I want to share my story to give some hope to those of you out there struggling with medications decisions because I know how hard this is. My son started having behavior problems when he was able to walk. He was aggressive, didn't play well with others, didn't respect authority, hated large crowds, was never truly happy, and then started to get into trouble in school. We started the process of diagnosing as soon as he started kindergarten because doctors just brushed me off about him for years, "he is just a boy". After two psychological evals he was diagnosed with ADHD, ODD and mood disorder NOS. He was able to get onto an IEP and after therapy and a psyciatrist we started stimulant meds. He continued to struggle with authority and school and peers so we added respiridone for mood. He continued to get in trouble getting suspended and ultimately sent to a collaborative school for kids with behavior problems in the second grade. He spent time in a class of 6 other kids, doing group therapy, play therapy, speech to help him interpret situations better, and following a rewards system. We did a lot of work at home following through with consequences, setting firm rules, being supportive and loving, and being consistent. The meds had caused more side effects for my son than actually helping to improve him. He couldn't sleep at night because of the stimulant so he needed melatonin to sleep. He wouldn't eat and stayed at 50lbs for 2 years. After adding the respiridone he gained 48lbs total after 2 years and eating is now his issue. We argue over food and just about nothing else. I then decided to try to wean him off and see if any of the skiills he learned over the years could help him more than the meds. We went lower and lower on his meds and he improves more and more. Now he is off the stimulant all together and is a happier kid. He still does annoying little things and I have to keep doing all the things around here to keep him on track, but he has learned how to manage his symptoms through self coping techniques and of course reminders from mom! I will next work on weaning him off the respiridone to see if the truly needs that as well. I am aware that sometimes people choose to go off meds because they feel better when in fact its the meds working, but i figure its worth a try to see if he needs them now then experiment when he is older and is at risk to self medicate. Diagnosing my son young never sat well with me becuase he still had room to grow and learn. I hope that he can live a life medication free and be successful. I will be accepting if this does not happen either. I was told once that he would mature and grow out of some of the bad behaviors and I never believed it, but its truly happening. I wish everyone luck with any choices they make, I hope this small story inspires and motivates you and I am open to any and all questions!
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