where wildly different is perfectly normal
It’s gradual, until it isn’t
It’s gradual, until it isn’t

It’s gradual, until it isn’t

Crescendo: gradually increasing in volume

Diminuendo: gradually decreasing in volume

Subito: sudden

A has been on ADHD medications for about 2 years now. The decision to put him on medication was not an easy one. We agonized over it for ages, and spent a full year looking for any other possibilities, including, but not limited to: occupational therapy for his sensory processing issues, a tonsillectomy for sleep apnea, and gymnastics to release excess energy. Finally the last thing standing was ADHD, and meds were started.

The difference was stunning, from a boy who couldn’t focus if you paid him, to a boy who sat down and drew a complex diagram of something-or-other (that I have kept, to remind me of this change). But it’s such a balancing act. A is on his second or third medication, I can’t remember. Because the medications mess with his appetite so badly, his meds have to be administered within a very narrow window in the morning. That way, he’ll be hungry for breakfast, they’ll have ebbed enough around lunchtime for him to eat, and have worn off completely by dinnertime.

It’s the wearing off that is wearing on me. It’s a gradual thing, until it isn’t. He gets a little more animated, a little more active. He and J run around the house until they are banished to the basement to wrestle down there. He’ll start dinner sitting, then sitting on one knee, then standing. Then the dinnertime antics begin, provoking his brother to join him. And things get louder. Maybe food will get into him, maybe not. Dinner ends and the fun of focusing through homework begins. Tears, gnashing of teeth, rendering of garments. Bedtime. Craziness, running, extreme silliness, an almost manic look in his eye. An inability to calm himself. And then he is starving. The meds have worn off completely and his appetite is back with a venegence. His behavior crescendoes as the medications diminuendo. And then he eats like a starving man, pushing bedtime back further and further.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

This afternoon is A’s long-awaited appointment at the Eosinophilic Esophagitis clinic at Children’s. While I never want something to be wrong with my child, it is my hope that we’ll discover an previously unknown food allergy that is contributing to the ADHD/SPD. I know this won’t alter the challenge that is our son, it’ll just be a new challenge added on. My spidey sense (AKA mom’s gut feeling) is that there is a food allergy there, which would explain the red-rimmed, darkly circled eyes he has most days. And the extreme skinniness. And a lot of other issues I haven’t let known here.

It is my hope that there will be a subito change for the better.


  1. Oh yeah, the eyes are a dead giveaway. Feingold was a beast to implement for us, but it totally saved our life. My son gets migraines from food dyes and that was causing the behavior issues.

    Good luck, and if you have any questions on this, I’m an old pro…

  2. I know exactly what you’re going through. The loudness. The BROTHERS. What is up with boys? Even the one in my house who doesn’t have an issue gets all involved with the shenanigans. Seriously.

    I’ll be interested to hear what comes of your search.

  3. I hope they find something–it’s awful to see symptoms and not know for sure. Ethan is very hyper and has a hard time focusing, too. We haven’t gone the meds route yet, may have to in the future. Your description of dinner time is a dead ringer for dinner at my house. 🙂

Whaddya think?

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