By: Jessica DiRamio
Always known as the spirited child, my daughter, Juliana was unlike any other baby, toddler, preschooler, or school-aged child I had ever come in contact with. She was very intense; on a scale of 1-10, everything she did was a 10. She cried harder and longer than most and got mad a lot.
It took my own mother to finally convince me to have her evaluated. I was in complete denial, but I took my mom’s advice. The diagnosis: ADHD. The solution (for our family): medicine. While this may not be the course of action for some families, it was right for us and I am so glad we made that decision.
Mid-October marks 6 years since her diagnosis, but not 6 years of meds. This past June, after months of negotiating, we agreed to take Juliana off her medicine as a trial run. She convinced us, as a pre-teen, that she understood her symptoms and knew how to control them. We would use the summer as the test and determine by August if the meds should be restarted. Our summer was a success; Juliana did a great job controlling her impulses. Although I would frequently notice her tapping her foot, doing a few extra spins after the dancing was done and even talking a bit more than usual, I was confident that she was in control and so my husband and I agreed to take it month-by-month during school and allow her to remain off the medicine.
Month one went by with little to no issues. Progress reports were distributed in early October and her grades were great! Parent-teacher conferences also took place in early October and the only negatives: Juliana is very chatty. Juliana rushes through homework. Both are fixable things. Juliana is aware of these things and has added them to her list of “things I have to control”. We’re watching carefully.
Juliana thinks she is done with meds forever and couldn’t be happier about it. I am not so confident about this, but for now, we are taking it day-by-day as a family. ADHD will never go away, but as long my as my girl is happy, confident, doing as well as she can in school, and getting along with her peers, I’m OK with the “no meds” option. For now.
PS: Since my wonderful daughter supports her mama by reading this blog, I feel it necessary to speak directly to her. Juliana – this isn’t a promise that you’ll be off medicine forever, my dear : )