View Full Version : Dad says ADHD is fake, advice?


Caco3girl
01-16-16, 10:08 PM
My 13 year old son was just formerly diagnosed with ADHD. I'm embarrassed to say that I thought he had a problem but was too wrapped up in my drama to push the issue. My, now ex, husband kept saying this is typical boy stuff, he's just not focusing, he's making bad choices...etc

We officially separated in July and what I refer to as my sons "space cadet" issues got steadily worse. Again, was it the separation, the divorce, the hormones...when he started failing everything except Advanced Math and being sent to the office 4 times a week (for the stupidest stuff I have ever heard of) I finally asked for help. Full psych evaluation showed no learnings disabilities but he was constantly moving, humming, tapping and so absorbed in random things he wasn't listening to the teacher. They gave me and three of his teachers tests to take about his behavior and told me to take the results to the Doctor. She said ADHD, he started his medicine today.

Now I find out that his own father has told him he is in retard classes, kids will make fun of him, and he KNOWS that the kid just needs a severe attitude adjustment, he needs to focus and stop pretending he has this fake thing called ADHD just to get medicine and to get people to treat him differently. He told his son that "you are just being a screw up and faking all this, stop being a kid and make better choices. You don't need this medicine you just have to choose to work harder!"

What the heck am I suppose to do with that information? I can't say "your dad is an idiot". Apparently my ex is "just trying to give it to the kid straight, he's just playing you". Well a battery of tests, interviews and medical professionals seem to agree there is a problem...now my son is really bummed thinking he's a failure and a screw up and I don't know how to even start damage control.

Any thoughts?

Lunacie
01-16-16, 10:53 PM
My son-in-law had much the same attitude ... until he saw how different his daughter was on meds.

He still gave her a hard time and eventually she got fed up with it and stopped spending the weekends with him.

dvdnvwls
01-17-16, 01:53 AM
Essentially, you say several different things that are perfectly true and not unkind, but things that when they are put together give your son enough information to end up figuring out for himself "My dad is an idiot". Though he probably already knows, somewhere, that it's true.

sarahsweets
01-17-16, 07:35 AM
If the whole "your in retard classes' thing keeps up or some other such things are said like that then you need to give the ex a talking to. Tell him that he is being verbally abusive and wont be allowed to see your son if he keeps it up. The damage he could be doing to your son isnt worth it.

Pilgrim
01-17-16, 03:48 PM
It's a very common problem and very well understood. It can be treated and managed, it just is what it is.
And if this bloke doesn't get it he's a bit of a goose.

Caco3girl
01-18-16, 10:17 AM
Thank you all for your responses. My son is 13 but I think emotionally he is about 9 or 10. He himself is not sure there is a problem so these words from his father are making him doubt himself. He knows he is failing classes. He knows he doesn't understand what the teachers are saying or the assignments given and he knows he stares off at the wall or at someone passing in the hall when he should be focusing on the teacher. What he doesn't know is if he can control it. He's a pretty mellow kid, more inattentive than hyperactive (except for humming and tapping). He knows he should know when his homework is due, but he doesn't. He KNOWS he should know what the teacher just said, but he doesn't.

He started his medicine this weekend and the good news is there were no side affects...the bad news is there were no effects at all. Still very space cadet like. The best way I can describe him is he acts like a stoned surfer dude, just in a fog. And while he is in that fog his fathers words hurt because he doesn't know that they are untrue.

sarahsweets
01-19-16, 05:10 AM
What medication did he start and at what dose?

Caco3girl
01-19-16, 11:57 AM
What medication did he start and at what dose?

He was prescribed Vyvanse, 20mg. I saw no change over two days. I called the doctor and she said to give him two pills today. I haven't seen him on in today.

By the way, my little 13 year old is 5'10 and 160#'s.

Lunacie
01-19-16, 12:36 PM
Thank you all for your responses. My son is 13 but I think emotionally he is about 9 or 10. He himself is not sure there is a problem so these words from his father are making him doubt himself. He knows he is failing classes. He knows he doesn't understand what the teachers are saying or the assignments given and he knows he stares off at the wall or at someone passing in the hall when he should be focusing on the teacher. What he doesn't know is if he can control it. He's a pretty mellow kid, more inattentive than hyperactive (except for humming and tapping). He knows he should know when his homework is due, but he doesn't. He KNOWS he should know what the teacher just said, but he doesn't.

He started his medicine this weekend and the good news is there were no side affects...the bad news is there were no effects at all. Still very space cadet like. The best way I can describe him is he acts like a stoned surfer dude, just in a fog. And while he is in that fog his fathers words hurt because he doesn't know that they are untrue.

