View Full Version : Getting the ball rolling...


texasheathers
10-01-09, 11:15 PM
Hey everyone, I am so glad I found these forums tonight. I have been obsessively searching online for information and it's very, very overwhelming.

I wondered if I could tell all of you our background information and get some feedback and some information.... or even just someone to say you are doing the right thing! I'm just desperate here for some guidance.

My son is 6 years old. He has been, since birth - just MORE than what other children were. He is brilliant and sweet hearted and we adore him. In addition to that - he makes us insanely crazy because he is NEVER still or quiet - or calm. I mean - never, ever, ever. Hayden has always been really, really active - wild - whatever term you want to put there - he has always just bounced off the walls. When he was a year old and I found out I was pregnant with my 2nd child, I burst into tears because I did not want another baby because I had recently come to realize that the one year old I already had was almost more than I could handle. That was 5 years ago - lol - and we are the proud parents of three children, and even though we love them all - Hayden gets the majority of our time and energy just because he just needs SO MUCH of us.

I could tell a super long story here about the past 6 years of Hayden's life - but to get to the point. My husband believes he had ADHD as a child - (undiagnosed). He is 44 years old and he has and is treated for Adult ADD. The treatment he is on is amazing and has practically worked a miracle for him.

I have known for a long time that my son probably had ADHD. I'm a former teacher turned stay at home mom and between my experience teaching, and my experience and research with my husband - we have suspected for years that Hayden has ADHD.

I have not pursued the matter because he seemed to be doing ok in school. He went to pre-school three days a week and then Kindergarten - and all of that went fairly well. He had some trouble in Kinder, and probably would have had more if is teacher had been a bit more structured. She was the OPPOSITE of structured.

This year, I begged and pleaded for him to be put in a class with a teacher who is a mother of FIVE boys. With the way Hayden is, I worry very much about who his teacher is - and I really went all out and told anybody and everybody I could that we had to have this teacher and luckily we got her.

So, here we are a month into school and he is having so much trouble. I have talked to his teacher several times and the last time - I asked her some serious questions - and by the time our conversation was over - I knew I had to do something.

I just can't let him go on one more day being in trouble. It's one thing when he's causing disruption in our house - I mean - I always felt like I could manage as long as school was ok - but now it's spilling over into school. He has always been a very popular kid with the other students, but this year is different - he tells me some of them don't like him because he always has to move his clip.

His teacher tells me that he is so tenderhearted and that he wants to be good and that on days when he does get a sticker he is absolutley thrilled. I cried during our conversation and that made her cry. I cried because I know what he is - I love him to pieces - but I know that he just can't sit still. He can't remember to raise his hand instead of yelling out the answer. He can't keep his focus on his work and do what he needs to do. It affects everything. He is in sports too and he has so much potential - he is the best player on our soccer team and he loves it - but he has difficulty waiting his turn during practice - and is often being called out by the coach. We started boy scouts this year and that's not going well for him either. Sigh. It's very defeating.

Granted - he's just in 1st grade - but I see him - I know the way he is isn't normal when compared to other children.

I just am not sure where to start - what to do - what to expect. I have an appt. next Tuesday with my husband's doctor (psychiatrist) - who, according to my DH, actually primarily sees children. He's on our insurance and my husband wants me to take him there. But, I know NOTHING about this doctor. I mean, it's fine for him to give my DH a prescription - whatever - but now we are talking about my CHILD - you know?? I want to be absolutely sure I'm doing the right thing.

I could say a lot more - this whole situation is so complex. I might add here is that he is doing well academically in school. But, occasionally I have seen a bad grade - and when he does have one it's on an assignment that involves listening and following along with the teacher. Well - of course that's hard for him. BUt, other than about two bad grades - everythign else he has brought home so far this year is 90's and above.

