Too Young for This

“But Mommy, I can have good behavior without taking a pill. I promise!”
He was pleading with me after I asked him why our nanny found his Dexedrine tablet in the garbage can the other morning.“I don’t like having to take medicine, Mommy. No one else takes medicine, just me. I want to be normal, like everyone else.”
My Little One, while only 5 years old, has been diagnosed with high-functioning autism and ADHD. He’s been taking a small dose of Dexedrine for the past 5 months and we have noticed a huge improvement in his negative ASD symptoms: Less random noises, few and shorter lived emotional breakdowns, less disruptive and abusive behavior, less rigidity in his thinking, and better able to focus throughout the day. But, how do you argue with a 5-year-old to take medications when he comes back at you with such an adult complaint?
“Everyone takes medicine, Honey. Mommy takes pills, Daddy takes pills, and those puffers that Little Brother uses, that is medicine too. There is nothing wrong with taking medicine – sometimes we need a little medicine to make us feel better.”
“But I feel just fine when I don’t take my pills, Mommy. I’ll show you how good I can be when I don’t take my pills. Please Mommy, let me show you.”
My heart was breaking just a little bit. How does my little man already feel ashamed and marginalized for taking medications to help wit his mood and behaviour? So, over the weekend I decided to try a day without his medication. It was a horrible day filled with defiance, little brother beating, random sounds, and worst of all, lots of Mommy and Daddy yelling. But how do you get mad at a little boy for just being himself?
“See Honey, how much trouble you are getting into today? It’s because you didn’t take your pill this morning. Taking your medicine really helps to make sure you are the best you can be.”
“But Mommy, I’ll start having good behaviour right now. Watch, you’ll see.”
Apparently being yelled at and sitting on time out all day is better than taking medication.
The next morning it was back to direct observed Dexedrine therapy and my heart was breaking a little bit more

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10 thoughts on “Too Young for This

  1. Oohhh… heart breaking a little here… =( You are being such a great parent supporting him and letting him try a day off, just to see. I cannot imagine how to comfort him, but hope there is some way he will come to realize it is not a big deal taking his meds, as everyone really does take something.

    Thanks for sharing this post, am really thinking outside myself right now, and hoping we can live in a society one day that does not make us feel less-than simply because of our unique differences.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d like to think it wouldn’t be… My youngest loves takin his puffers so I never think twice about it with him. Just so surprised that this guy had already picked up on the “stigma” of medication for mental health.

      Liked by 1 person

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