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  #31  
Old 03-18-12, 12:02 AM
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Re: 8 yr old with ADD...to start medication or not

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i admit it. i am hopelessly addicted to stims and benzo's.
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they also give me ultra-secret designer drugs that make me super charismatic and intelligent
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Natural Alternatives are worth investigating. They can and do work for some people. Dietary intervention (especially the elimination of chemical additives such as artificial colors, artificial flavors, and certain preservatives) has been very effective in helping to control adhd symptoms in my child.


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Old 03-18-12, 12:11 AM
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Re: 8 yr old with ADD...to start medication or not

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If his behaviours are managed by strategies, what are you hoping the medication will accomplish further to this? I guess that would be my main input to you. Make sure you know what the goal is. Is it to make school less stressful, is it executive functioning you want to improve, make him not appear to the other kids to need so many "strategies" so he doesn't stand out? If you go into it with some aim you will be better able to decide if the medication is "working" for him.

My daughter started on a very low dose of dexamfetamine just over a month ago and it really helped her focus and executive functioning immediately. Within a week and a half she was being included in playdates, which had not really happened before. The result after a few weeks was hugely improved reasoning and behaviour when not medicated on the weekends. I think because she was so much happier and less stressed all week at school, her spirits were up for the weekend and then with consistent behaviour therapy we have great weekends. She has not taken her medication for her spring break and she is listening really well, being helpful around the house and cooperating with short reading and math reviews. I have always seen a link between my daughter's mood and her ADHD symptom's though so this might be unique to her. I'm not sure.

I just wanted to give you an instance where taking the medication has really helped a child ( my daughter is almost 8) as I know it is a very difficult decision to make. I fought the medication for a very long time, but I certainly don't regret our decision.
Well, just because OP's son has a very accomodating teacher this year there's no guarantee that he'll have one in the future. Chances are he won't, so it's good that OP wants to address this now.

You bring up a good point, though. I know OP is in the UK. I don't know how things are done there, but my DS's classroom looks very different from what mine looked like (back in the Dark Ages ). When I was a kid there was no emphasis placed on collaborative learning (it was called cheating back then). The desks were all lined up in rows and the teacher was at the front. DS's classroom is so different--desk arranged in pods, interactive white boards, computers in the classroom (back in my day a computer took up the space of a whole classroom--not kidding), children expected to work in groups with the teacher moving from group to group to facilitate. This is wonderful--unless you're a kid with ADHD. It's very distracting.

DS has been on a non-stimulant for nearly two years but we just added a small dose of liquid dex in (didn't even know it came in a liquid form--something I learned about here!). What we've found is that it helps with executive function issues like information retrieval and it has helped immensely in the more social aspects of his education--like collaborative learning. That in turn has made him more accepted by his peers--they don't see him acting impulsively and being unable to join in in an appropriate way.

This in turn has sparked much better behavior, if for no other reason than he now sees he is being praised more often than reminded to modify negative or inappropriate behaviors. And it happens even when the stimulant has worn off in the evening and on weekends.
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  #33  
Old 03-18-12, 03:31 AM
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Re: 8 yr old with ADD...to start medication or not

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Well, just because OP's son has a very accomodating teacher this year there's no guarantee that he'll have one in the future. Chances are he won't, so it's good that OP wants to address this now.

You bring up a good point, though. I know OP is in the UK. I don't know how things are done there, but my DS's classroom looks very different from what mine looked like (back in the Dark Ages ). When I was a kid there was no emphasis placed on collaborative learning (it was called cheating back then). The desks were all lined up in rows and the teacher was at the front. DS's classroom is so different--desk arranged in pods, interactive white boards, computers in the classroom (back in my day a computer took up the space of a whole classroom--not kidding), children expected to work in groups with the teacher moving from group to group to facilitate. This is wonderful--unless you're a kid with ADHD. It's very distracting.

DS has been on a non-stimulant for nearly two years but we just added a small dose of liquid dex in (didn't even know it came in a liquid form--something I learned about here!). What we've found is that it helps with executive function issues like information retrieval and it has helped immensely in the more social aspects of his education--like collaborative learning. That in turn has made him more accepted by his peers--they don't see him acting impulsively and being unable to join in in an appropriate way.
The new style of classroom with groupings instead of rows and so much movement by all the kids is absolutely one of the reasons my daughter is not able to deal with school. Her class is chaos most of the time. Most of the kids are OK with this, but my daughter can accomplish nothing and ended many days in a full out meltdown she is so overstimulated. The meds are the only reason she is now coping. We are pulling her from her school at the end of this year and she is going to an school much better suited to her. She would be there now if they had space for her. I agree that the chances of her son getting such a great teacher again may be small. In the years my kids have been in school I have only seen one teacher( of my older child) who seemed to have command of a class and would suit an ADHD child.

