Friday, August 10, 2007

Girl interruptus

Today, we received the not very surprising news that Sofie has ADHD. In many ways it's a relief to finally know for sure that's what's going on with her. I admit though, I had a momentary lapse in sadness. Sad for the lifelong challenges that she may face. Sad for the stigma that can go along with being a girl with ADHD. Sad that this just confirms that she probably was exposed to alcohol and/or drugs prenatally(she is Eastern European for goodness sake!!) Once I got over my initial sadness, I opened up to the good outcomes from this diagnosis. I walk forward with slight trepidation in hopes that all will be good.

Being the good little librarian that I am, I've done my homework. Debra sent a website recommended by Sofie's doctor and I took it from there. The signs have been there all along. After reading that article I felt relieved and somewhat joyous that we're ahead of the curve for typical diagnosis in girls. ADHD has always been a boys disease since it's so much more apparent in how they behave. It's also been a stigma in girls because it's not "typical" behavior in girls, so they're often overlooked. Because of this lack of awareness, two women, Drs. Patricia Quinn and Kathleen Nadeau created the National Center for Girls and Women with AD/HD to "promote awareness, advocacy, and research on AD/HD in women and girls." I, for one, am grateful for their work and dedication to this cause.

Sofie will begin medication soon. The doctor says we will probably see results quickly. I'm very curious if Sofie will notice the difference. If she'll even be able to articulate what she's experiencing with the changes in her body. My biggest concern is losing the personality that we've come to know and love as Sofie. I worry that she'll become flat and no longer be the spunky girl I love so much.

In my heart, I know this is the right thing. We all know that Sofie is an intelligent and bright kid. We also know she struggles with schoolwork. After reading this checklist I can see clearly why she has issues with school, self esteem, focus, interrupting, wiggliness and messiness. It's all right there, check box after check box. I just hope she knows and realizes this is not her fault and that Debra and I will do everything we can to make this work for her. She is a girl who is very loved and supported and I hope this makes it all easier somehow.

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