been told over & over that he has to "get it this year, because next year they will just call you and send you the bill for whatever he destroys" 
I've had the explanation of how suspensions work and how that can and does turn into expulsion. They will NOT grab your child's shoulder and walk them back to class. they will just call YOU to come get them. 
I know THAT will be setting him up for absolute failure, and ultimately him not believing in himself as a whole, and/or his ability to achieve goals, succeed in school, and not to mention have friends. 

I realize he's only five.... But I think a lot of people don't realize HOW INTELLIGENT a five year old REALLY IS.... This kid picks up on all sorts of "cues"..... He knows when I'm upset about something, sometimes before I realize I'm upset about something.... 
I want him to grow up and do great things.... he can be an "average" person and STILL DO GREAT THINGS.... I do great things every day, and I'm NOBODY SPECIAL...

So,,, there's my answer... That's ALL I have to say about it. For those of YOU that have REACHED OUT TO ME,,, and helped me deal with these issues, and how I have had my moments of feeling like an absolute failure at parenting.... 
THANK YOU A MILLION TIMES OVER, for the calls/texts/messages/ETC....
I'm unable to find the words to thank you enough,,, for making ME FEEL BETTER about my decisions, helping me be "okay" with them, his diagnosis,,, EVERYTHING..... You'll never know how much it really means to me. 

For anyone who thinks,,,, and yes, I've heard these phrases lately~~~~
"maybe you need to be more firm with him"
"he doesn't have enough consequences"
"He'll grow out of it"

I say,,,, How the hell is he ever gonna grow OUT of it, if he can't go to school??? 
If he can't listen? 
if he runs into traffic accidentally, when I"M NOT AROUND,,, and either gets severely hurt/disabled, or worse, doesn't live another day.

Explain to me, how THEN, is he going to "learn" his lesson???

just think about that for a minute... I'm not just talking about sitting in class.... 

I'm talking about being SO IMPULSIVE HE DOESN"T SEE TRAFFIC.... 

he gets so excited to see someone, he DARTS OUT FROM THE CAR in the parking lot... YES I'll be yelling his name.. it's like he just doesn't hear me until HIS BRAIN CATCHES UP W/HIS BODY

I know, I know,
MOST people mean "well" but that doesn't mean it doesn't HURT LIKE HELL TO HEAR IT....... 
To me it sounds like your saying I'm a shitty parent. After I've tried SO HARD.... I've kept my cool when NOBODY else could or would even TRY.... so that my son will TRUST ME.. 
so he'll TALK TO ME.... 
and share how he feels... 
I wouldn't know WHAT to do with him if he hadn't started sharing his inner-most fears/feelings with me.....

in recent months..... 
He tells me he doesn't want to get made fun of, he wants to have a LOT of friends, he wants other kids to WANT TO PLAY WITH HIM.
I mean,,,, is he asking too much? to want to be played with?
he doesn't soil himself, or drool, or stink.... He speaks SO CLEARLY since having the ear surgery.... it's night & day difference...
All he wants,
is to be a "normal kid"

so please,
think about that, the next time you advise someone, how to improve as a parent... 

maybe ASK , have you tried this? and say why or how that idea worked for YOU,
instead, of coming off, in "attack mode" it's not that the parent is being overly-sensitive TOWARDS YOU,,,,, 
it's the parent has thought to themselves probably daily for a YEAR OR MORE, how they are failing,
and you coming off wrong,,,, just HURTS.... a lot.

Think of me,
Trying so damn hard, to "make up" for past mistakes, for not being the parent I should've been earlier.... 
I'm trying my absolute best, I'm IN IT TO WIN IT, for sure. It's not that I don't want to hear NEW ideas,,,,, I just don't want to hear how YOU think I'm a failure, or "where" I went wrong.... I can't do anything about that NOW... can I??
I can only try harder, tomorrow.

