View Full Version : How young is too young or average for meds?


wendyc5056
09-19-11, 11:22 PM
I started off completely against medicating but after hearing my son's recent diagnosis with ADHD, seeing the interaction between him and his older sister, and my frustration now that I'm seeing his actions for what they are, a disorder that he is having to fight through and the stress that it causes the rest of the family and in school, do I wait another 2 yrs for his next scheduled well child check up or contact his pediatrician soon now that we have an unofficial diagnosis? We were told you can't actually diagnose autism, Asperger's, ADHD until the child is at least 7 yrs old, but the medications that I have read about, some of them can be given to a child as young as 3 yrs old. I don't want to give up without trying the methods in the books that I'm waiting on receiving, but I'm worried making him wait 2 more years before discussing it could only be making him and us more miserable, him most importantly because he is in school and I held him back a year due to the lack of maturity because of the ADHD.

Again, thanks for any guidance you can give me.....:confused:

mcnay1
09-20-11, 09:14 AM
Who gave him the diagnosis? If he has been diagnosed, what does that doctor say about meds? It was a tough decision, we started our son on meds for his ADHD when he was 4. We first went through our pediatrician, with many meetings with and without our son. She prescribed a low dose of Adderall XR to see what affect it would have on him. It worked wonders and though we have had to increase the dose and add another medicine, he is still on Adderall XR. She then sent us to a developmental/behavioral pediatrician who officially diagnosed him with ADHD. When it comes to finding what is right, it is a lot of trial and error and the first medication doesnt always work the best as each child is different.

I wouldnt wait two years to get him in to see somebody if you really think there is an issue. You can start with your pediatrician, but I would also look into a developmental/behavioral pediatrician and/or a pediatric neurologist who specializes in ADHD. If Im doing the math correctly, your son is about 5, which means he is in or will soon be in school. The sooner you learn what is going on with your son, the better off you all will be as a family and the better off your son will be.

sarahsweets
09-20-11, 09:30 AM
My so was 3.5 when he was dx'd and he started on dex. It made a huge difference and gave him the the ability to stay on par and eventually the chance to exceed his peers

happytexas
09-20-11, 11:58 AM
I started off completely against medicating....

...us too.

...but after hearing my son's recent diagnosis with ADHD, seeing the interaction between him and his older sister, and my frustration now that I'm seeing his actions for what they are, a disorder that he is having to fight through and the stress that it causes the rest of the family and in school, do I wait another 2 yrs for his next scheduled well child check up or contact his pediatrician soon now that we have an unofficial diagnosis?

Unofficial? Would this be through the school?

I wouldn't wait to act on this. Though my son wasn't diagnosed until 6.5, our live would have been MUCH better if we had had the diagnosis at least 2 years earlier.

Though you may want to (for continuity of care), or have to (for insurance reasons) talk to your ped first, a general care ped typically does not have the time or experience to adequately treat ADHD or medicate it properly.

We were told you can't actually diagnose autism, Asperger's, ADHD until the child is at least 7 yrs old,

An Asperger's or Autism diagnosis made for a child under 7 yrs old is much more likely to change due to the wide range of development for younger children. Sometimes providers may feel either diagnosis is likely in the future but may give a PDD-NOS diagnosis in the meantime, others will go with Asperger's/Autism diagnosis though it could change in the future.

Also, certain diagnoses and more detailed diagnoses can help in getting a special education eval -- an OHI designation under special education law would make him eligible for OT and ST (for social reciprocity and pragmatics), and behavior support/legal protection.

I so wish I had a headbanging smilie though:( -- ds' school had told us "they" didn't consider ADHD before 2nd or 3rd grade, and the family therapist ds saw starting in mid-Kindergarten wanted to wait and see how ds did in 1st grade before referring us to a psychologist or a psychiatrist.

I can't express to you how HUGE a mistake it was to listen to them. I think that there is a bit of a backlash against ADHD and "labeling" of young children in general to the point where children are NOT getting help when they should. Though sometimes the issue may be that a child is a little less mature than average, or who really needs more free activity vs. structured activity--sometimes a child is WAY off the charts in some aspect and needs help in that area.

