Doctor's Orders

I stopped giving Javier his Vyvance after the last day of school, which was Wednesday of last week.

I then endured four days of whining, thrashing, moody, hyperactive, and down right obnoxious eight year old.

Today I gave him his medication as soon as he finished breakfast. He then went into warp-speed focus and spent 4 hours cleaning his room -- no backtalking, no drumming on door frames and flat surfaces, no sucking teeth or blowing out breath. Just quiet, concentrated cleaning.

At one point I called up to him: "Javi, what are you doing up there?"

Javi: "Cleaning! I've been focusing all day! I haven't played a bit!

Me: "Great job, bubs. But now you're scaring me!"

Javi: "Don't be scared. I'm just on my medicine."

Which caused me to giggle out loud a bit. When Billy got home for lunch, we both watched Javi like two crows on a wire. Back and forth as he deposited trash in the kitchen and dirty clothes in the basement. Then puzzles to the table and too-small shoes to the donate box. He was a little workerbee without any distractions.

So why didn't I give him his medicine last week? I think I sometimes fall into the mindset of people who don't believe ADD or impulse disorder are actual chemical problems. For instance, my mom always talks about how people give their children medicine to turn spirited children into "soldiers."

However, my child has a chemical problem in his brain. It's not made up and it's not us trying to turn him into a Stepford child. If he had diabetes, we'd make damn sure he took his insulin. If he had asthma, we wouldn't just toss out his inhalers. So I need to always treat his medication just as I would any medication that staves off pain or hurt or discomfort.

The upside is his medicine turns him into a regular kid instead of The Surly One. And that's a huge bonus.


  • Katie Jones

    I use the diabetes argument all the time!!! What parent would deny their child insulin? It is the same thing if a child truly has ADD. I cannot stand to see a parent put a child on medicine just because they want a Stepford child, but it is also so hard to see a kid who so desperately needs medicine not get it.

    He has a great grasp on how the medicine affects him, and the fact that Javi can think metacognitively about how much it is helping him says a lot.

    Just think - as hard as it is on you when he's off, it's that much harder on him. That's what I see parents missing a lot in these debates about medicating kids... it frustrates a kid who knows he should/could do it, but just can't seem to get his brain to complete the task.

    Good for you for getting him back on - you both will probably have a lot more fun this summer for it!

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear what you have to say! (If you want an emailed response, be sure to enable email in your Blogger settings -- see a tutorial here.)

Now. Spill it!