Comments: My Boy Patches

I'm just thanking heaven you have a teacher who understands. My God it would be 1000 times worse if you had a teacher who couldn't be bothered.

I hope he eventually finds something else to capture his attention and can focus on that instead of the patch.

Posted by Teresa at October 28, 2009 11:01 PM

In a comment a while back, I suggested that you not medicate. I think I said something like, "don't kill the spark."

Well oops!...please please forgive me! I should not have stepped in on something that I really don't know enough about.

One of my jobs now includes being a chauffeur for a 16 year old boy who has ADHD. I've been a driver for their family for a couple of years, but I've only been driving him off and on...rarely....until now. And I have totally seen the difference between him on and off medication. It is a huge difference.

Argh. I can see your dilemma much better now. To medicate or not to medicate? And the way you are describing your son, is very close to what I'm experiencing with the kid that I drive for.

There are obviously no easy answers, and I feel like a total dork for trying to give advice when I was in no position to.

But here is some advice you might like: go for the valium! Hey, it might help smooth things out for everybody!

Good luck, and big hugs. And thanks for not chewing my head off when I leave comments that include advice!

Posted by DogsDontPurr at October 29, 2009 12:28 AM

Teresa- We had a teacher last year that didn't get it and couldn't be bothered. It was a very very bad year. He has a 'specials' teacher now that not only doesn't get it, she hates him for it. She takes it personally that he is the way he is and she takes it out on him. I want to scream at her, "It's not about you! It's about HIM!" I thank God every Tuesday that he has her that he doesn't have her for a real class and that his teacher now is so wonderful. Both his main teachers are wonderful. We've been very very blessed in that way.

DDP- I knew you didn't know. And you didn't say anything that I hadn't felt in my heart. I don't want to medicate. There is a spark. But... the key is for us to find something where the spark is still there, yet he can control himself. There is vast impulsivity and although it is 1000 X better than it was, he's so far from the norm still it's difficult to teach him.

We'll see how this works. Right now the teachers aren't seeing any difference. I told them let's see how the tests come back. He had two tests this week and usually he Christmas Trees them. If he actually took the time to answer the information correctly as he knows it... THAT will be showing me something is working.

He took the standardized testing in Oct and finished the math in 7 minutes. D'Oh! I am expecting a 10% on it. Blech.

Posted by bou at October 29, 2009 05:41 AM

I know where he is, I didnt want it either (still dont sometimes). My Mom didnt expect it, she is like you - super logical, she's a research scientist at USDA. The way I look at it now is that most often your greatest gift is also your greatest curse. Your gifts set you apart from normal, both in good ways and in bad ways. Sometimes it is easier to see one more clearly than the other. In his case when he has to conform to a set standard. It always it helped with me when my parents sat down and had me explain my incorrect answer and then made me deduce the logical (correct) one. Forced those logical pathways to be used, atleast on tests. I am praying for you (Catholic school kid who failed atleast 1 year), and for Bones, and the rest of your family, as this process isnt easy on siblings either.

Posted by Web at October 29, 2009 06:48 AM

Web- I think you are so very right about the greatest curse and greatest gift. He and I need to have more discussions on that... when he's a bit older. It's like I tell people, the things you fall in love with someone over, that characteristic of their personality, is the very same thing that will make you unequivocally insane.

He doesn't see it yet. I know it is draining me to the point that I'm exhausted all the time. But yet, in the same breath, I can say he adds a joy to my life that nobody ever has. He's so daggum funny and sweet and wonderful. It goes both ways.

And I am glad you think that going over the tests over and over will help him think logically. It is instinctive to go over them and explain, but I wondered if it helped.

My husband makes flash cards for him for every test. We go over them and over them, but more than just memory, we discuss the topics, trying to find ways for him to remember. He doesn't grasp just words... he needs to visualize, hear it, touch it. So we've been doing that this year from odd things like learning states and capitals to the discussion we just had on condensation.

Funny enough, he got in the car the other day and said, "Mom! Look at my water bottle! It has condensation all over it!" So something is taking... it is.

Honestly, I kind of feel like we're homeschooling. We have to reteach him everything at night.

Posted by Bou at October 29, 2009 09:23 AM

LOL, Bou! That made me tired just reading it! Never mind the teacher - Bones is lucky to have the parents he does! :)

I would bet you anything that once Halloween passes, it will get smoother for a while. ;) How much you want to bet he thinks about it in school? I know it is topmost in our youngest one's mind right now.

Posted by PeggyU at October 29, 2009 11:30 AM

Yes, the "visualization" is a HUGE thing for kids like him. It sounds like he is one of that tiny percentage of kids (like my son) who learn visually rather than by rote.

My son could not do rote learning in school. It was impossible for me to help him because that's the only way I know how to learn!

Way back then I was reading books on how kids with dyslexia learn. One of them (have no idea who the author was or what the name of the book was) had great success with "hands on visual work". In other words he used modeling clay and had kids make letters then use those letters to actually "hands on" spell words. He claimed it worked very well because it became 3-d the kids were able to remember it and how it looked and translate that to their other reading.

Something of that sort my help Bones learn various things. The subtraction issue comes to mind. Say if you used dried peas. Take a simple one 15-8...

you would put out 10 peas in the first column and 5 in the second... the 8 in the column beneath the 5 - visually you can then show him why "not borrowing" doesn't work. It might make an impression whereas numbers on paper do not.

