Yesterday Tahi was diagnosed with ADHD. Yep. Gotta say… surprises there. No sir-ee. My little guy is a FIRECRACKER!!!! When he was in utero I had a midwife tell me I was gonna need “a big backyard for this one”. SHE WAS NOT KIDDING.! He was born 10 weeks early.  Again….no surprises there. He was such a busy little baby. His plunket nurse to this day says that in all her 30 odd years of dealing with babies , she has never seen a baby that moved as much as Tahi. The only time he is EVER still, is when he is asleep. He talks a mile a minute if you let him. And even when you don’t. He gets distracted by his own shadow. He wanders around the lounge  constantly whilst watching a movie. He is always fidgeting and making noise. He is loud. Has huge emotional outbursts and seems to have no real control of himself.  It’s like living with an excitable Labrador puppy who’s got a bad cocaine habit. He is completely at the mercy of his impulses. Sometimes it can be very entertaining. Sometimes it can be dangerous. Especially for his little brothers. And sometimes it is just plain heartbreaking to watch your  sensitive and loving child  be so often misunderstood and so unable to interact with ease in the big bad world. To watch the best part of your genetics struggling to focus their genius at school. Before I met my son, I had no real clue as to what ADHD was like.  It is E.X.H.A.U.S.T.I.N.G.  R.E.L.E.N.T.L.E.S.S.  O.V.E.R.W.H.E.L.M.I.N.G  and very very very TRYING. And not just for him or me. His brothers too, have to live with it. Learn to manage him. And also learn to understand that the way their big brother behaves is NOT  always how they should behave. How do you explain to a 4-year-old that his older brother is hardwired differently ? That what is good for the Goose, is not always good for the Gander.It is a constant juggle of time,management and energy.

 I live in a town that believes the worlds problems can be fixed if we  all just hugged one another, dreaded each others hair , danced around a Totara tree and then bathed in sea of Kawakawa and Patchouli. To be honest I would agree that we would have more chance at achieving world peace by doing this than shooting eachother….That is a whole other blog though.An I’m fairly confident that Rosehip and hugs won’t fix this. My point is…in this town……medicating your child for ADHD is a  disgrace and a crime worse than eating McDonalds. Your child doesn’t need medication!! Your child needs more attention!!!! Well tell that to his brothers who are already fighting over the scraps of their solo mothers exhausted love and time that Tahi has not yet already consumed in his frenzy of just being.

I have heard  horror stories about medication. “They were like a Zombie” ” It just wasn’t him any  more. He was gone” ” You can’t medicate him for just being him! Why don’t you medicate yourself? See how YOU like it?!!” ” He just needs more time with YOU!!”   I am finding it really hard to glean some good information about it all. The pro websites are really pro. The Con websites are really anti. Both parties have great arguments. It’s confusing. I so want the best for my boy. I want for him to make good friendships instead of being the kid that gets avoided unless the other cool kids aren’t at school that day. To not get growled at by his peers for always disrupting the class. To not be a thorn in the side of his teachers.To have a fighting chance at doing well in school and seeing it through.He is SUPER intelligent. Both me and his Father  could be doing a lot better in life than we are, if we had made different choices. God if I’d only listened to the adults that used to tell me to “Say no to drugs and STAY IN SCHOOL!

Over the years I have heard a lot of strong opinions on this controversial topic. They all seem to be people who know someone who knows someone. I don’t want to hear from them. I don’t want opinions from people who have no REAL  day-to-day experience with ADHD.I want to hear from people who have been diagnosed with it. Or people who have had to make choices for someone in their care with it. I want first hand experiences. I  want the to hear the wisdom of hindsight. I want to do the right thing for my boy. So do tell me…….. How was it for YOU.? Please share this with people who may give me some insight. I need to have as much real information as I can so I can make an informed decision for one of the greatest loves in my life.


17 thoughts on “ADHD

  1. Naw Tan-I nanny a boy who is exactly the same. His parents are in the same heartbreaking dilemma you are in. I personally can only say this to you: YOY are his carer, his protector, his mentor YOU make the decision I say based on what YOY as his mother feels. If you feel medicating is the way to go, do it, don’t apologise for doing what you believe is right for YOUR child. Until they walk a day in your shoes they do NOT understand. 2 days a week I care for a boy who is just like everything you have described…….I feel for him deeply & I’m as calm and as caring as I can be. I know he would like more, as would his parents-but currently his behavior makes it hard. Email me if you ever want to bounce ideas or talk (even just vent god knows we all need it!).

