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We started medicating ds8 for ADHD a month ago...


Garga
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I gave him his ADHD meds a little later this morning than usual and they haven't kicked in yet.

 

So far in the last 10 minutes of our spelling lesson, my son has dropped his pencil 6 times, picked it up with his foot twice, tried to write with his foot once.

 

He's knocked over his chair onto his foot once. He's sent a fart into my direction once and then cackled about it.

 

He's drawn skulls, Pacman ghosts, and lightening bolts all over the white board where he's writing the words, and written "I love..." in front of the spelling words he loves on his paper.

 

He's turned his pencil into a rocket and had it blast towards my face, only to misjudge and poke me right on the bridge of my nose.

 

I'm very proud of myself for not screeching like a banshee when the (sharp end of the) pencil missed my eye by mere centimeters. I oh-so wanted to start ranting about "How many times have I told you to keep away from people's faces!" If you have a kid like this, you KNOW what I mean. It's so hard not to start a barrage of "why, why, WHY are you this way?????"

 

All this in just the past 10 minutes.

 

I used to be against meds, and I know a lot of people are against them, but right now, I think they're saving all of our sanity. I'd almost forgotten how horrible it is to teach someone with untreated ADHD.

 

Once the med kicks in, this all goes away. He keeps his curiosity, his humor, his quick wit, his kindness...but the impulsive, destructive behavior just...goes away.

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I'm sorry, I had to laugh over some of your ds antics. My ds5 is a bit like this, so I kinda know where you're at.

 

I'm very proud of myself for not screeching like a banshee when the (sharp end of the) pencil missed my eye by mere centimeters. I oh-so wanted to start ranting about "How many times have I told you to keep away from people's faces!" If you have a kid like this, you KNOW what I mean. It's so hard not to start a barrage of "why, why, WHY are you this way?????"

 

Well done, Mama. Deep breath, count to 5. Sometimes I manage it, sometimes not. I'm working on my patience!

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I used to be against meds, and I know a lot of people are against them, but right now, I think they're saving all of our sanity. I'd almost forgotten how horrible it is to teach someone with untreated ADHD.

 

Amen.

 

We started medicating when my DS was about the age of yours. This year (age 12/7th grade), he wanted to try doing school without his meds, and I said sure. I'm hoping he will outgrow the need for them one day, so I was game to try.

 

By 9:30 a.m., I was handing him a pill and some water. :glare:

 

Same sort of antics you described... falling out of the chair, fiddling with everything within reach, expressing every thought that came into his head, etc. Plus, he failed his math that day, while he normally gets 90-100 percent, and he was miserable the whole time he was doing it. Even he realized that the experiment had been a failure and was happy to go back to taking his medicine. It's not actually that much fun to have your brain skittering all over the place while you're trying to complete a task. Grading that math sheet was fascinating, actually: Problems half-done, copied wrong, skipped altogether - things that he normally has no problem with.

 

There's a part of me that will always wish I didn't have to medicate him, but I truly couldn't have homeschooled him without the meds. It would have destroyed our relationship.

 

I'm so glad your son is responding well to his meds and that you've found a solution that works for you :).

 

SBP

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I've never understood why some people are so anti-ADHD meds. Most people would see the folly of telling an insulin-dependant diabietic to go without their insulin, but many people think that ppl with mental disorders can just will themselves to normalcy.

 

(I was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, but the signs were there since childhood.)

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Once the med kicks in, this all goes away. He keeps his curiosity, his humor, his quick wit, his kindness...but the impulsive, destructive behavior just...goes away.

 

Yup. He gets a chance to just be himself without all the other stuff getting in the way. I'm so glad you guys get to see that. :)

 

Being ADD and on meds one of my number one beefs is when parents refuse to consider meds because they don't want to lose/change/whatever their kid's personality. Random outbursts and flyng pencils are not personality in the same way that facial tics are not personality. They're overlying stuff that gets in the way of a kid expressing their personality. Kudos for recognizing that!