Or not. Depends on him. :-)

Posted by Teresa at October 29, 2009 01:07 PM

Johnny Cash says hi.

Posted by marcus at October 29, 2009 01:17 PM

Back of the shoulder is cool. Draw a smiley face on it and we can be twins.

Posted by Toluca Nole at October 29, 2009 03:57 PM

As speaking as someone with a chronic condition I know that acceptance of it is the first real step to wanting and learning how to control it.

Have you tried getting in touch with someone older (older teens or early 20's and maybe someone in their 30's) with ADHD and having Bones talk to them?

Bones could learn like a mentee from this person what they went though and how they finally accepted it and are learning how to deal with it.

I am sure ADHD has some type of offical website that might put you in touch with others in your area.

Acceptance really is the first step to learning to live with it. Until you learn to live with it your going to fight it and resist dealing with it.

Posted by Quality Weenie at October 30, 2009 09:15 AM

You are a stronger woman than I - I couldn't handle the Bones issues AND run - I couldn't Not handle the Bones issues and run - I couldn't/can't run...

You are home schooling - seven years to go, you can run crazy long races in the heat - you can get the boy through school. You ARE getting the boy through school. And Bs in the important subject are just fine. He is not meant for the traditional school environment, but that is the world we live in so you are all doing the best you can.

Just keep swimming - Dory

Posted by patti at October 30, 2009 09:22 AM

QW- That is an excellent point. And funny too as... we just found someone for him to talk to. His teacher's son is only a year older, but she suggested they talk. Bones is all over it. Every day, "Mom, Mom, Mom, did you know Alec has the same problem I do? Mom, Mom, Mom, we're going to get together and talk..." So I think you are right. And also, I know some adults with it. I need him to meet them as well, some grown men who can tell him, "Hey, it's OK." (PT- that was aimed at you, if you read this...)

Patti- I need to change my name to Dory. That cracked me up. How many times have I joked at work when it's hit the fan at home (Love the calls from school...) "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..." Heh.

Posted by Bou at October 30, 2009 09:26 AM

Teresa- I'm going to try peas and beans next week...

Posted by Bou at October 30, 2009 09:27 AM

Tell him I know a lot of actors with it.

Posted by Toluca Nole at October 30, 2009 02:20 PM

We went through the hoops with our son Dale, now 9. Great teachers and support for the first 4-1/2. Broke down and tried Vyvanse at its lowest dose aabout a year ago. Best thing we ever did. He is now happy to go to school (not the trouble kid anymore). And his brain still amazaes us every day. I just love how this kids thinks. Also, just like the patch, you can stop on the weekends and or/summer if you want will no bad effects.

Posted by Jilly at October 30, 2009 06:42 PM

Bou, I have two boys with ADHD - one also has Asperger's. The latter has been on a Ritalin derivative since 1st grade. The former from 2nd grade. My ADHD only son is the "kid with the spark" the personality, the natural athlete, talented artist and musician...my husband says that it must really suck to be his brother, because he is literally good at everything. Well, except reading - he has his struggles with that. He's the one that really reminds me of Bones when you describe him. He actually asked US in 2nd grade for medication (he knew about it from his brother). He said that he WANTED to pay attention in class, he just COULDN'T. We started him almost immediately and have never had a regret. He and his brother are straight A students. He succeeds at everything. We don't think he'd be where he is today had we not intervened.

My niece teaches at the elementary that my boys went to. She also has two ADHD kids (it runs HEAVILY in our family). She also has the teacher point of view. She says that the patch is almost always a problem for the kids that use it. It itches, it makes them want to pick at it and just gives them a new thing to keep their attention off what they should be doing. None of us have ever had any trouble with Adderall XR except for the fact that one of my sons and my niece metabolize it too fast and have to have a second dose after lunch. My Asperger's son has moved on to Vyvance and is doing very well on it even at the max dosage. We have never had a problem with them being zoned out or losing their "spark". Besides, if they were a tiny bit less "sparky" at school, I don't really have a problem with that - they need to be working anyway. With mine, it wears off so fast, that by the time I get them home and past homework, it's gone. I actually has some quick acting amphetamine tabs that they used to take when we had after school activities that needed an additional boost. We don't even need those anymore. They do get better and they do need less as they mature and grow larger, strangely enough.

Since my family (almost every single person in my family - all this generation's kids, except one of my boys) I am quite experienced with this and like to assure parents on the fence that with the proper physician's care and a lot of awareness, it is possible to make your kids life (and yours!) much better and more productive. Ritalin derivatives are one of the longest running products on the Rx market. They are safe and effective with the right monitoring. I hate to see parents wringing their hands over this and feeling guilty about medicating their kids. Sure, there are many that medicate for the wrong reasons, but when you KNOW, you know.

I hope you can get this worked out - it will make his life so much better and you will feel so much better about it. If you think you need to, see a psycho-pharmacologist to help you out. Sometimes the Pediatricians get too far past their expertise on this. Good luck. I know how nervous this makes a mom - I've been there. Once you get it all worked out you look back and think "Why was I so worried?". It sounds like Bones is a great kid, much like my own sparkly boy. He'll do fine. Feel free to e-mail me if you need any advice or moral support, etc. It is important to have others in your corner that understand.

Posted by Momotrips at November 1, 2009 01:09 PM