A request from difficult child....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by LittleDudesMom, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    So difficult child and I were having a conversation about school, and other stuff, in the car yesterday. I told him that tomorrow (today now) he needed to start his vyvanse. He knows that he gets summers and holidays off his medications (always has with the adhd medications) and needs a few days to get it back in and work out some of the early side effects (he usually is a tad moody the first couple days).

    So, he turns to me and says, "I think I should start school without it this year."


    "I think I want to try."

    "Are you sure about this difficult child?"

    "Yeh, let's do it for one week and see."

    "Well, do you think you are going to be able to focus and pay attention?"


    "difficult child!"

    "Just kidding mom! I think I want to try"

    I appreciated his humor......I am a little torn. On one hand, I think he sincerely wants to try and see if he can function without it. I can't help but sympathize with his desire to not take the medication. It's hard to judge what his focus and attention capabilities are since he's been doing what he enjoys this summer. The hyperactivity is really no longer and issue and the impulsivity is dimished as well. Although, he really needs to stop and think twice in many social and behavioral situations.

    I've always been very honest with difficult child in regards to his issues. difficult child has always had a great grasp on understanding what he deals with and how it affects his world. Oh, not saying that his difficult child issues are magically cured by his medications or his understanding...I've also felt like he and I are partners on this journey - he and I have both worked so hard together to make the strides he's made the last six years.

    So, the other hand is do I take the leadership role and insist he take the medication, or trust that one week will not make that much of a difference because it will just be the first week of school? I love difficult child off his medications, he is so much more animated, creative, talkative, tuned in - you know what I mean?

    At 14, I feel like he should be albe to make some decisions regarding his life, but I also feel that he may not be looking at the big picture without his rose colored glasses.


  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    My son is 14yo, too, and we are trying this but it's mood stabilizers, not adhd medications. I'd let him try. Mainly because if it doesn't work, it should help him see why he needs his medications and keep him compliant with taking them. Plus, I'd rather have him be comfortable talking to you about these things than to be cheeking his medications. But, I'd let the school district know so maybe if he's having trouble they will notify you right away instead of writing him up.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    PS I don't know your son's personality, but I've stressed to my son a few times that if he needs to go back on medications in the future, that doesn't mean he's a failure.
  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Piglet has asked to go off of her medications. We just can't let her. Any adult who meets her can tell if she hadn't had her medications. We tried giving her a summer medication break and she actually hurt herself while playing cause she got distracted and fell.

    But if your son has done well on his medication break and you think there is a chance that he could do well at school without it, I'd let him try.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sharon, you probably know that 14 was when Jamie chose to come off ADHD medications. He started HS without them. It was a well thought out decision for him because of what he wanted to do with his life. He chose physical activity to channel his hyperactivity by running before and after school and taking JROTC all four years. Plus he was on the track team. He got lots of running in...lol. He did have problems with concentration and some lowered impulse control than when he was on the medications but he just worked around those. I talked to his teachers and begged them to help him. He was never on a 504. Probably should have been but he was so personable that his teachers wanted to help him. He toughed it out and got lower grades probably by one letter than he could have got with medications but without medications he got his career. I think he made the right choice.
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Good point, Janet. It might not apply to what LDM's son wants in his future, but in order to get in the military, kids have to be off certain medications for four years. They can get the juvy record, if any, waived in many cases. This was another thing in the back of my mind.
  7. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Sharon - just my opinion, but it sounds like difficult child has a pretty good grasp on things. Since he brought it up in a responsible and reasonable way, I'd go for it. Heaven knows, he could have just cheeked the medication and not told you about it.

    Another thought is that while 18 seems a bit off in the future, it is going to get here before you know it. Much better to have difficult child fully appreciate his need for his medications (or not) by the time it really and truly becomes solely his choice.

    If you're worried about first week of school (around here, unstructured and boooooring), maybe a compromise of first week in October, or after winter break or... timing that you think might be a better fit???

    Sounds like you've got a very insightful kiddo there. You've done a great job!
  8. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    I also believe that you should give him the chance to see what it is like to be in school without adhd medications. There are some kids who adhd is so severe that they can not function without medications even in the summer. He discussed it with you calmly...My difficult child did not take his medications this summer and he informed me that when school started he would need them again to focus. If it doesn't work than you can start them up. I would give it a try or if not, perhaps cut the dosage to a smaller amount and have him tell you if he notices a difference.
  9. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Sharon, I agree with giving your difficult child a shot at trying school without his medications. I think he and you will know whether he can handle it. You yourself said that you are partners on this journey. It sounds as if it's time to give him a role in making decisions about his treatment.

