[Preface: Ricki has, in addition to Down syndrome, ADHD. She exhibits it not so much through hyperactivity, but rather through belligerent, goading behavior. This is NOT typical behavior of children with Down syndrome.]
“Hey, Mom” queried my oldest daughter, “Did you forget to give Ricki her Concerta* today?”
“I sure did!” I ruefully admitted, “And by the time I remembered it was too late to give her, or she’ll be up half the night!”
[I should have given it to her. In the end she WAS up half the night, as she couldn’t sleep because I was neither at the computer nor in bed. When I finally went to sleep, she popped out of bed and poked her head into the room to see that I was actually going to sleep. As I said earlier, I know I have a problem.]
During the school year I rarely, if ever, forget to give Ricki her medications. It is part of our normal routine. But when that routine gets tampered with (like during vacation), sometimes I can forget... for a while.
Generally within an hour she will start acting belligerently enough to remind me that she needs her Concerta. However, there are those days that she acts OK (at least until it is too late to give her the medicine). There have even been days that I wonder: maybe I can take her off the stuff? And then there are days like yesterday. NOT that she was that bad. It was just like she was a muted jazz piece waiting to erupt into a strong bass rhythm.
In the late morning (already too late to give her the dose), we went shopping. At first she acted up a bit but I laid down the law: “Either you behave or you go HOME! (And if you want to go to seminary-high school – after our return from America, you will need new blouses or you won’t be able to attend....” She was, all in all, VERY good in the stores. It was one of those moments of “Maybe we can do without the Ritalin, she’s getting older already....”
But by the time we returned home, she was tired and bored. And all her crankiness stood out. It was nothing terrible, just a constant grabbing of anything I was working with, a constant aggressive pushing and shoving.... enough that her sister picked it up on the spot.
*Concerta is a type of Ritalin that works for 12 hours. It has the advantage that it covers both school AND homework time, and the “let down” as it finishes is very smooth and gradual.
[note: a nice sequel coming up to this tomarrow...]