View Full Version : Options?


PatienceOttawa
03-14-17, 02:23 PM
My 9 year old son was recently diagnosed with ADHD, inattentive type (so he's not hyperactive, which is true). We had started seeing a child psychologist due to massive tantrums a bit over a year ago, which helped a bit. A few months later she recommended that she test him for ADHD, which came back positive.

He tested above average in intelligence in english (but not gifted), average intelligence in french (he goes to french school), and waaaaaay below average in focus (around 12th percentile).

Symptoms include defiance, tantrums, talking back, disorganization, and the obvious lack of focus. During the end of a tantrum he will often say "I don't know why I do this!". No tantrums at school! At school, defiance shows itself as him shutting down (head on desk, refuses to look up or talk to anyone), but this doesn't happen often, maybe 4 times per school year. He's an average B student.

What are my parenting options with this? This is all very new to us. We are NOT ready to go to with drugs at this point. Looking for resources that fully explain ADHD, parenting help, etc.

HALP!

dvdnvwls
03-14-17, 04:19 PM
Drugs are option number 1, no question about it. Other things you can do are pretty much dependent on the huge benefit that medication brings. (Because without the medication he won't absorb all the other good things anyway.)

Useful resources: There's a section of this forum called Dizfriz's Corner - that's a great place to start. Also the YouTube videos by Dr. Russell Barkley, and his books. That's a beginning at least.

Being not ready to go with drugs just means that the next step in the process is the parents needing to catch up with the new reality of their child's life.

Postulate
03-14-17, 08:32 PM
Thank you for posting and welcome to the forums. Dvd is right, medication is first option. They will give him a stimulant medication that alter blood flow, bpm, heart function, intestinal function, basically everything inside the body will change. So it's a huge deal and it works like a beauty, so talk to your doctor about it.

Also tantrum is somewhat of a strong word. He isn't throwing a tantrum because he's mean or defiant, but because he's suffering. If your landlord was asking $1,200 in rent and your chequing account was overdrawn by $50, you would throw a tantrum too. It's a sensation of hopelessness and powerlessness that he feels. With medication, he will be able to give more.

Cyllya
03-15-17, 03:33 AM
I think I've seen statistics somewhere that "Parent Effectiveness Training (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parent_Effectiveness_Training)" classes will often help with ADHD-related "problem behaviors." I'm pretty sure those problem behaviors are more extreme stuff than you've described, but you might get something out of it?

ajaxblu
03-15-17, 09:09 AM
My 9 year old son was recently diagnosed with ADHD, inattentive type (so he's not hyperactive, which is true). We had started seeing a child psychologist due to massive tantrums a bit over a year ago, which helped a bit. A few months later she recommended that she test him for ADHD, which came back positive.

He tested above average in intelligence in english (but not gifted), average intelligence in french (he goes to french school), and waaaaaay below average in focus (around 12th percentile).

Symptoms include defiance, tantrums, talking back, disorganization, and the obvious lack of focus. During the end of a tantrum he will often say "I don't know why I do this!". No tantrums at school! At school, defiance shows itself as him shutting down (head on desk, refuses to look up or talk to anyone), but this doesn't happen often, maybe 4 times per school year. He's an average B student.

What are my parenting options with this? This is all very new to us. We are NOT ready to go to with drugs at this point. Looking for resources that fully explain ADHD, parenting help, etc.

HALP!


This sounds similar to my 15yo recently-diagnosed ADHD daughter. According to the therapist and psychiatrist she has a mix of issues (ADHD, ODD, Selective Mutism, Anxiety) that complicate things. I agree. The therapist calls her defiance ODD - if she gets angry, she doesn't argue; she gets very quiet, stomps to her room and destroys innocuous items, such as tearing an entire tissue box (& tissues) to tiny pieces for example. Other times at home she'll just shut down as your son does. At school she only shuts down - no acting out there since preschool. The therapist and psychiatrist think her different reactions depending on where she is/who she's with are related to Selective Mutism (the above example is not the only reason they think that). It's possible that your son may have more than one issue?

