Haley on Fourth of July, 2008My daughter is an amazing girl. She is empathetic, sympathetic, and so brilliant it surprises me often. She reads every chance she gets, and it shows. She will routinely tell me things that I had no idea were true. About History. About Science. About Animals. About everything.
Haley and I on our Disney Cruise, February 2009
Unfortunately for her, she was also diagnosed with ADD when she was in third grade. For years we had teachers and administrators go back and forth. One would say, "Absolutley yes, there is no doubt in my mind" and the next would say the opposite. We ended up having the district psychologist observe her. Twice. The fact that she was spending 3 hours an evening doing 15 minutes of homework was what convinced me. I knew she needed help. We tried some of the non-medicine solutions and nothing worked. We decided to help her with meds.
And boy, did we see a difference! The girl we knew was in there was able to shine. :)
Haley and her cousin Lauren, Summer of 2009
Over time we noticed that her anxiety (my entire family has anxiety and OCD tendancies) was hyper sensitive when she was able to focus better. Things that had bothered her before were now giving her true, around-the-clock worries. She worried about Hurricanes and Tornadoes. She worried about spiders. She was already seeing the school social worker for dealing with some of her medical issues and the mental anxiety that comes with it. We decided to start her on an anti-anxiety med. It was amazing. She was SO much happier!! We couldn't believe it could be this easy. My nephew had had to try several meds in order to get such results. We were thankful.
Haley on the first day of school, 2009
But looking back over the last few years, we realized that Haley had become VERY self critical, and critical of those around her. One day, when speaking with her social worker, she was able to give advice to her fellow students, the next day she had lost all empathy. We couldn't figure it out. After speaking to her third grade teacher (who Davis now has) we realize that she had never done that before 4th grade... when the meds were fully integrated into her life and body. We thought a change of meds may help.
All along, I've asked Haley if she liked or disliked the meds. She always said that she liked that it helped her focus.... that she was able to get done the things she was interested in. Now it was time to give something else a try. The VERY FIRST DAY she said she felt more confident. The next day, she was on the computer and having a snack. When she was done... she got up... went to the kitchen and disposed of her bowl... then returned to the computer. I cannot tell you what a VICTORY this was. No argument... no nagging. It may seem simple, but it made me rejoice. I feel like I can see more of HER now. My sister put it well when she said that on the other med, it was almost like she was just treading water... trying to survive. Now she is able to relax... and be Haley. Can I get a WOOT WOOT?
Haley on Christmas Eve 2009