ADHD: A New Diagnosis

Sunday, I bought a bunch of bananas, several pears, and a bag of honey crisp apples. I also got tub of organic strawberries and blueberries. None are left!!! Other than fresh fruit, our only snack offerings have been raw veggies, string cheese, pretzel rods, vanilla Greek yogurt, smoothies, nuts and nut butters, big slices of grainy toast, and a homemade batch of chocolate chip cookies, that the kids helped bake.

With a recent diagnosis of ADHD (hyperactive-impulsive) for our youngest daughter, we have felt an enormous amount of unnecessary guilt and sadness over making a decision to start the use of medication. It’s something we have have been back and forth about for years, always seeking advice from her teachers and her pediatrician. The only downside is that a side effect is weight loss. Girlfriend is already a lean string bean of a kiddo. We have to monitor her weight and that also means making every calorie count toward keeping her healthy and strong. Like any family concern, we are all in…as a show of love, support, and camaraderie while one of us needs a little boost.

My point in all of this isn’t for approval or criticism. It’s just to tell you that there is no “blanket fix” for neurodevelopmental disorders. For seven years we have pushed good foods. We have have tried diet changes, elimination diets, oils, and read a zillion books and articles. We have always provided a loving and stable home and family with routine, structure, and positive discipline. She has always had a plethora of opportunities to channel her creativity, physical energy, and all of the other awesomeness that makes our sweet girl who she is. NOTHING WORKED in any way shape or form until we chose to work with her pediatrician to find the best medication.

I wish I could go back to tell last month me to stop torturing herself and her child and seek some help. Anyway…a month in, she is so happy! Her confidence is up. She is able to sort in her mind, the now and later stuff. The important and not so important stuff. She is able to stop and think and make a conscious choice before just reacting. Not everything in her world is the single most, crucial, very important thing to be forever passionate about at that very moment (think of having the same feeling of urgency if you were being chased by a bear as needing to ask your mom seven hundred times if it’s still a ‘no’ on the extra snack.) It’s made our days so much more joyful and I truly believe we are seeing our daughter as the very best version of herself. Happy. Content. Still energetic and full of enthusiasm. Still doing cartwheels and splits and dancing around our house. Still a good friend to others and a fantastic little sister. Still gobbling down book after book and asking three billion questions (just not standing over me at 3 AM inquiring how bees pee.)

Mamas, if you are in a situation similar to mine, don’t let what everyone else weighs in with, weigh your decisions. I don’t even like to give Tylenol, but here I am, giving my kid a schedule II drug…because this is what my kid needs to be able to understand all of the glitter and magic swirling around in her head. As her Mom, it’s my responsibility to allow her the very best opportunity to shine ❤️

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