ADHD meds have helped put my seven-year-old in charge — and he says so himself.
by Samantha Hines
This conversation could not have happened a year ago — not in word or deed. Before starting medication to treat his ADHD, my now-seven-year-old son wouldn’t have been able to stay at the kitchen table to have it, nor did he have the ability to express thoughts and feelings about himself.
ADHD medication has given him the ability to have the conversation; it has given him his voice.
Me: So, Edgar, thank you for letting me interview you tonight.
Edgar: It’s OK. I have to build this ship, though. (He manipulates a bunch of tiny Lego pieces.) I will try to look at you, but I really need to build this ship.
Me: That’s fine. So are you ready for your first question? It has to do with your medication.
Edgar: Are we going to talk about the medicine I take for epilepsy or for my ADHD?
Me: Let’s talk about your ADHD medicine. You’ve been taking it for a few months now. How has life changed for you at school?
Edgar: Well, I have mostly silver and gold days now. Before I had mostly bronze. I think my days are better.
Me: And how does that feel — having better days at school?
Edgar: I love having better days. And the kids are nice. I have a lot of friends. (He names several.)
Me: Do you know why you’re having better days?
Edgar: (He thinks for a moment and adds a propeller to the ship he’s building.) Well, I think my brain used to feel not so comfortable. Now it feels quiet.
Me: And how about your body? How is your body feeling?
Edgar: It’s kind of nice. I feel like I can tell it what to do now.
Me: Was that not the case before?
Edgar: No, my body told me what to do.
Me: So, you feel as though you’re more in charge.
Edgar: I’m more in charge, and I’m more awake.
Me: Edgar, if you had to describe yourself to someone who didn’t know you, what would you say?
Edgar: (He smiles as he puts the finishing touches on his ship.) I would say I’m fun, and that I love living. (Pauses.) Mom, sometimes I still misbehave, and sometimes I don’t. But now I know when I’m misbehaving, so I really try not to.
Edgar is awake, in charge, and in love with life. Medication may not be the cause, but it allowed the door to open. Now that it’s open, I can hardly wait to see what’s next.