Sunday, May 28, 2006

The BEST Treatment for ADD

As most of you know, Z has been seeing a psychologist, every 2 weeks, since November. At that time, he had some pretty serious OCD issues. Z was obsessed with his health and body functions. The resulting anxiety WAS causing stomach problems. He was also depressed over his ADD issues, and felt that he would NEVER accomplish ANYTHING.

Z's psychologist, Kathy, was a good fit, at the time. She was upbeat, and well-versed on OCD and ADD. Many of the things that Kathy told Z, were the exact same things I'd been telling him. Z gained a whole new respect for his Mom's knowledge, after counseling with Kathy.

Kathy insisted that Z needed to be put on anti-anxiety meds. This idea totally freaked Z out! Z insisted that he could conquer his OCD problems on his own, with reinforcement from Mom and Dad. I gave Z a month to start showing signs of improvement. In the meantime, I made an appointment with our town's only psychiatrist, whose calendar was full until May.

By month's end, Z had shown small signs of improvement. Then we struck a deal to hold off on meds until he saw the shrink in May. Kathy was not happy about this decision. Every session, she would ask if we had made an appointment with our family doctor, to get a Rx for Z. About this time, Z's tics started waxing. He developed a pretty annoying huffing tic, and a hand flipping tic. These new tics sometimes interfered with Z's schooling, but we learned ways to work around them. Kathy then decided that Z needed meds for his tics. NO! We decided, long ago, that we would ignore and/or joke about tics unless they affected Z's health or quality of life.

At this time, Kathy started pushing for Z to return to school next fall. She is the school psychologist for a small public school, 20 miles from here. They have small class sizes and a newly acquired special ed. program. We told Kathy that IF Z returned to school, he would probably attend that school. However, the decision to return to public school, is Z's decision. Kathy remained adamant that Z MUST experience social events like prom and sports. Z told her that he wouldn't participate in those activities if he was attending public school; he's not interested in those activities.

Kathy's insistence on meds and public school caused Z to begin having anxiety attacks before and during his counseling visits. Z was making huge progress on conquering his health obsessions, and his depression had disappeared. Kathy was undoing all the progress Z had made, by creating stress over nonexistent issues. Fortunately, we only had one more appointment booked with Kathy, before we saw the shrink. I promised Z that we would discontinue his appointments after the shrink visit. I also told Z that we were seeing the psychiatrist only for suggestions on meds IF any of his conditions should worsen in the future. I praised the amazing progress he had made since November. At this point in time, everything is running very smoothly for Z. We're not about to mess with success.

Thursday was the day for our long awaited visit with the psychiatrist. Dr. J questioned Z about ALL the issues contained in his file.
Dr. J: I see you had some anger issues in 6th grade; what was that about?
Z: I was only angry at my bullies.
Dr. J: Let me tell you something. The ONLY time that anger is an appropriate response, is when you are attacked. Anger towards bullying is an appropriate response.
Z: That's what Bill(his former psychologist) said.
Dr. J: I see that you have TS. Tell me about your current tics.
Z: *huffing*...Well, that's one of them. I also have an arm clenching tic, and I've always had a throat clearing tic.
Dr. J: Do the tics bother you?
Z: Not really.
Dr. J: Good, I rarely recommend meds for tics, unless the tics are interfering with your health. Sometimes tics can be a good thing. My oldest son has always had a head tic, not TS though. His head tic made it easy to spot him in a crowd. When he played football, we could always spot him on the field. He was the one with the shaky helmet.
Z: *grinning*
Dr. J: I see you've been having some health related obsessions. How often do you think about your health?
Z: Now? Rarely.
Dr. J: EXCELLENT! How did you accomplish this?
Z: I talked myself out of it, and learned to relax.
Dr. J: That's amazing that you handled this by yourself! That's exactly how I would have counseled you through this problem. OCD meds take the edge off, and tone down the demands the brain is making. It's still up to YOU to take over the command of your brain. You're one smart kid!
Z: *big grin*
Dr. J: I see that you have issues with ADD, Executive Dysfunction, and Dysgraphia. How's school working out for you?
Z: I'm homeschooled.
Dr. J: EXCELLENT! Homeschooling is the BEST treatment for ADD!
Z: *bigger grin*

Dr J thought it was a great idea to prepare a list of possible meds, just in case Z's conditions should worsen. Anything is possible with TS. He also said that if this should happen, do NOT go through the appointment desk. Ask to speak with HIM and he will fit us into his schedule without a 6 month wait.

