A Parent’s Story
The thing about being a parent is that when we plan to have children, we expect that everything about them will be perfect. We don’t usually consider how they will do in school, or what kind of grades they will make. It doesn’t cross our minds that they may struggle so much, that we will wonder if they can ever be educated.
This is a problem that many parents face when their children reach school age. I am the mother of four wonderful children. My oldest son, Clay, has always struggled in school. He is a well-behaved, nice, quiet kid, who gets along with everyone. This has always thrown me off, because he isn’t “hyper”, and doesn’t have behavior issues. I was always told by Clay’s teachers that he was a boy and would mature and catch up eventually. His grades were never good, and most school conferences sent me home in tears.
By the time Clay was in 6th grade, I was desperate for help. His reading was poor and his spelling was worse. I contacted the school counselor, who told me he would have to be put through a “process”, to see if he even qualified for testing. They never even called me back. After having been failed by the school, I decided to have him tested by a specialist. They told me he was a classic A.D.D. – attention deficit disorder. The doctor recommended medication, which I had fought against in my mind, for years. I decided that it was worth a shot. It was that or continue to watch him fail.
Clay was always hostile and angry when it related to school. Homework was a nightmare, and he was distracted by anything at all, including a fly buzzing by the window. The medication is a matter of trial. The first kind he took was horrible. The side effects caused him to be zombie-like and unable to function. The Dr. then put him on Strattera. I noticed a difference as soon as school started. Clay would come home from school and do his homework willingly. He was no longer hostile and was even cheerful and talkative. I couldn’t believe it! His whole attitude about school has changed—- not that he would admit to liking it—- but at least he has a more positive attitude.
Many parents are worried about putting their kids on meds. I would say that it’s very personal choice. The benefits outweighed the risks, at least for Clay. I am not sure about long-term effects, but I pray there are none. The only side effect he has is a bit of drowsiness at times. I’m sure the meds affect each child differently.
For parents who are at the point of considering medication, I would advise them to research them thoroughly. It is a tough decision for anyone. Thanks to Strattera, I have a newfound hope for my son.
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