Monday, 6 May 2019

Medicating our children- special needs parent

This is a topic that at times can become one of heated debate and to be honest I do not blame the people who are on the anti-side of the debate because I was once one of them, I was that mom who believed ADHD was a myth and that giving a child Ritalin was wrong and the equivalent of abuse, oh yes I was that mom… until I lived the life and walked the road that was a child with special needs.

Let me make this incredibly clear NOONE, not one decent parent out there wants to medicate their child. It was something that we grappled with and experienced so many sleepless nights because of how we felt about it- because we felt that it was wrong, but having tried every diet elimination, after standing in my kitchen for hours on end batch cooking, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free and colorant free organic meals for my child for months, after trying every natural aid and supplement I could get my hands on and after numerous visits to educational psychologists, psychologists, peads and psychiatrists we were faced with little to no improvement and a choice that even today sits with me.

The judgment you receive as a parent for choosing your child is downright unfathomable, I mean you would treat a child with diabetes right? However when it comes to mental health and behavioral disorders and even autism you are looked down upon like the scum of the earth.

I have no regrets I know we did what every loving parent would, we researched we tried every alternative we sought second third and sometimes even forth opinions, towards the end of last year we even tried CBD oil and whilst at home saw a fair difference in our eldest sons behavior however when he started school it became very clear that it just wasn’t going to cut it, but we tried it…. Unfortunately our doctors would not continue to see him whilst he was on the cbd oil and again we were left with an incredibly difficult and heart-breaking choice, in the end we chose to resume meds and since then have had to add a further medication for other things but we are seeing results and improvement in overall mood and behaviors we have gone from an incredibly depressed anti-social child to a child who is actively trying and whose mood has done a complete turnaround… that to me… my child’s mental health and stability is worth far more than any judgment that will ever be thrown at me.

Yes I am incredibly aware of what goes into these meds and I hate it but if it means a happy healthy child then it has far more worth than one could comprehend unless you have walked the path you will never know, every child is different when we removed my middle son from the previous ‘school’ we chose to stop his medication and see how it went as the school was incredibly supportive and encouraging, we are still medication free with him which is a great feeling, is he the easiest child and would he survive in a mainstream environment… I do not think so buts that’s ok, he is who he is and he is supported and embraced in a loving environment that promotes acceptance and allows the kids to be who they are.

Do I wish with every fiber of my being that we didn’t need to medicate or that there was some form of natural alternative that worked? OF COURSE I DO, but the reality of the situation at this point in time is that this is our option and the best one for our child, if at some point in the future we find an alternative that works and meets the needs of our child then we will happily embrace it but at this point in time it is what it is and I will not apologize for the choice as no other mom faced with the choice should need to and that is in respect of physical or emotional/ mental illness, to shame a parent who is travelling a journey of which you have no likeness is shameful and is part and parcel of why so many children who desperately need aid and help go without it the stigma…. the judgment at the end of the day the child in question is the most important factor and only those who walk the journey alongside them or have walked a similar path could fathom to understand the anguish, the emotional stress and pain that come with watching a loved one or your child walk a path that requires these choices.

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