  2. Hello, I’m going to my experience with my 6 year old. He has ADHD and is so full of energy, he was removed from music and swimming lessons. After he was diagnosed we didn’t think too long about medication, as his older brother has Tourette’s and ADHD. He has now been on medication for 6 months. It was the best decision ever!! (For us). He is a top student now, he can play with peers without driving them crazy, he has gained so much self-confidence. We did experience some sleep difficulties in the beginning and a decrease in appetite but that has all corrected itself. It’s not an easy decision to make initially but you can also try medication on trial basis to see if it works for your family. Good luck with everything. ADHD isn’t always easy but it’s always interesting! 🙂

    • That is great!! My heart does break for Tahi in regards to his social life. He has always struggled to make solid friendships due to his intensity. Did the sleep problems and appetite issues just sort themselves out or did you adjust the dosage a bit?How does your boy feel when he is on the medication? DOes he talk about it with you? Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

      • The sleep required a bit of melatonin in small dosages for awhile. The appetite just sorted itself out. He did lose a couple of pounds which he is putting back on now. He thanks me for the medication and asks for his pill in the morning. His exact words, “I like not having to be silly all the time.” It really does feel like a bit of a miracle solution for us, so far.

  3. Hey Lillitoots…sorry to hear this. I haven’t had to deal with the diagnosis part…and you might start yelling at the computer when you read this because I may answering you like be one of the people that you mentioned above!!! But…I did notice that B’s behavior was mostly linked to diet. I know..It’s not easy at the best of times to deal with feeding kids- and in your case 3 of them!! Yet, if you can, and somehow adhere to it, – cutting out wheat, dairy, processed food and white sugar- really changed things in my world. At first I thought, “wtf are we going to eat?” and yes, It’s a lot of work….but in the end it was worth it and it paid off. There’s way too much crap in food that effects kids bodies (GMO’s, high sugar content, nitrates (in processed meats), synthetic colouring etc..) it’s like drugs in their little bodies and not the sedating-kind that would be prescribed for ADHD.
    On another note, the other thing that helped was cutting down tv time and the kinds of shows that are watched (less violence and flicking ads)….also hard for a single mom (i know)! Getting through the day to day is tough and being a single mom is triple that, and then some, even on the best days. Hang in there:) This too shall pass. I really hope you’re getting the support and love you need to help you through. Love to you all…I’m also here if you ever need someone to lend an ear..xo

    • Yeah..I would agree that there is alot of of rubbish in foods. When Tahi was about 3 we cut out sugar for a month or so. It did show results. Not a great deal. But it was telling. I do try and keep food on the very mild end of processed as possible. Lunch box’s full of carrots, cheese , hoomade youghurt, home baking etc. I couldn’t imagine a dairy free diet!! I think kiwi’s are allergic to dairy free. We invented Dairy products 🙂 But certainly I am looking into diet and and ADHD. Will do all I can to help the wee fella. xx

  4. hey gorgeous…

    let’s meet up. I have an eight year old with the same diagnosis. And it was diet that changed our lives. Going from self harming, screaming, unable to sleep, stop, interact reasonably with others, she is now gregarious, busy, social, and able to live in her world. It is still different, but life is manageable again. And the same as Kath….no dairy, wheat, sugar or processed foods.

    There are easy ways round all of this that the whole family can enjoy.

    lots of love to you, it aint a easy ride!!

    • Yes. You would be right in it not being an easy ride.Lol. I was always one for adventure tho. Is there any ONE thing in the diet that you ahve cut out that has more effecct than the others? Or is it the collaboration of them all that has done it. How long did it take to see the effects. What happens if you fall off the diet wagon on occasion? I have tlaked diet with Tahi and he is very reluctant to miss out on Dairy. Lol. Little guuuy 🙂

  5. Hi there.. sounds like ur in GB..
    Well your Tahi is one real character, just that jump start in life makes/molds a more determined insular type soul..
    I’m a walking survivor of what is now known as ADHD/ODD… it was diagnosed rather late in the piece.. 2 years ago.. I’m now on my second Saturn return..
    Certainly when I got to understand my astrological makeup it helped me.. but that was much later after the damage had been done..
    I’m still dealing with this on a day to day basis
    Obviously I don’t want to share my personal stuff online.. but if you want to contact me for a more private communication email me

  6. Hi there,

    I have lived in this same place, and wonderful place though it is, and full of caring, helpful people with a lot of genuine knowledge, there is pressure to use natural methods (diet, exercise, alternative medicine) to resolve every problem under the sun. Although well-intentioned, I don’t believe this is always the best approach for every family, or for every health problem. In my experience though, these people hold their views very passionately and there is quite a lot of subtle – and not-so-subtle – emotional blackmail to conform. Particularly when it comes to what is best for children and PARTICULARLY when it comes to use of ‘western’ drugs from the big pharma companies (who, I agree, are not a force for good in this world!).