I totally understand not wanting to do meds - we didn't want to either. It does truly help, but I get it. We were afraid that was the easy way out and would alter her personality and it scared us. Our therapist explained to us: "ADHD is a medical condition, a chemical imbalance inside the brain. If your child had diabetes, you wouldn't hesitate to get her the medicine to help her. Why wouldn't you do it with this?" That really resonated with us. It still took us a while to try it, and I don't think any decision is always right/wrong - each situation is different. When she first took the meds, there was a huge difference and I wasn't sure I wanted to continue. I didn't want her not to be her. She wasn't a zombie or comatose or anything, but she was quiet which is not like her. But apparently her body got used to it and it leveled out because it wasn't long before her regular personality came right back. I will say that I still am trying to find a way to deal with all of this without the meds. I just haven't found it yet. But taking the meds has opened her (and our) eyes on what she's capable of accomplishing, and that's so encouraging to her.

Most urgently though- are you planning to get him an IEP or 504 plan at school? If so, I highly recommend waiting on meds till after you go through that process. We started our daughter on meds during the process and it helped her just enough that they found a way to deny her an IEP or 504. We're fighting it right now, but if you can avoid doing so by waiting on meds, I would. Others may have a different opinion.

Good luck!

Danibee
03-15-17, 09:22 AM
Also the YouTube videos by Dr. Russell Barkley, and his books. That's a beginning at least.

https://youtu.be/SCAGc-rkIfo
This was the biggest help to me. Really broke down what ADHD was and gave me good first steps to move forward with.

Caco3girl
03-15-17, 10:23 AM
My 9 year old son was recently diagnosed with ADHD, inattentive type (so he's not hyperactive, which is true). We had started seeing a child psychologist due to massive tantrums a bit over a year ago, which helped a bit. A few months later she recommended that she test him for ADHD, which came back positive.

He tested above average in intelligence in english (but not gifted), average intelligence in french (he goes to french school), and waaaaaay below average in focus (around 12th percentile).

Symptoms include defiance, tantrums, talking back, disorganization, and the obvious lack of focus. During the end of a tantrum he will often say "I don't know why I do this!". No tantrums at school! At school, defiance shows itself as him shutting down (head on desk, refuses to look up or talk to anyone), but this doesn't happen often, maybe 4 times per school year. He's an average B student.

What are my parenting options with this? This is all very new to us. We are NOT ready to go to with drugs at this point. Looking for resources that fully explain ADHD, parenting help, etc.

HALP!

Drugs or no drugs is your choice, it's YOUR child. I can only speak to my experience.

Imagine you go to a training class for work. 10 minutes into the training you have a blindfold and ear plugs put on you. This lasts for about 5 minutes, then you focus on the class again, but you definitely missed some stuff because they keep using phrases you haven't heard before, you try to figure out what they are talking about, think you mostly have it now, then comes the blindfold and earplugs again....rinse...repeat. Then you are tested on the class and you can't figure out what the questions are even asking you because 25% of what is on the test you never even heard the instructor say. This is the life of an ADHD inattentive child.

The largest problem is it gets worse. In second grade they go over the same thing 5 times, really trying to drill it into the kids heads, but in 6th grade something may only be mentioned twice and if he wasn't mentally there at the time he is lost. High school, gesh, forget about it. They mention it in passing and it's on the test. For my son this all lead to him feeling the teachers were unfair, they tested him on things they "NEVER TAUGHT US"...then comes the feelings of being stupid, too stupid to go to school. This is where my son was in 8th grade when I finally got him tested for ADHD. They estimate for a 45 minute class he wasn't mentally there for about 20 minutes of it....well no wonder he was failing everything except gym!

He started the medicine merry-go-round during the end of 8th grade, it wasn't pretty. They either didn't work or made him have extreme mood swings, but with some patience the doctor finally found something that worked, then she gave him an afternoon dose and it worked even better! The school put him in a study hall in the middle of the day where he is required to do school work for the entire period, he is graded on IF he is doing work and constantly prodded to do the work. They put him in classes that have 2 teachers, this is part of his IEP, and one teacher teaches and the other keeps the kids focused on the teacher.

At this moment, 3.5 months into the semester my sons lowest grade is an 84%. Right now he has an A in math and science...he turns in his work....he asks questions in class....the medication and school accommodations have made the night and day difference and for the first time in a long time I feel like he is learning in school, not just struggling to pass. My point is that if you don't want to do meds right now that is up to you but I would encourage you to watch your child's frustration level and if he truly understanding class. If you see that he is in trouble I would urge you to readdress his ADHD in what ever manner you see fit.

PatienceOttawa
03-15-17, 10:41 AM
Thank you all so much. So much to consider and research. I'm not opposed to drugs, but my husband is vehemently against it at this point. He's big into reading for finding help and is in the middle of "scattered but smart" and "the explosive child", so I will add some of the ADHD titles to his list. I will also connect with our child psychologist again for more information.

