For two years now, we have been trying to figure out whether or not we should medicate our daughter for ADD. This has been a very tough question to answer. At first, I was all, "NO", "My daughter will not be given mind altering drugs!" (We will call her R4 once again.) In kindergarten, R4 did very well. Her teacher had nothing but good things to say about her. Then, in first grade, we were told, R4 has trouble focusing and has to be reminded to stay on task. The teacher was not allowed to come out and tell us, but she danced around the "ADD" diagnosis the whole conference period. They were not given letter grades in first grade and the teacher basically said that R4's personality was carrying her through. We put R4 in reading classes over the summer and then relaxation therapy. We have met twice with the pediatrician on this subject and both times, the pediatrician said that R4 is doing this to get her parents' attention. The doctor then asked if R4 was having any trouble at school. I replied "No" and was then told that I needed to attend parenting classes. Now I know my own child and I also know that she has ADD and SPD. Then second grade rolls around. R4 starts out with stellar grades ranging from a 98 to a low of 86. The second grading period the range was 91 to 85. The middle of the third grading period, the grades were 89 to 76. Ding! Ding! Ding! R4 is having trouble at school! There are also several comments from the teacher saying that R4 is talking during class and not staying on task. This week, I went back to the pediatrician and said, "R4 is having trouble at school!" Next week, we are going back to talk about ADD medication. I am going into this with an open mind. The elementary school here is difficult enough without having untreated ADD and SPD! We are right by NASA and all of the parents have very high expectations for their kids! That includes these parents of TWO SPD kids one of whom has been diagnosed by a psychologist as having ADD. I will keep you posted of R4's progress.
One side note. I remember when we were getting ready to take our son (R5) home from the hospital after he was born. The nurse told us to be adamant when we knew something was wrong with our child. She said jokingly, "You will take your child to the doctor and the doctor will say, "All kids have their arms fall off at this age!"" I will never forget the words of the nurse and I apply them to my life. We are not going to let our kids "slip through the cracks" at school or anywhere else!!