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Old 03-16-06, 12:42 PM
maribram maribram is offline
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Concerned mother of 9yr old son with ADHD

Hi, I'm new to this and I need help my son was diagnosed with ADHD a year ago he is now 9yrs old and in 3rd grade. I did not want my son in medication..I wanted to try other help before considering medication. I had him in therapy for a few months, but since I started working full time I dont have time to take him any more. Now that he is in 3rd grade he has more homework and I struggle with him to get it done. At school his teacher tells me that he really tries to focus but see's how much he struggles. He just took his Task test and failed. I was told that he will have two more chances to take the test but if he does not pass the test...he will stay in the same grade...since I found out about the test I made an appointment with his doctor to start him on medication. But i'm worried that if still does not pass the test after i start him on medication he will still fail the test...and if they keep him his self esteem will decrease and other kids are going to make fun of him..i'm afraid for my son...I dont know what to do..please give me some advice...I fall asleep crying and wake up every day worried about how his day will be.
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Old 03-17-06, 02:43 AM
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I also have a 9yr old, in 3rd grade, just recently diagnosed with ADHD, although I've known since he was little that he had it. This school year is what prompted me to get him into the doctor for a diagnosis. Like your son, he was just struggling soooo much. I have seen the decline since 1st grade. The harder things get, the worse he gets, and this year was just to much for him.
He started on medication about 1 1/2 months ago, and the improvement has been amazing. You can see in his test scores, exactly where he started the medication. He can focus more, is not getting in as much trouble, etc. He still struggles in some area's more then others, but over all, things are much easier for him, and he's not getting as frustrated with things as easily.
I know it's frightening, very frightening, my heart goes out to you! It is though, equally relieving, and amazing when you find the right medication/dosage that works . Just keep in mind, that that can also take a bit of adjusting and tweaking. Medication is a bit of a trial and error thing.
Good luck to you both, and please feel free to PM me if you just want to chat .
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Old 03-17-06, 03:01 AM
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Medication is something that worries a lot of people. No one wants to feel like they are feeding into this whole medicated society thing. I know I would rather be medication free but not at the cost of having fewer opportunities.
Your son has his whole life ahead of him and he will learn tools that will make things go a little more smoothly. Medication could help him to think more clearly so that he can adapt and learn those tools and they may also give him more choice.
I love how much you are loving your son! {{Hug}}
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Old 03-17-06, 08:17 AM
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Hang in there.

Choosing to medicate our son was one of the hardest decisions my husband or I ever made. But when we weigh the benefits against the losses, the benefits far outweigh the losses. With Adderall, the only side effect we have seen is a loss of apetite. While some of the possible side effects are very scary (psychosis was one listed, but only occurs in under 4% of the population our therapist told us), we've seen no other negative side effect besides the appetite loss.

Here are some of the benefits we've seen: legible handwriting, more focus enabling him to do better schoolwork, better concentration leading to the ability to finish more tasks at school and home, he no longer talks one hundred miles a minute all the time but has more time to think about what he's going to say, impulsiveness declined (this is a biggy, encompasses many things like speaking out of turn at school, not keeping hands to self, saying something mean to his sister without thinking, helping himself to things, and more!), social benefiits (he's no longer driving the kids around him at school batty, he's not picked on anymore!), and these are just some that I can think of off the top of my head.

He's tried two other medications, Concerta and Strattera, and neither worked for him, but others have found those meds helpful.

My best friend has anxiety issues, and is on anxiety meds. I kind of view it like, her body needs a chemical she is lacking, and the meds help with this. I view my son's meds the same way. When he is on meds, it doesn't change him or who he is, but it changes the way he goes about behaving, and it helps him a lot. Also the meds don't "fix" his ADD, they just kind of take the edge off so to speak.

