parenting | the diagnosis of a mental disorder in your child

A few weeks ago, I discussed the possibility of Lil Man being diagnosed with a mental disorder and a few days after publication, he was diagnosed with ADHD. Some people have asked a few different questions about the diagnosis, so I figured I would answer them in a Q&A type of post.

What made you think that your child had a mental disorder? What signs and symptoms did you see?

In my mind, I already knew he had ADHD. My brother, step-brother, and nephew had been diagnosed at young ages, and I could see similar "features" with Lil Man. So, I did a lot of research. I researched the symptoms, how doctors diagnosed, etc. I also read that in order to get a diagnosis, the child has to be exhibiting symptoms for at least six months.

So, I took a look back, and realized that Lil Man's behaviors started about the time that we lost our dog in August. Gradually, Lil Man stopped listening as much, he was very fearless (like if he had the chance, he would jump off the garage on his bike- of course it wouldn't happen, but things like that), he was mean to my parent's dogs- pulling tails, jumping on top of them, etc, highly energetic, couldn't wait his turn in lines, fidgety when he was sitting, and he was very OCD about things. Initially, I didn't want to have him diagnosed with anything, but in the past few months, things were getting worse. Worse to the point that I had to walk away, and that the hubby wanted to not come home anymore. It was bad. And since he is getting so close to being in school (August), I knew I needed to get things under control.

So I called the doctor, and told them that I wanted to get a ADHD assessment.

The appointment

Before the appointment, I had to fill out a diagnostic sheet. The sheet listed a variety of symptoms, and on a scale of 1-5, I had to rate the symptoms. I was a bit confused, but my parents helped me fill it out. At the appointment, the Pediatrician asked the me and the hubby alot of questions. She asked how Lil Man was at home and how he treated animals. I told her that at times, it seemed like he was going non-stop. That the hubby and I could not carry on a conversation without Lil Man interrupting. That Lil Man seemed to have a death wish- and if we let him, he would jump off the garage with his bike.

Based how Lil Man was acting in the office, the diagnostic sheet, and the fact that Lil Man was engaging in erratic behavior that could be potentially dangerous, we heard the words "your son has ADHD". I did ask about possible Asperger's, but she seemed certain that he wasn't exhibiting any symptoms.

The decision to medicate

At that appointment, we chose to medicate our five year old child.

Yes, I will accept your judgement, but just know that it really doesn't bother me. It doesn't bother me, because you see, I was once like you. I swore up and down that I would not medicate my child. That we would just learn to deal with everything. But as soon as the words, "your son has ADHD" came out of the pediatrician's mouth, I was singing a different tune. She wasn't going to actually prescribe anything to Lil Man, for the sheer fact that he is five and not yet in school (he will be in August), but I asked for something to help us. For something to slow my child down. And she hesitantly agreed. We asked for a liquid, since Lil Man had not yet been introduced to pills.And that began a whirl wind of attempting to get a medicine that the insurance would cover, and that we could afford.

We finally were able to get Lil Man on a medication that we could afford and that would help him. He has been on it for a few weeks now, and I truly believe it's helping, but we do go back to the doctor in a little over a week for a status update.

As time goes on, I will be updating on Lil Man's progress in hopes that it helps some parent out there that is going through the same thing. 

Always say yes to the wine.

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