DS had NEVER, ever had any problems in school WRT to ADD - he is in the gifted program, and by all accounts he is a nice, polite, funny, enthusistic kid who participates in class, does great work, and gets along with his teachers and peers. (Sometimes I almost wish he *lived* at school if you know what I mean!) He was totally off of the Ritalin as of last Friday, started an 18 mg dose of Strattera on Thursday, and started the full 25 mg dose of the Strattera on Monday, so at this point he has been on Strattera for about a week. I sent a note into his regular teacher, his gifted pull-out teacher, and the school nurse when he started on the Strattera, just to give them a "heads up" and ask them to keep me posted if anything just didn't feel "right". On Friday (yesterday), I sent a note in for his regular teacher, asking her for feedback on how ds had fared last week. (Now, remember, the one thing I could ALWAYS count on with ds was really great behavior and "performance" at school) ...
He has been calling out consistently all week, 3 or 4 times a day (never before an issue). His concentration/focus in the afternoons is still not great (this was an issue on the Ritalin, too). He pulled the hair of one of his classmates -- hard, apparently, since he actually pulled a strand out -- and when the teacher asked him why, he said "I don't know" (he has NEVER been physical with anyone but dh and me). (He later told me that she had plopped in front of him on the floor when the teacher was going over something and he couldn't see. Ohhhh-kay. Myself, I would have gone for a simple "excuse me", but whatever ...)
Our weekend so far has been hellacious. I have had sneakers thrown at me. My hand pinched. My arm kicked. My hair pulled. DS has been fresh, rude, and belligerent. He has spent more time in his room than out. Trying to get him to straighten up his bedroom, and to write notes of apology to his teacher and the girl whose hair he pulled, was like banging our heads against a brick wall. But, he also had a great tennis class this morning, and we had a nice trip to Barnes and Noble in the afternoon. So, I see, heartbreakingly, glimmers of some *really* good stuff in-between, but the cr*p is just getting tough to take. Especially since most of these issues had been either non-issues or pretty minimal with the Ritalin. I know that, compared to what some people put up with, this is *nothing*, and I am so sorry to be such a whiner.
My other fear is that this (hopefully temporarily) aberrant behavior will be reflected on ds' report card. His teacher this year has been *great* in terms of challenging him where he needs it cognitively while recognizing *and* dealing with his "focus" issues when they arise. But, she knows ds and what an awesome kid he is. She also knows that he *has* been really well-behaved all year til now. I am just afraid that if he gets marked down in behavior, his teacher for next year who *doesn't* know anything else about him other than his name will see that and -- along with knowing that he is being treated for ADD/ADHD -- she will prejudge him and he will come into the class already at a disadvantage. Unfortunately, report cards come out in a couple of weeks and one of those weeks is Spring break.
I spoke with our PED yesterday (who is typically a WONDERFUL doctor and who we trust and respect), and he would like to keep ds on the Strattera for at least another week, since there is that whole "4 - 6 week" issue. I need to call him (the PED) with an update toward the end of next week. So, not a lot of time to "rebound" in the good sense of the word. My stomach is in knots here.
I will reply to his teacher's note on Monday just to let her know what is going on. I am also going to e-mail his pull-out teacher and see how he's been doing in there. That class requires a lot of critical thinking "outside the box" and deductive reasoning ... and that stuff is not exactly ds' forte when his ADD/HD is "in the house".
Oh, and I asked the PED about possibly mixing in another med *with* the Strattera, at least until it is completely in ds' system. He is not comfortable with doing that, and said that if we wind up having to go that route we will need to start in with a psych. The thought of starting "over" is rather intimidating right now.
I'm tired, you guys. Does this ever get better? Or am I gonna have to learn to suck it up and DEAL a heck of a lot better than I am? Right now, ds is reading in his bed, kind of winding down for a bit before he goes to sleep (he LOVES to read). Aside from yet another time-out about an hour ago, he actually had a good bedtime - pajamas on, teeth brushed without a major (or even minor!) blow-up. He is being sweet as can be. My sweet, funny, bright, awesome kiddo. This is just so frustrating, and heartbreaking.
I am sorry that this is running on so long. I just needed to talk to someone, anyone, who "gets it". Any words of wisdom, kicks in the pants, or just plain old shoulders to lean on will be GREATLY appreciated!! Thanks! ~ ruth