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The question is, does it last forever? Will they ever be able to be successful without medication? That is my worry.

 

:bigear:

 

Why? I'm 37 and on meds. The meds aren't me and my successes mean no more or less simply because of whether or not I took a pill at the beginning of the day. I'm not sure why it should matter. It's never the meds that are making me succeed, it's completely me. Meds may remove some obstacles but they do nothing more then that.

 

I think we need to stop looking at meds as something that add good qualities like the ability to focus or repress impusivity. Instead, take a look at them as something that removes obstacles so that what is already there can shine through. My meds don't make me focus. They remove the constant distraction so that I can use my own ability to focus (which I DO have. Try to get me distracted when I'm in the middle of a good novel!).

 

They're not like giving me a scuba tank when I'm underwater so that everything I do is only because of them. They're like letting me break the surface of the water so that I can do what I need to for myself.

 

Even if I didn't hold that view I don't think succeeding without meds would be a huge issue. There are many external factors that affect my success in life and I can never get over. I need a good breakfast. I need to get to sleep at a certain time. I need a list. On and on. I don't agonize over the fact that I'll never be able to have a successful day without eating a good breakfast. :)

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Amen.

 

We started medicating when my DS was about the age of yours. This year (age 12/7th grade), he wanted to try doing school without his meds, and I said sure. I'm hoping he will outgrow the need for them one day, so I was game to try.

 

By 9:30 a.m., I was handing him a pill and some water. :glare:

 

Same sort of antics you described... falling out of the chair, fiddling with everything within reach, expressing every thought that came into his head, etc. Plus, he failed his math that day, while he normally gets 90-100 percent, and he was miserable the whole time he was doing it. Even he realized that the experiment had been a failure and was happy to go back to taking his medicine. It's not actually that much fun to have your brain skittering all over the place while you're trying to complete a task. Grading that math sheet was fascinating, actually: Problems half-done, copied wrong, skipped altogether - things that he normally has no problem with.

There's a part of me that will always wish I didn't have to medicate him, but I truly couldn't have homeschooled him without the meds. It would have destroyed our relationship.

 

I'm so glad your son is responding well to his meds and that you've found a solution that works for you :).

 

SBP

 

This describes my youngest to a "t"..... Off to research adding some coffee to his breakfast and then see what happens.

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Oh, I so hear you. We have switched to Vyvannse and it takes a good hour to kick in full force ---but when it does my ds shines his qualities that make him so wonderful, so intelligent, so fun, shine through:)

 

We tried the no meds off and on this summer bec he really wanted to be great without them ----it's just not in the books. We're trying to help him see that that's ok --it's not the meds that make him great or a success --it's the fact that they help block all the gunk out of his brain so his greatness can get through.

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I've never understood why some people are so anti-ADHD meds. Most people would see the folly of telling an insulin-dependant diabietic to go without their insulin, but many people think that ppl with mental disorders can just will themselves to normalcy.

 

(I was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, but the signs were there since childhood.)

 

 

I think it is because around here teachers decide that every *difficult* child should be medicated.

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I think it is because around here teachers decide that every *difficult* child should be medicated.

 

:iagree: And I also believe it's a generational thing. I have ADD and anxiety. My mom knew this about me when I was growing up but was of the opinion that I should just be able to control it, or if she ignored it, it didn't exist. This was the school of thought in her parents' generation. The, "Just deal with it and don't talk about it," mentality. :glare:

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I have a dd7 who is over the top with impulsive, destructive behavior/disrespect/disobedience and am pretty sure she would be ADHD. I have tried counseling-no help. She just about brings us all to tears every day. What recommendations do you have for me if relatives are against medicating, she hates coffee and would fight taking a pill anyway? (cram the thing up her nose?:lol:Just kidding!) Are there any meds disguised as candy? That she would eat-I'd have to lock 'em up though.