    Wow -- he's really growing up. Sharon, you must be very proud of your difficult child.
  10. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Do you think he could function with less of his medication if you find out he still needs it?
  11. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I agree with letting him try it. That's the only way he (and you) will be able to make an informed decision over the long run.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I agree with the group. In some states he is actually old enough to legally refuse medications. I was glad that we live in a state where a child has to be 18 to refuse anything.

    He has been reasonable this summer was able to discuss this with you calmly. He didn't yell or refuse to take the medications point blank.

    Seems like that level of maturity should be rewarded and encouraged. Maybe if you agree with the caveat that if you see a need before a week is over you can start the medication.

    It may be possible to use a lower dosage. If he isn't on the lowest dose but does mostly well, maybe a low dose to start with could be a good compromise. It might even let his funny, talkative creative self shine through. It is really hard when you have those traits but then they are suppressed by a medication.

    Give him a hug and an attaboy for me. He earned it by handling this in an adult manner!
  13. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Raising a child to be an independent thinking adult requires a gradual relinquishment of maternal oversight.
    To deny this young man control over his own life will not only negate what you have worked so hard to build in him- self esteem. It will make him less willing to share what he intends to try in the future.
    Independence will happen. It is your choice whether he will be independent using your wisdom as a safety net or if he will be independent without your input.

    If it fails to work, then he gets to reassess and make other choices.
  14. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That's very well said, Fran. I think I might copy it, if you don't mind, as a general reminder for myself as my son goes thru these teen years.
  15. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I also agree in letting him try. He will know soon enough if he needs the medications. You two do have a great working relationship in this area. You will be able to talk to him daily about how he is doing and if he is feeling hard to concentrate at school.

    Since he does have an understanding of what is at stake, I am sure he will be willing to go back on as a trial for you if YOU see the need after a week or so?

    He is lucky to have you and your are lucky to have his trust.
  16. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Sharon, he came to you with a sincere request & I'm assuming in a calm manner.

    My concern would be a disappointing start to the school year for difficult child. As Sue suggested maybe after T'giving break or winter break. Maybe earlier after he has his year figured out, classes, teachers, etc.

    Having said that, I'd make the agreement with difficult child in writing with the caveat that if teachers report or you see a significant issue that he goes back on his medications.

    I like that difficult child is trying to take responsibility over his body & seems so self aware. Sharon, we're seeing a great deal of maturity in little dude. You must be beaming with pride.
  17. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks everyone for all your responses!

    You can see why I was torn in this. Torn between wanting him to have a positive start to the school year and between allowing him to make a choice and see where it leads.

    You know, I think I will talk to difficult child today and let him know I have thought about our conversation. I'll let him know that if he really feels that he would like to start school without the medication then that's what we'll do. But, if at any point he feels he is not able to stay focused in the classroom or his 1:1 reports the same, we need to revisit the medication issue.

    I'm going to call his psychiatrist today. I still have the mail in rx for 40mg that we got in June. I'm going to ask if I can come and pick up a rx for 30 20mg pills. Perhaps difficult child could trial 1/2 his usual dosage should he need medications.

    Again, thanks for all your responses. I have to say that difficult child has always been medication compliant. In all the years he's been on medication - since fall of 2003 - he's not once refused to take his medicine. I think that's one of the reasons I give this request such consideration.

    Again, thanks - I'll keep you posted!

  18. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Sounds like you and difficult child are both being reasonable. If you trust that he will start taking the regular dosage should trouble arise then give it a shot. Good Luck!

    By the way, I LOVE True Blood. I think the series is even better than the books although I like those too.
  19. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I meant to include this in my earlier reply. Interesting that Jamie decided at difficult child's same age to go off the adhd medications because of what he wanted to do. difficult child has been talking about going to our local military high school (part of the city's public school system - uniforms but no tuition - designed for students who wish to pursue careers in law enforcement, the military, or firefighting). He has expressed interested in becoming a police officer (go figure!).

    He would have to write an essay about his potential career and why he would like to attend the academy, as well as have a personal interview and meet their academic requirements (which he does at this point). I am/was not aware of the medication limitations for military or law enforement.

    We'll see...

    Christy, TB is my absolute fav! I'm amost finished book nine in the series and understand that Ms. Harris just finished book 10 on Sunday! I'm actually going to start on another one of her series next, can't remember the name of it but it's the one where the main character gets struck by lightening and then finds bodies!!

    Thanks all!

  20. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Your difficult child is one amazing boy!