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  #1  
Old 09-07-18, 05:36 PM
Clstlg Clstlg is offline
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Need help figuring it out.

If this has been addressed elsewhere, I apologize. I did look around, but I didn't see any clear answers to my questions.

My 11 year old daughter was diagnosed with ADHD and Anxiety when she was 6. Up to this point we had not medicated as her case is very mild and we were hoping that keeping her active would provide the stimulus she needed.

However, she is having such a tough time in school. She has an above average IQ and a prodigious memory, but she was barely passing her classes with C's--and that with us buckling down on homework and preparing for tests. She was so frustrated and upset--other children teased her that she was going to be held back. It was ugly.

So, with her starting middle school, we decided to try medicating her. She is on Ritalin twice a day for a total of 10mg. The doctor wanted to see what amount worked for her before he changed it to a long acting dose.

It has been...interesting.

My normally calm daughter is spinning like a top. She talks fast and over the top of people, she seems to be angry and then she dissolves into tears. She yells a lot.

My reading has indicated that these are known side effects. I have also read that these side effects fade with time...sometimes.

So, my question is this. How long before we talk to the doctor again? To be honest, I don't know how much of this is the medicine and how much is that she is "that" age and hormones are flowing. I do know that she is just as frustrated with what is going on as we are. She told me after one particularly emotional outburst that she doesn't know why she is crying and that her feelings are more intense than she is used to and it is overwhelming.

I don't want to overwhelm her, but I don't want her to feel like a failure in school AGAIN this year.

So what say you? Wait it out and try and work on coping skills or talk to the doctor about lowering the dose (it's already so small)?

Experienced parents help me out.

Thank you!
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  #2  
Old 09-07-18, 05:58 PM
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Re: Need help figuring it out.

How long has she been on the Ritalin?

Are you seeing any benefits, or only the unwanted side effects?

If there are some benefits, a smaller dose might work.

If there are no benefits, a change of meds could help.

Some who respond badly to Ritalin do great with Adderall. And vice versa.
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Old 09-07-18, 05:59 PM
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Re: Need help figuring it out.

My daughter is only 3.5 and her status unknown. But as a former child with ADHD, I would talk to her doctor again ASAP and possibly investigate another medication. How long has she been taking the Ritalin? It sounds like methylphenidate might not be the best choice for her. She could also be super sensitive and you could ask about splitting the 5mg in half and trying that. Talk to the doctor, though, and maybe print out what you've written here so you can keep track of how it's helping or not.
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Old 09-07-18, 11:25 PM
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Re: Need help figuring it out.

She has only been on two weeks...school started this week, so I don't know how well it's doing. She just tells me that her day was fine when I press for details. I do know that she is struggling with her locker--she can't get it open, but no one else is having a problem opening it for her. I don't know if that means she can't concentrate on it, or she is too wound to open it.
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Old 09-08-18, 12:22 AM
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Re: Need help figuring it out.

I was not medicated at that age, and I definitely had lots of anger and sadness and spontaneously crying over stupid things.

Also, is she getting any caffeine? Caffeine is a stimulant, too, so if she is getting coffee, sodas, energy drinks, teas, etc. in addition to her medication, it may be too much for her.

Or if she isn't getting a good night's sleep.

Regardless, I'd talk to her doctor ASAP. Write things down if needed - what she's doing, what dose of medication and when, etc.

Last edited by Tetrahedra; 09-08-18 at 12:23 AM.. Reason: More info
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Old 09-08-18, 10:45 AM
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Re: Need help figuring it out.

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Originally Posted by Clstlg View Post
She has only been on two weeks...school started this week, so I don't know how well it's doing. She just tells me that her day was fine when I press for details. I do know that she is struggling with her locker--she can't get it open, but no one else is having a problem opening it for her. I don't know if that means she can't concentrate on it, or she is too wound to open it.
So there has been at least one weekend at home for you to observe.
You should have seen some changes and you have, only negative ones.

Two weeks is long enough. Talk to the doctor.
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Old 09-10-18, 09:03 AM
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Re: Need help figuring it out.

Really a week or 2 days is long enough to know if it helps and if the side effects out weight the pluses. I have experimented with my kids to know what's working and what isn't. How much do they eat on and off of it as well as ability to focus, follow directions, and even pay attention while I'm talking and not doing cart wheels in the middle of the supermarket are all on my list. There is a school break coming up, then is a good time to check the effectiveness of the meds.
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Old 09-11-18, 01:52 AM
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Re: Need help figuring it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by peripatetic View Post
My daughter is only 3.5 and her status unknown. But as a former child with ADHD, I would talk to her doctor again ASAP and possibly investigate another medication. How long has she been taking the Ritalin? It sounds like methylphenidate might not be the best choice for her. She could also be super sensitive and you could ask about splitting the 5mg in half and trying that. Talk to the doctor, though, and maybe print out what you've written here so you can keep track of how it's helping or not.
I agree. Another med needs to be tried. No sense in having her suffer on the ritalin.
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Old 09-11-18, 12:38 PM
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Re: Need help figuring it out.

Thank you all. She doesn't drink caffeinated drinks except once in a blue moon, but she doesn't sleep well at all. It takes an hour for her to settle herself...if we're lucky.

I've been trying to keep a closer eye on her and it appears that she is starting to even out a bit emotionally. She got her locker open (Yay!) and last night when we were working on spelling (her biggest bugaboo due to slight dyslexia) she got the words after after one time working through them--usually a crying fest lasting 15 -20 minutes and still not getting them all. So, progress!

