4 Little Letters

We could see Jonathan had ADHD type behaviours pretty much the moment we met him. His ‘engine’ as we call it, or his body, is always running fast and for the last 15 months we have talked about our engine AND ways to slow it down AND practiced slowing it down every. single. day. This has resulted in zero change.


About 5 months after Jonathan moved in with us, I took him to his pediatrician who has been with him since he was very young and knows his history. When I brought up ADHD we had a very good conversation about how he may have it, but we need to give him more time to settle in, attach, time with more consistency and routine and and and all the goody goody gum drop adoption things we adopters know about before he would say yes to ADHD.

Last week, we saw our pediatrician again, and after he looked at me and said ‘So! You survived the first year!’ we tried to chat through constant interruption and a lack of focus on any of the toys in the room. The doctor promptly gave me two assessments, one for us and one for the school, talked extensively about medication and the importance of continuing to teach and give routine, consistency and all the goody adoption/ADHD things we know about and told me “I could diagnosis him right now and give you a prescription” (this is the ‘guru’ in the city on ADHD and I really like him too BTW) “but we should do these assessments first”. And with that he solidified my liking of him – no throwing medication at the first sign of trouble, but takes his time (umm, 10 months time to be exact) and do things properly.

Well, it was pretty hilarious those survey’s; after they were both submitted the teachers and I chatted about it and how we had pretty much the exact same answers. We all had lusty-dreamy looks in our eyes of what a diagnosis would mean for everybody involved and I’m sure I felt the whole room relax. Just a little.

Within a day the kind nurse at the clinic called and told me, gently like she was breaking shocking news, that the Doctor noted his very strong ADHD scores and would like to start a trial of medication in March because he’s away for a couple of weeks and wants to be around to monitor him…which by the way is 11 days away…but who’s counting?


I almost yelped with joy and did a fist pump in the air, but I didn’t want to didn’t want to cause a scene at work;)

We are over the moon, beyond the moon, about medication and this newest diagnosis. Which is really funny to talk to people about because their first reaction is ‘oh, really?’ with a sympathetic look like we should be heart-broken when really all we want to do is click our heals together and skip down the sidewalk.

I know that diagnosis can be very difficult for some families, and I don’t want to minimize that, or even begin to touch on the controversies over medication or attachment being the cause of ADHD or any other touchy angles.

All we want to do now is celebrate the acknowledgement of a kid who struggles, of parents who struggle, and the possibility of kid and parents both being a little more sane. We are excited to see Jonathan be able to focus and take off like the rocket we know he is but has a hard time showing because he can’t sit still for more than 7 seconds. We are excited for slower engines.

Fist pump. High five. Do a little jig.



9 thoughts on “4 Little Letters

  1. I felt the same when big girl got her asd diagnosis. It suddenly all made sense and I said to myself ‘it wasn’t just me not coping after all’ πŸ™‚
    Great news, hopefully now things will make more sense to those around him, he’ll get the support he needs and you can stop beating yourself up πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Claire, I know for some, like us and you, it can be a relief and for others it is the beginning of grief and loss. We are excited to get some relief for us and him!

  2. Parts of this made me laugh out loud in recognition! Your description of your appointments at the paediatrician perfectly describe ours with LML, but younger Lolly is added to the mix as we have double appointments! The paediatrician changed about 18 months ago and she spent 20 minutes with LML, turned to us and asked “is she always like this? I’d Like to make a referral to ADHD clinic for an assessment”! LML is on 10mg equasym on school days, which helps a bit with her learning. Not so much with the attachment rooted behaviours. School get all the ‘benefit’ as we don’t use meds at the weekend and it wears off at teatime. They REALLY notice the difference though, and always know if we have forgotten in the morning! Good luck with it all and very best wishes πŸ™‚ GM

    • Glad to know we aren’t alone!
      We were warned that the school would get the most benefit and we would get the ‘coming down’ side effects but we figure that it can’t be worse than it already is!
      Thanks so much:)

  3. Great News, like u said the diagnosis is the main thing, getting everyone on the same page etc.. I am looking forward to updates as things progress. Xing my fingers you won’t have to try many meds to get the right fit. I hope he gets the relief that he needs to keep progressing in the leaps and bounds that you already have a good start on.

  4. Well done on getting the diagnosis for your son. I’m finding it hard to get professionals to see beyond the attachment difficulties which are admittedly significant. Hope you get the right medicaion for him soon

    • The Dr. definitely hesitated because of attachment but I’m glad he saw through that; it doesn’t matter the cause, the behaviour and effects on both the kid (and the parents!) is equally difficult and need to be considered. The DSM isn’t concerned with cause, although I know there is lots of literature around ADHD being Attachment Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder…fascinating stuff and lots to learn but for now we are happy with what is happening:)

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