Caco3girl
03-15-17, 02:08 PM
Thank you all so much. So much to consider and research. I'm not opposed to drugs, but my husband is vehemently against it at this point. He's big into reading for finding help and is in the middle of "scattered but smart" and "the explosive child", so I will add some of the ADHD titles to his list. I will also connect with our child psychologist again for more information.

My now ex-husband thought our son was just lazy. When I told him about the diagnoses he told me I was being soft on him, making excuses for him, and that ADHD wasn't a real thing. Oh and asked our son "You do realize your momma's trying to put you in the retard classes right?"....at which point I had to convince my son I was putting him in classes that would HELP him and if he wanted to get out of high school he would need help.

Fast forward one year. My ex-husband has seen our son on the medication and off and has now come full circle and agrees that "there is something wrong with him and the medicine does seem to help with that"....really that is like a glowing recommendation.

Postulate
03-15-17, 04:10 PM
Thank you all so much. So much to consider and research. I'm not opposed to drugs, but my husband is vehemently against it at this point. He's big into reading for finding help and is in the middle of "scattered but smart" and "the explosive child", so I will add some of the ADHD titles to his list. I will also connect with our child psychologist again for more information.

If you go with something that's well known and well tested like Dexedrine, there's no much room for error. But it doesn't mean your husband is wrong, you need to treat these substances with caution. Taking 3 months of Dexedrine out of the pharmacy is like taking $5,000 in cash out of an ATM. On the street, it is a form of currency similar to dollars or euros, stronger even. You need to be aware of that. So he can't have his bottle at school. Best is one XR taken in the morning so he never has to have any on him at school. You also need to tell him never to talk with his school buddies about what medication he takes. The whole thing should be handled with care, but the effects are amazing so see a doctor.

dvdnvwls
03-15-17, 07:07 PM
Postulate: We're talking about a 9 year old. I get what you mean, but the way you've said it is way beyond excessive.

Lunacie
03-15-17, 07:17 PM
My now ex-husband thought our son was just lazy. When I told him about the diagnoses he told me I was being soft on him, making excuses for him, and that ADHD wasn't a real thing. Oh and asked our son "You do realize your momma's trying to put you in the retard classes right?"....at which point I had to convince my son I was putting him in classes that would HELP him and if he wanted to get out of high school he would need help.

Fast forward one year. My ex-husband has seen our son on the medication and off and has now come full circle and agrees that "there is something wrong with him and the medicine does seem to help with that"....really that is like a glowing recommendation.

That sounds just like my ex-son-in-law. But my granddaughter was arguing
with absolutely everything we said to her, even when it made no sense at all.
Her attitude was just anger ... coming from frustration.

Her mom made the decision to try meds and a switch was flipped. No more
arguing, probably because she actually heard and understood things instead
of just reacting to tone or what she expected to be told.

Didn't take long at all for her dad to start asking whether she packed her meds
to spend the weekend at his place. :lol:

maple17
03-15-17, 08:34 PM
Didn't take long at all for her dad to start asking whether she packed her meds
to spend the weekend at his place. :lol:

Or for a younger sibling who bore the brunt of all the meltdowns, arguing, and lashing out along with the rest of us to remind his older sister to take her meds in the morning.

maple17
03-15-17, 08:53 PM
My 9 year old son was recently diagnosed with ADHD, inattentive type (so he's not hyperactive, which is true). We had started seeing a child psychologist due to massive tantrums a bit over a year ago, which helped a bit. A few months later she recommended that she test him for ADHD, which came back positive.

He tested above average in intelligence in english (but not gifted), average intelligence in french (he goes to french school), and waaaaaay below average in focus (around 12th percentile).

Symptoms include defiance, tantrums, talking back, disorganization, and the obvious lack of focus. During the end of a tantrum he will often say "I don't know why I do this!". No tantrums at school! At school, defiance shows itself as him shutting down (head on desk, refuses to look up or talk to anyone), but this doesn't happen often, maybe 4 times per school year. He's an average B student.

What are my parenting options with this? This is all very new to us. We are NOT ready to go to with drugs at this point. Looking for resources that fully explain ADHD, parenting help, etc.

HALP!

You've been given really good advice already. I just wanted to add that we're still new to this as well, and our daughter was diagnosed 6 months ago, shortly before her 12th birthday. Everyone had missed it. We knew there were behavioural issues, but we chalked it up to her being our more "difficult," quirky, sensitive, kid and I bought and read all those books on the spirited child, the explosive child etc. Because she did fine academically until the wheels started coming off in grades 5 and 6, no one noticed that all these little minor concerns pointed to something that needed evaulation and treatment.