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Old 03-17-06, 08:40 AM
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All I can say is, we were in the same boat you are in on debating about meds. My son is now 17 1/2, and has struggled all the time with school. We had him diagnosed in 8th grade. Tried the Strattera, twice, and each time, it was horrible. Then decided not to put him on anything and just tried to be more consistant. That didn't work. He just got more frustrated and his self-esteem went down. This school year, during Christmas break, we finally decided to try a different doctor and try different meds. He was put on Adderall XR, 20 mg, now up to 25 mg. All I can say is, we wished we had done this way sooner. He went from having C's, D's and F's, yes, he failed two classes last semester, to this quarter he got two A+'s, a B+, a B, a B- and a C. We were just thrilled and you could see how happy he is. Stick with him and never ever give up. Just don't wait, it gets harder as they get older.
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Old 03-21-06, 10:56 AM
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I'm at work and reading all of the reply's and tears are rolling down my face. Thank you all so much for all your comments. Its good to hear that I'm not alone. I'm having a problem with family members telling me that my son is o-k and that i just have to push him a bit harder..even his dad tells me that my son does not have anything..they make me feel like if i'm a bad mother and that i'm really not trying hard enough to help him..I have an appointment with his Dr. to start him on medication.And I dont plan to tell any one about it...being a single mother makes it a bit harder and now reading your comments makes me feel better..I just want was best for my son...I dont want him to remember his childhood as me always getting frustated, and yelling. I want to THANK everyone who has responded to me. i know I will have more questions and concerns as my journey goes.

A mother who loves her son very much.
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Old 03-22-06, 01:07 AM
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My eight year old has ADHD and dyslexia. She's not currently on meds because my husband is very much against it. I take Concerta which has helped me tremendously. I'd be okay with my daughter taking it too. Because I have used it and know how it effects feelings, thoughts and so forth, I'm not as scared of it. Also stimulents can be started and stopped or taken as needed in a way other meds can't. I'm taking a little break from the meds right now and it's okay. My ADD symptoms of course are back in full force, but no other bad effects. It's sure better than struggling and feeling like a failure or not fitting in with other kids. As it turns out, I'm pretty bright, but I didn't know that until I was much older than your son, because in certain subjects I floundered no matter how hard I tried. The kids used to call me "Myrtle the Turtle", because I was slow. I didn't get it -- I thought they meant I moved slow, but that didn't make sense either. You're obviously a loving parent -- believe it or not, it's not as scary as it feels. You can always stop if it doesn't help or makes things worse. Right now you don't know what your son may have to gain. If nothing else it may give you and him a baseline understanding of his abilities. For me just knowing how my ADD was impacting me help me be a lot more accepting about myself, realizing I had to work a lot harder to accomplish the same thing.

Take care,
Scattered
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Old 03-22-06, 01:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maribram
I'm at work and reading all of the reply's and tears are rolling down my face. Thank you all so much for all your comments. Its good to hear that I'm not alone. I'm having a problem with family members telling me that my son is o-k and that i just have to push him a bit harder..even his dad tells me that my son does not have anything..they make me feel like if i'm a bad mother and that i'm really not trying hard enough to help him..I have an appointment with his Dr. to start him on medication.And I dont plan to tell any one about it...being a single mother makes it a bit harder and now reading your comments makes me feel better..I just want was best for my son...I dont want him to remember his childhood as me always getting frustated, and yelling. I want to THANK everyone who has responded to me. i know I will have more questions and concerns as my journey goes.

A mother who loves her son very much.
Ah that's hard when family is in your business but not in your home. We have this issue as well. If one more person tells me that my son is "just a boy", I might just choke them .
There are only a select few family members that even know of our sons diagnosis and the fact that he is on medication. While some of them agree completely with us and completely understand why we have made this choice. Others, have made it clear that they feel like he is just a typical rowdy boy, and we are medicating him for our benefit alone. It infuriates me that they really think we would just stick our child on medication for our benefit just because we can't handle a "rowdy kid". How on earth could they think that we don't love him with everything we have, and are doing this for him, because he has a disability, for us as a family, for his relationships with everyone around him, etc. Also, that they would make a judgment on us when they aren't in our home, they don't have all the information, etc.

