I think it will impact her relationships down the road because there will be times she’s not really paying attention or she’ll be distracted. I think it will impact her work. I can’t imagine her being able to follow someone’s directions without her going, “Huh? Wait, what?” unless she is able to take medication. We talked about this with her child psychiatrist in terms of where she sees herself in terms of medication down the road. I think Megan sees herself as not needing it down the road. I’m not sure I agree with her, but I think she’s going to have to figure that out.
Medication at college
For college, the only concern I have is that we haven’t yet been able to get over the hurdle of her remembering to take her medication in the morning. So I would like Stephanie to be able to go away to school, and have the whole experience of living on campus, but I don’t want to get into the habit of having to phone her every morning to ask if she’s had her medication. And I do worry about if things are getting ahead of her that she needs some help with her organization or ways to decrease her stress.
Dealing with driving
Eric, Ryan’s brother, is at the very highest driver’s insurance rating that you can possibly be, although he has been accident free for a couple of years now. But Ryan, who also has ADHD, actually just went to court for a speeding ticket, a very big speeding ticket. Driver’s Ed and their father taught them how to drive. I couldn’t go into the car for about three months while they were learning…The impulsivity, the not focusing and getting distracted easily is definitely a problem. We actually had to put rules on the cars. Eric and Ryan both have their own cars, so we told them, “You can have this car but there is nothing extra going into this car.” They wanted those big booming speakers; they wanted to put radar detectors in. We said no. No distractions at all. No cell phone use while you are in the car. Do they follow it? Probably not. But we tried and at least when they drive into our street those things aren’t on.
You have a whole new set of demands, structures, and expectations in each class in college. It’s a lot for anybody to get used to. I’m a little concerned about Julie staying on task. We aren’t expecting real great grades the first year, for example.
I annoy her. “Did you write that down? Do you remember that appointment?” I still feel like I’m trying to help her be organized. Her shoes are all over the floor so she says, “Well, I want a shoe rack.” So I get her a shoe rack and then she doesn’t do anything with it. Then I have to say to her, “Honey, there is only much organizing I can help you with. You have to be motivated; you have to live with your problem.” I don’t think she’s quite there yet. I think when she goes off to college and mom isn’t there, she’ll start growing up. I’ve probably done too much for her is what I’m saying. I’m guessing that I have. On the other hand, I don’t know, I just think she is a good kid. I don’t think I’ve done too, too much, but we’ve, me and Julie, tussled about it a fair amount. “Leave me alone” “I’ll do it on my own.” Yes.
Who will remind him?
It scares me sometimes to think that someday he will not have someone to keep reminding him of things, that people will not understand his issues, that so many people still do not understand ADHD. I had one parent that did not know my sons had ADHD tell me “It is nothing more than B-R-A-T!” The oldest, Scott, is in the Young Marines, and is pursuing track, and the youngest, Jason, is in Tae Kwon Do. They both do very well in each. We always try to encourage them to do things that will help them and both activities have been good for them. I really want them to go to college but there are times when I think how would they ever manage? But they are clever, and creative and so funny! They can do a million things at once and can occupy themselves for hours with a piece of string or a speck of something they find on the floor.
Nick’s driving now, and it was a whole thing of having him remember to take his medication. He always took it in the morning, but he’d forget in the afternoon. So we did a thing where we keep it in a seven day pill thing that I would check, and if he didn’t take it, he lost the car for one day. And if he didn’t take it two days in a row, he’d lose the car for two days. And he’s never forgotten it. So it’s trying find out what’s important to him, and he has truly never forgotten it.
Worrying about college
I worry that Nick would get a little bit in over his head in college in terms of he would sign up for every single possible thing that he could do. So I would be really worried that he would be doing crew a hundred hours a week and all this other stuff, and school would come secondary. And because he’s not having to turn things in on a weekly basis, that he would get behind. That’s my worry for him. But I also think that it’s something we can talk to him about and do and will continue to do. And if he falls on his face, he’ll learn from it.
She’s smart with help
Lindsay plans on going to college; she wants to be a veterinarian. I think she probably will have to have some kind of assistance that is available, from Mass Rehab or whatever. Maybe she’ll get better by then and need less assistance. She’s smart enough, and I think with the right services she’ll be able to be fine.