I'll skip the terror that ds was before school (which began shortly before 2yo and got much worse at 4yo), and just say that Kindergarten was a HORRID year for us all -- ds was constantly in trouble. The school plastered him with behavior charts to motivate him (epic fail), gave him ISS, sent him to the principle (evil woman :mad:), and suspended him (a Kindergartener) a few times. Now that I know better I can see that they clearly did not meet their obligations under Child Find.

...but the medications that I have read about, some of them can be given to a child as young as 3 yrs old. I don't want to give up without trying the methods in the books that I'm waiting on receiving, but I'm worried making him wait 2 more years before discussing it could only be making him and us more miserable, him most importantly because he is in school and I held him back a year due to the lack of maturity because of the ADHD.

Isn't he only 5yo? Where did you hold him back from?

Even getting a formal diagnosis doesn't mean you HAVE to medicate him NOW, though I would start him in Play Therapy with someone who is experienced in helping young ADHD children. I would also find a developmental-behavioral ped led team for a more thorough evaluation; I've found a couple of hospitals in your state with programs similar to the one ds was evaluated at--there may be others...

Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics :: Nationwide Children's ... (http://www.nationwidechildrens.org/developmental-behavioral-pediatrics)

Behavioral Pediatrics and Psychology | Our Services | UH Rainbow ... (http://www.uhhospitals.org/rainbowchildren/ourservices/tabid/139/behavioralpediatricsandpsychology.aspx)

There are other non-med things you could try:



Fish Oil -- Some parents have some success with a fish oil supplement. Nordic Naturals is supposed to be a good brand but even the flavored oil can taste a little fishy. Dr. Sears has a fish oil for children that covers up the "fishy" taste well. Ds' wouldn't take either one (though he thought Sears' tasted good, he doesn't like the "oiliness"), so I give him Sears' Omega-3 DHA fruit chews (check around online for sales).
Magnesium and vit B6 - Late in K I gave ds magnesium with his multi-vitamin and it curbed his hyperactivity.
Sleep Study - Lack of quality sleep can result in ADHD-like symptoms or worsen them; sometimes a child may not be getting enough quality sleep even if they don't get up often or appear restless--a sleep study can evaluate this for you. It used to take 40min-3hrs to get ds to go to sleep, but Melatonin (over the counter supplement) helped that. He currently takes a 3mg time-release Melatonin pill at night.
It is also pretty common for children with a spectrum or ADHD diagnosis to also have sensory issues--you could do an evaluation with an OT for immediate feedback/help on this. I used to do brushing therapy and joint compressions at night with ds, but he says he can go to sleep without it (and he does) so we haven't done it in awhile.

Dovie
09-20-11, 02:06 PM
We waited for nine months after my son was diagnosed. He was four when he was diagnosed. It's absolutely possible to get a diagnosis at a young age if the severity of his symptoms allow it. I would contact the doctor as soon as possible for an official diagnosis. Even if you decide not to medicate the official diagnosis is incredibly important. It opens up a ton of options for help to your son like getting an IEP or a 504 when he gets in school.

Once he has an official diagnosis you can really think about medicating. It's a tough decision that should be thought out well. We eventually decided on a trial and truly believe it was worth it. Some parents don't and there's nothing wrong with that either.

Lv2sleep
09-20-11, 10:20 PM
My daughter was diagnosed with adhd at her 5 year well check up appointment. After a period of shock I started reading everything I could get my hands on regarding adhd.

I waited for 6 months until I agreed to a trial of stimulant medications. She was only 5 years old, but honestly, it was the best decision I have ever made on her behalf. I believe the medications she is on may have saved her life, perhaps more than once.

She was dangerously impulsive at the time (she still is, just not as much) and her safety was at risk.

I could write a tremendous amount of positive things regarding how the medicines have changed her life, but I would just encourage you to explore the option.