Now the other side of me realizes that it mainly comes from lack of education. That if they understood ADHD more, they would see it as clearly as we do, his doctor does, and his teachers do. With that I realize that their opinion doesn't matter, because they simply don't have enough education on the subject for their opinion to hold any weight. It still hurts, but I still have to do what we feel is best for our child, despite what anyone says/feels about it. Our sons happiness is more important then their opinion.
Anyway, I understand how frustrating, and hurtful that can be, and how it can make you second guess yourself. Just go with those mommy instincts, they were put in you for a reason!
Hang in there!
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Old 03-30-06, 02:57 PM
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Welcome, Maribram

You need to do what is right for your son -- if it means trying meds, it means trying meds -- if they don't work, you try something different. Meds have been effective for many, many ADHDers. Without even knowing that my son had started meds (9 yrs. old, third grade at the time), there were other teachers in the school telling my son's regular teacher that they could not believe how wonderfully he was doing recently -- focusing, paying attention, not interrupting, etc. Wait and see what your family has to say when the see the results -- and pay attention to the difference in your son's confidence and self-esteem, too ! Don't be discouraged if the first medication doesn't work -- we tried three kinds before we found the right one -- plain old ritalin -- no extended release. The XR meds seemed to be bad for him (moody & angry) -- I think they did not metabolize properly for him. I have sensitivities to meds, so it didn't surprise me.

My son is very aware of how different his behavior is with the meds, and without. He notices if he starts "acting up" and will suddenly remember that he forgot to take a dose. It makes medicating easier for us that he is very conscious of how the medication makes him feel. Pay attention to what your son has to say about how the meds make him feel -- and if he notices any difference in his behavior / focus.

Overall, just don't second-guess yourself. Do what you feel is right -- your family is not living in your shoes . . .

)
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Old 04-27-06, 02:41 PM
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Smile Thank you.....

Hello new here, as well as new to the world of ADHD. I also have a 9 year old son, in grade 3, who was just yesterday diagnosed with ADHD. I know the heartache and worry you are feeling, and I was not prepared for this diagnosis at all - but after reading several topics and posts here, I realize my son fits the profile and symptoms: nasal sounds disturbing class, inability to focus, fidgety, etc. His pediatrician has prescribed Straterra for him, stating it's less likely to aggravate tics.

He also has a moderate expressive/receptive speech delay and is already in a school that deals exclusively, specifically and effectively with this.

I just wanted to say thank god for this forum and the people who post here - I hardly slept last night trying to decide whether or not I could feel ok about medicating my child - I just love him so much and was worried what it might do to him. After reading your stories, I feel much better prepared to make that decision, much less fearful of what his future on medication will be like, and not so alone.

Thanks all,
~Sherri

Last edited by ZachsMom; 04-27-06 at 02:43 PM.. Reason: fixing typos.
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Old 04-27-06, 04:23 PM
Uminchu Uminchu is offline
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My son was officially diagnosed in September of 2nd grade. Getting work out of him has always been a real effort -- for all involved! Our first inkling that something was amiss was when his 1st-grade teacher recommended he be held back.

With the backlash against ADHD these days, there are sure to be doubting Thomases. Especially since yes, all kids can be fidgety, and lack focus, and be lazy.

In my case, I just say look: my son tests with an above-average IQ, he has no emotional problems or other learning disabilities. So why is he at the bottom of his class and the 6th percentile nationwide in standardized testing? Why does his teacher tell me he will sit and stare at the wall for an hour straight? Is that "just being a kid?"

But when it comes down to it, people will believe what they want. I know my son, and don't let ignorant people sway me from what I know is right. Figure out a way to educate ignorant people and bottle it, you'll be a zillionaire.

