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Old 07-03-08, 10:31 AM
AnneRobertson AnneRobertson is offline
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Unhappy Meds make my son too quiet...painfully quiet

Hello My name is Anne. I have a 10 year old son who was dx with ADD when he was 6. Patrick seems to be to have some qualities of "classic ADHD" and some qualities of inattentive ADD. At home he is loud, but not aggressive, impulsive, need multiple directions for simple everyday activities. At school he is extremely forgetful (rarely brings home the right books, etc) but is shy. When he is not on medication he is reserved but still able to laugh with other kids and make friends, especially if Nintendo games are involved. At, school He can sit quietly in he seat, but he is squirming and swings his legs.

Here is my problem. Focalin takes care of many of those problems I just mentioned. But even the lowest doses make he sooo quiet that other kids just act like he is not there. He doesn't interact and sits there picking at his fingernails. On medication he does great at school but at a great social cost. Other kids make spontaneous social plans right in front of him and he is never included. He is not a zombie just really unapproachably quiet. Off medication he is cute and interactive. This summer has been "focalin-free" He is driving my husband and I crazy at home, but has made several new friends and really has gained some social self confidence. I hate to take that away from him. But at school, without medication, he can't remember a whit of what he has read or listened to in class. Therefore his test scores are awful.

Are there any meds that work that don't make a child so quiet ??

Any help is appreciated. I am desperate ! Thank you.

Anne

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Old 07-03-08, 10:34 AM
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Re: Meds make my son too quiet...painfully quiet

Welcome, Anne. So it is your son's teacher who is concerned about his shy behavior at school?
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Old 07-03-08, 01:11 PM
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Re: Meds make my son too quiet...painfully quiet

Hi Anne,

Sounds so familiar. My oldest goes meds-free during most of the summer, some days can be hard - but I enjoy seeing the happiness he exudes from feeling free to express himself. It's harder at school when he's on meds - he's invariably shy and quiet, but getting involved in a team sport a couple of years ago (he'll be an 8th grader this fall) helped him develop some social skills that have carried over into everyday life. He's still pretty quiet in new situations, and there are far more social boys at his school. But, his group of friends has blossomed and he's gained some confidence.

Finding a medicine that's right for him socially and academically can be tricky. It's probably best to share your concerns with your pediatrician. I've worked closely with ours for the past 4 years and we've tried different things. All of them have different drawbacks - we've been through 3 different meds. Unfortunately, I think there isn't one that will do exactly what we want for them - but you may find one that strikes a better balance. Enjoy your summer!
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Old 07-03-08, 03:46 PM
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Re: Meds make my son too quiet...painfully quiet

Hi Anne, I suggest you look into dextroamphetamine.
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Old 07-03-08, 03:51 PM
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Re: Meds make my son too quiet...painfully quiet

Hi Anne,

I'm 22, and went through something similar to what your son is going through. It's great to see that you're concerned with this problem and not just satisfied that he's doing well in school.

I wasn't adHd, just inattentive ADD/ "limbic" ADD. I was on Adderall when I was his age, and it made me very focused, but a little quiet and unapproachable as you describe. In my opinion, a lot of ADD medicine by design can cause some anxiety. This might be what the problem is. I can't suggest a med really, but I'm on Wellbutrin (antidepressant) as an adult, and it helps negate the anxiety the can Adderall cause, and lets me be more sociable. I'm not sure what it would do for a 10-yo though. You might ask his doctor about antidepressant type meds and if they're worth a shot.