I want to deal with this before it becomes a problem. Before it affects his school work. I don't want his self esteem affected any further. I'm just now starting to see the affects of this on his self esteem and I want to stop it immediately. I am scared to death of him being on medication - but I don't know very much about what medications are available - and I have read a bit about diet etc... yes it works - no it doesn't - blah blah blah.... its' just all so confusing.

If you read this far - thank you!! I know this was a supremely unorganized post - but if you are following my line of thinking - I would love to hear some feedback!

Thanks!
Heather

joklem
10-01-09, 11:36 PM
Hey, first off I want to say that it's VERY good that you support him and don't push him too much to be "normal".

Would you be interested in trying to understand what day-to-day life "feels like" with ADHD? I've copy/pasted it in a few replies, but I think it's starting to look like spam. If you're interested, I'll send it in a private message.

texasheathers
10-01-09, 11:51 PM
Hey, first off I want to say that it's VERY good that you support him and don't push him too much to be "normal".

Would you be interested in trying to understand what day-to-day life "feels like" with ADHD? I've copy/pasted it in a few replies, but I think it's starting to look like spam. If you're interested, I'll send it in a private message.

Hey - thank you! Yes, I'm interested in everything I can learn about this.

Hayden isn't normal - he is MORE than normal! I think I read that term in a book when he was about 2 years old and it just stuck. He is just so smart and funny and loving - he is athletic and beautiful and just everything about him is just amazing. I just want to be sure that he has every opportunity to thrive and I don't want his ADHD - (undiagnosed but probable) to get in the way of all the potential he has. I know I probably sound ridiculous - but I'm just at the end of the rope and I just can't force myself to dial it down at this point -ha ha.

But yes, send me the PM - I would love to read anything you can send me.

Heather

MuscleMama
10-02-09, 09:18 AM
I could have written much of your post myself! My 8 y/o son has always had such a 'big' personality and is very bright and creative. People were always drawn to him when he was younger. I know that many of the qualities that drive me a little crazy will be excellent traits in him when he's an adult and I don't want to 'squash' him.

Last year in 2nd grade I realized that there was more to it than just being an energetic boy. The other boys in his class were able to stay in their seats and not blurt out whatever was in their head at inappropriate times. He is a little immature and easily influenced by the behavior of others (if one kid jumped up and goofed off, he immediately had to do the same). Thankfully his teacher was young and energetic and really liked him. She tried to help with his behavior, but I don't think she really knew what to do. He is very smart, but his behavior was starting to hold him back from his academic potential which seems like such a shame to me.

In the spring he suddenly had a period of severe anxiety which seemed to come out of nowhere. Our cat was killed and I think the stress from school caught up to him. We took him for counseling and she suggested we get a full neuropsychological evaluation done. I also finally learned a bit about ADHD and was blown away by how many of the traits he exhibited. I never knew much about it before, but there I was going down a checklist, "Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes." He kept saying how he really hated school, school is stupid, why does he have to go. He was very negative.

The neuropsych eval confirmed his ADHD diagnosis and also showed that he is 'gifted'. He was very aware of his behavior and felt bad about it. It was hurting his self-esteem to be unable to control himself and keep doing things that he knew would bother others.

After reading and researching, I was willing to try medication to see if it would help him. A trial of Adderall was not good - he became nasty and short-tempered. We then went to a well-recommended neurologist who works with lots of ADHD kids. He started a trial of Ritalin - short acting so if it wasn't a good reaction, at least it wouldn't last too long. The Ritalin was great! He became my sweet boy again and was so much nicer to his little brother. We switched over to Concerta (a long-acting form of Ritalin) and it has been great.

He started the meds over the summer and just started 3rd grade. We told the school at the end of last year that we now had a formal adhd diagnosis and his new teacher is experienced with adhd kids. We had our first meeting last week and they all said he is doing great and has a very good attitude at school. His teacher said she wouldn't even have known he had adhd! (she didn't know him last year) The school psychologist (who worked with him the last 2 years) said she sees a very positive change in him. I was so thrilled to hear their feedback because my son tells me very little about school and gets grumpy when I ask about it!

