Dionte is my youngest child, he’s 11 years old and has been diagnosed with ADHD. He had behavioral issues at a young age, he also would tell these very detailed stories and a young age (about 4) of his “job” he would let people that he went to work at night while everyone else was asleep, he was a paramedic and he drove the ambulance. The detail that he gave about his “day at work” was way beyond that of the average 4 year old. But it wasn’t just that he told the stories it was the fact that he believed them that worried me it was the fact that he really believed them to be true. One time his nana asked him if he wanted to come visit (she lives in Chicago and we were stationed in Virginia at the time) and he said yes, but first I have to talk to my boss and see if I can get time off! When I brought this a to his doctor I was told he just had a over active imagination and I should write this stuff down because I might have the next Walt Disney on my hands!
At the age of 5 when he started kindergarten, he began getting in trouble at school, he wouldn’t sit still, he wasn’t listening, he had to constantly be re-directed, he was telling stories and so on. I was told he was just an “immature” 5 year old and it’s common for boys his age to act this way. By the first grade he began showing sings of Social issues at school along with the continuation of the other problems, I was told it was normal for military children to “act out” and that he had separation anxiety. He had to repeat the first grade and by this time we had moved, during his second year of 1st grade he started to become irritable and very emotional. His teacher said I should have him tested by the school. They did some test and said he was very smart and that they think he might have ADHD and I should take him to his Doctor with the paper work they provided and have his checked because it was not a learning disability there was nothing they could do for him. I took him to the Doctors again, this time feeling a little more powerful because I had papers form the school backing me up. I told the Doctor see I’m not the only one who see’s something is not right, he needs help, I need help. This time I was given a referral for him to go see a psychiatrist. When I took him I told the Doctor of all the problems I had been having and he read the papers from the school and the evaluation they performed and said he agreed with them that my son had ADHD. This took all of 30 minutes, he never spoke to my son, didn’t ask any questions, nothing just sent us on or way with a prescription for an ADHD medicine and told me to call the office once a month for a refill and I had to come pick it up because it is a controlled substance they can’t call it in. I looked at the Doctor and said that’s it? he said yes, there’s no actual test for ADHD and the medicine will help, but if it doesn’t to call and set up another appointment. I left there feeling less than satisfied but didn’t know what else to do. I mean after all he was a psychiatrist and his teacher thought the same thing so I convinced myself they must be right! Right?
After starting the medicine I did notice a difference in his ability to focus and he did seem a little calmer, but I didn’t see a difference in his behavior. I started doing some research and ADHD and began applying some of the things that I learned, but his behavior just kept getting worse. I had to fight him to go to school, he became more aggressive toward others and was having out burst at school in school, I was to embarrassed to take him anywhere because I never knew when these out burst were going to happen. I felt like a failure as a mother, I hated the way people would look at me when we were out in public and he would act out. Sometimes he would be the sweetest most loving and well behaved child and other times he was completely out of control and I never knew what I was going to get from day to day. I contacted his Doctor again and made another appointment, a month later we went back. I told this to the Doctor and he said oh sometimes it takes a while to get the dosage right. Again he did not even talk to my son just wrote us another stronger prescription. Feeling defeated I didn’t know what else to do, the school won’t help, the Doctors won’t help and I don’t know how to help him or myself, what was I suppose to do! This was not only taking a toll on me but also my family, my husband didn’t want to believe that his son could have a mental health problem, he began to tell me I was the problem that I baby him to much, do to much for him, it was my fault I was the only thing wrong with him. My other children began to resent him as well, they were to embarrassed to have friends over because of his behavior and we never went anywhere together as a family because of it. They would go to the movies and outings with their father and I would stay home with Dionte.
Today I am still fighting to get him help, I have a new family Doctor and have an appointment later this month to discuss his mental health and to get a new referral for him to see another Doctor. I also have on my side now a letter from his school psychologist stating that she has concerns about his ability to differentiate whats real and whats make believe. I feel more continent in my own knowledge to be able to stand up to the Doctor and demand he be given a proper evaluation and diagnosis. My son is 11 years old now and has assaulted me several times, has held knives to his throat and threaten to kill himself 3 times and continues to be on a constant roll-a-coaster of an emotions. He is failing school and struggling with life, yes at 11. But he is also a very loving, caring and good nurtured child, he’s always very remorseful after he has an out burst. He tells me mommy I’m sorry I didn’t mean it, I can’t control myself, I hate myself for acting this way. I love you, maybe your life would be better without me. My heart hurts for him everyday!