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Children's Diagnosis & Treatment This forums is for parents to discuss issues related to diagnosis and treament of children with AD/HD

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Old 01-18-18, 05:17 PM
Turtle1023 Turtle1023 is offline
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At the beginning of my son's journey - am already lost.

Background: have always suspected our now 8 year old may have ADD/ADHD. He always struggled with starting focus, maintaining focus, and was always more of a daydreamer. He also always struggled with emotional regulation - nothing Major and nothing we were worried about; until this year.


In October his teacher notified us of behavior issues. Emotional outbursts when he lost a game at recess; and fighting with his best friend. Between that and discussions we'd already been having, we signed him up to see a child psychologist to test for ADD and to work on social and anxiety issues. Testing did show he was clinically significant for ADHD. He continues bi monthly counseling.



We tried methylphenidate briefly - I took him off after 10 days because the emotional crashes were so intense after his second dose wore off on the afternoons. I asked his pediatrician to try Straterra; as I work with adults with severe disabilities and I knew we often use it when stimulants fail. He has been taking that since mid December.

Since about the beginning of December, he has gotten increasingly worse with behaviors and anxiety over school. He insists he doesn't learn at school. He talks about school ruining his life over and over again. He says it's "babyish" and awful. He insists he's not being bullied or being a bully. He does have some social issues but when he is out in a group at Scouts he gets on well with kids and they seem to like him (same kids from school). He is just so persistent that it's always school that is ruining everything. He hates it so much; he begs to switch.

He does attend a Catholic school - he has attended there his whole life and always loved it until now. We are pulling him to public next year so he can benefit from resources that catholic school doesn't offer but I was relunctant to do so mid year and I am regretting it so much now.

He has a lot of anxiety and always has, and I know that's part of this but he's so so negative about school all the time and I'm just at a loss. We have a meeting next week with his teacher and principal as he's been overly disruptive to the class with his outbursts. He has no fear of being suspended as he hates the school and wants to be off everyday.
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Old 01-19-18, 05:02 AM
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Re: At the beginning of my son's journey - am already lost.

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Originally Posted by Turtle1023 View Post

We tried methylphenidate briefly - I took him off after 10 days because the emotional crashes were so intense after his second dose wore off on the afternoons. I asked his pediatrician to try Straterra; as I work with adults with severe disabilities and I knew we often use it when stimulants fail. He has been taking that since mid December.
Im surprised that you didnt try an amphetamine. Statterra is like the last choice when it comes to adhd treatment. There is the ritalin which you already tried but then there is adderall, dex and vyvance which are all amphetamines. Stratterra was studied originally to be an antidepressant. When The Lily company realized it wasnt gonna make it on that, they sort of accidentally discovered it had marginal benefits for adhd so they hopped on that money making bandwagon and walla! You have stratterra as an nonstimulant option. Because of its mechanism of action being like antidepressants it can cause emotional side effects. I personally would encourage you to try an amphetamine.


Quote:
He does attend a Catholic school - he has attended there his whole life and always loved it until now. We are pulling him to public next year so he can benefit from resources that catholic school doesn't offer but I was relunctant to do so mid year and I am regretting it so much now.

He has a lot of anxiety and always has, and I know that's part of this but he's so so negative about school all the time and I'm just at a loss. We have a meeting next week with his teacher and principal as he's been overly disruptive to the class with his outbursts. He has no fear of being suspended as he hates the school and wants to be off everyday.
I cant imagine how tough a religious school could be for a kid with anxiety and adhd. Instead of just learning for educational purposes, you are also learning in a faith based way. Nothing against your faith at all, just that it can be a bit overwhelming for the average kid, and 10x worse for the kid with disabilities. What kind of meeting are you having and what do they mean by disruptive? Fighting, biting, cursing? Or tears and meltdowns?
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Old 01-19-18, 08:59 AM
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Re: At the beginning of my son's journey - am already lost.

First, let me say I have an 8 year old girl and 15 year old boy with ADHD. I myself also went to catholic school from 1-4th grade. Here are my points:
1. I agree with Sarah, you should ask the dr to try other meds. While the Straterra may be doing a little something, what you are describing is not a kid that has been medicated for ADHD. In my opinion he isn't on ADHD meds at the moment. The thing with adults is that they are better at impulse control than kids, even my kids when they are 40 will be FAR better at their impulse control issues. The Straterra isn't helping that aspect of his ADHD and that seems to be his biggest problem.

