We finally took the plunge and took our newly minted 6 year old to the psychiatrist this week. We now hold in our hot little hands a bottle of Concerta, at the lowest dosage. We also went through that pain which every parent goes through at one point of their children’s lives – we had to teach her how to swallow a pill. She was a trooper! We will see the doc again in two months, but she will start therapy for behavior techniques soon (the therapist is supposed to call us and set the appointment), she will probably do once a week for a month or so.
As thrilled as I am to have this done and over (our oldest also has this, so it is not a new experience for us – plus, it helped to know the signs, which decreased frustration on all sides), I am not thrilled with the choice of psychiatrist I made. I am on the fence still, but leaning toward finding a different doctor. You see, I have homeschooled for five years now. I have fought with my in laws about this – they even tried going behind our backs once to re-enroll our teenager back into public school because she complained about not liking homeschool (yeah, I made her do the work and, wow, she learned and scored higher on the SAT than the average student of the public school she once attended) – and they still ask when we are going to enroll the younger ones in school and ask them when they will go to school with the other kids when we aren’t around. I have given up trying to change their minds and just ignore their quips now.
See, I am tired of fighting about why I think homeschooling is the best choice for our family. Tired. T. I. R. E. D. And I am certainly not going to argue with someone I am paying money to. And this doc? Yeah, he is totally anti-homeschool. He said taking a child out of the mainstream and giving them special attention makes them less-than (I am paraphrasing, but that is the gist of what he said). Yes. He said that. To this semi-crunchy momma. It was a good thing my husband was with me. I let him respond. I was ready to get up and walk out. He did finally relent and say it was our decision as her parents. (Ya think?!)
There are a ton of studies out there on homeschooling. There are great statistics coming in on the benefits of homeschooling. There is tons of information out there about how homeschooled kids ARE NOT socially maladjusted. Apparently, this doctor does not want to read good things about a subject he is against.
I explained to him how our oldest has ADHD, how the kids in school teased her when the teachers followed the 504 plan and sat her outside for tests (she was not supposed to have timed tests), how her teachers often didn’t follow the 504 plan and gave her timed tests and quizzes and how she was made to feel dumb when she was only able to complete 1/4 of the problems. I even told him how amazingly her GPA went up when I took her out of public school, and we taught her the basics that had not been taught to her in public school (like how to write a paper!!!!), and how we tried to raise her self esteem through showing her how she COULD do the work and how she could be GOOD at the work. But he insisted that children should be kept in the mainstream, that public school (he even suggested private school would be ok) taught our kids how to adjust to the outside world for when they grew up and had to deal with time limits and bosses and coworkers that made you feel inferior. (He never did explain the time limits comment when the 504 plan for special needs students eliminates time limits – yeah, your argument has been deemed invalid.) Her self esteem was almost non-existent when I started homeschooling her because of the public schools she had attended and how she was made to feel about her learning disorder and medications by teachers and students at those schools. I will NOT let that happen again.
So now the hunt for psychiatrist in our area is beginning anew. I may not call any of them, but I am going to look. I may give this doctor one more visit. Two strikes and you are out. I will see how I feel about the therapist who gets assigned to the 6yo.
The one thing good that came out of that visit? The 6yo? Yeah, she sits at the table and does her work now. Happily and contentedly. I may be a naturalist when it comes to healthcare and such, but, as I told my husband’s doctor, I am totally willing to admit when Western medicine is needed.