When ‘just say no’ to medicine isn’t an option
Medicine for ADHD isn’t an easy choice. Maybe your pediatrician thinks your child is too young. Or your in-laws believe you’re being too soft on your kid.
Whatever the case is, you know what you’re doing isn’t working. Before I homeschooled, I got calls every day to come pick him up from daycare. I pulled him out of daycare after he hit a teacher’s hand with a broom.
The last two weeks before Pre-K ended he was in trouble every day. A month into Kindergarten I withdrew him before he was expelled.
I was frustrated and tried every method known to parent-kind. I had to face a hard fact. He needs medicine that works.
It’s a difficult truth to face about your baby. He’s wonderful and the sight of him makes your heart melt. She’s funny and creative with a mischievous sense of humor.
And then there’s the ADHD
Without question, ADHD makes it difficult to parent. But what about the child? A social situation like school, church, or even the grocery store has minefields full of triggers that can set her off.
After the official diagnosis, we requested medication. Were we scared? You bet.
My daughter was diagnosed in first grade in 2002. Frequent outbursts, lack of focus, and a caring teacher led me to get treatment. I kept it a secret because back then it was a sign of lazy parenting.
Fast forward to 2014 I noticed the same symptoms in my son. I scheduled a second visit with his pediatrician who wasn’t onboard the first time I mentioned my suspicions. Thankfully, he was unavailable but a caring nurse practitioner told me to get him tested after witnessing his ADHD behavior first hand.
No one wants to give a 3-year-old drugs
Even with an official diagnosis, no one wants to prescribe meds to a child that young. I understood that, but when counseling, discipline, and non-drug treatments fail you, what do you do?
It’s time to fight!
And believe me when I tell you, you’re in for a fight.
You’ll fight with insurance companies, doctors, your friends, your in-laws, people at the checkout line at Wal-Mart and maybe your spouse. This battle continues until they’re out of your house and even then it may show up at Thanksgiving.
The point I’m trying to make is children with ADHD become adults with ADHD. The good news is, it’s treatable with proper medication and other factors like diet and exercise. If you want to use medicine to treat your child’s ADHD, here are three things you should know.
Insurance companies are notorious for keeping treatment out of the hands of people who pay their salaries. There I said it. I’m talking from a customer and former employee standpoint.
If you don’t believe me, watch Michael Moore’s documentary Sicko.
All critique aside, you must call your insurance company and verify:
If a provider is currently contracted with your insurance (Never ask a doctor if he takes your insurance, phrase your question “Are you currently contracted with __________” Also don’t rely on your insurance company’s website provider list, as many as 50% of the providers listed don’t take the insurance anymore. Also, find out if you need a referral first.
How much your deductible is: Does your deductible increase if you go out of network? If you haven’t met your deductible, how much is your office visit co-pay to see a specialist? I know it sounds old hat, but when I worked as a customer services agent over half of my calls were from people who were P.O.’d when the insurance company didn’t pay a bill because deductibles weren’t met.
Find out which meds they will pay for and if there are any restrictions. For example, my company wouldn’t pay for medicine because he was too young. My son had to use Adderall which made him like a zombie.
Do understand a lot has changed since my daughter’s diagnosis in the early 2000s. I discovered genetic testing on one of the group boards on Facebook. I had no idea that you can order a genetic test to discover which medicine works best for your child.
Genesight tests for ADHD, depression, chronic pain, and Folate deficiency. With insurance, your out of pocket costs may be around $300. If you have Medicaid or Medicare, your cost is $0. They even have options if you’re uninsured.
Kailosgenetics does genetic testing for ADHD and offers other screenings for cancer. They also provide genetic testing for people who want to start a family. The cost of their test is $149 for first-time customers.
Both companies offer the swab test so no needles. A couple of swipes inside your youngster’s cheek and you’re done! Mail the results to the lab and get your results in a few weeks.
I’m trying the Kailos tests because obviously, I want to save money, but I did my research which I advise the same to you. What I noticed with Kailos is you have to share your results with a Kailos provider depending on which state you live in.
With Genesight, your results are delivered with 36 hours; Kailos takes 10 business days. Both companies make the same promise which is to find the best treatment for your genetic type. Taking the guessing game out of which meds work best is a game changer for you and your child.
Look for my review of Kailos my product review page next month.
Finally, there is the holistic route. There are hundreds of natural methods to treat ADHD. When I first suspected my son had ADHD at age 2, I tried a natural treatment first.
Synaptol is a natural homeopathic over the counter supplement mostly used to relieve the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder-ADHD. It is a remedy for individual with problems such as inability to listen to instructions, focus, control impulses or pay attention to a given task.
The Synaptol worked great at first, but it started to lose its effect. I believe it’s because of his natural growth. I tried some other methods, but the natural medicines weren’t strong enough to keep up with his chemistry.
Just like any other medicines, what doesn’t work for him may work wonders for another child. Parents swear by essential oils like:
I haven’t tried the essential oil on him yet, but I know the scent of lavender calms. I will admit to buying a kyanite and lavender crystal for myself and they both have a calming effect.
There are traditional methods I use to help him. You probably remember these:
- Playing outside
- Biking riding
- Raking leaves
- Playing classical music
- Yoga (Okay it’s still new to the Western world, but it’s been around for ages )
The more physical activity he does, the less impulsive he is. Also, did you know lack of sunlight causes Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD?) Sometimes, just getting kids back into nature does the trick. When possible, I try to schedule two recesses a day, one before and after lessons.
All children are undeniably extraordinary, but not equal. My daughter’s ADHD made her super talkative and super fidgety. My son is that times 100, plus he’s aggressive when irritated, has no focus, and no impulse control.
I’m speaking for myself when I say traditional methods don’t work for him. I remember my mistakes with my daughter’s diagnosis and I’m going to do my best not to do the same with my son.
The medicine won’t fix him, but it will help us to become better people.
What about you? Do you prefer alternative medicines for ADHD? Share your story in the comment section.