The System Failed My ADHD Son: Now He’s Back in School and Happier Than Ever
Until a few weeks ago, Carly Newton’s son Lenni had been out of the education system for nearly a year, due to an incident that meant he was permanently excluded from his mainstream school. Now, with the help of a natural, herbal remedy containing extracts of the cannabis plant, the symptoms of ADHD that left him distressed and unable to concentrate are under control and he’s back in the education system at a school specially equipped to deal with his additional needs.
34 year-old Carly Newton, a Doula from Stevenage in Hertfordshire has been home-schooling her seven year old son Lenni since January, months before schools were shut when lockdown measures were announced. Their daily routine has been especially difficult as Carly’s job sometimes means she is out on call for days at a time. Here, Carly explains more about their story and the ‘magic gummies’ that have prompted such a positive change in Lenni’s behaviour.
“We had problems ever since Lenni started school,” begins Carly. “He finds it very difficult sit still and focus and flits from one thing to another, which makes the school day very challenging for him. Unless it’s an activity that he is really engaged in he won’t pay attention for more than a few minutes.
“Getting the right support has been really difficult, we’ve had a long journey to get to where we are today.
“When he moved to a new school and things took a turn for the worse. There were ongoing incidents where he was running around, throwing things and being disruptive because he finds it very difficult to cope with big groups of people. He was clearly distressed and needed help, but the school didn’t have enough staff or the right skills to cope with his needs.
“Things came to a head during a particularly difficult day at school. In an attempt to separate Lenni and calm him down, the headteacher locked him in a room and held the door shut. Understandably Lenni was terrified and confused – he ended up biting the teacher, which led to his permanent exclusion. It was very upsetting to see my son so distressed and scared. The situation was handled really badly. It was a mess.”
Carly took Lenni to see a paediatrician who diagnosed him with ADHD and discussed medications that could help manage his symptoms. But concerned about taking the path of traditional medicines, she began to research alternatives.
“We were offered medication but I felt very uncomfortable about this, partly because that’s my outlook on life, but as a Doula I spend my days encouraging women to opt for natural healing and meditation over mainstream drugs. It just didn’t sit right with me. I started to research and came across lots of examples of people using CBD to manage their ADHD symptoms.
“It looked promising, but it took a long time for me to find CBD in a gummy form that is easier for Lenni to swallow. Then I came across Synerva CBD Oils and I was thrilled – the gummies taste great, just like the vitamin gummies you can buy. He loves them.”
Carly was aware the effects were rarely instant, as she had read that CBD can sometimes take a while to get into the system and take effect. They persevered and after a few months, the family saw an incredible transformation.
“It has been amazing!”, Carly continues. “He started taking them in January this year and it was probably after about three months that we noticed a real difference.
“Now he is like a different child. He’s much more able to focus when I’m talking to him, he can actually listen to me! He’s more chilled out and can sit without wriggling – he’s just more grounded really. We really notice if he has missed a day or so as he becomes ‘bouncier’ and less attentive. Three days without the gummies and it’s like a nightmare, but then he has them again and it’s okay.
“They definitely work, there is 100 per cent no doubt in my mind.”
October is ADHD Awareness Month, a celebration with events all over the country to raise awareness, encourage people to seek diagnosis and to raise funds for more research into the condition and treatments. Carly is hoping to raise awareness of how CBD can be used to effectively manage the symptoms of ADHD, especially in children.
“What we went through was awful. We lost a whole year. I wanted him with me all the time because the education system had let him down so much. I was still working and supporting my new mums as well as juggling being a teacher, a therapist and everything else I needed to be. It was a challenging time, but I’m so happy to say that we’re getting there now.
“Lenni is so much happier and more content. And as a bonus, he’s also sleeping better. Previously it would take him a long time to switch off. He would go to bed at seven and be up and down stairs. Some nights it would be 10pm before he went to sleep. Almost like his brain couldn’t switch off even though his body was exhausted. Now, we put him to bed, and we don’t hear from him. It’s been life changing really as we feel like we have an evening again. Sometimes I can be birthing for a few days, so I feel much better knowing he’s asleep.
For Carly and Lenni, the future is looking much brighter and he has recently started at a school that is much better equipped to cope with his needs.
“Two weeks ago, Lenni started at a local SEN school. He loves it! We’ve not had a single phone call whereas before it was sometimes multiple calls in one day. It doesn’t work like a normal school. The children lead the learning and they do lots of outdoor play. For me it just highlights how the current school system is failing children like Lenni, who just can’t cope with being made to sit at a desk. There are hundreds of families in our situation and getting the help you need is very difficult.”
“Kids like Lenni get labelled as naughty children and it’s so sad, but people should take the time to understand ADHD and not rush to put children on medication they might not need.
“For us CBD was one of the biggest things that helped us. I would recommend it to anyone. I definitely think it’s one of those things that takes time. A lot of people give up. It’s not like a paracetamol or a normal medication and it needs time to get into the system. He’s been on it 10 months and it’s honestly been amazing for us.”
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