View Full Version : Concerns With Early Childhood Medication Use and Possible Future side effects


ConceredParent
10-10-16, 10:26 PM
This is my first post on this forum. I am a father of 3 wonderful kids. And myself diagnosed with ADD or ADHD for those who coin the term ADD obsolete. Now without going into a gigantic backlog and why certain things happened they way they did i will go though a quick fun through.

My son was born(2010) -->I split from my ex-wife, son stayed with her(mar,2011)--->Mom leaves son with her parents, forcibly kept away(sept,2011)--->Grand parents run him through MANY child developmental programs, claim he is learning impared(sept,2011-mar,2012)---->is seen by a local -much hated institution- that diagnosis my son as ADHD with a list of other(2012) ---> 3 year old son is put on a mixture of Methylphenidate and Klonopin. ALL of this was done while a pending legal custody battle was underway, not with the mom, but with the grandparents (i know i still scratch my head).

Now i am a supporter of ADHD medication being utilized for proper treatment. I am also no against children maybe needing medication at some point, though i am still conducting my own research on this. But, my issue was that the Dr. and my sons _in my opinion_idiotic grand parents actually put a 3 year old on these two medications. I knew that it could not be good for such a young age. Especially with the brain development and other developments underway at that age.


3 years down the line (He was on the medication for a 1 year) he is in first grade. And i have started to notice very crucial things that my son does, or the lack there of doing.



His short term memory is for all intensive purposes not there
He can be told the very same sentence down to the tone, ask 1 minute later, cannot recall
His mathematics is outstanding, his reading, writing and word spelling is the same as his memory, not there
I can tell he at times just starts to make up and guess words when asked to spell or point a word out.

I am worried that the medication mixture at such a young age may have had a bad side effect, while i hope that my fears then are just that, back then. I cannot help but think that it had something to do with the medication. I only say this because i saw a progression in this from the time he was on the medication, to being off of it.



Please any insight into this would be helpful. And please i do not need anyone telling me what i should have done or anything of the fact. I truly believe that age is too young. So save it please.

Caco3girl
10-11-16, 09:31 AM
I have one of those all American court stories as well, I'll save you the speech and just accept what you have said.

I have a 14 year old son who was officially diagnosed last year. He just started trying medicine this past year. I mention this because starting in first grade he had outstanding mathematic skills and abysmal reading and spelling skills.

To be blunt, my 14 year old son comes across as a stoned surfer dude, and always has. Last year (prior to ANY medication) I yelled up to him to come open the garage door, he said okay....and I waited. Finally I went back to my car and opened the garage door myself...he was standing in there looking lost. I said "Did you forget something", he slapped his forehead and said "OH YEAH! That's why I came down here, sorry mom!"

The moral of the story is....this is your kids brain on ADHD, it sounds a lot like my kids brain on ADHD...and mine never had any medicine. While I can understand and appreciate the what-if scenarios you have in your brain I think at this point you have to ask yourself why you care. I know that sounds bad but really...lets say there was brain damage from meds that young, all that gets you is ammo against the other custody party, it doesn't change who your son is and where to go from here. Do your best to stop looking for the cause and deal with what is here.

Lunacie
10-11-16, 09:37 AM
What you describe are classic ADHD symptoms that if your son actually has ADHD would be there regardless of medication.

I myself wonder if starting stimulant meds as early as possible wouldn't help the brain and the neurons develop more properly rather than causing more problems.

Klonopin is for anxiety, yes? (googles) Yes, and for seizures. Has your son ever had a seizure? Not so common with ADHD, more common with Autism or Asperger's Syndrome.

Anxiety and depression are very, very common alongside ADHD, especially when the child starts school and finds some subjects difficult and social situations bewildering.

Hopefully they weren't started simultaneously as it's difficult to judge the benefits and problems of each individual med that way.

If you check out youtube.com for videos by Dr. Russell Barkley, he's very good at explaining what ADHD is and how meds work.
One of the sticky threads here in the General Parenting sub-forum is based on his work, 20 best tips for helping your child manage. (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=123025) just click the link.

Another great sticky thread is Dizfriz's Corner (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=60130). Very informative and helpful.

Little Missy
10-11-16, 09:58 AM
There are many of us on here that still wish we had been diagnosed in childhood instead of having to wait until your life has turned into a big fat hairy mess along with our parents who wanted to help their children yet did not realize what the problem actually was.

Then you gat diagnosed and medicated in your late 30's and wonder, "Now why did everything have to be so difficult when it could have been made so much easier?" :confused:

aeon
10-11-16, 11:25 AM
I myself wonder if starting stimulant meds as early as possible wouldn't help the brain and the neurons develop more properly rather than causing more problems.

