First pediatrician: Our pediatrician fancied himself capable of diagnosing and treating brain chemistry. He prescribed my preschooler Adderall for ADHD symptoms. On this medication, she body slammed a plate glass window in a fit of rage because she could not choose between two pencils in a cavern gift shop. We were accustomed to her rages, but there was something characteristically different as she sustained a five hour tantrum (much to the amusement of the guards) on the floor of the Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. My call to her doctor yielded instructions to double her medication. I fired him instead. He later abandoned his wife, children and medical practice, running off with a Russian pen pal.
At a loss and completely ignorant, my husband and I began to devour literature on ADHD. Our wonderfully brilliant child could barely function! When tested for Kindergarten readiness, I was told my precious baby, already reading fluently and casually doing division in her head, cried, disengaged, and curled up in a ball “acting autistic”. Rather than gaining admittance into the private school of our choice, my daughter received a psychiatric referral! Without a clean bill of health, our child was unwelcome.
First psychologist: He was Jewish, which was funny considering what happened next: my child chose to draw for him the Christian plan of salvation with satan basking in the burning flames of hell, complete with the cross of Christ bridging the gap between earth and God’s throne in heaven, illustrating the substitutionary redemptive death of the Messiah. He asked us how long we had been sexually molesting her. (????) That wasn’t a very positive first visit. We were not devastated; we were rightly outraged. He did not bother to get to know us to determine our character. Instead, he determined that the structure we put in place after reading on ADHD was actually the causative agent for our daughter’s maladies. She received the coveted “clean bill of health”. Life proved differently.
I am happy to report that after these misadventures, we actually received valuable help. My point however, is this: TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. Get educated, eyeing preconceived ideas, even your own, with suspicion. Use health professionals to augment what you are learning, to partner with you as you discover what is best for your own children. Reject what doesn’t fit. Nobody loves or knows your baby like you do.