Good luck!
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Old 07-03-08, 04:00 PM
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Re: Meds make my son too quiet...painfully quiet

Anne,

This sounds very familiar to me as well. My oldest is now 10 and is AdHd, we have 4 children total. This summer, I have given him extended breaks from his Adderall XR. Of course, he is the FIRE and the other 3 supply the GAS so it has totally driven my wife, not me, up the wall. He started taking Focalin, at first, for school but I, too, found that it almost took his little personality away. He noticed it as well saying, "I don't have as many friends when I take that." What he meant was that he was not able to have that energy that other kids are attracted to. I got tired of seeing him not necessarily depressed but suppressed. So, we switched to the Adderall XR and that seems to work well. He says he can now "overpower it" (the Adderall) when he needs to in order to interact. You may consider trying other meds if you haven't already.
Did you know that Focalin is actually a more optically pure form of Ritalin? If you want a little more info on it you can go to Plain-Talk-AdHd.com/focalin.html. I have ADD as well as my son.

Hope this Helps,

HyperFly
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Old 07-03-08, 06:58 PM
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Re: Meds make my son too quiet...painfully quiet

O.k., I have to say this. What information are you basing your judgment regarding your child's change in personality in the classroom and how do you know it is the medication that is causing it? You do yourselves and your children a great disservice if you jump to conclusions.

How much time do you spend in classrooms? I am sure you would notice a change in behavior in most children when in a classroom as opposed to being on the playground. It is expected.

My son was a very hyperactive child with ADHD who went through school without a diagnosis or help from medication. What his teachers reported, and what I observed myself in the classroom as a frequent parent helper, showed he was more subdued at school and tried very hard to control himself to suit the situation.

I am concerned that parents would continue to give a child medication if the child was displaying abnormal behavior, regardless of his marks.

In my experience, medication slows down my impulsivity so that I don't display as much inappropriate behavior as I would without medication. I still laugh out loud at the wrong time, but because it doesn't happen frequently, people enjoy my laughter and tell me so. I still tend to be talkative, but I'm able to put the brakes on and notice social cues that tell me it's time to shut up. Medication helps temper a rather exuberant personality, but I'm still me; just a better me.
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Old 07-03-08, 07:50 PM
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Re: Meds make my son too quiet...painfully quiet

Quote:
Originally Posted by HyperFly View Post
Anne,
This sounds very familiar to me as well. My oldest is now 10 and is AdHd, we have 4 children total. This summer, I have given him extended breaks from his Adderall XR. Of course, he is the FIRE and the other 3 supply the GAS so it has totally driven my wife, not me, up the wall. He started taking Focalin, at first, for school but I, too, found that it almost took his little personality away. He noticed it as well saying, "I don't have as many friends when I take that." What he meant was that he was not able to have that energy that other kids are attracted to. I got tired of seeing him not necessarily depressed but suppressed. So, we switched to the Adderall XR and that seems to work well. He says he can now "overpower it" (the Adderall) when he needs to in order to interact. You may consider trying other meds if you haven't already.
Methylphenidates and amphetamines have a lot overlap but they have real differences to. That alone might explain your child's different reactions. Usually
"Zombieness" is a sign of too high a dose. Stimulants used in treatment of ADHD have an inverted U shaped dose response curve which means taking too much is counterproductive.


Quote:
Originally Posted by HyperFly View Post
Did you know that Focalin is actually a more optically pure form of Ritalin? If you want a little more info on it you can go to Plain-Talk-AdHd.com/focalin.html. I have ADD as well as my son.

Yeah Focalin is d-methylphenidate and Ritalin is dl-methylphenidate . The d-isomer is more potent than the l-isomer. So pure d-methylphenidate is more potent than and equal amount of dl-methylphenidate . Adderal is a mix of d and l amphetamine. I've seen different values 25%-28% l-amphetamine and 72%-75% d-amphetamine.

Its possible the particular dose of Focalin your child used was more potent than their current effective Adderall dose. And hence they are now using a more optimal dose. Also if Adderall was more effective for your child a lower dose could be used. Often people who respond better to amphetamines than to methylphenidates tend to do better only on the lowest doses of methylphenidate. The lowest effective dose should be used in any case.


