A Knucklehead Update

I haven’t spoken much about the knucklehead here of late, and I can’t really put a concrete reason down for that… I spose his age has something to do with it. If he were a cute little toddler or we were still doing homework and the school run and such I might have more to blog about as a mommy… But he’s a grown up and we hardly see him! He comes home from work- where he is doing REALLY well- and immediately dashes off to a friends’ house. Weekends he spends with his friends and once in a blue moon he spends time with biodad*. He hardly ever goes anywhere with myself and my Glugster at all, and if I would like him to attend a family “do” I have to tell him well in advance and remind him several times leading up to the day. He had no problem going with us somewhere if I ask him to, but he has his own plans more often than not.

I do believe that the “empty nest” syndrome people speak about- and which (about a year ago) I swore I would never battle with- starts long before one’s child actually leaves the home to live elsewhere.

We get on well, and he’s still my darling boy, but things have changed a LOT!

And what about his ADHD then? Well, he was last diagnosed with ADHD in mid-2003, which was also the last time we changed doctors. I say “last diagnosed” because he had several diagnoses before that, the first one back in about 1997 or so…

I don’t know how many of you- as parents to an ADHDer- have experienced this, but in all likelihood your child will be reassessed every time you change doctors. No doctor will accept another doctor’s diagnosis or treatment strategy as correct and simply go ahead with what was being done. Whilst this can be costly and dreadfully time consuming, it is actually a good thing.

One Tuesday morning a couple of weeks ago, we were back in a two hour diagnosis session with the knucklehead’s doctor.

Let me update you.

The parents who have attended my support group meetings may remember that my knucklehead wasn’t taking his ADHD meds. He was taking it on and off after I took him out of school, but his sleeping late and being home alone at the time meant that even when I reminded him he often didn’t take it. And then we’d have arguments about him not taking it and the implications thereof. And then he’d take it for a few days again, and then just tell me he’d been taking it even though I knew he hadn’t.

And then my Glugster arranged a job for him. Its full day, its physical labour, and he wears himself out good and proper- and healthily. He’s been working there for about 6 months, and he as disclosed his ADHD to his bosses as well. He’s actually quite happy to talk about it because he knows how it affects him- and this is a big part of what frustrates me when he doesn’t take his meds!

Anyhoodle, his distractibility and tendency not to complete given tasks was an occasional problem at work. A very occasional problem. But enough so that his boss spoke to the knucklehead- who then spoke to me- about going back onto his meds. At a much lower dose than he needed when he was at school though.

So I contacted his doctor and we made an appointment for him to go back and be reassessed as an adult.

The assessment is a lengthy process with a modified Conners rating chart being filled in by the knucklehead and myself, and a series of questions about his behaviour and history, but because his doctor already had most of this information after the years of treating him, we actually had it a little easier than most new patients. After the initial interview and reassessment he went back onto Ritalin for about 10 days to work out what Concerta dosage would work best for him. He had to take full responsibility for his meds because he had to take it to work with him and set reminders on his phone and everything! I was very impressed with how he handled it. He’s now back on Concerta which is just one tablet a day and he’s much happier that way. And he says his boss has noticed a difference too which is great because it makes him feel better about starting his treatment again.

He has grown and changed so much in the last year or so… The other day we went to pick him up after work and he came running towards the car and for a split second I almost didn’t recognise the young man coming towards me.

I love that he will still give me a hug and a kiss hello when he gets home from work. I love that he still laughs at my jokes. I love that he wants to spend time with his biological father.

He’s such a good natured easy going kid and I love that about him. I may not have many cute moments to blog about anymore, but I could not be prouder of my son and who he is becoming.

*this is not a derogatory term!

…come play on my roller coaster…

22 thoughts on “A Knucklehead Update

  1. I don’t know why but reading this has made me all weepy. You have done so well with him and he has matured in leaps and bounds. This post showed me that there is hope for my boy and that he will indeed be OK.
    Would love to hear about being reassessed as an ADHD adult. Hope that you will be able to share some of that when you are ready to do so.
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  2. It has been good to hear how the ADHDer can change and grow and act as they age. Mine is 8 and I often marvel at how different he is at this stage in his life, than his brother was at 8 (who doesn’t have it). I worry about them both getting older, but especially him. He requires the extra set of eyes on him, and extra “mommying” his brother didn’t …. I swear my “empty nest” anxietys have already begun plaguing me and they’re nowhere near as old as your knucklehead! *sigh*

  3. There you are!

    I remember the last time I read a post about your boy, and yes from the way you just described him, he has changed and grown up so much. You must be so proud of him. It’s not easy for ADHDers and their families but he seems to be doing well. Glugs did well with the job xx

  4. I can semi-relate to this post… My brother is finally, finally at (almost 23) becoming the type of guy I can actually start to build a relationship with. I’m not saying he’s growing out of it, but I think he is also learning to live with, and accept it better.

    And he’s also in a line of work that he really enjoys, and his bosses really keep him out of mischief. They too know about his ADHD and have taken that into account. I think that makes a huge difference, because it helps the employers to think outside of the box when it comes to certain issues, and approach things in a different way – one that actually works!

    I’m super happy for your knucklehead, and for you! You are an awesome mamma, and he is an awesome kid to have! You’ve done great!
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  5. Wow it must be so great to see what a great man he is becoming and knowing that all your hard work and even the tears paid off. I think this will be great to see for those parents struggeling now – it shows there is a light at the end of the tunnel 🙂
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  6. I am really very happy that he has found some balance. He is accepting his challenges and forging some positive results from it. He must really be happy with what he is doing 🙂
    It gives me hope that J may find a similar footing once he starts doing something that suits him. Instead of trying to force a square peg in a round hole all the time…

    I am unbelievably happy for you both 🙂
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  7. What a touching and sweet post! Its awesome that you can relate to him in a whole different light now as an adult but you still love him as your baby. Isn’t that weird? I’m not sure how I’ll cope with that when my girls are big enough to leave my nest

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  8. Now that is a a Happily Ever After, if I ever saw one.


    You DESERVE to be proud of him!

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