I wish so much my daughter had a teacher like the OP's son does who is trying to accomodate him. The past two years my daughter has had teachers whose strategies include telling on her at the end of everyday and sending her to the hall and making her miss centres, lunch or recess for not completing her work. The limited times they've tried something like giving her a quiet place to work it is inconsistent and not followed through with for very long. It does not appear that teachers have any clue what to do with any child who is not typical or cookie cutter. Sorry, can you tell I am very bitter regarding the school system when it comes to my daughter.
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This in turn has sparked much better behavior, if for no other reason than he now sees he is being praised more often than reminded to modify negative or inappropriate behaviors. And it happens even when the stimulant has worn off in the evening and on weekends.
I am happy to hear your son has the same residual affects from having better days that my daughter seems to have. That is something I was hopeful for when we started the medicine, but I didn't really see anything in written form which went into this. My husband has said many, many times that all she needs is a few "wins". Some success under her belt to get somehow motivated to seek more success. Luckily we hit upon the right medication the first time so she is getting a taste of success in the school finally.
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  #34  
Old 03-18-12, 03:48 AM
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Re: 8 yr old with ADD...to start medication or not

"If I had to choose between being an airplane and being a bird, I'd pick the plane. They soar as high as the highest birds and they don't crap on people below them in the process."
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  #35  
Old 03-21-12, 08:11 PM
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Re: 8 yr old with ADD...to start medication or not

First of a big thanks to everyone who has posted, not been on the last few days as OH was away so had to take care of 12 yr old who is sick, 8 yr old DS who currently thinks going to bed is 'boring' and the dog. So basically been knackered LOL.

DS has now been prescribed 5mg to take in the morning for a week and then review. We think if we are going to test medication now will be the best time to do it while we have the support. DS did practically nothing in school today, despite being constantly encouraged. Also yesterday I watched him for five minutes on the playground (he did not know I could see him) just sitting on the grass, picking at it all on his own.

So the reason we are thinking of 'testing' medication is to see if he reacts well to it, if he can concentrate better, interact better socially. We will test it and if he is happy then we will take it from there, if he's not, if it does not help him then we'll stop the test. After all that is what it will be at first...a test.

The script is with the chemist, we'll still researching, we're still thinking? Just like many others of you out there have done. The questions are endless and you meet yourself coming back. Questions I am asking myself right now are:

Do we give it to him?
If we do should we start this weekend and test the 5mg so I can see for myself if he's happy/well?
What if he goes off his food? (Not a good eater as it is)
What if he starts to have trouble sleeping? (pushing the bed time later as it is)
If we start do we just do it for the week and then take a two week break?

The list goes on and on.

It's a decision only we can make and as you know it's not an easy one. OH wants to go ahead, GP said we should just see it as a 'test' and remember we can stop giving it to him if he/we are not happy. Teacher would like to be there to support us if we go ahead rather than wait and do it without her.

So I guess at this moment I'm thinking we'll test, no doubt I'm going to agonise about it some more but while he's got people around him in and out of school to support him now is the time to do it.

Once again, thank you everyone for your advice and support.
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  #36  
Old 03-21-12, 08:14 PM
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Re: 8 yr old with ADD...to start medication or not

Good luck, foxie
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  #37  
Old 03-22-12, 01:19 AM
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Re: 8 yr old with ADD...to start medication or not

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Originally Posted by foxie_68 View Post
If we do should we start this weekend and test the 5mg so I can see for myself if he's happy/well?
What if he goes off his food? (Not a good eater as it is)
What if he starts to have trouble sleeping? (pushing the bed time later as it is)
If we start do we just do it for the week and then take a two week break?
This board is a great resource for specific questions like this! Here's my take on them:

It's nice to start on the weekend so you can observe them the first few days.

Suppressed appetite is a common side effect, and it's something that parents have had to become creative at circumventing. If it's a problem, the first strategy is to adjust eating times to when the meds aren't in his system. That means a lot at breakfast before the meds set in--high protein breakfast with no fruit juice is best. And then a lot when the meds wear off in the evening. This is also the time to give them the fruit juice because they need their Vitamin C, but having it at breakfast can interfere with the medication absorption. Oh, and this isn't about appetite suppression, but it is about food: don't give him anything with caffeine.

There are several threads on other strategies to make them eat enough, including taking medication breaks.

Trouble sleeping is also a common side effect, particularly at the beginning. A lot of kids with ADHD have difficulty getting to sleep anyway, but medications can make it worse. Is your prescription for the extended release or the short release? Either way, you'll need to figure the best time to administer the dose. Some people are fast metabolizers, some are slow metabolizers.

