This is my dearest Jackson. This is also the face of ADHD.
Did you know that October is ADHD Awareness Month? It is. A lot has changed in our lives since Jackson's diagnosis last school year. We've gone throught a lot with him. We've learned a lot with him. We're a lot better off because of it all. It hasn't been easy, but looking back it has been an amazing journey.
Granted there are far worse things that someone could be diagnosed with. I don't say this to lessen his diagnosis or the disorder. Instead I say this to acknowledge the fact that we are blessed despite whatever hardships we've encountered. But it is a real thing. It is something that is diagnosable, yet it's also very individual. Jackson's symptoms are specific just to him, as are those of all ADHD patients. Likewise, his treatment plan is specific to him also.
As you know, because I've mentioned it before, medication wasn't something we chose lightly. We prayed a lot about it. We talked a lot about it, to each other and his doctors. We thought a lot about it. We tried other avenues. But everything led us to where we are now. Two prescribed medications to help him manage his ADHD and be successful in school and life. We've been honest with him and he knows that the medications can only do so much. He has to work too. Work to understand his ADHD and to recognize his behavior and limitations. It was a bumpy road to get the medication correct. The right prescriptions. The right dosages. The right combination. But we are here and what he is on seems to be working very well. Since he's in my class this year I am able to watch and observe thoughout the day.
One of the roughest parts of it all has been his sleeping habits. He's never been the best sleeper and has always woken up several times during the night. However, about 2 weeks ago it reached fever pitch. He was waking us up 6 or 7 times a night; sometimes with bad dreams and sometimes just because he was awake. This was all after taking about an hour to actually fall asleep in the first place. The irony is that sleeping issues are both a symptom of ADHD as well as a side affect of medication. Bummer. After doing much research Amy found that melatonin was often used to help ADHD patients with their sleeping problems. We'd heard about this before but had never felt the need to try it since Jackson's sleeping wasn't so bad, until now. We liked the idea because it was natural and we wouldn't have to put him on another prescription from the doctor. We instantly noticed a positive change. He takes it about half an hour before bed and then by the time he's heading to bed he is calm and relaxed. He falls asleep much more easily and stays asleep. We've also noticed a difference in his mornings since he is more well-rested.
So for now we've entered a plain in our ADHD adventure. Much welcomed after the mountains and valleys it's taken us to get to this point. So we are enjoying it since it is an ever-changing disorder. We know dosages will change as he grows and eating habits change. But for now healthier eating (practically no preservatives or artificial colors/flavors) and medications have helped to bring out the little guy we knew was in there. The one that was hiding just under the surface, held back by the ADHD.
He's thriving. He's happy. He's Jackson. I'll continue to update and blog about ADHD now that it is such a big part of our lives, as are Stella's food allergies (future post). Just a little something here and there to make life a more adventuresome journey!
All is well, despite ADHD, in Drosche Land.