I did call the doctor and he would like to keep her on for at least one month due to the fact that it could be just her age...and the stress of starting middle school. After that we will see.
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Old 09-11-18, 12:54 PM
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Re: Need help figuring it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clstlg View Post
Thank you all. She doesn't drink caffeinated drinks except once in a blue moon, but she doesn't sleep well at all. It takes an hour for her to settle herself...if we're lucky.

I've been trying to keep a closer eye on her and it appears that she is starting to even out a bit emotionally. She got her locker open (Yay!) and last night when we were working on spelling (her biggest bugaboo due to slight dyslexia) she got the words after after one time working through them--usually a crying fest lasting 15 -20 minutes and still not getting them all. So, progress!

I did call the doctor and he would like to keep her on for at least one month due to the fact that it could be just her age...and the stress of starting middle school. After that we will see.
1. With regard to the sleeping. My kids have been prescribed Clonodine. It clears their head enough to nod off at night. it's cheap and it's not a narcotic. You should ask your doctor about it.

2. I also give my kids gummy melatonin. The combo of the two has them out within 20 minutes.

3. I am dyslexic. the only thing that worked for me was the night before the test I tried spelling the words. Anything I got wrong I had to write 10 times. I took the test again with my mom. Again, anything I got wrong I had to write 20 times. This is ONLY good the night before. By the next week they were gone!
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Old 09-11-18, 01:10 PM
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Re: Need help figuring it out.

"3. I am dyslexic. the only thing that worked for me was the night before the test I tried spelling the words. Anything I got wrong I had to write 10 times. I took the test again with my mom. Again, anything I got wrong I had to write 20 times. This is ONLY good the night before. By the next week they were gone!"

This is usually how it worked, which is why I was so excited that she did so well with just one run through. Her dyslexia is mild and is in the form of her not being able to get the words from her head to the page. She knows she is spelling them wrong, but she doesn't know how to fix it. Cue anxiety, which makes it worse.

Thank you for the suggestions for sleep help...I will check those out.
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Old 09-11-18, 02:28 PM
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Re: Need help figuring it out.

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Originally Posted by Clstlg View Post
"3. I am dyslexic. the only thing that worked for me was the night before the test I tried spelling the words. Anything I got wrong I had to write 10 times. I took the test again with my mom. Again, anything I got wrong I had to write 20 times. This is ONLY good the night before. By the next week they were gone!"

This is usually how it worked, which is why I was so excited that she did so well with just one run through. Her dyslexia is mild and is in the form of her not being able to get the words from her head to the page. She knows she is spelling them wrong, but she doesn't know how to fix it. Cue anxiety, which makes it worse.

Thank you for the suggestions for sleep help...I will check those out.
In my opinion, you haven't seen all that her dyslexia can mess her up on. I didn't find out until my second year in college that I was dyslexic. I compensated until I just started failing everything. left/right, counterclockwise/clockwise, directionally challenged, mis reading the questions....it went way beyond the spelling issues. I supposedly spell at grade level 3.9, very sad, but my teachers had to give me a word bank. 300 words in alphabetical order on the paper and I had to pick the one that I wanted to use...it was a life saver! I also took my tests in separate rooms so I could read out loud, because out loud I heard it correctly, on paper and in my head, I could miss the meaning of the question.

Dyslexia should have MANY variations that are well known, but instead it's just called a reading disorder. Guess what, i can read out loud as fast as I talk....no problems. I can do math in my head. I guess you could call mine mild too but it sure did cause major problems for me in school. If you haven't read the book the Dyslexic Advantage you should give it a whirl. Are there MAJOR downfalls to being dyslexic, oh very much so, but I and many others have used my dyslexia to help me in my career. Yes, my kids laugh at me that I get lost 2 blocks from my house and can't tell time on a clock with no numbers, but they really enjoy the 4 bedroom house with a pool we have. My dyslexia makes me invaluable to my boss. When you don't think like other people you are an asset.
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Old 09-12-18, 11:34 AM
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Re: Need help figuring it out.

Yeah...she is a huge reader--with no problems. It all seems to come down to the spelling for the most part. I have noticed that she has problems with clocks--I didn't realize that was a dyslexic problem. I'll check out that book...thank you.

Last night she sat down and sped through her math homework with no problem. Then she showed me her social studies test with the 100% on it. I was so happy I almost cried.

So, we are going to keep on with this and monitor.
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Old 09-13-18, 12:32 PM
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Re: Need help figuring it out.

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Originally Posted by Clstlg View Post
Yeah...she is a huge reader--with no problems. It all seems to come down to the spelling for the most part. I have noticed that she has problems with clocks--I didn't realize that was a dyslexic problem. I'll check out that book...thank you.

Last night she sat down and sped through her math homework with no problem. Then she showed me her social studies test with the 100% on it. I was so happy I almost cried.

So, we are going to keep on with this and monitor.
She will never spell well. The phone texting app has been a life saver. Open up text, press the microphone and speak the word and it spells it for you. It's very frustrating to not be able to spell common words, and spell them so horribly that even the spell check suggestions can't figure out what I'm trying to say. The place where you eat, has waiters/waitresses, starts with rest....after that I have no clue, never have, never will. I just accept it. Do you think a blind person or a def person sits there and wallows, nope! They accept it and move on. It is a disability, and it rears its ugly head at the most random things...but it's me, and I like me.
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