    I don’t have a child with ADHD, but while living there, I had a partner who suffered very badly from depression. He refused ever to consider medication to assist with this problem, preferring to try ‘less extreme’, non-pharma approaches (dietary restrictions, counselling, homeopathy, yoga, meditation, and so on). He didn’t have a lot of time for doctors opinions at the best of times, and was concerned about losing his personality, or feeling ‘ironed out’ or dopey on meds. Fair enough – each person has to find their own way, and I definitely don’t want to poo-poo alternative methods, as I think they have a valuable place (especially to address more subtle causes of mental illness) and should be everyone’s first port of call.

    However – they didn’t work for him. If anything, the depression got worse, and in my opinion his determination to control it through ‘denial’ (of certain foods) and ‘discipline’ (exercise etc.) actually contributed to this. Going without common foods like sugar, dairy and wheat is difficult (especially for a child I imagine, though it is easier in the bay than many places), and when it has been imposed on a whole household rather than chosen, it can create an unhealthy dynamic characterised by resentment, fixation and control.

    I don’t know for sure that medication would have helped my partner, but his doctor certainly thought so, and described the relief from symptoms that he could expect – symptoms we’d thought we just had to live with. I figured anything was worth a try by the end, but supported by the well-meaning advice of a lot of other people (‘just do more yoga’…‘stop eating anything from the deadly nightshade family’…‘say affirmations morning and night’…‘detox with colloidal silver’) he would never even consider it. In the end, my partner and I split up, because after more than a decade of riding this rollercoaster with him and being the stable ‘rock’ in the relationship my own mental health was starting to suffer.

    As it happens, I ended up meeting someone else who suffers from depression – so bad he was hospitalised at one stage, and suicidal (I don’t know what this says about me – I’m attracted to melancholy men, I guess!). But this person, having exhausted all other options, decided to try treating their depression using medication — despite some very unhelpful judging and ‘tut-tutting’ from others, similar to what you have described.

    The difference for this man on medication is incredible. For several years now, he takes his pills every morning, and is healthy, stable, emotionally functional and a joy to be around. He is able to hold down a job and nurture a relationship, socialise, exercise, be a wonderful father to our kids, and cope with all sorts of difficult situations that would have been a problem before. He still has exactly the same personality, and still has ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ like anyone. He describes the sensation of being on medication as an undetectable ‘mental safety net’, the comfort of knowing – and experiencing – that he just can’t seem to drop below a certain point, mentally. He gets tired more easily, but that’s about it. Yes, he may need to take these meds for the rest of his life, and they may have some bad effects on his body in the long run – but I think he’d agree that the normal, happy life he now enjoys is worth any physical price.

    I know this situation is different to yours, and I know medication isn’t a silver bullet. Some people suffer as badly from their medication as from the original problem. But if your little boy is as unhappy and wild now as you describe and the doctor suggests medication, I think you should feel perfectly fine about exploring this option – at least giving it a try and seeing how things change/improve – or don’t. As other posters have said, no-one else has to walk in your shoes, and you have other children who need your love and attention too. By all means experiment with his diet and try other natural therapies – I know these things can make a powerful difference. But if that’s not working, feel empowered to make whatever decision works for your son and your family, and you don’t have to justify it to anyone else.

    We are lucky to live in a time when human understanding of the chemical makeup of the mind enables us to treat some behavioural symptoms by working at a chemical level. Meds have a bad rap (mainly due to sloppy or trigger-happy prescribing by doctors who fail to see or be interested in treating the holistic person). But for some people, they are no less than a lifeline to love and sanity. Good luck.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story. It has resonated totally with me. It is a big decision and whatever way we go…it does not have to be forever.
      Still exploring and learning and researching.
      Thank you 🙂

  7. You can only try. My daughter did not suit the meds, but I have seen others who it worked well. The web site total transformation is worth looking at for how to manage behaviour. It’s good for parenting advice for ADHD and other types of problems that regular parenting books just don’t get.
    Good luck, forgot about the patiochili community, it’s your family.

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