Final Update 11/8/10: “I just want to thank everyone who forwarded this link and everyone who donated! We have had four treatments so far, and i really think it is helping! Our final total for the 15 day challenge is a whopping $1410!!! I’m humbled by the support from family, friends and strangers. Please continue to keep up in your thoughts and prayers as we continue to try and help this amazing child achieve his full potential! ♥ Nicole”
Full disclosure: Jackson’s mother Nicole is my Cousin-In-Law.
Jackson is a wonderful 11-year-old boy who has suffered through more challenges in his young life than most adults have had to endure. At age 5, one month after he started kindergarten, he was diagnosed with cancer. The diagnosis was undifferentiated sarcoma, a soft tissue tumor in his leg. He underwent 13 chemo treatments and 6 weeks of radiation over the course of a year.As a result of the chemotherapy, Jackson had low immunity levels and could not attend kindergarten. The school kindly provided a homeschool teacher for that year, and I was proud to see that the teachers and staff felt Jackson was bright enough enter 1st grade on schedule. In hindsight, however, Jackson may have needed that first year of class participation with his peers. This would have helped him to fully develop the interpersonal skills necessary for the school environment.
Jackson was dealt another crushing blow at the age of 7, when he was diagnosed with ADHD. This disorder, in his case, is very severe. While he is so sweet and charming, he still struggles to integrate with his classmates, suffering from frequent outbursts of all sorts. It is difficult for Jackson to remain in his seat, to not call out in class, and as a result, he is constantly getting into trouble. This singles him out further, widening the gap between him and his classmates, due to the disruptions.
Jackson attended therapy and took multiple different medications, which caused him to have severe tics resembling seizures. As his mother, I read up on his disorder in books and Web sites, as well as sought out medical advisors. I engaged in the recommended behavior modification techniques, such as reward systems, even enrolling him in karate class for positive discipline education. In spite of these continued efforts made by Jackson and myself, it seems that things are only becoming more difficult for him with each passing day. It breaks my heart that my son cannot just be a kid and enjoy his childhood and classmates. It is so hard to see him not like himself, to feel like he is a bad kid, when he is really not!
A colleague of mine recommended a treatment plan called biomedical feedback therapy, which sounds very promising. Simply put, it is a way to retrain the brain with several sessions. Many reputable national organizations of neurology and child psychiatry recognize Biomedical feedback therapy as an effective treatment for ADHD. The results boast an 80-90% success rate, which appears to be permanent. Unfortunately, the treatment is very expensive and not covered by insurance. The estimated cost is approximately $4,000 for the course of about 30 weeks.
On the bright side: Jackson has been cancer-free for just over 4 years.
I am reaching out to my community on behalf of my son Jackson. Please help me enable him to conquer his battle with ADHD and reclaim the childhood that every child deserves. Thank you.
Follow along on Twitter with hashtag #4K4Jackson
Nicole is new to Twitter @Nicole_Bacon
As Nicole emails me updates, I will add them below.
Update 10/14/10: Nicole has received $250 through someone’s generosity. Enough for Jackson’s first appointment. Thank you!!
Update 10/15/10: Nicole has received a total of $879.23. Thank you. We are 1/4 of the way there!
Update 10/16/10: Nicole has received a total of $1004.23! She says, “I wish i could accurately express how i feel right now ,besides simply grateful.”
Update 10/17/10: Nicole has received a total of $1080! Thank you!
Update 10/20/10: Nicole says, “My new total is $1255!”. Fantastic!
Update 10/25/10: Nicole says, “We are up to 1275.”
Update 10/27/10: $1310
My heart goes out to you – My husband and son also have ADHD. It’s so difficult to see them struggle when you know they are intelligent, warm, and wonderful. A couple of things ADHD mom to ADHD mom -I know EVERY case is different – 1. It took us some trial and error to get on the right medication – it feels like a really bad science fair experiment and I cried myself to sleep many nights until we found the right meds for our son. He’s on Ritalin and that’s what works for him – you might want to keep trying to find a drug that works for Jackson – it’s been life changing for my son- 2. We moved our son into a Montessori school this year for 7th grade – It has changed his world and ours!
I have a website and am writing a book about ADHD relationships titled Not Wrong Just Different – I’d love to connect with you over the phone at some point to learn more about you and Jackson.
Rebecca- Thanks for sharing your experience. There is a group on Facebook for Jackson if your are interested.