SO, for those who are curious, yes, it is very definite that Elise has ADHD. She has responded properly to the medication that she was put on. That is currently not at question.
You know how some disabilities have very clear-cut responses to very clear-cut symptomology? Yeah, me either. Before I entered this world, I believed that medicine was a very concise science. There would be a problem, and there would the "how to fix it" answer laid all out...Since entering this world, I have realized that that is more the exception than the rule. ADHD is no different, it's a big game of trial and error.
The medication that she was put on 4 weeks ago was amazing. It changed her behavior almost at once. The flaw was that it made her VERY sleepy. It slowly abated, not so much that it stopped making her sleepy, but that it did not make her sleepy at school, just after. It made her so sleepy that we were unable to up the dosage as the weeks progressed. Unfortunately, the rest of her body adjusted to the medication, and her impulsiveness and aggression came back...but because the side-effects were still in such strong effect, we couldn't adjust the dosage without increasing the side-effects. In short, this first medicine is a "no-go".
Today we went back to the neurologist, for him to say almost exactly what I had concluded above. While it makes me feel pretty smart, I wish he knew more than I do. You know??
The neuro asked me if we wanted to pursue the attention portion of her diagnosis or the impulsivity/aggression portion. This was a no-brainer. The whole reason our hand was tipped for this diagnosis was because of the second. SO we are on another trial prescription...this drug is one that was made for WHOLE other reasons than to treat ADHD. It was originally made to treat psychotic episodes, Schizophrenia, Tourettes, and various forms of bi-polar. The big baddies that you read about in abnormal psyche. Not really things you want to hear about in the same sentence as your kid. I mean, REALLY?? Ack!
I put in a call to my pediatrician and my brother-in-law [he's a pharmacist (gotta love insider information!)] and made sure that it was still okay to consider a trial run. They both said yes, as long as I am hawk-like in following the side-effects...no problem, there. For the record, I virtually never accept one doctor's say-so. If you are in medicine, I am your worst nightmare. You're welcome. :) I've been know to call conflicting doctors, multiple pharmacists, and other in-the-trenches parents (yes, even those that I don't actually know!) until I feel comfortable with a decision.
There you go. You are now just as smart as me. Or just as unimpressed as me...I wish there was a silver bullet, a magic pill. There isn't. But, I trust those who are wandering this forest with me, which is all you can really ask for, right?
Conclusively? All I am looking for here is something that will buy us a few years until her maturity catches up. Once she has some self-control and some real communication skills, I believe that we will be able to address what really needs to be addressed. Until then, we are just snatching moments and binding them together to help her make friends, set up her support systems, settle down to learn, and have a framework for the rest of her life. We're just fighting for her future, here. Which I still say is pretty bright! :)