I had a meeting today, again today. I get to have these meetings A LOT. They consist of me and Max and one or more of his teachers. Sometimes they throw in a principal to make things exciting. We gather for one purpose: The Max is too rambunctious.
Before I go into a rant, let me paint you a picture of what the scene was in the “after school naughty kid club” room.
There’s me, and Max’s regular teacher. Also present, the lady who runs the disciplinary room (the place kids go when they need a “time out” more or less). I am facing the teachers at a little table with little chairs. Behind them (in my view) is Max. Max has his back to me and is working on a series of worksheets. These worksheets are meant to keep him busy while the adults talk about him. He cannot hear us, as he is in a glass room. He finished the worksheets in record speed, and then is left sitting there not knowing what to do. So, as I am in a deep discussion about Max and his impending future, he stands up at the desk, lifts his pencil high in the air and proceeds to conduct a make believe orchestra in the most beautiful symphony I have ever heard. And the teachers were oblivious to the scene. They should envy me.
I very much appreciate the fact that his teachers are concerned and wanting to curb his behavior. I do as well, and far greater than they do for sure, they get him for nine months while I am privileged to be allowed near him for the rest of my life.
Today, however, the crap came showering down. I was informed that there would be a meeting to discuss new methods in which we could explore to better Max and provide him an alternative to his impulsive behavior. I was actually stoked. But, I did not know that this would be a meeting where I would LITERALLY be pressured verbally for 45 minutes to start Max on drugs.
Now, I will stand firm in that I do not think that drugs meant to alter behavior are, in general, a terrible thing. However, I am quite mousy when it comes to being in a situation where I could raise my voice and give opinions. I sat down with a few sheets of paper presented to me. These papers were :ADHD diagnoses forms. There were about 15 behaviors written down and the teachers Max has were asked to circle the ones he displayed. One teacher circled every damn one. The other circled most. Viola! He was therefore diagnosed.
The “specialist” then told me that he had ADHD and that it was a chemical imbalance in his brain that could ONLY be treated with prescription drugs. I asked her if she would tell me a medical test that could be administered where his chemicals could be checked. Being as they are out of whack, I figured this could be proven to me with actual medical tests. She then told me that was not possible, there were no tests that would be able to do this.
So, The only way to determine a child has a chemical imbalance, is to give a questionnaire to his teachers? Ugh, this argument is tired and boring. So many of us remain steadfast that the school system is giving up on kids and blah blah blah. I know what happens if you give kids a drug for this, they settle down to a certain degree. The child then has to deal with the side effects that exsist from the drug. Then, they have to figure out when to ween themselves off of it or if they are stuck on it for life.
I don’t necessarily blame the school for this. It aint as though Max is a perfect angel at home and only turns on the wild at school. I just wish, one time, there was a teacher who would approach the situation with an open mind and realize that there drugs are not going into my child and maybe, I dunno, offer an alternative. There is never an alternative. It’s drugs or they don’t know what to do.
SO, once again, I researched a tiny bit about drugs given to kids for ADHD. The side effects were gross. Dry mouth, Nausea, etc. etc. etc. Then I came across this:
In 2006, an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) review found 25 reports of sudden death in both children and adults after taking stimulant ADHD drugs (19 of those deaths in children). The FDA also reported 54 instances of other very serious cardiovascular problems that occurred in patients taking ADHD drugs including:
* Heart attacks
All of the ADHD Drugs have now been linked to psychiatric side effects including:
* Suicidal thoughts
* Aggression Violent behavior
* Psychotic behavior
SO, The FDA has determined that The Max might die if he takes them.
I think the next time he starts a school I will just greet the teacher with this: Max has the magical ADHD. I am more than willing to accept that he will be punished for talking too much every day until the day he graduates. But please just don’t suggest drugs. If he starts taking those, there’s a chance he might not be alive to talk at all. His non-stop chatter is somewhat comforting.