It's been several months since Alex was diagnosed. Oh how our life has changed. I would like to begin by saying I have the sweetest most lovable little guy, and he lights up my day! He tends to be very repetitive and if he gets stuck on something he may well be stuck on it for several hours or days. He keeps me moving though and never lets me forget how much I am loved.
We have had him on medication since we got the diagnosis in order to help his life be more level. It's been a rocky go of it...starting on one medication having the insurance turn it down, switching to another only to have the insurance approve the first. (turns out it's still ridiculously
expensive) We settled on the less expensive form and have had three dose changes. All of them took time to see if it was going to help and settle into a routine. We got it nailed down right before school started and what a difference it has made. He's still happy, playful and a sweet little guy, but he's more in control of himself. He knows when he's doing something annoying and can curb it a little. He's made huge leaps forward at school and we will be looking at the gifted program at the end of this year. Fingers crossed! He's my loud little guy that won't sit still, but not quite as loud and a little more still.
I love that the medication didn't change his personality, but helped him figure out how to deal with his outbursts. I sometimes think it has taken little bits away, but it's not noticeable to anyone but Nathan and myself. He doesn't dance like he use to...everywhere all the time. He doesn't come up and give uninvited hugs anymore...which for some people this is a relief. Mostly he's his old self just more controlled.
I don't want to give all the credit to the medication however. I have been working with him on using his coping skills to get control of a situation and we have cut out the red and yellow dyes in his diet. We didn't have much of them in there to begin with because of Catie's dye allergy but what was left is all but gone. We sometimes allow yellow dye if we are out...it doesn't seem to have such a impact on him, but I really do try and limit his intake.
Turns out all those dyes the FDA has been allowing in foods all these years are causing some significant issues. Not just for parents of adhd children but true dye allergies are beginning to surface. It's been a pretty uncommon thing till this point, but Catie is not alone. The swelling in the face and mouth, cramps, diarrhea and throwing up are true symptoms of an allergy. While a red dye sensitivity is accompanied by a stomach ache is becoming more common...it rarely leads to facial swelling or anaphylaxis.
Red and yellow have been studies extensively in europe and guess what...they have found links to adhd and other health problems. They have been so convinced that their group of food watchdogs have outlawed dyes in food. Not just red and yellow but all of them.
I want to get back to Alex though...and even though his adhd was a blow to us it has only made us more aware of him and how much we love him!