 

You cannot let this kid out of sight. And public outings make me so nerve-wracked. I am on anti-depressants, because I am at wits' end on parenting this kid. I had hoped she would grow out of it.:glare:

And she is a torment to her sisters-violent, stealing, etc.

The oldest has admitted she gets stressed out over it-recently she burst into tears after sis hit her with a broom because she reminded her I had said it was time to pick up.

 

Help! Meds;no meds; what to do?

 

Lakota

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This is our situation exactly! My son's ADHD is absolutely a disability (like blindness or deafness). He is unteachable if it is not treated. Giving him medication is like giving a deaf child a hearing aid or a blind child glasses.

 

It was very interesting this spring when he had heart surgery. For about two weeks afterwards he had no signs of his ADHD and I dared to hope that maybe the heart surgery cured him. Of course, all the doctors laughed. Sure enough once his body had done enough healing his symptoms came roaring back. Sigh. At least we tested out a med-free period to make sure that his morning behavior wasn't just some type of med withdrawal.

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I gave him his ADHD meds a little later this morning than usual and they haven't kicked in yet.

 

So far in the last 10 minutes of our spelling lesson, my son has dropped his pencil 6 times, picked it up with his foot twice, tried to write with his foot once.

 

He's knocked over his chair onto his foot once. He's sent a fart into my direction once and then cackled about it.

 

He's drawn skulls, Pacman ghosts, and lightening bolts all over the white board where he's writing the words, and written "I love..." in front of the spelling words he loves on his paper.

 

He's turned his pencil into a rocket and had it blast towards my face, only to misjudge and poke me right on the bridge of my nose.

 

I'm very proud of myself for not screeching like a banshee when the (sharp end of the) pencil missed my eye by mere centimeters. I oh-so wanted to start ranting about "How many times have I told you to keep away from people's faces!" If you have a kid like this, you KNOW what I mean. It's so hard not to start a barrage of "why, why, WHY are you this way?????"

 

All this in just the past 10 minutes.

 

I used to be against meds, and I know a lot of people are against them, but right now, I think they're saving all of our sanity. I'd almost forgotten how horrible it is to teach someone with untreated ADHD.

 

Once the med kicks in, this all goes away. He keeps his curiosity, his humor, his quick wit, his kindness...but the impulsive, destructive behavior just...goes away.

 

 

Wow, this is my son. Totally. Some days are better than others, but on his worst days he's like this. Daily, he drops pencils, makes *constant* noises, jumps around, chews the erasers off his pencils, and draws cartoons on all his papers.

 

He was diagnosed with ADHD combined last year. At the time, DH and I were both against medication. Now, after reading several posts on this board, I'm really starting to waver. I'd like to at least try it. DH, however, is still totally against it. He says he was just like our son when he was a kid, and he dealt with his issues, grew out of some, and is fine now. I just don't know. I can see my son struggling to stay focused, and I want to do something to help him (and help *my* sanity, of course).

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I have a dd7 who is over the top with impulsive, destructive behavior/disrespect/disobedience and am pretty sure she would be ADHD. I have tried counseling-no help. She just about brings us all to tears every day. What recommendations do you have for me if relatives are against medicating, she hates coffee and would fight taking a pill anyway? (cram the thing up her nose?:lol:Just kidding!) Are there any meds disguised as candy? That she would eat-I'd have to lock 'em up though.

 

You cannot let this kid out of sight. And public outings make me so nerve-wracked. I am on anti-depressants, because I am at wits' end on parenting this kid. I had hoped she would grow out of it.:glare:

And she is a torment to her sisters-violent, stealing, etc.

The oldest has admitted she gets stressed out over it-recently she burst into tears after sis hit her with a broom because she reminded her I had said it was time to pick up.

 

Help! Meds;no meds; what to do?

 

Lakota

 

Medications that are NOT extended release formulations and ARE in capsule form can be opened and mixed into food. The most common food is apple sauce.

