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Intro to my life

#1

I have 5 kids - triplets (fraternal girls, 19), daughter (13), and son (11). ALL 5 HAVE SOME ISSUE!! But not all is ADHD. Comes from my husband's side of the family...though they never went to doctors or were diagnosed with anything. Self medication with alcohol. As a family, we have been supportive, have not put our kids under high pressure for school, etc.

Triplets - all three have some sort of anxiety issue. One is practically nonfunctioning, never finished school, etc. and I suspect there are undiagnosed things going on with her (autism). She is on state disability, has been in residential programs, is currently in a specialized young adult program, maybe I will post about her situation separately...but she does not have ADHD, maybe ADD, but she is diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. Second one has panic attacks but is HIGH functioning and is currently going to college at an art school. Was one of the top artists at her school. Third one finished high school, but hated school, and can't seem to get herself going from there - does nothing because she has anxiety about new situations, interviews, etc.

13 year old is currently in a residential school (home on weekends) because she started having issues in 4th grade, leading to refusal to attend school in middle school (tried several different schools and levels of support). She is diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety. Concerta worked from 1st grade - 4th grade, but did have some negative side effects that made her noncommunicative, grunt, and she "lost" her personality. We tried every other medicine for ADHD, bipolar, etc. We had her genetically tested for drug tolerances and found that she metabolizes quickly and would need super strong doses (I also have this issue). She is now only on Clonidine at night to help her sleep. She is doing really well in school and we are going to start transitioning her home a day at a time in about a week. However, I am nervous about the upcoming transition to high school - it will not be a regular, public high school, but still concerned.

11 year old son has been on Concerta since 1st grade and we have slowly had to increase his dose. He is small for his age, and since he is a September/cut off baby, I kept him home an extra year before sending him to kindergarten. He is in 5th, but could have been in 6th. He does great in school and loves it....but his med dosage has climbed so high (at the max) for such a little guy, and he has terrible rebound. We do give him an afternoon dose but that's a LOT of medicine - I'm sure he has the same tolerance issue that his sister has. He does have a really great personality, caring, smart, etc., when meds are working. Is on safety patrol, student council, etc.

All 5 of my children are highly intelligent/GATE/seminar. But I am exhausted with dealing with all of this! I should also state that I am a teacher and the school thing has been very hard for me to deal with, because this was not me at all. I loved school.

#2

Hi PixieTrix, welcome to the group. You surely do have your hand full with children, yours and those you teach. They are all very fortunate to have you on their life! I hope that you are able to recharge your energy. No matter how much you dearly love them and care about them, you can certainly get worn thin.

Do take good care if yourself.

Sending my best to you and yours,

SK

#3

PixiTrix, you’re amazing! I have two boys and I thought they were a challenge! (Well, they were…)

I didn’t know genetic testing for drug metabolism was available. I’ve done some reading and understand that for some a test would be a life saver. It must be stressful for you when your kids may need a different med or some kind of solution for their tweens and teens. It must be hard not to imagine the disruption this could cause, but it may be manageable. We can offer some support if you’d like to share your experiences here.

Sounds like the education system in Ontario has options for your family. Being an educator yourself has surely helped you sort out what your children need.
Your journey would no doubt be very interesting and helpful to some of us, so we’d love to hear more from you. Best wishes to you and your family.

#4

Hope someone on this support group can give you more advice and guidance :slight_smile:
I just had my first appointment with a naturopath doctor yesterday. Have you gone that route? I’m trying everything holistic first to see if they work or help.

#5

PixiTrix- I am curious were triplets premature? If so how early?

#6

You and yours are to be commended for all your effort. It must be helpful to understand the ins and outs of how the schools operate. I've been fortunate that the system my son is in actually seems to want to help. From what I hear from other parents that isn't always the case. Cost of special services always seems to be a factor with the public schools.

Your kids sound so much like my siblings and I. We tested very well but performance and social functioning were lower than expected due to ADD/ADHD. All 5 of us have some version of it (though we don't all have a formal diagnosis).

Some how we all survived in to adulthood and we are all doing well now that we are in our 50s.

I was always enthusiastic about school, so I understand your frustration when your own children don't do well. I have an 18 year old who just was never interested after 3rd grade, and my 8 year old with ADHD can't participate meaningfully. But we work on it and hopefully things will improve.

Definitely find a way to get some time for yourself to recharge the batteries. That's always my biggest challenge.

Best wishes!