Wednesday

New Year, New Focus (with ADHD)


Aaaand ... we're back!

I half-chuckled as I wrote the title for this post. Focus is something that we continually discuss in this family ad nauseam! 3 of us lack it and one of us (me = Mom) has to redirect and focus enough for everyone some (most) of the time. Thankfully, we all love each other and somehow it works one way or the other :)

Anyway, it's been a while since I've written a post here for many reasons. Mainly--life! I thought with a new year I'd bring a new and better focus to this blog--try to revive it and share some of the things that have, are and will be going on with our ADHD little family. I'll probably do an intro post on the members of our family in the near future for anyone that hasn't followed past posts, but for today I'm going to do a brief catch-up. Below, you'll see me mention (redundantly) that in the near future I'm going to touch deeper on subjects I gloss over. Sit tight! Going into depth on everything below would take too long to write and too long to read in one sitting. I know we've all got one or more ADHD little (or big) guys calling our names every 2 minutes. And if they don't, we know something is probably flooded, broken or on fire somewhere in the house; in which case we have to go on a maniacal hunt to discover the source of the quiet! Wouldn't it be nice to kick back and enjoy rather than fear a quiet moment? Someday, my friends, someday...

For those of you with children and/or spouses with ADHD, you know how quickly time can fly by while you attempt to get through the ups and downs of another year. 2014 was a whirlwind of testing, completing our 2nd year of homeschooling with our oldest and entering our 3rd year, our youngest completing his last year at his private school and starting homeschooling for 1st grade (that's right, I'm currently homeschooling both boys!), looking for a new place to live in a better school district (unsuccessfully), work, life and all the "normal" stuff. Essentially, 2014 was a difficult, busy year.

For those wondering where we're at currently, here's a quick rundown to get you up to speed:

1. Homeschooling - We completed our 2nd year of homeschooling our oldest last year and began our 3rd year of homeschooling for the 2014-2015 year (our oldest is currently in 3rd grade). We also began homeschooling our youngest for the 2014-2015 year as his private school only offered preschool through kindergarten and he graduated.



2. Homeschooling 2 Boys - I feel like this was a major enough change that I need to mention it twice! Yes, I have semi-lost my mind and am currently homeschooling both boys at once. I knew we could do it (the boys have very different strengths and weaknesses), but I wasn't sure exactly how it would all play out until we really got into it. Thankfully, it's been exhausting, but good! No regrets. The boys are both progressing at their own speeds in each subject and getting more individualized attention than what's currently available near us. I'm planning to get eyeballs-deep in a future posts that touch on the programs we use, how I coordinate teaching both boys at once, etc. I know a lot of newer ADHD homeschooling moms tend to have a lot of questions, so hopefully I can help by sharing my experiences and opinions. At minimum, you'll simply have someone to make you say, "Oh, I'm not the only one that nearly wet my pants my first year homeschooling my ADHD'er!"

3. Moving - Much to my frustration, we have not yet moved to a district better suited to our needs. The long and short of it is that all the districts we are open to potentially moving to, one of which we used to live in, are extremely competitive in every way--academically, real estate-wise, etc.--so finding the right place in the right district has been a ridiculous challenge.

4. New Testing - Our oldest had his second neuropsych (first completed 2 years ago) and our youngest had his first near the fourth quarter of 2014. Both evals confirmed ADHD Combined Type for both boys along with a slew of other challenges we were aware of, but now have a somewhat better understanding of ... along with an encyclopedia's-worth of new questions. You know how it goes! Our youngest underwent additional diagnostic testing for his eating/vomiting issues and so far, nothing new has been discovered. It seems to all boil down to his (extreme in some areas) sensory processing disorder. We have additional testing set up for both boys for this year for different things, so I'll share more as the time approaches.

4. Therapies - Both boys continue outpatient speech and OT. PT may be added for one or both boys this year and we may change some things around (I'll discuss that later). Both boys were previously evaluated for PT and both were right on the cusp according to the evals, but we and our neurologist feel reevaluations may be in order.

5. Medication - The Hubs has been on and off medication for ADHD most of his life--Ritalin early on and Adderall as an adult. He's currently off (primarily because the person who managed his meds changed practices and went too far away for him to continue seeing her and ... well, he hasn't mustered the focus to find a new person) and doing fairly well. He has begun taking fish oil regularly as we'd done some reading that it can be beneficial to those with ADHD and it certainly doesn't do any harm (we ensure ours is mercury-free by the way). He implements a number of tactics to keep himself on task such as lists, scheduled reminders, maintaining his calendar in his phone (I'll touch on that later since it's a big part of how we function as a family and as a couple, especially with his ADHD). Both boys began taking medication for their ADHD for the first time this year. It was a little tricky finding the right dose for our oldest and easier for our youngest (he's only 39 lbs so the smallest dose worked well for him), but we feel we're at a decent place right now. The medication hasn't been a magic wand or insta-fix-all, but it does take the edge off for the boys and gives them enough additional focus to get through their school work without sitting for 6+ hours doing nothing  (our older guy) or crying and working ourselves up to the point we can't get anything done (our younger guy).



I think that's it! I'll be touching on some of the thing I mentioned above in depth in future posts and my goal this year is to better maintain this blog. If you have any questions regarding anything above or you're simply hungry for some limited adult conversation (I know how that can go!) feel free to leave a comment below and I'll respond as quickly as possible.


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