Sounds like either the dose isn't right yet, or he may need to try a different med. Keep trying. :)

Have you read Dizfriz's Corner sticky thread (in the parenting section)?

It leads off with info about adhd kids being about 30% behind their peers in some areas, including emotional development, so well spotted.

coffeesudoku
01-21-16, 12:39 AM
I know that there are a lot of people out there who have ADHD, but a lot of doctors are handing out the prescriptions like it's candy. I don't know if he's taking that into account, but it's something to think about. But, if you do believe that he's showing signs then I'm sure that he does have it. But I do think that you're ex is going about this in the wrong way, and you shouldn't talk to a child like that.

Caco3girl
01-21-16, 03:44 PM
I know that there are a lot of people out there who have ADHD, but a lot of doctors are handing out the prescriptions like it's candy. I don't know if he's taking that into account, but it's something to think about. But, if you do believe that he's showing signs then I'm sure that he does have it. But I do think that you're ex is going about this in the wrong way, and you shouldn't talk to a child like that.

Doctors giving out meds like candy is the exact phrase he used, as was "anyone can get these meds if they don't like their kids personality".

A two month psych eval for a learning disability, 3 different teachers providing behavior scales, I filled out the scales, 3 classroom observations, the guidance counselor wrote an email for me to print out and give to the doctor based on what he had seen and the doctor wouldn't write the prescription until she had a copy of the report and spoke over the phone with the GC. It wasn't exactly easy to get the Rx.

By the way, the 40mg Vyvanse was an EPIC failure. My laid back teen, who is usually an optimist who has a smile for everyone turned into a hard core teen angst case file, talking about how I imprison him, keep him from living, and how he's never going to be able to get a good grade, or make the high school athletic team, there is no point in trying, maybe I should drop out, or go live with one of my friends....and he actually snarled at me. Yeah...I didn't give him the medicine this morning. The doctor said we can try Adderall XR next, 20mg.

dvdnvwls
01-21-16, 05:45 PM
Too much Vyvanse can cause nasty anxiety along with being tense, irritable, over-focused, and unreasonable. I know from experience. Trying Adderall is certainly a reasonable next step.

Tmoney
01-22-16, 11:42 AM
I'm sorry you are going through this right now, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Real quick, I was diagnosed at 6. My dad was an ex marine, alcoholic and treated my mother and all us kids poorly to say the least. He did not believe in weakness. His philosophy was show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser. Nobody remembers second place. I was brought up to be violent as a young man.

I had to go into special classes as a kid and my father did not like it or agree. My mom did her best to support me and to counter his negativity towards me with encouragement and positivity. I never forgot it. Yes what he said hurt me and though my mom never belittled him she would explain why my dad just didn't understand and it really helped me.

My advise is to explain to your child that his father doesn't understand and that the doctor is a smart professional who knows what is best for you son.

When I went into the classes I started to have success in school which was a huge turning point for me because I realized that the doctor and mom was right and dad was wrong. The more I did well the more understanding my dad was.
Even though what my dad did was wrong it did have an affect on my where I would always try my best so it would impress him which kept from living the victim life and I avoided the I have an excuse life!

Sometimes negativity can work in a positive way. My mom always believed in me and she is the reason I am the man I am today!

I wish good things for you!

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” - Albert Einstein

sarahsweets
01-26-16, 03:52 AM
I know that there are a lot of people out there who have ADHD, but a lot of doctors are handing out the prescriptions like it's candy. I don't know if he's taking that into account, but it's something to think about.
What do you mean by this?

Lunacie
01-26-16, 11:49 AM
I know that there are a lot of people out there who have ADHD, but a lot of doctors are handing out the prescriptions like it's candy. I don't know if he's taking that into account, but it's something to think about. But, if you do believe that he's showing signs then I'm sure that he does have it. But I do think that you're ex is going about this in the wrong way, and you shouldn't talk to a child like that.

Just going by the number of posts from parents of newly-diagnosed children on this forum, they will try anything before giving their child stimulant meds.

I think it's a myth that parents are looking for an easy way to control their children by using these meds.

Only about 65% of kids diagnosed with ADHD are allowed to do a meds trial, and many parents stop when they encounter an unwanted side effect or don't see results immediately.

There do seem to be small pockets of population where ADHD is overdiagnosed and overtreated, but not overall.

#blanket statement, # overgeneralization

Caco3girl
01-26-16, 03:55 PM
Just going by the number of posts from parents of newly-diagnosed children on this forum, they will try anything before giving their child stimulant meds.

I think it's a myth that parents are looking for an easy way to control their children by using these meds.

