ADD – A Difficult Dilemma
Fair Warning – This is a hard one.
My fantastic, perfect, and delightful boy, Jesse, has ADD. I have known this for a while but the reality of it hit me full force recently. We weren’t having huge issues but, we were accustomed to a lot of drama and anxiety in our house recently, I have had to take a step back and take a long look at my family. It reminds me of the first time I had a sleep-over at a friend’s house. I thought everyone’s family was pretty much like mine UNTIL, I spent some time at another person’s house. That is when I then really saw how others families lived. Well, today I didn’t visit another person’s house but I did look at my house with different eyes.
This started because my sweet Jesse was gone for over a week this summer visiting my sister. I expected that week to be different and probably less noisy while he was gone. I didn’t realize the other things that would be different. I knew Jesse’s ADD and anxiety affected our family but I guess I never realized how much of an effect it had until Jesse was gone for an extended period of time. It was heartbreakingly and profoundly different for all of us. Everything went so much more smoothly. There was a lightness in the air. That should have made me feel good. Ya know, who doesn’t just enjoy the quiet! Well, it just made me sad. It also made me see that our home was not a sanctuary or peaceful like it should be. At that point I realized that something had to be done.
I am a take-the bulls-by-the-horn kind of girl. Well, I did just that. Before Jesse returned, I scheduled an appointment with an ADD specialist. I tried to forget the fact that insurance would probably not pay for it and that we could not afford $150 therapy sessions and $200 consultations. I also had no idea how I was going to ask my 10-year-old if he would like to see a therapist. I mean really, how do you ask anyone if they want to have psychological help? It’s a hard and awkward subject! Regardless, I took the plunge and made the appointment. I would deal with the details later.
When they say God is always with you, that is no joke. When Jesse returned, I was fretting about how to broach the subject. Unfortunately, on this particular day, Jesse was having a very difficult day and he brought up the subject himself. He just walked up to me and said that he thinks he needs some help. My heart sunk and sang all at the same time. It sunk because it absolutely breaks my heart to hear those words come out of my boy’s mouth and my heart sang because I had a plan! I told him about the ADD program and he seemed very excited about it – scared, but excited.
Flash forward to today and I am sooooo happy with the progress Jesse has made. He has a fantastic rapport with his therapist. His therapist adores him – thinks Jesse is the funniest most interesting kid he has ever treated. Jesse is taking social skills classes and behavior medication sessions which are really helping. He is becoming so confident and things are going so much smoother at home. Don’t get me wrong, he still has a lot of things going on. He has ADD, that does not go away but he also has a light in his eye that was gone for so long. He is being tested for Gifted and Talented classes and he is doing great in school. All is so much better! Sure, we are feeling the financial pinch but it is nothing to the pinched worried heart we had before.
ADD is so complicated and controversial. Medicate vs. no medication, behavior modification, therapy, dietary changes, social issues, Special Education, accommodations in school, etc. It is a huge issue but I wouldn’t trade my experience for the world. I have found a strength I know I didn’t have before. I also have a relationship with my husband and my boys that I know is deeper and stronger than it is in other families. We are beyond lucky.
I have such a passion for this! If anyone wants to chat about ADD and anxiety, feel free to contact me. I am becoming an expert on it!