Part of what you love about your unmediated child is there spontaneousness.
Unfortunately a lot of that is impulsivity. Particularly verbal impulsivity. Ironically that may make a person more social but it can also be a quite dysfunctional type of communication to. And untreated impulsivity in general does
lead to great problems in life. When your child mentions they can "over-power" the Adderal that sounds like they have near perfect balance in reducing the impulsivity but can still commutate what they need.
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Old 07-03-08, 09:00 PM
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Re: Meds make my son too quiet...painfully quiet

Just a thought: starting and stopping a medication, a la med vacations, mean the brain is trying to adjust to the med every Monday. Some parents have realized their child was not doing well with a med because of the med free weekends. The only way to find out is to try it.
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Old 07-03-08, 09:40 PM
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Re: Meds make my son too quiet...painfully quiet

Quote:
Part of what you love about your unmediated child is there spontaneousness.
Unfortunately a lot of that is impulsivity. Particularly verbal impulsivity. Ironically that may make a person more social but it can also be a quite dysfunctional type of communication to.
I agree with this completely. The conversation may look more one sided instead of a somewhat equal exchange.

My son was concerned about being less talkative when he's on meds, though, I think he would benefit if he talked less and learn to listen and look at social cues of others.
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Old 07-03-08, 09:49 PM
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Re: Meds make my son too quiet...painfully quiet

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My son was concerned about being less talkative when he's on meds
Where is your son getting this kind of information? I had no preconceived notions about medication when I had my assessment and I was quite taken aback when the psychiatrist asked me if I was interested in a trial of medication. I was in my forties. I am concerned that a young person is getting unreliable information about something that impacts his life as much as ADHD does. Knowledge is power and kids are pretty smart.
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Old 07-03-08, 10:03 PM
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Re: Meds make my son too quiet...painfully quiet

I had asked him if he noticed a difference with his medication. He had told me that he could read the assignment more thoroughly as well as complete math problems instead of getting lost in mid thought. His teachers had not mentioned anything except he finally completes his work without being reminded.

He said he noticed it made him quietier in class where he would participate more. If he means participate in conversation as the way I have seen at church events. I've noticed his conversations tend to be more one sided.... or he's directing the entire conversation.
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Old 07-03-08, 10:53 PM
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Re: Meds make my son too quiet...painfully quiet

Could the real issue here be the fact that the child in question simply hasn't developed his social skills? You say he's sociable when he's off his meds, but is he really sociable? Or is he just being random & spontaneous and not really connecting with people? Are his friends really his friends, or do they simply enjoy his company?
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Old 07-04-08, 12:03 AM
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Re: Meds make my son too quiet...painfully quiet

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Could the real issue here be the fact that the child in question simply hasn't developed his social skills? You say he's sociable when he's off his meds, but is he really sociable? Or is he just being random & spontaneous and not really connecting with people? Are his friends really his friends, or do they simply enjoy his company?
I think when you're 10, other 10 year olds enjoying your company means they're your friends. Being likable is a staple of social development. Being quiet, aloof or perhaps stand-offish is a problem. Random and spontaneous is behavior is, in many ways, healthy. If that's how he connects to his peers, it's better than not connecting at all. To label any kid that age as impulsive is jumping the gun. Unless he's doing things like cutting his own hair all the time, or making other poor decisions without considering adverse consequences more than others his age, impulsiveness is NOT something he should be medicated for at 10. IMHO.

Part of the problem with ADD/ADHD kids, in my opinion, is many of them are overly- or improperly medicated. I fought social problems throughout adolescence because of the meds I was on. I understand where Anne's concern is coming from. Not as a parent, but as a kid who was "quiet" because of his add drugs.

As an adult, I have impulsive tendencies. But that wasn't a problem anybody could see at that age. Maybe because it was covered up by meds? I don't know.
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Old 07-04-08, 01:25 AM
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Re: Meds make my son too quiet...painfully quiet

My point is: is the child in question simply just a shy person in a ADD'ers body, or is the medication actually silencing him?
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