Only about 65% of kids diagnosed with ADHD are allowed to do a meds trial, and many parents stop when they encounter an unwanted side effect or don't see results immediately.

There do seem to be small pockets of population where ADHD is overdiagnosed and overtreated, but not overall.

#blanket statement, # overgeneralization


I don't know....I'm terrified that none of the medicine will work, but I'm even more terrified that it will in some way damage my son. His first round didn't go very well, the words demon child don't cover it. His second medicine he says makes him dizzy.

I'm not looking for a zombie, I actually really like my kid, but this constant fog he is locked in is killing him academically and socially. I have heard of people who medicate their kids to make their lives easier. I have a 6 year old daughter, she might be ADHD, but until it starts to truly affect her life I'm not asking the doctor about it. Right now, she's just being 6 to me. A very frustrating, makes me want to tear my hair out 6, but 6 none the less.

Lunacie
01-26-16, 06:36 PM
I don't know....I'm terrified that none of the medicine will work, but I'm even more terrified that it will in some way damage my son. His first round didn't go very well, the words demon child don't cover it. His second medicine he says makes him dizzy.

I'm not looking for a zombie, I actually really like my kid, but this constant fog he is locked in is killing him academically and socially. I have heard of people who medicate their kids to make their lives easier. I have a 6 year old daughter, she might be ADHD, but until it starts to truly affect her life I'm not asking the doctor about it. Right now, she's just being 6 to me. A very frustrating, makes me want to tear my hair out 6, but 6 none the less.

I know meds are scary, that's why it took so long for my daughter to agree to give them to my granddaughter.

But it was totally heartbreaking to see her slap herself on the head and call herself "stupid" when we knew she wasn't.

We were lucky, her first med (Concerta) worked great for her, but unfortunately it didn't last the whole school day.

Trying to do homework when the meds had worn off was back to her thinking she was stupid.

sarahsweets
01-27-16, 05:48 AM
I don't know....I'm terrified that none of the medicine will work, but I'm even more terrified that it will in some way damage my son. His first round didn't go very well, the words demon child don't cover it. His second medicine he says makes him dizzy.
I understand that the first one didnt work but it did NOT damage your son. He will not have physical body damage from these kinds of trials. And I understand how scary it is to see such changes in personality but its never permanent and you can always stop a med if you are concerned.

I'm not looking for a zombie, I actually really like my kid, but this constant fog he is locked in is killing him academically and socially. I have heard of people who medicate their kids to make their lives easier.
The whole zombie kid thing is a fear mongering internet thing that people who are antimed say, They say that their kids became lifeless souless little zombies and tell everyone else that they are bad parents if they try meds. If you are reading that parents have medicated their kids to make their lives easier than you need to read about adhd elsewhere from wherever you read that. That is not the case. It seems like it would be very rare that a parent would rather medicate and ignore their kids just to make life easier.

Its tough making these decisions.
http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=145739

Read this and tell me what you think.

Fortune
01-27-16, 06:35 AM
And if a med does zombify, that means it is very much the wrong med and something else needs to be tried.

Caco3girl
01-27-16, 11:39 AM
I understand that the first one didnt work but it did NOT damage your son. He will not have physical body damage from these kinds of trials. And I understand how scary it is to see such changes in personality but its never permanent and you can always stop a med if you are concerned.


The whole zombie kid thing is a fear mongering internet thing that people who are antimed say, They say that their kids became lifeless souless little zombies and tell everyone else that they are bad parents if they try meds. If you are reading that parents have medicated their kids to make their lives easier than you need to read about adhd elsewhere from wherever you read that. That is not the case. It seems like it would be very rare that a parent would rather medicate and ignore their kids just to make life easier.

Its tough making these decisions.
http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=145739

Read this and tell me what you think.
I have read your post, but I have first hand seen a kid who was medicated and didn't appear to have high's or low's he was just there...didn't really talk, didn't seem to care, again he was just taking up space. That was what I was afraid of. However, like you, I was willing to take a chance on the meds in the hope my son's life would improve, and I think we are off to a really great start.

His father is very much in the camp of the "He just needs to try harder, he just needs to focus, this is typical teenage boy stuff"...but really I didn't think it was.

My son plays baseball, very high level baseball, and when I asked around and looked it up apparently ADHD has a VERY high occurrence in professional baseball players. My son and I both found that interesting. That was his biggest fear, that medicine would somehow hurt his baseball skills. It's still early days but I think the medicine has actually helped his baseball skills. He is much less distracted while on the field, so so far I'm saying that while the first medication was scary, the second seems to be pretty good.

mctavish23
01-27-16, 01:10 PM
Caco3girl,

The evidence for ADHD being a "real" disorder is overwhelming. THE single most

definitive study in support of this is entitled "International Consensus 2002." It's

available as an ADHD Fact Sheet on Russell Barkley's website. Good luck.

