My Inspiration behind Adding Doses of HOPE Daily Foundation

Before having my son I don’t recall knowing or hearing much about ADHD, if so it meant nothing to me. I had two girls before having him and parenting was a piece of cake up until the King was born. My son was the typical ACTIVE boy. We did notice at a young age that when he was by himself with an adult he acted one way and around a bigger crowd he was all over the place. We learned later, it’s because there was too much stimulation for him to handle.

In preschool my son was extremely active but not to the point where he was disruptive. Four out of five days we would find him in time out at pick up time because he was misbehaving on the play ground. We just figured he wasn’t being challenged enough. He started kindergarten in August 2009 by October they started kicking him out of class daily. I just knew by lunch time to expect a call from the school. After so many times of being kicked out they started to suspend him for 4-5 days. Yes, a five year old being suspended was beyond me. I was devastated and felt it was the school’s fault. I was asked to take him to the doctor to see if he had ADHD. To my surprise he was diagnosed with ADHD, ODD, CD and behavioral issues. Not sure what the last one meant. I was asked to put him on medication. At that time, I knew nothing about ADHD or any of the other letters they gave me from the alphabet. I’m not one to take medication easily so I didn’t feel to put him on as my first option.

I started researching for other treatment options all coming up with the same result medication. I decided to take him to a Psychologist and he suggested medication also. I decided to go to a Psychologist that would provide cognitive therapy. It helped but not enough. During my time of finding ways to deal with his issues the school were running their own test. After almost a year he was given and IEP plan and transferred to a school that had a SPED program. This change in classroom structure helped him tremendously.

I continued to research more and in reading different articles I learned his eating habits could be making his symptoms worse. So I decreased the amount of sugar he had during the week and would let him eat what he wanted during the weekend. No soda at all, no desserts, and nothing with caffeine, mind you he loves coffee. Other articles talked about children with ADHD and their sleep patterns. Children that did not get enough sleep at night would act out in school the next day. I changed his bed time from 9:30pm to 7:30pm, latest 8:00pm. All these little changes really helped.

I did also use Synaptol for several weeks and it did help but the affects wore off after a while. Recently in December I started him on Adderall. He was given 5mg that lasted 12 hours. After 3 weeks of dealing with a child that had become so aggressive that I felt I would not be able to control, I took him off. I kept him off the medication for a while until I decided to try a different medication Concerta. I’ve notice that this medication does not make him more aggressive as the Adderall did. While he’s on Concerta he is able to focus and pay attention in school. As he’s growing the medication is changing so it’s an ongoing process for us as to what works best for him. It’s a learning process.

I share my story because as parents we have to be proactive for our children. I did not settle for the traditional way to treat my child as a first option but I used a combination of treatments to bring him to a place to function daily. The primary treatment is to prescribe Ritalin and others of the sort. I choose not to use prescribed medication until I exhausted all other options. Change his sleeping habits, the way he ate, our daily schedule, praying with him daily, lots of motivation, reinforcement when he is doing what’s right and #1 LOTS OF PATIENCE has helped tremendously. With the changes I’ve made in his daily routine, eating, sleeping and classroom environment my son has come from being kicked out of school daily to occasionally getting a call from the teacher.

Knowledge is power and through our foundation we hope to empower parents with the tools they need to face the daily challenges of ADHD or any other mental disability.

-Donata Joseph


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