One of the most helpful things I have read has been Russell Barkley's 40 page transcript. http://www.greatschools.net/LD/ADHD/dr-russell-barkley-ad-hd-theory-diagnosis-and-treatment-summary.gs?content=677

Sorry for the long post, I don't know how much advice I can offer besides just sharing what we have been thru and learned in the last year. You sound like you have a great mindset towards all this and I'm sure with your support your son will thrive. Good luck!

Lady Lark
10-02-09, 10:24 AM
OK, so I've got a lot of suggestions/comments, so I'm sorry if it gets confusing.

Before you go to the appt, write down any questions, concerns, etc you have. It's so hard to remember them all once you're there.

Read up on medication, but form your own opinions. There are loads of "horror" stories out there, and while I don't discount what someone went through, you have to remember medication works differently for everyone, and every medicine has side effects, even the tylenol you give for fevers. The trick is looking to see if the potential for something bad outweighs the benefit the medicine gives.

It's very likely that your child has ADD, if you husband has it as well, because it runs in families. Usually the adult is the one getting the diagnosis after the child though, not the other way round. :D :p

Remember, you're not a bad person for trying to help your child, even if that help does end up being medication. No one knows your kid like you do, and no one has the right to try and make you feel bad for taking a course of action they don't agree with.

Vickie
10-02-09, 03:06 PM
Just adding my 2 cents. Go through the diagnostic process with the psychiatrist and then work on a treatment plan. This plan can include meds, school accommodations and behavior modification as needed.

As others have said, meds, if indicated, can really help with ADHD symptoms (look at your spouse), but it may take time to get the right med and dosing.

Depending on the school, there may be some simple things that can be put in place to help your son better pay attention. Read up on school accommodations and IEPs and 504 plans.

Good luck through this.

texasheathers
10-02-09, 06:11 PM
Thanks all of you for the information!

Muscle Mama - your response lifted the darkness for me! I am praying that we have a similar experience with a medication that works for us quickly. I have learned from all my reading to not let them prescribe a long acting medication to start with - so I will be looking out for that. It would be GREAT if my Hayden would start to be nicer to his little brother. :)

Lady Lark - yes, I understand what you are saying about the medication. I have read some horror stories since I started looking into this! But, I've read some good things too - and I'm definitely ready to start the medication route.

Vickie - I have been trying to determine whether to let the school know now or later... his teacher knows we are looking into this - but I haven't formally told the counselor anything.

On another note - his pediatrician says to have him diagnosed and then she will prescribe him the medication. We have a very good pediatrician and she is affiliated with the Children's Hospital. So, I would prefer to do this. But, finding someone to see him quickly is almot impossible. We have the appt. with my husbands psychiatrist on Tuesday, but if I could find a psychologist to diagnose him - I would go that route instead and work with my pediatrician. But, every place I've called says they can't see us until mid November... and we can't wait until mid NOvember!!

Trooper Keith
10-02-09, 08:09 PM
every medicine has side effects, even the tylenol you give for fevers.

Just as a fun note, word on the street is that there's more research demonstrating the safety and effectiveness of methylphenidate than there is demonstrating the safety and effectiveness of Tylenol in children.

MassDad
10-05-09, 01:03 PM
Hey there Texas, I registered today just to let you know, much like Muscle Mama, I could have written that post myself, right down to the soccer practice. Only difference being it's my 6 y/o daughter. We had extremely similar experiences, last year in full day Kindergarten her issues were really made apparent. This past summer we had our suspicions confirmed, as she was diagnosed ADHD combined type.