Parents here have also had success with melatonin and removing all stimulation at least an hour before bedtime.

As far as whether to give it to him over the two week break, it will likely depend on how things go the first week.

If your son is ADHHHHHHHHD, you'll know pretty soon if it works, but if he's not, then it may take more time to see the effects. Keeping a journal of when you gave it to him, what foods he had, rebound behavior, etc is wise.

As you said, it's only a test, and you're at a very low dose. If there are unacceptable side effects, stop it. But please don't give up on medications entirely. I had to stop my first medication due to unacceptable side effects and was reluctant to try another medication. The doctor convinced me to give the new one a one week test, and boy am I glad he did!
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  #38  
Old 03-22-12, 01:21 PM
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Re: 8 yr old with ADD...to start medication or not

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No joke, I babysat a kid and one time he got an ax out of the shed underneath his house, and I had to pri it from his hands (he just wanted to make a fort and thought it was like a toy) but it was unlike him. Also, he had a huge fit about cleaning his room before bedtime and ended up getting in a huge fight with his sister and running and hiding under a blanket away from me and his sister. I called his mom and he said it was his first day on adderall and she had heard the come down was really rough.

His behavior was really extreme. At this time I had just begun taking Adderall, too. This behavior was weird and abnormal. It proves my point.. adderall does weird things to people. This is mild compared to the behavior it causes.
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Old 03-22-12, 06:42 PM
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Re: 8 yr old with ADD...to start medication or not

Picked up the meds today and mentioned them to DS. He got really really upset, said he does not want to take tablets, he does not need them, he is fine, just like everyone else in his class.

Broke my heart to be honest. Had another conversation with him explaining to him how his sister is short sighted and she wears glasses but that does not make her different from anyone else. The tablets would be like glasses for him. Left it at that and going to let him put it out of his mind for now.
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Old 03-22-12, 06:53 PM
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Re: 8 yr old with ADD...to start medication or not

Aww poor little man! I can understand how it makes him feel though... I love the example you gave him, I hope it sinks in with him and he OK with them.
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  #41  
Old 03-23-12, 12:32 AM
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Re: 8 yr old with ADD...to start medication or not

Awww, poor guy. I think it is hugely positive that HE feels he is doing ok. That speaks volumes for you and his teacher working to make sure he feels successful. I guess in terms of giving meds I was lucky in a way that I've been experimenting with vitamins, amino acid catalysts, etc., etc., for so long that to her it's "just another of mom's pills". lol She takes it along with her omega 3/6, B6, D3, calc./ mag without question. I actually stopped the bigger pill she didn't like when we started vyvance so she likes the "little pill" much better.
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  #42  
Old 03-23-12, 07:25 PM
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Re: 8 yr old with ADD...to start medication or not

I think half the problem is it's tablets, he does not like the idea of them and has took against them just like he did with cheese.

However, right now it's more about him being happy and working out how to get him to understand his ADD. We were going to test the meds tomorrow, we've not mentioned them today and if he's against it tomorrow then they will be put to one side until he is happy to go ahead.

Once again, thanks to all for thier support.
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Old 03-24-12, 07:10 AM
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Re: 8 yr old with ADD...to start medication or not

Well sat down this morning and first took my vitimins, telling him what I was doing. Straight away he said 'I know what this is about'. I got his tablet out and split it into two halves. He said 'shall we do this thing?'

He got up and did a little dance/chant basically getting up courage to take the tablet, he was singing 'I can do this even if it taste's bad' so I guessing the fact that it was medicine and a tablet that was the issue.

Anyway he took it with his apple juice (OH remined me after we should avoid vitimin c when he takes it) and is now happy on the play station.

So that was half an hour ago so will now keep an eye on him for the rest of the day.
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Old 03-24-12, 06:17 PM
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Re: 8 yr old with ADD...to start medication or not

If it is the long lasting kind, I think 1mg per 1kilo body weight is considered the target for the therapeutic level. My son, also 8 started on 10mg (slow release that is) and then stepped up to 20mg, which is slightly less but seems to work fine for him.

Medication or no medication, I think only you as a parent can make the right decision. I was very much like you though, just give it a go and see how he is on medication. Only when I know the difference can I make a proper decision?

Hope it goes well for you all..
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Old 03-26-12, 11:19 AM
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Re: 8 yr old with ADD...to start medication or not

Good for your son! My daughter would say he "faced his fear" :-)

For my daughter, the scariest part of medication was that she would have to swallow a pill. She lost sleep for 2 days before the psychiatrist appt just over this issue. She was greatly relieved that we were prescribed a capsule that we can open and sprinkle over yoghurt. Not sure if all kids feel this way, but my daughter sure feels the same as your son! Funny what they focus on.

Hope it went well this weekend.
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