Jonah and Ethan, Dec. 2012
It started in October, when the boys got their first quarter grades back and they had 3-4 low grades that I had never seen on their report card. I knew something was up. They had both done pretty well in Kindergarten, First and Second. Even well enough that we assumed they would have no problem going to a harder school (a charter school) this year.
It seems that Third Grade was the level at which they could no longer do well. At Parent Teacher Conferences, we brought up the subject of ADD. "Could their inability to finish work, pay attention in class and get things done be associated with ADD?" we asked. Ethan's teacher dismissed it and said that it wasn't something she thought we needed to address. Jonah's teacher, on the other hand (who has a son of her own with ADHD) said that if we were serious about looking into it we should talk to their pediatrician.
I was on the phone the next day, setting up an appointment for them. The Dr. said there was no way to tell unless we filled out a survey, the teachers filled out a survey and then we tried them on the medicine. If the surveys both showed issues at school and at home (which they did have) and the medicine helped, then they would be diagnosed.
Interestingly enough, Ethan and Jonah's teachers rated them the exact same on the survey they were given. At home, Josh and I gave them each different scores in different things, but enough for them to score high on the Inattentive Scale.
We put them on meds (Concerta and then Vyvanse for Jonah) and waited. A side effect of the meds is an upset stomach and the boys stopped eating their lunches. They started losing some weight and I was worried, since they are already small. We let them eat whatever they wanted in the morning and after school and that helped.
Since then Ethan has thrived. He brought home his normal, good report card in January. His teacher says that he is doing amazingly wonderful, is raising his hand often and is on top of his work. I am thrilled. It made me feel so good to hear that he is doing so well. It made my month!
Jonah, on the other hand, is not doing as well. Even though he and Ethan share 99.9% of the same genes, he started having strange side effects. He would hum or make beeping noises constantly. He would twirl and spin and be in constant motion all the time. He was driving me- and Ethan- crazy. We switched meds and while he's not making noises anymore, he is still isn't thriving in the classroom.
After praying, upping the medicine, giving Jonah some extra time and the worse Friday afternoon ever (Jonah was buzzing around the house like a wrecking-ball-bumble-bee) we have decided to take him off the medicine. We will try things like less sugar and artificial colors and charts on his desk. We'll see.
It's been a crazy, wild adventure. It's been good to see Ethan's improvement and we look forward to helping Jonah succeed. You never know what life will throw at you!