I wonder this too, Lunacie, very much so. The following is from the Wikipedia page for amphetamine: (emphasis mine)


...in humans with ADHD, pharmaceutical amphetamines appear to improve brain development and nerve growth. Reviews of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies suggest that long-term treatment with amphetamine decreases abnormalities in brain structure and function found in subjects with ADHD, and improves function in several parts of the brain, such as the right caudate nucleus of the basal ganglia.

Reviews of clinical stimulant research have established the safety and effectiveness of long-term amphetamine use for ADHD. Controlled trials spanning two years have demonstrated treatment effectiveness and safety. One review highlighted a nine-month randomized controlled trial in children with ADHD that found an average increase of 4.5 IQ points, continued increases in attention, and continued decreases in disruptive behaviors and hyperactivity.

Lunacie
10-11-16, 11:36 AM
Ian, I can't rep you so I'll just say it here ... thanks for the info link. :D

sarahsweets
10-20-16, 04:57 AM
This is my first post on this forum. I am a father of 3 wonderful kids. And myself diagnosed with ADD or ADHD for those who coin the term ADD obsolete. Now without going into a gigantic backlog and why certain things happened they way they did i will go though a quick fun through.

My son was born(2010) -->I split from my ex-wife, son stayed with her(mar,2011)--->Mom leaves son with her parents, forcibly kept away(sept,2011)--->Grand parents run him through MANY child developmental programs, claim he is learning impared(sept,2011-mar,2012)---->is seen by a local -much hated institution- that diagnosis my son as ADHD with a list of other(2012) ---> 3 year old son is put on a mixture of Methylphenidate and Klonopin. ALL of this was done while a pending legal custody battle was underway, not with the mom, but with the grandparents (i know i still scratch my head).

Now i am a supporter of ADHD medication being utilized for proper treatment. I am also no against children maybe needing medication at some point, though i am still conducting my own research on this. But, my issue was that the Dr. and my sons _in my opinion_idiotic grand parents actually put a 3 year old on these two medications. I knew that it could not be good for such a young age. Especially with the brain development and other developments underway at that age.


3 years down the line (He was on the medication for a 1 year) he is in first grade. And i have started to notice very crucial things that my son does, or the lack there of doing.



His short term memory is for all intensive purposes not there
He can be told the very same sentence down to the tone, ask 1 minute later, cannot recall
His mathematics is outstanding, his reading, writing and word spelling is the same as his memory, not there
I can tell he at times just starts to make up and guess words when asked to spell or point a word out.

I am worried that the medication mixture at such a young age may have had a bad side effect, while i hope that my fears then are just that, back then. I cannot help but think that it had something to do with the medication. I only say this because i saw a progression in this from the time he was on the medication, to being off of it.



Please any insight into this would be helpful. And please i do not need anyone telling me what i should have done or anything of the fact. I truly believe that age is too young. So save it please.






My son was diagnosed at age 3.5 and medicated at age 4. There is a sticky at the top of this section if you are interested. He is 20 now and has always had an extremely high level of intelligence and IQ but the impairments were too much for him. Stimulants have been in use for over 50 years so I feel that they are well studied and safe. The Klonopin part did make my heart skip a beat. Benzos are often hard to get as adults because of their potential of abuse and intended for extreme anxiety so I am sooooo surprised that a 3 year old was taking it.
Is there any chance that the grandparents actually took the klonopin and used your son as a front for obtaining it? Not trying to be a sh*t stirrer but its just so out of the norm that it jumped into my mind right away.

JennK258
11-25-16, 11:18 AM
Everyone else pretty much said what I was thinking already. :) So, I will just add that if you have joint legal custody you have a right to have your child evaluated for a second opinion.

I had my son re-evaluated several times to make sure we were doing the right things for him, and felt much greater peace of mind when the results continued to line up and make sense.

I do feel the need to second the point made about Klonopin... benzos are highly addictive and can be very difficult to withdraw from. There is no way that Klonopin is a sound choice for a first line treatment for anxiety, even in an adult, much less a young child. There are just so many other drugs to choose from to treat anxiety, and doctors often try an SSRI or similar medication first.

I am in a somewhat similar situation with my FH and his daughter. I know how frustrating it is! Just stay calm and focus on getting proper treatment going forward. Hang in there!

JennK258
11-25-16, 01:28 PM
Also, meant to add... Klonopin definitely affects short term memory. I was on it for a while and felt like I was developing early onset Alzheimer's.