Sunday, November 25, 2012

An Update Is Due

I got an email from a mother who offered some wonderful advice. Only then did I realize that it had been a while I'd posted.

First ... Happy late Thankgiving.

Second ... I've given things the required time to run their course and have definitely seen results. In regards to her teachers not seeing a difference in her ... That's all in the past. Maybe it was too early on in the school year for her new teacher to learn her. Either way it goes, I sent my daughter to school for 2 days without her Focalin and her teacher definitely saw a difference, lol. During carpool, her teacher came to the car to put her in (which she never does because my daughter puts herself in), and told me that she did ok in the morning but in the afternoon, she was very wiggly and inattentive. She wasn't disruptive or anything bad, but she was just very fidgety.

Her appetite is ok. About the same as it has been. The mom I spoke to recently told me to try some Ensure so I purchased some earlier today. I think I want to try that in the mornings because she's not fond of breakfast. Because of that, I worry more about her not eating enough. However, with the holiday that just passed, my child pigged out in a way I'd never seen before.

Third ... Her frustration level is generally the same. When she hasn't had the Focalin, she is super irritable but she 'turns it off' fairly quickly.

Overall, I'm really happy with how things are going right now. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please let me know. I'm happy to hear anything from anyone.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Skipping Days

It's been a while since I've posted but I have had nothing to report. Her teachers don't notice a thing when I send her to school without the Focalin in her system so ... What to do? I really don't know how to better gauge it. What else is there to say? I've skipped quite a few days, all accidentally, and sent the email just in case she seemed to act out but they didn't notice a thing! That could be bad but I've seen great things at home ... Or maybe she's just so into the routine of school that she's not fussing and getting things done without the Focalin? I just ... I don't know. I really don't know.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

3rd Grade - Week 4: I'm Having Issues

The issues I'm having are not with my daughter. It's with her teacher. She's very sweet but a little ... What's the word? Scatterbrained? Maybe ... Let's use that for lack of a better word.

I really don't think she understands my concern. I don't think she understands the amount of concern. I think shes operating this ship as if my child doesn't need certain things.

Like I said ... She's very sweet and wants to help but I don't think she knows how.

In the beginning of the year, we sat down and had a talk. It was myself, my daughters teacher (we will call her Mrs. A), my daughters reading coach and go-to-for-everything-not-finished (we will call her Mrs. B) and the school counselor (Mrs. C). I informed them of her doctor recommended needs (Mrs. B and Mrs. C were already familiar because they worked with her last year) and Mrs. A said she would accommodate among other great things. She gave me a great talk about how 'kiddos with dyslexia' need extra time and blah blah blah and how she's fine with all that stuff.

GREAT ... No need to worry!

Now that we're a month into school I am more frustrated now than I have ever been in my life. Why? Because her teacher is scatterbrained.

Is your child (no matter if they have ADHD or Dyslexia) a little forgetful? Mine is EXTREMELY forgetful and I have had to almost beg Mrs. A at least once or twice a week to pack her books for her. I thought it was a small thing to ask because if my daughter does not pack all of her books, she will forget something vital she needs for homework to be completed that night, then I'm sending the teacher and email that she forgot her workbook and therefore the work isn't done.

I say again ... I have repeatedly asked this woman to pack her books for her, or at least have her pack everything! Now it seems like every single day, I am getting emails from her teacher about missing homework. I got 4 today and I am so frustrated I could scream. I am in no way upset with my daughter, that's something she can't help. She's that way at home and nothing will change that. But I am begging this woman, on a regular basis, to at least check and see what she packed and it's not happening.

So this is what I've done. The hardback books they use, go back to school every day for class lessons ... That's fine ... The workbooks are the big things she continues to forget at school so I have gone the route of purchasing all of her books on Thankfully, they're each under $10 used or like new. The only one that costs a good amount is her math workbook but I have made copies at home, lol.

Am I just reading too much into this? When my daughter doesn't have work done, then she's sent to Mrs. B to do it with her but if Mrs. B isn't available ... Then she has double or triple the work load for homework that night. It's so frustrating.

AND THEN TO TOP IT OFF ... I ask Mrs. B if the Focalin has changed her any and she tells me she sees no change in her behavior.
Mrs. A ... The scatterbrained teacher ... Still hasn't answered my question. *smacks forehead* I've asked twice.