My rant is over I guess...
Samuel doesn't see the actual DR. that can help with any kind of medication until MAY,,, and that's with him in the "express lane" to get there... He's seeing a counselor WEEKLY,,, and I like him, so far. he told me,,,
"you know many times when a parent and child come in to see me, it's half the PARENTING SKILLS or lack thereof, And half the child's issues. But Amber,
I must say, there's not ONE parenting skill I have NOT SEEN YOU USE, that I teach, in the last 2 hours"

VALIDATION ROCKS. I am doing my best  & BETTER THAN AVERAGE... is fucking AWESOME.... 
Sure I knew that before someone with a Master's degree told me so,
but damn, it feels nice to HEAR IT FROM ONE..... he also mentioned, if Sam continues to be unable to use SAFETY AWARENESS,,, and it gets ANY worse, or I become uncomfortable, to take him the emergency room. They might be able to write an emergency prescription, until he gets to the Medical Doctor, in May... She's a specialist for children ages 5-13 by the way. and supposed to be the BEST AROUND... as MY doctor told me, and actually helped Sam get IN to see her as a "new patient"

I know I'm a good Mom.... a loving , forgiving, empathetic parent. 


I'm his friend... when he needs one,
his ENFORCER, when he tests the boundaries,
and his all around "safe zone" to land in, when he falls or stumbles.
at least for now.

I'd say that's pretty damn good, all things considered.....

I already feel better, after expressing myself...something about this is therapeutic for me....
So, until next time,,,,,****** wish US LUCK ******

This is him showing me, "how to look super cool in shades"

The city park, over the weekend



  1. I remember when you and I became members of the suboxone forum and I always enjoyed your post/stories about having to move from the "Old Neighborhood" to your new apartment, your job, your boss and your perfectionism of doing it so well, your marriage, your holidays and the sometimes hilarious sometimes emotional stories regarding letting go of the past and the friends that were still using definitely can TELL A STORY and keep the reader engrossed.....

    I have to say though this one of all really touched me the most ....I felt your pain and frustration in the construction of this piece for your Blog.....your ability to express the feeling and depth of your pain seems to easily flow in ink out onto the paper and for that moment the reader can't help but be there with you feeling the pain with this post one more so than some of the others and I an sure it is because of the sensitive subject matter, YOUR SON......

    It is very hard for a parent to have to hear, acknowledge and accept that their child has difficulties like these....Many parents resort to denial as a coping tool when in fact that tool is doing the opposite of coping...At least you are coping with this. Had I been in your shoes here, I am unsure if I would be able to OWN honesty, truth and acceptance with the brave attitude (reality awareness and perseverance that you possess).

    If I could offer you any encouragement and support in suggestion of your situation it would be to stay focussed just as you have been and take the information and suggestions of the teachers and therapist in mind but not so much to heart.....Often times they can become muddles and skewed by former and/or other cases they have they for get the unique individuality that each child possesses....Whatever you might have lacked in your "using days" you most certainlyt seem to make up for in your "parenting days" and it is you that will be his greatest teacher, therapist, advocate you do know him for his individuality....

    1. <3 Wow. thank you soooooooooooo much !!!
      that's my basic HOPE when people read what I write, I want to share how it feels to PROCESS GUILT and "get over" things that you never thought you could. Really stand there with me, so maybe they can HELP save someone's life, or possibly their own.........
      I do have to warn my fellow recovering warriors every person you come across, that you have to "buck up" and be honest with, after making such drastic changes; lets say you won't ALWAYS RECEIVE POSITIVITY in return..... My advice is, don't give up!!!! Just keep doing what you're supposed to. they will either SEE IT, or not and either way at least you know you tried. How much can they say they tried???
      Back to you.....
      THANKS AGAIN, you seriously made my eyes water a bit, and even though I"m pregnant and hormonal,,,, I'm not a big cry-er.... never really have been. But I will say, I've cried more in the last (almost) three years than probably my ENTIRE LIFE previously,,,, minus childhood of course !!!

      Typos must really like me, because I have them where ever I go !!!
      this is no place you will get crap because you don't have the best grammer, or even an over-aggressive auto correct.....

      Be good.... if you can't do that, get yourself better ..... Its soooo freaking worth it. (most days)

      Thank you for your kind words, once agian..... Support, encouragement, or even just a kind smile, means everything these days.
      I can't have too much of it.
      bless you and yours.

  2. OUCH I messed this whole sentence up in typos etc...
    "Often times they can become muddled and skewed by former and/or other cases they have....., they forget the unique individuality that each child possesses..