When our wonderful paediatrician saw the scores on Ethan’s Conners questionnaire, she commented that she had rarely seen such high scores for hyperactivity! To us, that wasn’t such a surprise. In the few weeks before he was born, Ethan was the most mobile bump I had ever seen and I felt bruised from the inside out! Around his due date he did a massive somersault and declared himself breech! Despite interventions, medical and prayerful, he dithered from one direction to the other and was born C-section. For me, a truly joyful, ecstatic and wonderful experience.

His energy levels have been high ever since, and despite thinking and hoping that he was just a full on little boy, his hyperactivity began to effect his life in school. At the age of 6 our GP referred him for an assessment for ADHD. It was actually at this appointment that our paediatrician (the wonderful one) noticed some of his ASD traits and that then led us down that other pathway too.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is an internationally recognised medical condition affecting  between 5 – 10% of school aged children. It is characterised by the core behavioural symptoms of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity.

quote from ADD-NI charity website

Inattention, impulsivity, hyperactivity. Yes! Yes! Yes! Ethan through and through. Each behaviour has got him into some sort of trouble at some time in his life;-)  We talk to him a lot about channelling his ‘energy’ into things he enjoys and he used his recent manifesto (school council elections), as an opportunity to tell his whole class about his condition and the benefits it brings to his life.

After much anxious and prayerful thought, listening to a wide range of opinions and Googling for hours, we decided to take the advice of our padeiatrician and have Ethan take medication. He has been taking the same one for four years now, MEDIKINET XL and is on a relatively low dose for his height/weight. Its primary effect is to bring calm to his hyper. It makes him more aware of what is happening around him and gives him space to think before he acts. We hope with all our hearts that, as he learns more and more to self-manage his behaviours, a time will come when he will stop taking them. We choose to give him a break from them at weekends and holidays to allow him to eat all around him (they have an appetite-suppressing effect). This is the only thing he complains about.

When a child has more than one condition, as Ethan does, the term is co-morbid. It doesn’t sound very pleasant does it? I like to think of it more as a blended whiskey! Different whiskeys coming together to produce the most flavoursome one of the lot.

Ethan is our very own Bushmills Original!

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