Friday, October 24, 2014

School Days

This school year has marked a lot of new beginnings for us. We now have one High School student, one Middle School student, two 4th graders and a pre-schooler!!! That's right, folks! We have at least one at every level, and yes, Baby M started school this year!!!

It is hard to believe that 3 years have gone by already, and that our baby girl is in school, but it's TRUE!!! She is going to school 3 days a week, for 3 hours a day, and so far she is loving it! She loves her teachers and has made a couple of good friends so far. We thankfully did not have any trouble with her separating from Jay at drop off right from the start. So far, so good on that front! She is enjoying learning about the days of the week and the seasons, and play centers is one of her favorite times of the day. She loves playing in the "home" center, specifically in the kitchen. The apple did not fall far from the tree with this kid!!!

As far as the boys are concerned, I wish I had better news to report. Three out of four of our boys are not doing as well as we would like at this point in time. Enter blended family BS mentioned in my last post... When there are no adults who are fluent in your native language in the house to help with homework & studying, it can be difficult to do well. My husband has tried to no avail to discuss the situation, with not one response. So what can we do from an hour away? It is breaking my heart to see them struggling, but I'm really not sure what the solution is. We both feel that our hands are tied, and it's a terrible feeling. To top it all off, they are moving... AGAIN! Thankfully not far enough that they have to change schools again, but the inconsistency and constant moving is not good for them. They need stability, and are clearly not getting it where they are. I really, truly wish the courts were set up to favor the more responsible party, which is not always the mother.

A while back I posted about R having "Ants in the Pants". Thing were slightly better over the summer, but picked right up when school started and were worsening at an alarming rate. We decided to take him to a pediatric neurologist where he was diagnosed with ADHD. So now the big question was to medicate, or not to medicate.

All summer long I tried changing his diet, modifying his sugar intake, etc. I used some essential oils as well, but nothing really seemed to help. By the time we made it to the doctor I was literally at the end of my rope. I still am really. We decided to go ahead with the meds and he was really showing signs of improvement for the first 10 days. No side effects to speak of, increased attention at school and better behavior overall at home. Then the bottom fell out. After the first week and a half he started to have what I've been told is called a rebound effect. He was showing less focus at school and his behavior at home was terrible. The doctor changed his dosage at our follow up but it was evident to me after only a few days that this was just not the right medicine for him. I immediately called the doctor and we decided to change to a different medicine. She told me not to worry, that these things take time, and sometimes it can be months before they find something that works. So, it's been about a week on medicine #2. So far so good. He is experiencing decreased appetite, which we are watching closely, but thankfully no other side effects. He is doing extremely well in school and is making much better choices at home. I am grateful for the improvement, but am only cautiously optimistic given what happened with the last one. I'm really hoping that this, in conjunction with the therapy we just started with him, will be the key we need to manage this with him.

As a parent it's difficult because of course I want him to be happy, successful and well adjusted. I am fully aware of the challenges he faces, and I understand what is going on completely. However, as a human, I'm easily frustrated by his behavior. It's hard for me to find the patience to deal with this day in and day out, but I am digging deep. Thankfully, his dad, step-dad and I are all on the same page as far as treatment and resolutions for at home behavior are concerned. We are all working well together with the school & doctors to best help him and our family get through this rough patch.

I found this article on FaceBook today about how ADD/ADHD effects relationships. I thought it was interesting. I never really thought about it from the perspective that it's something that is impacting him every. single. minute. When you look at it that way, the gravity of it really sets in. When he says he can't help himself, he really means it, and it's heartbreaking...

I try to focus on the good times, and these smiles make it easy to do! Just hoping things continue to improve from here. Please say a prayer for us!

In the meantime, we will be busy with lots of family time while Jay is on vacation next week. Looking forward to our big birthday bash trip coming up, there will be lots of pics to come!!!

Have a great weekend!

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