HA, take that Kathy. According to Dr. J, we have been doing EVERYTHING exactly right!!

Z and I literally DANCED across the parking lot after our appointment. Z is sooooo proud of himself!! But not half as proud as we are of him.


At 5/28/2006 11:42 AM, Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

Excellent!! I'm surprised at the psychologist's recommendations, though. My experience of them is that they don't really know a lot about meds to begin with. And I'm glad you got a doc who just isn't all about perscribing medications. He sounds great. Good for you.

At 5/28/2006 11:46 AM, Blogger tshsmom said...

I think she's a wannabe psychiatrist, WC.
I'm psyched that we finally found somebody in northern MN who is knowledgeable about TS!

At 5/28/2006 1:40 PM, Blogger European said...

Yay for you! That sounds great! I'm glad you kept a clear head and didn't take everything a "professional" said at face value. Too bad Kathy was so insistent on her ideas - sounds to me like she didn't know as much as she'd have liked to have known.
Way to go, Z (and you!)!

At 5/28/2006 4:10 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Thanks Euro!
You're right, she didn't know squat about TS.

At 5/28/2006 7:10 PM, Blogger Squirl said...

Wow, sounds like you really know your son and know how to trust your gut instinct. So great for you and Z.

I'm so pleased to hear the progress you're making. Good luck with this (great) new shrink.

At 5/28/2006 11:11 PM, Blogger Miranda said...

You have every reason to be proud. :) I'm no scientologist, but I dislike doctor's tendencies to over prescribe drugs. When you CAN do things yourself, there's no reason
you shouldn't be allowed to. Congratulations to you
and your son.

At 5/29/2006 12:13 AM, Blogger MonicaR said...

Oh! I am SO glad that this worked out the way that it did.

I cannot STAND it when a medical professional is pushy - especially about medication. I can't STAND it!

How could she think that going to school is the right thing??!! I went through school and never did the prom thing or any of that.

That woman has issues.

At 5/29/2006 3:25 AM, Blogger Faltenin said...

Well, a big hand to you. I don't think I've EVER had a doctor tell me I'm doing everything exactly right.


At 5/29/2006 7:17 AM, Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said...

Oh don't get me started on docs knowing more about my body than me!!! ;-) You shouldn't argue with success. Obviously K didn't see things the same way as the current doc. I'm proud of you both for remaining firm in your convictions and recognizing what was actually working for you. It can be very difficult in the face of a person who's supposed to be the expert. Congrats!

At 5/29/2006 8:14 AM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Squirl, we're lucky that Z is so open with his feelings. We hope this continues.

Miranda, a little motherly advice from one MOM to another...when something is wrong with your child, research the problem yourself. Knowledge is power!

Monica, I KNEW you'd be pissed about this! ;)
I was never a social butterfly in high school either. Prom was a huge waste of time and money to me.

Fal, this is a FIRST for me too!
However, it's a lot easier to do the right thing for someone else, than it is to do it for ourselves.

VV, I guess my constant questioning of authority figures came through for us this time. ;)
This really helps strengthen our trust relationship with Z. He KNOWS that we will stand up to authority figures for him...first the school, now this. I hope he remembers this when dealing with his kids' problems.

At 5/29/2006 9:03 AM, Blogger Candace said...

WAAAAAHHHHHHHOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! *extremely huge face-splitting grin*

I think I love Dr. J! :-)

That is AWESOME!! Awesome that Z has been able to help himself and make such grat progress, awesome that you found such a great doctor, awesome that he doesn't have to take meds. . . WOW!

You're right about researching it. We have a much more vested interest than most professionals. I've seen the mamas on the Amity board properly diagnose kids with things the doctors couldn't figure out until the mom-diagnosed syndrome/illness/whatever was suggested to them. Multiple times.

At 5/29/2006 9:13 AM, Blogger Notta Wallflower said...

