The Official Writing Challenge
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09/20/07
I am glad someone tackled this subject — and so well at that. Good work.
09/21/07
I'm thinking about how difficult it is, as a parent, to admit there might be something out of the ordinary going on with your child. I've been there myself. But, when the facts are faced, and problems can be addressed, the ensuing relief is so great. Your story is entertaining, as well as informative. You give insight into the pain, questions, and relief when a family faces something like this.
09/21/07
well done.. I bet this is a true story? If so, you could encourage lots of moms and dads on this issue. IT is great to hear that meds can work, and even the child notices and appreciates it... thanks for tackling this and sharing...Dianne
09/21/07
This touched me in a way you can not imagine. I have been there, though with a different "diagnosis." Great descriptions, especially in the beginning. I was right there in the middle of your little disaster area.
This is extremely well written.... you move into Daniel's condition in a way that creates sympathy with the reader for both parent and child. Very well done!
I commend you for sharing this story. The key sentence, as I see it, is, "I was going to swallow my pride and my son was going to swallow a pill." I've been there, done that, and yet I've also met many parents dead set against either. Great writing, and you delivered the message without preaching or passing judgement.
09/23/07
What I especially loved is the chaotic feeling in the beginning, where your MC is experiencing chaos, then the turn when everything calms down, even your manner of writing. Masterfully done. The title is clever too.

I recently talked with a mother who said there's new meds out for ADHD which don't have the debilitating effects Ridilin (sp?) has. There's definite hope in your story, and it's a view you rarely hear.
I enjoy your writing style. It's clear, detailed and puts your reader into the situation.
Our daughter was diagnosed with ADHD in Jr. High. She was always a "ball of energy" and it was exhausting trying to keep up with her at times. The meds and understanding the condition helped all of us. Today, some 10 years later, she is sympton free and happlily married.
09/24/07
Well done, and an engaging read.
I had to read this to see what the "other" Daniel was like. (my title this time has a Daniel in it also.)

Anyway I'm so glad I did. I liked the good-natured mother (yourself, I feel sure) who is able to keep her sense of humor in spite of jangled nerves. You made what could have been simply a "medical" read into a delightful story that was also informative.
09/26/07
This is why they say "write what you know". So many people excuse bad behavior with yhr ADHD label that it's just become unreal. Drugging one's kids for an easy fix is the easy road.

Thanks for the bucket of cold water. Reality check.

Your house sounds too calm these days. Please tell Daniel that Joanne said there's a spider on the back of his shirt.

*duck into cubicle*
09/26/07
Excellent writing, as usual. :) I love the way you take very serious issues, and present them with humor. I believe humor is a huge gift from God -- meant to help us get through the very trying times. Great job with the topic.
Great job on this story. I had a student whose parents refused to accept a diagnosis of ADHD, so you can imagine how difficult every day was not only for me but for this student's peers. All we can do is pray!
09/26/07
Love it! I was drawn in and you kept my attention til the end. This mother (you?) must have had much grace from God to handle Daniel and stay sane. What a great lesson on facing facts and applying truth, even when we don't really want to. I love Daniel's blessing at the end. Great job, once again!!
Excellent as usual. I've been here--done this, too, as so many others have noted. Beautifully written. It really speaks to all readers- those who have experienced this chaos first hand, and those who look upon the situations judgementally. So very well done!
09/26/07
This was excellent! It definitely hit home for me. My son also has a "diagnosis" and is on medication. It is a very hard decision to make. You handled this topic beautifully.

The only sentence that "stuck out" for me was, "The kids did some yelling, also." I loved the idea, but thought shorter might be better - "The kids yelled too." Just a thought.
This is why you're in Masters! Not one tiny critique from me. I think it's ready for publishing in some parent magazine. As a Spec. Ed. teacher, I have seen the results of medication for ADHD. I've had children tell me after they have taken the meds for awhile things just like Daniel said. " Ms. Mackelvey, my head doesn't feel fuzzy anymore." "For the first time my mind isn't spinning around and everything seems clearer." So the prayer from Danile was definitely realistic and spot on!
09/27/07
Kristen, I was a judge this week and your entry really touched me. Bravo for writing something about ADHD medication in a positive light. This can be a controversial topic so kudos for handling it with such grace. I have personal experience with this myself and know what it is like to have judgment rain down on you from people who are insensitive, close-minded and don't know what they are talking about. Great job!!! Love and blessings, Teri P.S. My favorite line - "I was going to swallow my pride and my son was going to swallow a pill."
09/27/07
Congratulations on your well deserved EC. This is a great piece.
09/27/07
Really great writing Kristen! Congratulations!
AUTHOR'S COMMENT
I just want all readers to know that this is a fiction story. While I do have a son who this is based on, his name is not Daniel. And I DO NOT SERVE pop-tarts for breakfast. (Well, maybe in emergencies.) I got a message from a concerned reader who felt that could be Daniel's problem. Please rest assured that we eat a balanced diet. In fact, my kids have never had a soft drink. We take diet very seriously.
I loved your story, the love shown, the humor, the message--great writing, as usual.
This may be 'fiction' but it is so close to my real life. My son was having a hard time (to put it mildly) at school and in afterschool care. I had to leave work in an 'emergency' one day and take him to the doctor. My bosses parting words were "don't let them put him on meds" and the daycare director echoed the same. Two weeks later the day care director and his resource teachers all wanted to know what we were doing differently (his main teacher had to know because he had to take the med at school). I asked them to sit down before I told them that he was indeed on Ritalin. They all agreed that this child NEEDED the meds. And to think I almost listened to their 'warnings' that meds were only for 'bad parents' that couldn't control their kids. Thank you, Kristen! Excellent article.