But in my case, I'm lucky that my mother was convinced right away. At first she was like "he's just a kid," "he's not challenged enough," etc. I sent her a copy of "Driven to Distraction," and she called me back saying "I think there is something to this ADHD thing."
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Old 04-27-06, 10:16 PM
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Hi there
I really dont have time to post much right now but I wanted to say you are so not alone!
Im a single mom with 2 boys ADHD although they are 6.
None of my family takes it seriously at all. They pull the "boys being boys" crap on me although none of them are around enough to form a real opinion.
I am on my way to the doctor in a couple weeks to see if we can get a more thorough evaluation now that they are a bit older. I think the best thing to do is make a list! Honest thats what Im doing right now. Every time you think of anything put it on there. It sounds basic and obviouis but its not.
Its helped me so much. I didnt realize how many concerns etc I truly had.
Good Luck!
Tracy
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Old 04-28-06, 01:19 AM
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Driven to Distraction

Hi Uminchu....

Just wondered where I can get a copy of "Driven to Distraction" - is it a book or pamphlet or video? I'll go Google it right now and see what I can find on it.

And twinmom, I know what you mean... the more I think about it, the more things I recall, and I'll bet if I had written them all down along the way, I'd have basically the same report the teaching staff came up with. It's a great idea you have going.

::hugs::
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Old 04-28-06, 07:06 AM
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Maribram,

I've officially been a single parent for five years now. Two of my children are adhd, and the second of those is dyslexic, too. I have two others after them, but not diagnosed with anything.

When I was first diagnosed, my former in laws and ex responded with negativity, skepticism, and as if I was damaged goods. That made things difficult for me at the time, but I did manage to muddle through. I had a great therapist, etc. I knew immediately my older two kids were like me, but mentioning that to my ex was met with stubborn refusal. "Not MY kid...you're broken, but MY kids are fine." Then it became, "not my SON" but our daughter was like me. Shrugs. I was given so much grief about the meds.

The ignorance regarding add/adhd was staggering. The ignorance regarding medication/alternatives was also immense. It was STILL a difficult decision for me to try meds with my kids. I figured, it's one thing if I experiment with meds under a doctor's care on ME...but it's something else entirely if I do so with the brains of my children.

I love my kids, and I want them to grow up to be independent, contributing members of society. I don't want them to be little clones of me, or to live through them in any way. I was worried that it wasn't my "right" to do anything to their brains. Not sure if anyone else will be able to relate to that or not, but it's how I felt. I also didn't want to see them struggle in the ways I had as a child. I saw my own family treating them as they had me. It didn't work on me, and I wasn't giving them the chance to do the same kind of damage on my children.

So, we moved away, and we stayed with the medication and therapy (myself and the now four kids--3:5 on meds). Flash foward five years, and I was recently informed by my former mother in law that in addition to my two children, THREE other grandchildren in two of her other kids (plus my ex...so she's 3:4) are adhd and on MEDS. It was a huge effort on my part not to burst out laughing at the irony of this. One of her grandchildren is also Aspergers and on three very strong meds. She was hesitant to even tell me, and so I said, "oh does she take (named several meds I knew of which are used for AS)?" She then became extremely talkative and told me alllllllllllll about the stuff that goes on with the other kids. As per usual, no mention of how I was villified for using meds and therapy, but oh how her kids and their kids suffer. LOL

Dry your tears, you are among friends, and it's going to be okay.
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Old 04-28-06, 08:01 PM
Uminchu Uminchu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachsMom
Just wondered where I can get a copy of "Driven to Distraction" - is it a book or pamphlet or video? I'll go Google it right now and see what I can find on it.
Driven to Distraction is a book by Hallowell and Ratey. It was the book that really opened my eyes to what ADHD is about.

You can probably find it at your local library, otherwise Amazon carries it and probably has used copies as well. I think it is also available as an audio book.
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