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

dvdnvwls
01-27-16, 02:18 PM
The "zombie" thing comes from the wrong dosage of medication, not from the medication per se. I've experienced it myself.

There is a problem where doctors don't spend the time to tell people that this might happen, and another problem where patients (and their parents) don't think to tell the doctor when something is not right.

sarahsweets
01-28-16, 05:35 AM
Caco3girl-
I hear you when you say you have seen this first hand, I have too. This is usually and indication of an overmedicated kid, or the wrong kind. Glad to hear things are looking up for you and your son. As far as his father is concerned- be sure to keep his Dad from saying anything or letting on that he feels like this, its incredibly damaging. If your son gets wind of this, this can really screw him up on the inside. Even if he tells you that he knows his dad loves him and doesnt understand, internally it WILL do damage.

Caco3girl
01-28-16, 11:12 AM
Caco3girl-
I hear you when you say you have seen this first hand, I have too. This is usually and indication of an overmedicated kid, or the wrong kind. Glad to hear things are looking up for you and your son. As far as his father is concerned- be sure to keep his Dad from saying anything or letting on that he feels like this, its incredibly damaging. If your son gets wind of this, this can really screw him up on the inside. Even if he tells you that he knows his dad loves him and doesnt understand, internally it WILL do damage.

I don't have any control over what his dad says to him on his weekends with him. However, I know my ex can be overwhelming with his opinions, so I gave the 13 year old the control in the divorce decree.

Our son has 100% control over the decision on if he goes to see his dad or not. He doesn't have to give a reason if he doesn't want to, he can just say no, if his dad is stressing him out he doesn't have to go and knows he can stay with me anytime. It was the best I could do.

Noubarian
02-02-16, 11:09 AM
There is a kid a few houses down on the same dose of Vyvanse -it works great for him. Of course he is only about 5 feet tall and weighs maybe 65 -70 lbs, i would think the dose is not high enough for your son, you made need a stronger drug. My son takes 20mg of vyvanse and it works well for him but again he is just little 4 foot 2 and 50 lbs, I take Adderall -30mg and am 5 feet tall and weigh 98 lbs and that works for me, sometimes you just have to keep trying, maybe he doesn't need a stimulant type drug? Maybe something like concerta? Keep trying mom, it will happen and the fog will lift. As for your ex? Cut him out! Your son needs all the support he can get right now and the ex is causing ALOT of damage. Tell him he can't see him until the meds are figured out and your son is on a stable path, at least you are there for your son as his rock, let him know his brain works faster and better (out of the box thinking) than everyone else's, it just takes time to figure out how to use it.

Caco3girl
02-03-16, 12:09 PM
The doctor was clear with my son and myself that a 6 year old girl and a 250# linebacker could have the same dose of medicine be effective for them. It is trial and error.

Unfortunately I will be calling the doctor again today, my son says the medicine hasn't worked well for a few days, like the hours it worked got shorter and shorter and the last 2 days he doesn't feel like he took it at all....here we go again!

namazu
02-03-16, 02:00 PM
[MODERATOR NOTE: So as not to derail Caco3girl's thread concerning her son's treatment, I've split off some posts discussing stimulant dosing and body size to a new thread here (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=174987).]

someothertime
02-04-16, 09:39 AM
Here is the deal... i think the word might be pragmatic i'm not sure..... The words that come to mind are light and steadily balanced.

Keep on keeping on.... play down any judgmental or personally critical words or influences.... yet in a lighthearted non-oppositional way. In private,,, one might urge the other party to keep these comments to a minimum unless they can demonstrate that they are of actual help.

My mom is of similar attitude. And personally it didn't help, reasons and perspectives all might server the sender though the receiver needs love and facilitation, in a way that maintains a quasi-normality as best possible.

Good luck with it, and thanks for trying... know that the real inroads and difference is a steady process, all underpinned by self knowledge and expression.

JohnOnTheWeb
03-03-16, 11:04 PM
I would not believe my son had a problem until he was 15 and we started to see signs of serious depression. For the longest time my kid was perfect... if he wasn't then their must be something wrong with me.

At 15 with our family life in shambles and our child firmly convinced he was a failure we got some help. three months later he was on medication and three years later he is at college.

Starting my son on medication was the most life changing event my family has had.

Waiting so long to seek help is our biggest regret.

We check our car every 10,000 mile for problems and change our oil. Why can't we all do the same thing for our kids.