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reader's story: Samantha

Posted Sep 17 2011 10:08pm

an interview with: 
Samantha Wiles ADHD child(ren):Ryan, 10 years old, 4th gradeNON-ADHD child(ren):Danielle, 22 years old, College (away from home)
Briana, 19 years old (out of home)

Who are you?
I am currently a stay at home mom (only for the past year when I got remarried). Until then, I had always worked out of the home. I am the oldest of four girls and my parents divorced when I was 13. I have always had a close family.

Describe your ADHD child using only ONE word: amazing
What about your life makes your ADHD story uniquely yours?   While married to Ryan's father, I was a victim of domestic violence. I only say that because Ryan witnessed alot of that until he was three years old. When I finally "wised up" and left the situation, there was a major tug of war over Ryan, to the point that his father actually withheld him from me and kidnapped him. We moved ALOT and it was very hard to have any kind of routine as our life was completely out of control until moving to a different state in 2005. I'm still unsure what Ryan remembers. With all that being said, I know that I saw the signs of the ADHD when he was younger, however I thought it had to do with our situation and that he would get over it. 

I was a single mother with three children for several years. In addition to Ryan's ADHD, I also dealt with a daughter who was diagnosed with bi-polar and has addiction issues.

Ryan has anxiety issues as well as a diagnosis of OCD. For him everything has to be symmetrical. Pop tarts out of the bag with a broken corner was the end of the world. Fruit rollups were impossible unless it came off the wrapper with NO tears.

In addition, we just recently discovered that he has a genetic condition with MTHFR. He takes an additional medication that will hopefully allow his body to metabolize the medication correctly so that it is more effective.

How did your ADHD child come to be diagnosed? In kindergarten, Ryan's teacher had children that were diagnosed with ADHD. She kindly took me aside and explained that although she was not a doctor, she felt that it would be in his best interest to check with his doctor. We went thru the questionnaire and exam and began medication at the age of five. At the age of seven, he went to a psychiatrist which is when he was diagnosed with OCD. The entire ride has been a roller coaster of new meds trying to find the right fit.

What are your ADHD child’s strengths/gifts/talents? Weaknesses? Obsessions? 
Ryan is extremely intelligent. He was recently tested again and his reading comprehension is college level. He loves to read and his favorite author is Rick Riordian. He has read every Percy Jackson book and additionally has read the new series of Kane Chronicals. I am repeatedly told by his current teacher that Ryan has a real knack of explaining "how" to do a problem in math to his other classmates. He is always quick to offer to help.

His major weakness is the inability to regulate his emotions. His feelings are hurt easily and it typically takes him quite a while to calm down.

He is definitely obsessed with reading and video games.

What sports or extra-curricular activities does your child participate in successfully?He currently does not do any extra-curricular activities. Although, during the summer we do quite a bit of boating as a family.

What strategies do you employ to cope with ADHD? Re-direct, re-direct, re-direct. I am very aware of when he is getting upset and try to head him off at the pass.
If you could give one piece of advice to a parent of an ADHD child just diagnosed, what would it be?To have a strong support system, both for your child as well as yourself.

If you could have a free 60-second spot on a public broadcast station, what would you share, show, say? 
A child with ADHD is still a child that deserves understanding and love. He is not naughty, he just has a disability that he has to overcome. It is not always easy but absolutely and definitely rewarding!!
Does your child take medication to manage their ADHD? Is so, what medication and at what dosage? How does it work for them? What side effects do you see?Vyvanse 50mg (showed more aggression)
Intuniv 3mg (limits the aggression)
Deplin 7mg (to help with the MTHFR defective gene)
was on Mirtazapine 15mg but changing to Lexapro 10mg to help with the anxiety
Does your child attend public school or a special school? Does he or she have an IEP or a 504 Plan? What kind of accommodations do they receive? Public school with an IEP for writing (30 mins in resource room daily) and a behavior intervention plan allowing him a quiet seat or room to self calm. Additional time for assignments and re-direction.
What else would you like to share with other parents on this similar journey? 
ADHD is hard. However, I would not change a thing. My son is more empathatic and creative than most children. Those traits make him such a beautiful person.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    * Don't forget to share your story! Click the button here to take you to our online Reader's Interview form to submit your story for an upcoming Reader's Story post.Share Your Story! Read more >>
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