You guys ... I'm trying not to lose my mind. And my little girl HATES going to school with out her homework finished. Any suggestions? Am I alone in feeling this way or am I just a nervous nutjob?

Friday, August 24, 2012

3rd Grade - Week 1

What a wonderful first week of school! We're getting up about 6:15am. Once she's dressed, she's given her Focalin, then is sitting down to have breakfast. After she's eaten, she gets her multivitamins. After breakfast, her hygiene is taken care of and school things taken to the car, then we're off.

Reports from her teacher and reading coach have been great. Her teacher reports that she's a hard worker, is following the rules, frequently raises her hand for help as she doesn't want to get stuck and feels confident when turning in assignments.

Now ... Her reading coach is the same she had last year and I haven't yet told her my daughter is taking Focalin. I want her to get another week before I ask if their is a difference between last year and this year.

As for her behavior ... Nothing to report. Although I will definitely be asking her teacher when she seems more fidgity. I would like to know what time her Focalin begins to wear off. Why? Because by the time I pick her up from school, that Focalin is gone and she's back to her jumpy self. Good and bad. Good because my usual child is in there, bad because she has homework in the afternoon. Homework is a struggle, especially with the load she's carrying for 3rd grade. Thankfully, she does get a lot done in class but she is very forgetful and leaves books at school that she needs for homework at night. So towards the end of the week, like yesterday, she had a ton of work that her teacher allowed her to make up so she could get all of her points. Their was just SO much. 3 days of math, spelling test on Friday to study for (and she continued to forget her spelling book so I only got the words on Thursday), Religion test also on Friday, Science work ... She had to do all of this in one day because she continued to forget her books. I've asked her teacher to pack her backpack or double check it before she's sent to carpool every day. I really hate to have to ask her to do it but their really is no other way.

Anyway ... The homework takes quite a while to get through. Have you ever watched a child with ADHD and Dyslexia do something as simple as copy short sentences from a book? It's ... Their isn't a word. She's trying so hard but she's mixing up letters and losing her place a lot so it ends up taking a lot longer than it would another child. Still, she got through it and I'm so proud of her. What a great first day. She got a 100 on her spelling test, a 100 on her religion test (they'd been working on it all week at school) and a 90 on her sentences for English. So proud of her.

What's my one worry? Math! That's a whole nother ballgame!

As far as eating goes ... When I pack her a lunch, I know how much she's eating ... Half of her sandwich, a few grapes and drinks all of her juice. But I do think a lot of that is due to the fact that they immediately go to recess after eating so they're all trying to get out to play. As soon as she gets in the car after school, she's in her lunchbox eating the rest of her grapes, the rest of her sandwich, and still wanting her after school snack. Breakfast is kept simple in the mornings. She's never been too much a breakfast kid during the school year. She likes 2 pieces of toast OR a small bowl of oatmeal OR a bowl of cereal. All she's had so far and all she's eaten entirely so far.

So far so good. Dinner is even a breeze.

I won't be giving her the Focalin on Saturday and Sunday but will begin again on Monday.

Whenever your child starts school, let me know how he or she does. I'd love to read about it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What's Been Going On?

... A whole bunch of nothing! Lol. I haven't given my daughter any Focalin for quite a while. I like how it's been working on her so I'm starting it back up on Friday since she begins school on Monday. I will begin posting again after that day so I have some info for you from her teachers and tutors etc.

I want to say thanks to the parents who have reached out. I've been corresponding with 2 moms who were just trying to get someones perspective on how it's worked for them. It really does help when you can talk with someone on a regular basis, even if it's just through email, about what might happen, how to deal with it or just ask questions.

So, if anyone else out there is reading this and wants to give me some advice or even ask for some, shoot me an email and let's open up a discussion. I'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Day 19

When my daughters doctor told me that her lack of appetite was a side effect, that was no joke. Her appetite is consistent but soooooo lacking. My child is pretty stocky. I call her 'solid.' I'd been buying her jeans, shorts and dresses in size 10 despite she just turned 9. But I began to notice that her shorts and jeans in the size 10 were too big now. I do, however, buy the bottoms that have those adjustable waist bands and they'd been adjusted when I first bought them, but I've had to pull them tighter as she started to complain about them falling.