Your son might be doing okay in school now, but as his grade level increases, it will get tougher for him to cope and keep up as Caco3girl said. That was what we saw with our kid. She aced the younger grades, but when the demands got heavier, then she struggled. Standardised testing that she used to get merit recognition for, well, she failed all of them in grade 5. That sense of failure exacerbates the emotions then because she was just feeling overwhelmed by school and exhausted all the time. We saw her anxiety increase. She started complaining of physical ailments all the time (headaches, stomachaches). After she was diagnosed and we started medication, not only did we have peace settle over our household and those hundreds of other small miracles occur that other families take for granted, but the stress related headaches and stomach pains went away.

None of us want to put our children on medication. In our household, we debated it for a month before agreeing to a trial. In that time, I read everything I could find, watched Barkley videos, tracked down studies, talked to other parents who had been on the road much longer than us. Bottom line was my kid couldn't cope any longer and was suffering. I went with what had the most evidence as an effective treatment option to alleviate this and to help support her with following through on the other, wider treatment options (like counselling, like tutors, like sticking with her sports and music). The diet and supplements and sleep and everything else helps, but we didn't want to waste any more time with non-medication options that might not give her the balance she needed, especially as she was starting high school and her workload was about to go up dramatically. Good luck.

Lunacie
03-15-17, 09:04 PM
Oh yeah. There are concerns and downsides to giving a child these meds.

But Dr. Barkley points out the concerns and downsides that happen when
the child isn't given meds: greater chance of dropping out of school, greater
chance of being in trouble with the law, greater chance of having a terrible
driving record. His own brother died in a traffic crash when un-medicated.
Higher chance of unplanned pregnancy, difficulty keeping a job or keeping
friends. Probably even more I'm not remembering because ... adhd. ;)

Postulate
03-15-17, 09:13 PM
Postulate: We're talking about a 9 year old. I get what you mean, but the way you've said it is way beyond excessive.

Planting a seed of caution when he's 9 will yield great results when he's 16, when, instead of making fun of his friends who smoke weed saying "you guys think you're tough because you smoke weed? I take Dexedrine...get on my level...pfffft!"

It's a parent thing, you got to invest early to get returns on investment :)

dvdnvwls
03-15-17, 11:54 PM
My "wheels coming off" moment was not in grade 5 and 6, but marriage to someone who didn't have and didn't understand ADHD. I myself didn't know I had ADHD until my mid-40s, and my ex left me soon after finding out.

This is just to say that regardless of school performance or attitudes at home, when there's untreated ADHD the wheels are going to fall off - it's simply a question of when and how.

Johnny Slick
03-16-17, 12:23 AM
I didnt exactly have any one "wheels fall off" moment, just a lot of "failure to launch" moments. I did get some horrible grades in school, got fired from a couple jobs because of ADHD (in retrospect) and almost fired from another, and, to put it succinctly, had to deal with myself a lot. But I do get what you're saying: this is not a condition that you can motivate away. In fact, the calling kids lazy thing, even when it does work, only does so at the expense of your kid's self esteem, and who would want to do that to any child, let alone their own?

maple17
03-16-17, 05:07 AM
My "wheels coming off" moment was not in grade 5 and 6, but marriage to someone who didn't have and didn't understand ADHD. I myself didn't know I had ADHD until my mid-40s, and my ex left me soon after finding out.

This is just to say that regardless of school performance or attitudes at home, when there's untreated ADHD the wheels are going to fall off - it's simply a question of when and how.

Agreed.

I'm sorry to hear about your marriage. I suspect my husband has untreated ADHD and has learned enough coping skills over the years to be functional (and he has me as his personal assistant who handles everything), but there's been plenty of "oh you're driving me slightly mental" moments over our 24 years and now that our daughter has been diagnosed, I can trace the line back from her to him to the MIL who is very clearly and obviously undiagnosed ADHD but everyone just chalks up her chronic disorganisation, anxiety, lifelong learning disabilities and executive function deficits to "that's just who she is, it's her personality." :doh:She only gets by with a troupe of dedicated daughters who step in and sort out her life for her. So, I guess when the wheels come off or are perpetually wobbly, if there's enough support to help compensate, it helps. But I still think the lives of my husband and MIL would have been a lot different if they had been diagnosed and treated.

sarahsweets
03-16-17, 12:15 PM
If a parent doesnt worry at least a teeny tiny bit about putting their child on meds, we wouldnt be a good parent. No one wants to think about taking meds, probably for life but the rewards in self esteem, personal success, growth and empowerment are plenty.

dvdnvwls
03-16-17, 03:41 PM
Failure to launch - yeah, the wheels can't fall off if they were never installed. :)

(I have some of that too.)