What a great doctor's visit. You know, a professional worth his or her salt (like this Kathy) may have differing viewpoints from their clients, but do not push that hard against a parent's wishes. Besides, if Z was interested in school events, most kids who are homeschooled are invited to attend such events (at least in our school district), because they are still entitled to and it's nice to see them. I am like you regarding meds - I've seen them really work, but K is not on meds because he will eventually have to make is own accomodations anyway. Medicine should not be a way of life, IMO.

At 5/29/2006 10:38 AM, Blogger greatwhitebear said...

tshsmom said; "I guess my constant questioning of authority figures came through for us this time. ;)"

Us hippies had it right all along. Never trust anyone over 30.

At 5/29/2006 10:39 AM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Candace, another victory for hsing!!
Professionals are human, therefore fallible. I expect this. However, why didn't Kathy research TS when Z became her client? Everything she suggested, regarding TS, went against ALL proven methods.

Notta, our district also allows homeschoolers to participate in ALL extracurricular activities. Z informed Kathy of this fact.
I think her hidden agenda was to get Z enrolled in the school she works with, to expand her client base, and justify her existence there. :(

At 5/29/2006 10:44 AM, Blogger tshsmom said...

LOL, GWB!! That one's come back to bite me a LOT in the last 20 yrs! I've had to moderate it from "anyone over 30" to "the powers that be". ;)

At 5/29/2006 9:41 PM, Blogger Bridget Jones said...

YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY!!!!!! Hooray for you guys and darn straight take that Kathy!!!

At 5/30/2006 12:51 AM, Blogger Shawn said...

It's awesome to get that comfirmation that things are on the right's sad that doctors like that are in the minority. I guess doctors are only people too, but it's still disappointing.

In the mean time, I'm glad that you guys have found someone who seems to really care.

At 5/30/2006 1:17 AM, Blogger Vest said...

Life is a learning process, it only stops when your lights go out.
Z: There is no reason why you can't be a marathon runner too.

Visit vest for a dog dinner, Yuk.Agh.

At 5/30/2006 10:50 PM, Blogger Sadie Lou said...

His head tic made it easy to spot him in a crowd. When he played football, we could always spot him on the field. He was the one with the shaky helmet.

That was SOOOO cute and exactly the right thing to share with Z. Good job, mom and dad--take that Kathy! *laughing*
I love success.

At 5/31/2006 9:37 PM, Blogger Candace said...

Oh yeah that's true - the school gets more $ for each kid enrolled in special programs. :-P

At 6/01/2006 9:56 PM, Blogger lorguru said...

Hoory for the happy ending!!!!
I was getting angry reading about the pressures that Kathy woman was putting on Z! She certainly got pushy with her beliefs, didn't she?

As you know, meds for tics don't necessarily even work. We've tried everything, and nothing has even curbed my son't tics one bit. I agree wholeheartedly with your outlook on this.

At 6/02/2006 4:20 PM, Blogger lorguru said...

Couple more comments...
I would have paid to see that dance you did across the parking lot! hehe
I think that psychologist needs a psychologist!

At 6/03/2006 12:18 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Lauren, we would have LOVED to have you there, dancing with us!
It sounds like you may have found the right mix for Alp *crossing fingers*. I'm hoping for a bruise and callous free future for that little cutie!

At 6/07/2006 9:36 AM, Anonymous ghostie alix said...

Tshsmom, i'm reading with tears in my eyes. i am SO happy for Z, and for your family. how gratifying that you found someone who sees things from Z's and your perspective. what a blessing! must. get. tissue.


At 6/07/2006 6:38 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

That means a lot coming from you, Alix! Thanks!
Don't be a stranger; I MISS you!

At 6/08/2006 9:15 PM, Blogger Davey said...

Sry all kinda off topic, but I have to talk to my "net-mom"
It is 10:12 pm on Friday June 8th
AND WE ARE ON OUR WAY TO THE HOSPITAL!!!!!!!!! Baby pics. to follow!!!!! and yes I'm crying already!!!!!!

At 6/09/2006 6:56 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

That's the best news I've had all week, Davey!!
BTW, that's Thursday, June 8th. You're not just a little excited, are you? ;)

At 6/09/2006 9:12 PM, Anonymous saby said...

cool kid


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