2. He may have liked Catholic school in the past but that was before the REAL learning kicked in. Third grade is when the real classes start. There are grades, and sort of tests, they are expected to start becoming real students, not just children. Catholic school is NOTHING like public school. I agree whole heartedly that public school is a better environment for ADHD kids.
There are two thoughts to this, some people feel the strictness of the catholic school provides more structure, which allows kids to know the rules and more easily follow them. Personally, I'm of the opinion that schools try to shove kids into tiny perfect student boxes and if your kid doesn't fit then they are up a creek, and the teachers and staff will continue to try to shove them into that perfect student box until something breaks. In a public school you can get an IEP for your son, he can be in classes better suited to his needs, and surrounded by trained teachers that know how to get through to him.

Knowing what I know about ADHD medicines, it really has been trial and error at my house, and my experience in both public and Catholic schools I would actually recommend you get him out now. He will become more angry, more violent, and hate school more the longer he stays. The teachers have no choice, they MUST put him in the perfect student, that is all they have been trained for. If you regret not switching him then rectify that mistake, just make sure he knows this is the last switch. There are no more options.
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Old 01-19-18, 09:57 AM
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Re: At the beginning of my son's journey - am already lost.

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Knowing what I know about ADHD medicines, it really has been trial and error at my house, and my experience in both public and Catholic schools I would actually recommend you get him out now. He will become more angry, more violent, and hate school more the longer he stays. The teachers have no choice, they MUST put him in the perfect student, that is all they have been trained for. If you regret not switching him then rectify that mistake, just make sure he knows this is the last switch. There are no more options.
Yes; I went to Catholic school, and I absolutely hated it. I cannot blame my parents, they really felt they were doing the right thing. I didnt have trouble with grades but it was the whole mentality of it, the "perfect student" model (not that everyone was, of course; but it was just the concept...) I was actually on the honor role but I was also supposed to be doing community service and activities, etc. So, if your son is struggling with school, this will just make it worse because of the competitiveness instilled and the nagging feeling that nothing is ever good enough.

I would also say, that the public school in general will have a wider, more diverse student body so it will be easier to find a niche of friends.
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Old 01-19-18, 10:48 AM
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Re: At the beginning of my son's journey - am already lost.

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I was actually on the honor role...
The lulz of this works on at least two levels.


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Old 01-19-18, 12:20 PM
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Re: At the beginning of my son's journey - am already lost.

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Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
Im surprised that you didnt try an amphetamine. Statterra is like the last choice when it comes to adhd treatment. There is the ritalin which you already tried but then there is adderall, dex and vyvance which are all amphetamines. Stratterra was studied originally to be an antidepressant. When The Lily company realized it wasnt gonna make it on that, they sort of accidentally discovered it had marginal benefits for adhd so they hopped on that money making bandwagon and walla! You have stratterra as an nonstimulant option. Because of its mechanism of action being like antidepressants it can cause emotional side effects. I personally would encourage you to try an amphetamine.




I cant imagine how tough a religious school could be for a kid with anxiety and adhd. Instead of just learning for educational purposes, you are also learning in a faith based way. Nothing against your faith at all, just that it can be a bit overwhelming for the average kid, and 10x worse for the kid with disabilities. What kind of meeting are you having and what do they mean by disruptive? Fighting, biting, cursing? Or tears and meltdowns?
Meltdowns, tantrums - he stomps and hits objects (not people). And no offense taken at the faith thing - we mainly sent him because he wasn't all that with transitions and he'd been there since he was 3 months old (it is a daycare through 5th grade). We are meeting to talk about a plan and my frustration is just that I feel like the school is giving him the same suggestions over and over despite the fact they don't work. He was offered "break cards" when he felt overwhelmed. They have "emotions" on them - I mean cmon what 8 year old in general can identify emotions that well, let alone a kid with ADHD and regulation issues. They know I work in a behavioral unit so I think they think I can solve him but I work with adults with severe disabilities; most programming I can offer is not appropriate for him.

As far as the meds - his pediatrician isn't real great at behavioral stuff. Their a big practice so they try to shove off that stuff to the psych department. That psych department is geared towards adults so at this point I've made an appointment with the group I see for psych needs at the end of Feb. I am guessing we can blame some of this on Straterra but more of a magnifying effect if that makes sense?
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Old 01-22-18, 09:03 AM
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Re: At the beginning of my son's journey - am already lost.

I forgot to mention....catholic schools and private schools don't have to offer anything for ADHD kids. Public schools do. If you were to have a meeting with a public school about what accommodations your child would receive if he went there I think you would be astounded!
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