Caco3girl
03-17-17, 07:53 AM
If you go with something that's well known and well tested like Dexedrine, there's no much room for error. But it doesn't mean your husband is wrong, you need to treat these substances with caution. Taking 3 months of Dexedrine out of the pharmacy is like taking $5,000 in cash out of an ATM. On the street, it is a form of currency similar to dollars or euros, stronger even. You need to be aware of that. So he can't have his bottle at school. Best is one XR taken in the morning so he never has to have any on him at school. You also need to tell him never to talk with his school buddies about what medication he takes. The whole thing should be handled with care, but the effects are amazing so see a doctor.

Your information is old with regard to school.

At my sons school a parent must drop off the bottled/labeled medication (it must have the child's name), sign a release for their child to take it, sign a release that the parent is aware that if the child is caught with any medication at the school it is grounds for expulsion, and that has to happen every time the kid needs the medicine. The schools don't even allow the kids to bring it in and drop it at the nurses office only a parent/guardian can do this every month.

sarahsweets
03-17-17, 08:23 AM
Planting a seed of caution when he's 9 will yield great results when he's 16, when, instead of making fun of his friends who smoke weed saying "you guys think you're tough because you smoke weed? I take Dexedrine...get on my level...pfffft!"

It's a parent thing, you got to invest early to get returns on investment :)

A 9 year old most likely will not understand the abuse "potential" of their medication. I think this talk would be better to have when the child is older.

Postulate
03-17-17, 08:26 AM
Your information is old with regard to school.

At my sons school a parent must drop off the bottled/labeled medication (it must have the child's name), sign a release for their child to take it, sign a release that the parent is aware that if the child is caught with any medication at the school it is grounds for expulsion, and that has to happen every time the kid needs the medicine. The schools don't even allow the kids to bring it in and drop it at the nurses office only a parent/guardian can do this every month.

Doyou think that's a good idea for some underpaid school officials to handle Dexedrine? Sounds risky! What's wrong with keeping the bottle at home and giving your son 1 XR every morning before school?

namazu
03-17-17, 02:21 PM
MODERATOR NOTE:

Please remember that the topic of this thread is not the abuse potential or street value of Dexedrine, nor the logistics of taking medication at school.

The OP asked:
What are my parenting options with this? This is all very new to us. We are NOT ready to go to with drugs at this point. Looking for resources that fully explain ADHD, parenting help, etc.

Further off-topic posts in violation of site guidelines will be removed.

Thanks.

dvdnvwls
03-17-17, 05:04 PM
Regarding the common concern that medication is taking the easy way out:

If you're getting ready for a trip across the Atlantic Ocean, do you opt for honesty and integrity and decide to swim? Or do you cheat, and travel by plane or ship?

Is my friend who had his legs amputated "cheating" when he uses his wheelchair to get around?

I'm not saying ADHD is like having no legs; I'm saying it's necessary to do the things that work, and not feel guilty about doing them. If my friend tried to walk from his place to downtown instead of using the wheelchair, he'd be pigheaded or crazy, not brave or honest.

Lunacie
03-17-17, 05:24 PM
Doyou think that's a good idea for some underpaid school officials to handle Dexedrine? Sounds risky! What's wrong with keeping the bottle at home and giving your son 1 XR every morning before school?

Unfortunately the XR we gave my granddaughter didn't last the whole school day.
That's what was wrong with that idea in our particular case.

Caco3girl
03-21-17, 10:28 AM
My son was at first very concerned with taking medication. I think he was worried it would "label" him in some way.

His pediatrician said "You have trouble telling green and blue apart right, because you are color deficient. Do you think it's fair for you to be tested on your colors for a grade?"

He said "No, that wouldn't be fair."

She said "Exactly, it wouldn't be fair because no matter how hard you study you just can't tell those colors apart. It's also not fair to ask an ADHD kid to sit quietly for a hour, pay attention to what the teacher is saying, and then be tested on that material. No matter how hard they try to pay attention they just can't. It is no different than asking you to tell green from blue."