Dylan Doesn’t Want To Use Any of Those Things.

Dylan and I took yet another trip to the neurologist this week.

Let’s recap what we’ve learned so far.

1. Dylan can’t take stimulants anymore. They make him suicidal.

2. High blood pressure medication doesn’t help at all.

3. Anti-depressants help a tiny bit, but not a lot.

So today we went to the doctor again, knowing there were no other options – and knowing that his current medication, at its highest dose, is simply not enough.

The neurologist asked lots of questions, looked over the forms teachers had completed and sent in, and took lots of notes. She did another very thorough physical exam.

During every visit, she asks him to remember 3 words – and then, much later, asks him to repeat those 3 words. The first time Dylan attempted this, in 4th grade, he could only remember one word.

Today, she gave him 4 words – and he remembered all 4.

“He looks good,” she said. “I don’t know what to recommend for medication. He may not need anything at all.” Still, she’s a doctor, so she wrote a prescription for a different anti-depressant – to supplement the one he’s already on.

He’s not depressed, but he’s going to take 5 anti-depressant tablets a day – and that’s the low dose. I was feeling a bit apprehensive.

Then she said, “He’s getting good grades, A’s and B’s, and the medication isn’t helping that much. So if the main problem is that he’s not turning in his work on time, what he really needs might be an executive functioning coach.”

I almost gasped. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all he needs is to learn how to organize himself?!

She talked about agendas, white boards, electronic calendars and other strategies for organizing what needs to be done. Not coincidentally, these are the same things we talk about at the IEP meetings.

That’s when I remembered.

“Dylan doesn’t want to use any of those things,” I said. And Dylan, who had done little but grunt for three days, didn’t disagree.

“You have to learn,” she told Dylan. “It is your choice. You have to learn how to do these things, whatever way you can. You may be outgrowing your ADHD, and you will still need to learn this. It’s up to you. Maybe you don’t have to take any pills.”

I asked for the name of a good meditation coach. The pediatrician (last week) recommended meditation as a way to learn focus. I mentioned a $6,000 treatment that is also a computer game, that’s supposed to train your brain.

“Do Lumosity,” she said.

“The pediatrician said that, too!” I almost screamed. “But I couldn’t remember the name! What’s it called?”

She told me again. She said it’s a brain-training computer game. It does not cost $6,000.  It is free.

Prescription in hand, and the word lumosity floating around in my head, we headed out the door. Hopeful, for the first time in ever.

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