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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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  #1  
Old 06-15-10, 11:13 PM
PunkNae PunkNae is offline
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Unhappy Back on meds after a year off :(

My 6yo dd was off meds for over a year. She was on adderall with clonadine, then vyvanse. We had too many side effects and lost HER. With counseling and behavior modification she did well until the last quarter of kindergarten. Emotionally she had been out of control for some time (which was on of her big symptoms). Again she has become very impulsive, easily distracted, and her school work suffered. When she gets frustrated she bites herself. I once again feel like everyone in the house has to tip toe around her so we don't "set her off". Going to bed is another huge issue. It takes her about 4 hours for her to fall asleep. I've tried everything! For example last week I sat outside her bedroom door (she has anxiety that we'll leave her) and that still took 3 hours. This week we're using music.
Last week we went back in to our ped who specializes in ADHD. He started us back on 5mg Adderall XR and go back next month. This week we started back in on our counseling.

I guess I need any advice and encouragement I can get!
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Old 06-20-10, 06:54 PM
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Re: Back on meds after a year off :(

How long has she been on the Adderall? It may not be soon enough to see results. In It sounds like she really needs to be on medicine considering that her life sounds pretty stressful (for her and you) without it. Kids definitely need their sleep. If she isn't getting enough, she is probably stressed out, cranky, more emotional, etc. Maybe she will sleep better now, which could improve some of the other behavior.

As far as the routine for bedtime...one week may not really be long enough to establish a routine. You also may try using a combo of techniques. For ex., when I was little, I listened to music and also had a timer by my bed. I had to stay in bed until a certain time. If I was still awake I was allowed to get up to get a drink, etc. for a few minutes, but then had to go back. Some nights I still stayed up, but eventually I got in the habit of falling asleep faster. I STILL have to make myself do this as an adult! It will just take a lot of practice. I have also read that doing anything too stimulating (TV, internet and video games especially) can make it hard for you to fall asleep, so make "quiet time" for an hour or so before bedtime a part of the routine to help her unwind from the day...something we could all use!

Was there anything specifically that happened in that last quarter? Was her medication changed? Did she grow a lot?

There are so many options for meds now. Don't give up just because some had bad side effects. As a teacher I have seen some kids "zombified" by meds but have seen just as many do very well. It just takes a lot of trial and error sometimes, especially because treating a kid is not always as straightforward as treating an adult. They are always growing and changing, so their medicine has to be adjusted frequently.
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Old 06-20-10, 08:11 PM
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Re: Back on meds after a year off :(

I'd be tempted to try a different medication, ritalin or Concerta perhaps. Most stimulants will work pretty quickly if they're going to work.

The two things that work best for my kiddos sleep (12, 9, 6) are getting at least two hours running around outside and melatonin before going to sleep. If your girl is anxious you could try something for that too, my eldest was diagnosed with depression at ten and his SSRI has helped him to the point that he notices it himself. Younger kids can be depressed or anxious too; and they don't always show up with the same symptoms that adults have.

Some people have good results with fish oil too, I use cod liver because it comes in smaller pills than regular fish oil. While my kids don't seem to respond to it as far as ADHD or mood, I figure it's probably good for their overall health. There are some other supplements other people try, there's a long recent thread on that if you are interested.
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Old 06-21-10, 11:37 PM
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Re: Back on meds after a year off :(

I re read my post and thought I would also add why I couldn't sleep as a child. Maybe your daughter has similar issues.

When I was about 6 or 7 I began to have anxiety about sleeping over at others' houses, or even in hotel rooms with my family. I was really worried about being the last one asleep because then I'd be all alone. The thought terrified me, though I really didn't know why. (Now I believe it was just a symptom of general anxiety.) It's hard to fall asleep in that state of mind! When I got a little older, it got worse, which was embarrassing considering kids are supposed to gradually get over that kind of thing as they age. It finally got bad enough that it started happening at home, which was when my parents started the music/clock system. This was actually one of the factors that led them to taking me to see a psychologist (who diagnosed me with ADD.)

Listening to the radio helped not necessarily because oft he music, but because of the knowledge that there was someone (a DJ!) who was still awake, even if everyone in my house was asleep. It also helped to think about all the people who worked the graveyard shift, at hospitals, factories, etc.

It took me YEARS to get over this and I still have some lingering anxiety about it. I went camping a few weeks ago and had to make sure I had extra books and a loaded ipod "just in case" I couldn't fall asleep - something most adults don't worry about.

It's sort of like separation anxiety and you saying that you sat outside her room made me wonder if that's how she's feeling. Sorry to be so long winded...hope that helps in some way!
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Old 06-23-10, 12:47 AM
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Re: Back on meds after a year off :(

A six-year old who is afraid to sleep because she is afraid her parents will leave her...

this a very sad thing!

and to me, it indicates several things.

1) This child may feel that she is unloved and/or unwanted.

Making a guess just from the brief description you gave, I would think that behavior modification, counseling, and medication at the age of six is rather traumatizing. It's not a stretch to imagine that your daughter feels that she is being punished...and to her, the reason is probably because she isn't as good at school than other children.

My professional approach is that nobody is bad at learning. But everybody learns differently. And all humans learn better when the subject is interesting and relevant, and the teaching is compelling and appealing. Also, we all learn better when we have a bond of trust and respect with the teacher.

The best teachers are our parents, when they are adequately informed and equipped with the proper tools and a flexible, realistic, individualized game plan. The second best teachers are professional nurturers and role models who create safe environments for children to learn and play, with the least restrictions possible.

