Regarding kids and ADHD and therapy and meds, an update.
The therapist thing is really interesting — she’s pretty invested in Anand’s privacy, so we don’t get to hear a lot about it, but after a summer of weekly sessions mostly building rapport, we did a quick check-in this week; she says he’s starting to really open up to her, and with school anxiety oncoming like a freight train, I’m feeling relieved that he has someone else to talk to.
Anand’s been struggling a lot with school — mostly with it seeming boring. That gets strongly alleviated when he has a friend to look forward to seeing, but he had friend drama for a while last year, and was friendless for a bit, and that was terrible. It feels ridiculous that I want to actually go out and MAKE FRIENDS for my child, but he’s so awesome, and other kids might not see it at first, and gah.
I am feeling some mom guilt that I was diagnosed with cancer just when he was starting kindergarten, and so I was in treatment and completely checked out of any PTO, etc. activities for the first two years of his school. No arranging of playdates, etc. He had a rocky start with school, and I was only sort of able to address it then. And then when I came back, we were dealing with the ADHD diagnosis and the sensory issues, and him already being seen as the weird kid, and sometimes I feel like we’ve just been in catch-up mode ever since.
Kevin says we should just wait until the semester starts, and see if he clicks with anyone in his class; Anand’s also trying both soccer (because Kavi does it and he likes running around) and an improv class at Ovation (because he loves to be funny and the center of attention), so maybe he’ll find a kindred spirit at one of those. We keep meaning to take him to the Gaming Goat for one of their Pokemon / Magic gaming sessions; hopefully in the next few weeks.
I wish there was some kind of video game club locally, because Anand’s favorite thing really is that, but a lot of the parents around here are pretty anti-screen (which I totally see the value of, so not knocking them for that), so I don’t think there’s anything like that. I guess I should check if Code Play Learn has anything like it. But Anand could use a meet-up of some kind for geeky / gifted kids, and I don’t know of anything in that vein. Sigh.
The therapist is also strongly reinforcing the sense we had that school ought to be trying harder to meet Anand’s needs on the gifted front; it’s nice to hear that from a professional, without feeling like we’re just the over-enthusiastic parents. We’re going to hook her up with the IEP team at the school, and hopefully they’ll work well together for better results for him.
We’re not sure if we’ll continue with Vyvanse — Anand says it makes him not feel like himself, and he’d prefer not to take it. We could try another med, or try to go without — he didn’t take it at all over the summer.
It’s sort of funny — Anand says one problem is that Vyvanse makes him so focused that he can’t zone out when the teacher is boring, that he has to pay attention, which is much less fun.
That’s not a result I would have thought of, but of course, when I take Vyvanse myself, it’s because I want to work on things that I find inherently interesting, and focus on those. If I were trapped in a situation where I had to listen to someone else drone on for hours, then yes, being able to zone out would be very valuable to me!
On my own to-do list, signing myself up for therapy again; I think I could use someone who can help me catch myself when I’m in non-productive mental patterns, esp. around work and the feeling that I need to write all the books / save the world, in the next five years or sooner. (You may have noticed the slight overcommitting we’ve had around here recently.)
Cancer kind of did a number on my psyche, in ways that weren’t obvious to me at first, but which are becoming clear. Cancer + standard mid-life reassessing = massive pressures that need to be gently released. Today’s beach time should help with that, but talking to a professional probably wouldn’t hurt. 🙂