Well, it's been one month and my optimism was warranted!
When we started Scott on ADHD meds, the effect was immediate and obvious. To quote his teacher at school, "Like flipping a switch." She was so surprised at the immediate effect, she even went to ask the school nurse if it was possible. I had expected the smaller introductory dose he started out on to have an effect that was debatable. I thought it might take a few days for things to really kick in.
Instead he came home from school the first day and told me he had finished all of his school work. All of it!!! And then he said he had some extra time to cash in the tickets he had earned in class. And then he told me, "Mom! My teacher asked me to do things... and I just did them. I didn't get distracted or anything!"
And then I may have hid in the pantry and shed some tears of joy.
We saw that he was adjusting to the dose a little and the meds seems a little less effective, so we upped it a tiny bit after a few days, but now he's taking one little pill at breakfast and one just before lunch at school. He even has a buddy from his class and they walk to the nurse's office together to take their "vitamins."
Scott's doctor had suggested the possibility of taking a 3rd dose right after school, and we quickly found that even a half pill that late in the day meant Scott couldn't fall asleep until about 11pm. I did try giving him the extra dose a couple times on days that he had evening soccer games. It was REALLY fun to see him not suck at soccer, but it wasn't worth his not sleeping afterwards. Oh well. His meds still seem to have some effect right after school, so as long as we get homework done promptly (which is easy now because, you know, Scott just DOES THINGS now) it's not too bad.
My biggest concern going into this was that my already underweight little guy might get even skinnier because of the meds suppressing his appetite. But I'd actually swear he's a BETTER eater now. Scott has always been PAINFULLY picky. He's not exactly an indiscriminate glutton now, but he's better. He eats breakfast the same as always, which was always okay. But he used to barely eat any of his lunch. Now he usually eats all of it! My guess is that with only 30 minutes to eat while surrounded by friends at school, he used to be too distracted to eat. But now with the meds he can pay attention to eating. The one place I see his appetite suffering is after school. He used to be really big on his after school snack, but now he's kinda disinterested. I think it's a combination of the meds and the fact that he actually eats lunch now. But by dinner time, he eats. I don't know if there's any way to convey to someone that doesn't know him well what a big deal this is, but he eats dinner. He. Eats. Dinner. I make things, and he eats them! A couple nights ago, I made Thai curry and he not only ate it, he asked for seconds. (And here's where we see what weird issues I have about food because this made me get all choked up.) He's done things like that a lot. He's more adventurous in his eating. He eats things he used to refuse. I don't know what caused the change, but I'm not complaining!
The one big side effect I see is that sometimes Scott gets a little, shall we say... emotional when he's coming off the meds. I can't pretend that Scott wasn't a little prone to waterworks before, but now it's more frequent. But I feel lame for even complaining. It's totally worth it.
I mean, I ask Scott to clean up the playroom now, and he just DOES IT. Just like that.
All in all, I feel like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. It almost seems like this was all too easy. I almost wonder why we didn't do it sooner!
The other day, we asked Scott to clean up the playroom and he did a great job. But he complained to us, "It's really hard to be the only one working." (Tell me about it, buddy!) Claire hadn't managed to do ANYTHING while Scott cleaned up all the toys. Claire used to be the helpful and more capable kid of the two. Now that I see what Scott is capable of when he's "fixed," it's made me more keenly aware of what Claire CAN'T do.
So the biggest problem now? Scott is making Claire look bad.