We finally decided to try medication towards the end of the summer, and this was a rough process. We tried metadate CD and then Adderall, two days things were awesome, then the 3rd day on each, as the medicine wore off, she would get inconsolably sad. It was awful, so we stopped those on the 3rd day. Finally she was put on 18mg of Concerta, which worked OK, then bumped to 27mg and things have improved dramatically, she can focus much better, and much of the "wild" impulsive behavior is gone/reduced without any other signs of side-effects other than she stays awake about an hour later than she used to and her lunch appetite is somewhat diminished.

Meds don't fix everything however, she's probably a year behind socially, she still doesn't get a lot of those cues. We've enrolled her in a social skills class for ADHD children with a great child psychologist here, hopefully that will assist her as well.

Good luck and don't give up hope! :)

Dizfriz
10-05-09, 02:21 PM
Heather

This is something that I think may be of use to you. It is a transcript of a workshop by Russell Barkley. Barkley is considered by most to be by far the top person in the field of ADHD. Many, including myself, consider this transcript to be the best write up on ADHD available on the internet. It is dated 2000 but most of the data is still basically pretty good. I do warn however that this is forty pages long and Barkley is information dense. It can be a bit of a struggle to work though but it is, in my opinion and in the opinion of many others, very much worth the effort. I am going to suggest you start with this overview and then download or read the article from there.

http://www.greatschools.net/cgi-bin/showarticle/2054

With ADHD like so many disorders, knowledge is the key to working with it. You will have to be the advocate for your child all the way through school and the more you know the better you can help others understand what needs to be done.

Good luck. I raised an ADHD child and understand what you are going through. Learn, study and be there for your child.

Dizfriz

texasheathers
10-05-09, 08:02 PM
Hey thanks you guys for the added info.... I am going to start reading that Russell Barklay article. It helps a lot to hear other success stories as well.

We have an appt. tomorrow. I have told Hayden nothing about it. I am not sure how much information he should have on all this?? Does anyone have any opinions or advice on what to tell him we are doing at this Dr. tomorrow?? I'm so confused. I really had a good conversation with his pediatrician today and she said I was definitely doing the right thing and following the right course - so that made me feel a lot more positive about our appt. with the psychiatrist tomorrow. But, I haven't told Hayden we are going to the Dr. - much less why.
Heather

texasheathers
10-05-09, 08:07 PM
Hey Massdad - I am very concerned that we will try a medication that will have an adverse affect. Hayden is a VERY upbeat child - and NEVER sad or crying. I just can't imagine what it would be like to give him a medication that will make him inconsolable or sad or crying. I'm so scared of that. Terrified is a better word. I am just beside myself with worry about this very thing. Just typing this makes ME feel inconsolable!! I am looking forward to tomorrow's appt. but I'm also dreading it.

MGDAD
10-06-09, 11:55 AM
While everyones experience has value. Dont make a decision about meds based on one persons experience. Medication has helped many ADHDers with very few side affects. Also if you dont like the med you can stop taking it, then the side affects go away. Good luck.

MassDad
10-06-09, 01:23 PM
Hey Massdad - I am very concerned that we will try a medication that will have an adverse affect. Hayden is a VERY upbeat child - and NEVER sad or crying. I just can't imagine what it would be like to give him a medication that will make him inconsolable or sad or crying. I'm so scared of that. Terrified is a better word. I am just beside myself with worry about this very thing. Just typing this makes ME feel inconsolable!! I am looking forward to tomorrow's appt. but I'm also dreading it.


My daughter is the same, always smiling and laughing.

I'm not gonna lie, it was horrible on those first two meds, I mean, it was strange, the first 5 or 6 hours on the meds and you're almost jumping for joy as she's not doing handstands in the store or other inappropriate stuff, but then it got bad, we knew instantly then that this wasn't the medication.

My wife and I decided to at least try the prescriptions as the Pediatrician suggested, as she has 2 ADHD boys herself, and this is what she does after all.

We were prepared to forgo medication if the side effects were like this, but the Dr. suggested we had to try "find" the one without serious side effects, as there are different classes of the meds and each one affects everyone differently.

Like anything, it's a process.