Yesterday's doctor appointment went rather flawlessly. After the long evaluation process, the peditrician determined the underlying cause of Grace's academic issues is indeed in her inability to focus. Even though she is not hyperactive, the diagnosis of attention deficit disorder was given.
There is such a stigma around ADD and the use of medication. This has caused many mixed feelings for me on the whole issue. I would prefer not to medicate. But that is kind of like a diabetic saying they'd prefer not to take insulin injections. Just because that's my preference doesn't mean it is the answer.
Grace will be starting a low dose of Concerta. It worries me a little to give a child a stimulant drug. Yet, it's effects on her would not be the same as giving a stimulant drug to someone without ADD.
Her doctor asked us about how caffiene affects her. And, honestly, it doesn't. Well atleast not in the way caffiene affects me or most other people. If I drink a coke within five hours of going to bed there is no way I will be able to sleep. She almost has the opposite affect. Most times the caffiene actually makes her sleep better. It also helps her focus better.
The peditrician called this the "poor mans" ADD test.
I pick up her prescription today. She will start it tomorrow morning. It takes seven to ten days to take full effect, but we could see improvement sooner.
Of course, as with any medication, there are side effects. Loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, mood swings, headaches and stomachaches are all signs to watch for.
She goes back in a month for a medicine check. Then she will go every six months.
We have great medical support which makes me feel a little more comfortable about giving my child a controlled substance.
Although this is in noway the end of the road, it does feel good to have a plan.