Saturday, July 19, 2008

Somebody talk to me about ADHD?

I've probably mentioned that Jabber seems to be due for a meds change. If I haven't then I should have. We see his pediatrician for this instead of some other sort of specialist and the pedi says that the things that he is doing that I am pointing out are more likely 'normal' 12 yr old boy things.

Yeah, yeah... whatever.

I spend more waking hours with Jabber than any other human being on the planet. WhoTF would know when things change with him? We spent YEARS saying "Oh no! Jabber can't be ADHD! He's just seeking attention." And who wouldn't have some issues with that given some of the wonderful factors of his childhood?

TWrecks left when he was a little over 1 year old. Left. She still lived in town, but she really stopped participating in her children's lives for at least the next 4 years. I don't count a phone call for 5 minutes 2-3 times a week participating. I don't call stopping by to visit for twenty minutes once a month participating. The one thing that is different between him and Mystery is that he didn't know what he was missing, because he was that much younger.

"Motor driven" is a description often used. A lot of boys are! Show me one that's not! I remember the HUGE differences with the motor differences between Charming and Glory and it's just a guy thing, I swear! This is absolutely more than that.

Very often Daddy thinks I choose too many battles. That there are a lot of things that I could 'let go' and not be such a pill about. Yes, some of them are dumber than others, like I hate listening to people chew. I don't care what they're chewing, I don't really need to hear it from across the room or from sitting three feet from them.

Now the pedi seems to probably have it in his head that I'm the one that's nuts and too damn picky. Before I start this list let me tell you that I KNOW that a lot of these things on this list are typical for a twelve year old boy!

I KNOW, I KNOW! My point here is that when Jabber's meds are a their best he makes a f*ing effort to chill out. Most of these things don't seem to require an effort and it's not like the kiss-ass kid comes out in him either. Jabber is a lover, he loves deeply and with all of his heart. He really wants to make people he loves happy and for them to be happy with him. He has a LOT of years of people being pissed off at him for what now appears to have been completely beyond his control. Here is a list of some of the things that tip me off that a meds adjustment will be needed:
  • Must touch something all the time - walls, doorways, railings, and anything that can be juggled/thrown/squished and is within a foot of him when sitting 'still'
  • He must have his fingers in his mouth or on his face if there's nothing nearby to grab.
  • He replies to someone speaking to him with "Huh?" 8 out of 10 times, and then is also 8 out of 10 times able to repeat exactly what was said because he really did hear it. He just wasn't ready to hear it.
  • Only making efforts on things he wants to otherwise it goes flying over his head. Note that most of the time he will reply that he heard, understood and will do what you asked, but when it gets right down to it he simply moves on to what he had in line in his head. (Yes, this is under the I KNOW stuff!)
  • When you tell him that he said he'd do something and he didn't do it he says sorry. It's an empty apology and basically meaningless because the effort to think about preventing something similar in the future is not there. When you point out the meaninglessness of the apology he stops apologizing and gets indignant, as in "How dare you call me on this sh*t?"
  • Interrupts. Like Daisy does for pete's sake! She's three!
  • Walks away while a conversation is still going on. Pretty much because he stopped listening. His head has moved on and if you try to bring him back it takes awhile to truly get his attention.
  • Tell him to stop something and he always has to do it one more time. Then stop.
  • Can't stand silence. Has to keep a conversation going and usually brings up something that he's already discussed within the last 3 hours at least 2 more times.
  • Doesn't speak in complete sentences. I'm going to jump off this list and go back to paragraphs now because this one is a doozy!
I'm not talking about being lazy and saying ain't instead of isn't (of course he does that!), I'm talking about abbreviating the hell out of sentences so you have no clue what he's talking about! In his head it seems that he starts talking, thinks ahead of what he's saying out loud and plans himself into what he's saying next. Then because he knows what he's talking about in his head he begins to assume things - that you already know the subject, the location or something that is part of the 'meat' of the thought.

When he enters the room I hear, "Mimi, can I do that?"

Do What?! Most of the time it's something that is on tv, but it could be the radio, the computer, or just something in his head that he thought of and he assumes that we know what's going on inside his head?! Help me!!!

