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.
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.