 

Extended release medications (such as Ritalin LA, etc.) cannot be broken apart because their casing is integral to the proper dispersal of the medication over time. Ditto for crushing or splitting extended release pills - it makes the dispersal completely unreliable (eg: the person may get all of the medication in the first 5 minutes, or not until the end or...).

 

Additionally, a compounding pharmacist is capable of making pretty much ANY drug into any formulation needed. My MIL used to make lolly pops of almost all drugs for both kids and the elderly. Can you imagine having a morphine lolly pop? :blink:

 

HTH

 

 

asta

Edited by asta
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I had problems with my dd giving the pills when she was younger. Mainly that was because I was waiting to long. I have long age learned that she takes the medicine when she is barely awake, goes back to sleep most days, and wakes up an hour later medicated. Of course, now she is 17 and completely understands that medication is her lifesaver. She knows how to plan her days for maximum effectiveness and she also knows that she will be on medications forever unless some permanent solution is found. She is moderately/severely ADHD.

 

I also know that she eats in a different schedule than others. For one thing, she often gets up in the middle of the night and has a snack. THat is okay because she is more hungry then. I will have to make sure she has food in college to eat then. It is just one more reason why she needs a single room.

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Because they have serious side effects. When you have a 12 year old who weighs 50 lbs, doctors won't even give them meds. So,'we don't do meds, even though my days are often exactly like this. Sigh.

 

Yes, they do. There are also no long-term studies of patients taking stimulants for long periods of time. Those are my concerns.

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DH, however, is still totally against it. He says he was just like our son when he was a kid, and he dealt with his issues, grew out of some, and is fine now.

 

I was just like my son when I was a kid, only I was told for about 10 years that I just wasn't trying. It did wonders for my self confidence, let me tell you. Everything I did academically was an uphill battle until I discovered caffeine in high school and started a roaring addiction that probably is what got me through college. I still self-medicate with caffeine, but if I were to go back to school today, I wouldn't hesitate to go on ADD meds. I didn't really "grow out of" ADD so much as I learned what I had to do to cope with it: Lists, schedules, and routines (along with a lot of coffee) are the framework of my life. And I want my son to learn those things too, if they're what works for him, but right now I liken treating his ADD to treating his allergies, which he also takes a pill for every day. Yes, he might grow out of his allergies one day - some people do. But I'm not going to let him suffer miserably in the meantime if there's a pill that can make him comfortable and healthy.

 

Please know that I am not trying to argue with you or your husband - just presenting my rationale as another parent who grew up with ADD, learned to deal with it, but would rather my son not have to go through the same experience. I don't feel that it made me better or stronger; rather, it left me with a lack of confidence in my own intelligence. Ten years of feeling stupid wasn't, in my case, a great building block for future success.

 

Best wishes to you in whatever course you take. :grouphug:

 

SBP

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I hope that my ds has the same experience. I know he does on coffee, but I am hoping for more consistency.

 

The question is, does it last forever? Will they ever be able to be successful without medication? That is my worry.

 

:bigear:

 

Does it matter? I was recently diagnosed with ADD, inattentive type, and put on meds. They have changed my life, truly. I blogged about it here: http://lacatolicaloca.blogspot.com/2010/08/adhd.html

 

Really, ADHD meds have a proven safety record, if used carefully, and have few side effects once you find the correct dosage and med for each individual. There are some individuals for whom the side effects of any medication prove too large to tolerate, but they are in the minority. I may need to take medication each day for most of the rest of my life, but I can function!!! It is a worthy trade off.

Edited by lamamaloca
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Extended release medications (such as Ritalin LA, etc.) cannot be broken apart because their casing is integral to the proper dispersal of the medication over time. Ditto for crushing or splitting extended release pills - it makes the dispersal completely unreliable (eg: the person may get all of the medication in the first 5 minutes, or not until the end or...).

