After eight weeks, we’ve decided to pull A off the Intuniv. Unlike pretty much any other decision we’ve made concerning him, this one was damned easy. There just weren’t the results we had hoped for. I consulted with his teachers, since they see him for so many hours every day, and what I heard was that they hadn’t seen much change in his focus since starting the meds in October. In fact, the teacher he has the most commented that the biggest difference was when he got his glasses and ear filter for the CAPD. So, not a noticeable difference. If she had said that suddenly a different child showed up mid-November, then that’d be a different story.
Along with the lack of focus difference, we were still dealing with the trauma of actually getting the pills down. Those rants can be seen here, here, and here. We gave up long ago and just told him to chew the damned things, not something the FDA recommends, but hell, they needed to get down somehow.
But what really convinced us to throw in the towel were some frightening behavior issues we were seeing. Things like A crying hysterically for hours on end, unable to stop, because his best friend in the whole wide world amen moved away several weeks ago. Things A said like “I want to go to sleep and never wake up” and “I wish I was never born” and “I hate my life.” Red.Flags. He rarely, if ever, cried out such phrases before starting Intuniv. I don’t know if there’s a correlation, but it was frightening enough for us to tell the doctor we wanted to stop, especially since there wasn’t a dramatic change in focus.
So we’re slowly weaning him off the meds. He’ll be off by Christmas and have a couple weeks to recalibrate before going back to school. And…deep breath…we’re not going to pursue any other ADHD meds at this time. While I believe that there is some ADHD something-or-other going on here, I also believe that a great deal of it may just be him being gifted and asynchronous. I’m no longer going to medicate him so that he can try to sit still in school and focus on crap that he’s already learned, or is so simple his brain asphyxiates from lack of something challenging. I’m sure his teachers will notice some increase in lack of focus, and tough shit on them. Ahem.
No more medicating his giftedness and intensities out of him, just to make things easier on us. If this is the way he’s wired, then so be it. Time for us…teachers, family, and friends…to recognize that. He cries that there’s nothing wrong with him, and we shouldn’t change him.
And he’s absolutely right.