On His Own: Making the Bus

The mornings were rough before we decided to medicate our child’s ADHD. Here’s how medication changed my son and our family’s morning routine.

Medicating Children with ADHD: How I Decided to Medicate My Child
Medicating Children with ADHD: How I Decided to Medicate My Child

I have a confession: I don’t get up in the morning anymore to see my son, who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and takes medication, off to school. There, I said it: Javi’s 10, he has ADHD, and he gets on the bus by himself.

No, I don’t leave my son to fend for himself. My husband wakes him up, serves him breakfast, and gives him his medication and vitamins. He supervises Javi as he gets ready. Then he leaves for work, and Javi has 15 minutes to himself before the bus arrives.

This used to be the time when I’d wake up to the TV on loud and stumble around, coffee in hand, while Javi talked incessantly. I’d see that he got on the bus without incident, and then deal with the mess he left behind. Now that his doctor has upped his dosage of ADHD medication, I wake up when my daughter Bella pounces onto my bed and yells into my ear, “It’s wakin’ up time, Mama!” By that time, Javi is long gone.

My mornings are different now that The Diplomat, as I call Javi these days, has taken over. Since I’m not there to listen to his ramblings, and the med manages his impulsive behaviors, he leaves me drawings and notes on whiteboards — about dreams he had or a loving promise that he will finish a school paper when he gets home.

Maybe it’s wrong to sleep through my child’s morning routine, but he doesn’t miss the bus anymore, and he likes being independent. I won’t be waking up early any time soon.