Sophie finished kindergarten in May in good standing. Her reading level was early first grade level, and her math was progressing. It’s not her fave. Her handwriting continues to be a struggle for her, in particular because of her low muscle tone. All in all, her abilities seem to be what they should, but getting the child to focus, oh boy!
Near the close of the school year, we met to review her IEP, to make updates and to prepare for first grade. Throughout the meeting, over and over again her focus kept coming up as a problem. She’s a smart girl and she behaves well, but she was very busy and unfocused in the classroom. Her teacher feared that the level of independence required for completing work in first grade would cause many challenges for her.
So this summer we decided we would give ADHD medicine a try. I know people are all over the map on whether or not to medicate children for ADHD. After the past week, I understand that struggle. It is hard watching your child’s emotions swing wildly because of a substance you put in their body. It is hard weathering the sleepless nights with your child fighting insomnia. It is hard forcing your child to eat because they’re appetite-less.
Today was day 5, and boy did we turn a corner.
Sophie and I have been doing school worksheets together pretty much every day this summer in order to prevent the summer slide. When kids take an extended break from schoolwork, their abilities tend to slide backwards. So I knew if we were to see any improvements from medication, they would be easy for me to spot. Sophie’s unmedicated limit for worksheets was about 1 to 1.5 worksheets. This week even on the difficult days, we stretched that to two or three sheets.
Today blew my socks off. Check it out!
I have never seen Sophie color inside the lines for any length of time. While she might start a coloring page and begin as if she were going to color inside the lines, she would quickly move into scribbling, and then abandon the page altogether within a couple of minutes. Today saw at least 45 minutes of solid coloring. Inside the lines. You probably think I’m crazy to be as excited as I am about this. But for Sophie it is huge. See that’s the thing about ADHD, it masks a child’s true abilities. All along Sophie has had the ability to color inside the lines, but she has lacked the focus to do so. Time will tell if she can overcome the side effects enough that the good of the medication outweighs the bad. It was scary taking this plunge, but I’m glad we did if there’s even a chance that it can help Sophie be more successful!