I decided trying out the Focalin was done and it would work for the school year so I held off on giving her the Focalin for a few days. Oh ... My ... God ... Immediately, she went back to her old self. Eating everything, bouncing around like crazy and all of the above. Just as if she was never on it before. But then I find myself wondering how in the world I ever got along without the Focalin in the first place because the amount hyper-activeness changed so much! Just 2 days ago and began giving her the Focalin again so we could get back our reading and phonics work that she so desperately needs.

Sidebar: Her doctor suggested I buy the earobics step 1 because of her lack of phonological awareness. I must say it has helped SO MUCH. When we watch television and words pop up quickly on the screen, she can actually catch them and read them out without a problem. So happy with this! I will say its tedious and so boring but is so worth it.

Like I was saying, we're back on the Focalin and she's calmed down just the right amount. School starts on the 20th and I anticipate this will be a wonderful year. More updates will come, of course, as school swings into session.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Day 8

So we've made it through a week successfully. The only issue is her appetite, which I was warned about. It hasn't dwindled as much as some parents' said their children's appetites had so I'm grateful. She consistently eats oatmeal, scrambled eggs, sandwiches, lots of fruit, toast and other kiddie favorites like french fries and pizza. Anything else is a little bit of a fight and I have to make her eat a few bites more.

I do notice when she 'comes down' from the medicine. It's in the evening sometimes after about 6 or 7, which is great, which means it will last the school day successfully. The 'come down' isn't a big switch like a button flipped but it's a gradual slide back to her usual happy jumping self.

On top of this going on, she's turning 9 in just a few days and is going through her very first stage a puberty, getting those dreaded 'mosquito bites' aka small breasts. They're very small and nothing to be alarmed over but it is noticeable when she wears thin tank tops or thin tshirts of light colors.

Anyhow. I asked my sister and brother in law if they'd noticed anything. We were on vacation for a few days but I didn't think a difference would be notice but they saw something. They both agreed that even though she was still herself, she wasn't as spacey as usual. That gave me a little hope. She's also been receiving compliments from family members who have no idea she is on medication, that she's a lot easier to handle in the day time.

Now on day 8, she woke up, had her breakfast and started playing. Somewhere around 2, I realized she was jumping around, happy as usual, but just all over the place ... I forgot to give her the pill. I slapped my own forehead and gave her the pill. About an hour later, she'd calmed down a bit.

It's a 5mg XR dosage so I don't expect any HUGE difference but the difference I've seen so far is fairly decent. She's not a zombie, still very much herself, but has a bit more focus and has slowed down enough to pay attention. YAY! The real test, of course, will be when school begins August 20th. I'll keep her on the prescription and then consult with her teachers during the school year and keep you updated.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Day 5

Monday July 16th. Continental breakfast at the hotel is horrible. Half a bowl of stale cereal but had 3 pieces of toast and a small glass of orange juice. That was 6am. Later that morning she ate quite a bit of hashbrown and a half a pancake.Focalin given at 11:30. Had popcorn shrimp at 5 but I had to make her eat. She ate about 6 and said she was full but I had her eat 6 more and a few fries. Was hungry around 10 after playing on the beach for a few hours and ate 2 slices of pepperoni pizza and drank a half bottle of water.

Day 4

Sunday July 15. Focalin was given around 1pm and that was after eating half of a burger 30 minutes earlier. At dinner, though, she only ate half of a crab cake and a few sips of her lemonade at 7pm. She said she was hungry but yet that's all she wanted. She said she was full.

Day 3

Saturday July 14th. We're on vacation and her excitement level is high. Ate her usual amount of food at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Bedtime at 11.

Day 2

Friday ... (will come)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Day 1

Day 1 of my 8 (almost 9) year old's Focalin XR med journey.

Nothing to report on day 1. Her appetite remains steady and their is no change in behavior.

If you're curious on the special permissions her doctor recommended, here are a few:
1. Never punish her by having her miss recess.
2. Wear noise cancelling headphones.
3. Sit closer to the board and/or teacher in class.
4. Allow her a series of breaks throughout the day.