Three months ago, I could never have guessed that we would be navigating the minefield that is negotiating the space of a medicated child. A consultation with a neurologist was the next step in Ava’s treatment plan, after moving her from her appalling crap and ill-prepared school, I am still in the process of coming to terms with how epically they failed us, and planning to report them to their head office.
What an incredibly interesting session. After going through the COVID process to be approved for entry into the hospital, we started off her session with an EEG and then moved into a consultation with the Neurologist. It cost a fortune but now I understand why, we were there for almost 4 hours and the physical consultation was fascinating.
Apparently from the EEG, the neurologist can tell whether the inattentiveness is in fact ADD or a type of epilepsy that can often present as ADD. Thank goodness Ava’s brain showed no signs of epilepsy or seizures.
She also did a bunch of tests and spent a lot of time, one on one with Ava, testing her impulse control, focus, and muscle tone. Ava has so many signs that should have been picked up as issues but have just been completely missed over the years, another reason why my boiling rage at the incompetence of her school just won’t simmer down, I’ve been engaging with them for a year about these issues and was constantly dismissed by them. Her neurologist also spent a lot of time talking about our experience with the school and not surprisingly, we are not the only people who have had the same experience with this brand school. Anyway, that’s once again just my rage talking.
The Treatment Plan
After explaining to me the differences between Ritalin (2 types a 4 hour & a 6 or 8-hour effect), Concerta ( a 12-hour effect) or Streterra (a build-up over time in the brain but apparently best for those who present as hyperactive) our neurologist suggested we start on the lowest, 18mg, dosage of Concerta and that she be on it 7 days a week to ensure that she can pick up on all incidental learning opportunities too.
Two Weeks In….
It’s not going as I had hoped. We were warned that it could take months to get the dosage right and that she could suffer from some side effects initially. I had hoped to avoid all that.
I was so hopeful after the first couple of days. Within about 20 minutes of taking the Concerta, she becomes so incredibly socially engaged, is able to pick up on the subtlest social ques, she becomes cooperative and willing to help and do her work. But the medication does not seem to have had any impact of her focus and concentration, I still catch her staring off into space, or drawing pictures when she’s supposed to be doing her school work. It still can take her an entire day to complete a worksheet that should take less than an hour.
The worst part…. she’s struggling with HORRENDOUS Concerta Crashes! From 3 in the afternoon she starts to become defiant and combative, moody, and very very difficult, all the words I would never use to describe her. Twice we’ve had two extreme incidents that frankly bordered on psychotic.
The Next Step
We were meant to go back to the Neurologist in the middle of June but I’m going to contact them this week and ask them to help us with an earlier appointment, we can’t go on like this and honestly, I’m worried about my child’s mental well being.
This has been the hardest thing to go through, I have had such sleepless nights and stressing and worrying about my child. I know we are doing the right thing by seeking treatment, we just need to find the right treatment now.