Tuesday, April 30, 2013

ADHD: My Daughter’s Second Challenge Part 3 of 3 (Elementary and Teen)

Esther's first day of middle school
When we moved from California to Texas, we had to not only shop for our own insurance, but also find a doctor to care for our two children with ADHD.  We were told by our insurance salesman that there were only three insurance carries offering private insurance.  He was not optimistic that they would take us because of the ADHD.  And to add to the pressure, if one carrier rejected us, the other two would follow.  However, in the end one accepted us, but we were told that none of the care for ADHD would be covered including tests, doctor’s visits, and medication because they considered it a mental illness.  This was a blow financially.  I appealed to them to consider the medication for our son as it is very expensive and necessary for him to function, but they refused. 
Esther before her winter choir concert (2011)
 The second issue was our doctor.  In California our doctor had wanted to see the children every six to eight months.  The new doctor in Texas wanted to see them every other month, wanted to do full blood work every year, and an EKG every year.  This was much more intense monitoring than we received in California.  At first I was irritated at all of this intrusion and cost, but in the end it may have saved our daughter’s life.  The reason that he wanted to study their hearts every year is that some of the ADHD medications can have a negative effect on the heart and begin to damage it.  The August before our daughter started Middle School she had an appointment to see the doctor.   We were devastated to learn that her medication had begun to damage her heart.  We were advised to immediately take her off.  She was on a low dose of a common medication, but now she would be starting middle school with the one tool that had helped her to learn since her diagnosis.  How was she going to function?   That same afternoon I called her school and talked to her assigned counselor about the predicament and my concerns.  The counselor was very encouraging and grateful that I called.  She told me that she would be getting in touch with all of my daughter’s teachers and inform them of the situation.  After I hung up with her, I knew the next thing to do was pray.  I am a Christian mother and I know that in an impossible situation that is when God does impossible things.  The ending of this story was incredible.  She ended up doing so well in sixth grade that she made the honor roll. 
Academic awards in 2012
We were so proud of her.  She still has to work very hard to understand instruction.  She took advantage of any tutoring the teachers offered as well as my services.  Many times during sixth grade I was reteaching the material to her late into the night at the kitchen table.  Seventh grade has been better for her.  We encouraged her to run cross country and that run every day has helped her focus and relax more.  She has gone to less tutoring sessions and my reteaching episodes have drastically been reduced.  Now she is finishing up seventh grade again on the honor roll.  She puts in twice the effort that “normal” children do and her grades show it.  I am so proud of her hard work. 
Academic awards in 2013

Do you have a child who has struggled with a disability?  What are the blessings that have come from the disability?

1 comment:

  1. My seventh grade girl is going through the phase of, "Why do grades matter anyway?!" She is 'twice exceptional', a term coined for children who are gifted yet still have a disability of some sort. She's a lot like her mama, in the respect that she does just fine on the test, but homework is a COMPLETELY different story. Distraction, getting started, feeling overwhelmed, time blindness, feeling 'tired' and perfectionism are all big problems for her. Her school offers an after school tutoring/study hall for kids who need it. We, and her teachers, think it would be exactly what she needs, but since it is called 'tutoring', she is adamant about not going. :/ Anxiety is also another issue for her. :(
    We've tried a few different meds, one making her anxiety even worse. We've started another that is giving us some early hope. It doesn't help that she does not like the idea of being on medication. She thinks it is something "in her head" and that she should be able to handle it.

    We're now trying to figure out if her brother is simply 'kinetic' (as one doctor put it) and craving the same kind of attention that his sister receives every night or if he is actually having problems too. (Several teachers have questioned ADHD; two doctors have said no.) I do know he misses getting to play with his sister because she is pretty much always 'working' on homework; and she misses getting to play with him, without a cloud of guilt hanging over her. His main problem in school is that he tends to get up and wander around and a little bit of distraction when it comes to writing. At home, he used to be the kid who would just buckle down and get his work done as quickly as he could so he could go play. Lately, he has been whining, laying down saying he's tired, and simply not doing his work.
    My kids want to move to a country where there is no such thing as homework, LOL! I'm about to the point I wish the same thing!? -Becky