Oh yeah, calling out the name of the person that he's speaking to EVERY damn time he is speaking to them. Sometimes you just talk to people, right? Do you say their name first every time? Well, because he talks so much Daddy and I spend a lot of time here hoping that he might be talking to someone else and if we're not the name at the beginning we're very often relieved that we get a break this time. We've learned to scan the room because we are trying to teach him not to say the name all the time thought. It's annoying to have someone calling out to you ALL the time, but also for me having him do it means that Daisy hears and it's not f*ing funny that she thinks she can call me by my first name. My name is Mommy to her!

Do I have to say it again? I KNOW that a lot of this stuff is normal kid/boy stuff, but when he's on his game these things are not a constant issue, all day long. I wish we could go back and have him diagnosed at an earlier age so he didn't have so many years of people dodging him because he was just 'too much to take'. We're in the middle of summer vacation right now. The 'dead zone'. The flurry of activity at the beginning and end are just that, either over with already or waiting to happen.

So the thing that I started to say here today is that he needs a meds change. It's not me just being picky and a nag, I just get the accelerated version of everything because I get it all the time, over and over again!

I'm not nuts. He has friends that come over and hang out. Some from school and some from the neighborhood. They come here. His best friend's mother told me last summer that she needed to have more energy to have Jabber come over and hang out with her kiddo, and she went on with a list of things that I already know about Jabber! He doesn't get invites to go hang out somewhere else because he's too much for anyone else. This year I am FINALLY getting a little bit of a break because Mystery has been spending so much time at TWrecks and Daddy said that she can't go if he can't, so she has to be willing to 'watch him' there or she'd have to put up with me here! Hah!

We've been using Con.certa, recently adding Ten.ex to it, but we just stepped down this month on dosage of the T because an increase in that was producing no good effects and he's been complaining of headaches. Next month we'll decide if there's going to be a switch and I want it to be before he goes back to school and starts sucking in behavior there. I want it before he is all the way into football season and might not pay attention and get hurt. He's supposed to be a linebacker this year.

While looking for graphics for this post I found a site that I hadn't seen before. (How is that?!) They talk a lot about "Attend" and that it is an OTC thing. Anyone have experience with it? I'd love to hear it because if it takes awhile for weaning from the other stuff and then getting this to take effect then that's going to suck for a little bit, but I just want him to be well. Know what I mean?


Morocco said...

Evan, my stepson suffers from ADHD(and PTSD, ODD, BPD), too. I spend a lot of time reading literature on the subject. They have changed his medicine several times already, which leaves me wondering if they are ever going to find the right one. Informative post!

dragonmctt said...

I know you posted this a while ago, but I just recently came across your blog. SS1 is 15 now, but when he was about 8 he was diagnosed by the school as having a language processing impairment. Some of the issues you are talking about could be related to that. Has he ever been assessed by the school for language? It is similar to a learning disability (and depending on how your school does it, he may qualify for additional help at school), but has less to do with academics than it does with how the brain processes the input and output of information.

The "huh" drives me nuts, too, but it is actually SS1's brain trying to catch up with what he just heard and make sense of it.

SS1 also says our names before at the beginning of every conversation, and sometimes even several times during, or my other two favorites - when I'm alone in the car with him (like who else would he be talking to?), or "Dragonmctt, can I go to my friend's, dragonmctt? Like I didn't know he was talking to me already at the beginning of the sentence!

The partial sentences and assuming what others are saying is also right up SS1's alley.

Does Jabber have difficulty recalling words? Like if he can't think of a word, does he "talk around" the word by taking about 45 minutes mid-story to describe what the word is and then he forgets what he was even talking about to begin with?

When you request something from him, does he act like he understands and then does something completely different?

Does he have problems following directions with more than one step involved? Like if you ask him to take his laundry out of the dryer, pick up his room and then brush his teeth, has he already forgotten the first things and just goes to brush his teeth?

If you ask him to do something and phrase it in a way that is in any way vague but the average bear would understand what you are talking about, does he ask you a million questions to make sure he knows what to do?

Do his friends sometimes have trouble getting him to understand what they are talking about too?

Does he pay more attention to the tone of your voice, rather than what you are saying?

Does he say things like "oh, I thought you meant..."

Does he ask you questions about the most mundane things, things that you can't possibly understand how he doesn't know already?

Just some things to think about. If any of those things sound familiar, you may want to make an appt with the speech/language pathologist at school or if they don't have one, the school psychologist to discuss. There are screening tests they can do to see if further testing is necessary.