In other words, I believe it may be immeasurably beneficial for your daughter's emotional and mental health for you to place her in an educational environment where she feels accepted, appreciated, and loved exactly as she is.

2) Regular physical and social activity is a must for ADHD children.

Providing regular physical and social activities for your child isn't just for the sake of letting your child have fun. You are giving her a training ground for adulthood. ADHD children are often quicker and more perceptive than their peers - leading them to excel in athletics. They also take more risks and thrive on adrenaline, which any sports fan can tell you is a common trait among first-rate athletes. Putting her into a variety of sports now can pay off big for her future...think college scholarships!

ADHD-ers are often instinctive leaders and very good manipulators. The fact that your six-year old has the family tiptoeing around the house is good evidence of the strong influence that an ADHD-er can have on the people around her. Children need adults to gently teach them what is and isn't appropriate in terms of using their power over other people. It's very likely that in ten years, your daughter will be a teenager, with teenage friends who will pretty much do anything she says. You want your daughter to have a lifetime of experience wielding that power with responsibility and a good grasp of consequences. Putting her into social activities now, under the guidance of a responsible adult, will help ensure that goal.

**If your daughter is engaged in physical activities and engaged in interactive activities with peers, you will probably find her a lot more tired after dinner and bathtime, and a lot more receptive to going to sleep! >.<

3) Making your child feel loved, accepted, and safe.

If a child's parents aren't willing to make sacrifices in other areas to simply spend time with the child - listening to the child, and engaging in activities of the child's choice - the child will grow up feeling insecure and sad...for good reason. The child will think: "If my parents don't love me, who will?" And she is right. Nobody wants to love someone whose own parents don't seem to love her.

Now, I am NOT stating that you don't love your daughter. I am saying that she may feel that you don't. Before you say that this is impossible, think back about all the times, growing up, that you worried that your parents didn't love you?

I recommend allowing your child to sleep in your room, telling her often that you love her just the way she is, spending time with her, and definitely not criticizing or punishing her for her performance in school.

Although many people disagree, I firmly believe that grades in school are a MEASURE of academic ability more than they are a REWARD for hard work. If I was graded in niceness, cooking ability, common sense, and sports in school, I wouldn't have been a very good student. But I was only graded in my academic ability, so I got lucky. Too many parents spend years and exorbitant amounts of money trying to turn students who have little academic ability into academic high achievers - instead of directing their time and resources into further developing and honing the things the child is really good at. No skill is not marketable!

Best of luck~ ^_^
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Old 10-04-13, 11:51 AM
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Re: Back on meds after a year off :(

My 6-year-old exhibited extreme fear as a symptom that came out of nowhere after 8 months on Focalin XR 10mg. He suddenly wanted the light on when he slept because he saw shadows in his room and saw shadows outside his bedroom. He became obsessed with the idea of someone breaking into our house or breaking his window. He'd worry about alligators lurking outside his bedroom and he needed his door open when he went to bed. Once the A/C kicked on and accidentally shut his door a millimeter (not all the way) and he screamed bloody murder. It was horrible. We were ready to take him to a specialist when the symptoms suddenly stopped.
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Old 10-04-13, 01:44 PM
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Re: Back on meds after a year off :(

Sorry your daughter is having a rough time right now. We also had vyvanse as our first drug class when my daughter was 7. She is a pretty sensitive, emotional kid. Prone to mild anxieties as she over thinks things way to much for her age. Unfortunately she has an older sibling who gets some pretty heavy topics to research at school ( child soldiers/slavery) ans when she overhears discussions she tries to reason/rationalize and it gets a way on her. Anyway, the Vyvanse seemed to make her more emotional. We only stayed on it a few months, then stopped medication entirely for a year and a half because of various side effects and her refusal to take them. I was pretty leary at that point because I also felt that I lost HER in there. We also removed her from her school and placed her in an experiential learning school which allowed this year off meds.

We recently restarted meds ( at DD request, she is 9 now) and went with Biphentin which is in the methylphenidate class, not the dextroamphetamine that Vyvanse is. It has been a month now and it's been fabulous for her. Day and night from the girl we saw on Vyvanse. She has control, focus, and best of all her personality is there 100% except better because I can see she is able to retrieve info. more quickly and participate in discussions better. She loves it, is happy and notices no side effects. No heightened worry at all.


My thoughts on your daughter would be why the Dr. went back to the same class of drug that didn't work last time instead of trying something in a different class.

For sleep we use a liquid calcium/magnesium supplement just before bed. Read up on the benefits of magnesium for everyone in general. Some studies have shown ADHD'ers to be deficient in it.
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Old 10-04-13, 03:18 PM
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Re: Back on meds after a year off :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by Razz2525 View Post
My 6-year-old exhibited extreme fear as a symptom that came out of nowhere after 8 months on Focalin XR 10mg. He suddenly wanted the light on when he slept because he saw shadows in his room and saw shadows outside his bedroom. He became obsessed with the idea of someone breaking into our house or breaking his window. He'd worry about alligators lurking outside his bedroom and he needed his door open when he went to bed. Once the A/C kicked on and accidentally shut his door a millimeter (not all the way) and he screamed bloody murder. It was horrible. We were ready to take him to a specialist when the symptoms suddenly stopped.
That sounds like "being a kid" related, and not medication related.
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Old 10-05-13, 07:23 AM
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Re: Back on meds after a year off :(

I swear by a nightlight that looks like stars on the ceiling and a fan for white noise.
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