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!