 

Vyvanse is extended release but you can open the capsules and add to applesauce or whatever because it operates in a different way, the extended release comes because the medication is bonded to lysine and as the lysine is metabolized over the day the medication is released.

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Why? I'm 37 and on meds. The meds aren't me and my successes mean no more or less simply because of whether or not I took a pill at the beginning of the day. I'm not sure why it should matter. It's never the meds that are making me succeed, it's completely me. Meds may remove some obstacles but they do nothing more then that.

 

I agree, but every situation is different. My dd is on meds and would also like a military career, and that won't fly. You have to be 2 years off meds to go into the military. So, a couple of years from now we will be looking at alternatives to daily meds (supplements, diet, etc.) to see if it's doable for her.

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Wow, this is my son. Totally. Some days are better than others, but on his worst days he's like this. Daily, he drops pencils, makes *constant* noises, jumps around, chews the erasers off his pencils, and draws cartoons on all his papers.

 

He was diagnosed with ADHD combined last year. At the time, DH and I were both against medication. Now, after reading several posts on this board, I'm really starting to waver. I'd like to at least try it. DH, however, is still totally against it. He says he was just like our son when he was a kid, and he dealt with his issues, grew out of some, and is fine now. I just don't know. I can see my son struggling to stay focused, and I want to do something to help him (and help *my* sanity, of course).

 

I can tell you the things that pushed us over onto the med's side:

 

My dh at 42, always knew he had ADHD and would joke about it. Of course, it was untreated (because he's 42 and no one treated it when he was a kid, so he's just lived with it.)

 

At the beginning of the summer, he was studying for his finals for his master's degree, elected to the church board, teaching a class at the local community college, working full time as a project manager at the same college, and being an active hands-on father, and he putters around the house cleaning and cooking, etc. (Because he has ADHD and has to be moving, moving, moving all the time.)

 

But it was too much. So he asked his doc for ADHD meds. The doc (who is pretty laid back) said, "Okey-dokey. Try these out. See if they work."

 

DH was shocked and amazed at how much they helped him. It certainly didn't change his personality, and he still moves around a lot, but he was able to sit still when he had to to do his job and study for his finals. At first he was only going to take the meds until the finals were done, but he's going to keep taking them because it's such a relief for him to be able to stop his whirling brain long enough to complete a full thought.

 

 

Also--my dh has some self-esteem issues. You wouldn't know it to look at him, but after 18 years of marriage, I know they're there. His "internal conversations" with himself are negative. I'll often hear him say things to himself like, "Dummy--where'd you put your hammer? Stupid." When I tell him not to say that about himself, he just responds with, "Well, it's true. You don't lose things. I'm just dumb." No amount of logic on my side convinces him that he's not dumb.

 

And I was noticing that ds was starting to feel that way about himself, too. Because people w/ ADHD often lose their hammers or whatever, and totally exasperate the people around them, and then they start to feel like idiots. Even if they're smart enough to get their master's degree and respected enough to be on the church board and get advances at work and teach college classes. Inside, they are very down on themselves.

 

I didn't want that for my son. Even if he found a way to be like dh and successfully navigate through work and school...I didn't want him convinced he was stupid or not trying his whole life.

 

Well...that was our journey.

Edited by Garga
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Does it matter? I was recently diagnosed with ADD, inattentive type, and put on meds. They have changed my life, truly. I blogged about it here: http://lacatolicaloca.blogspot.com/2010/08/adhd.html

 

Really, ADHD meds have a proven safety record, if used carefully, and have few side effects once you find the correct dosage and med for each individual. There are some individuals for whom the side effects of any medication prove too large to tolerate, but they are in the minority. I may need to take medication each day for most of the rest of my life, but I can function!!! It is a worthy trade off.

 

Yes, it does matter as there are no long-term studies of what stimulants and other brain chemical altering substances do to the brain over time. Add in the side effects (which are more relevent to children) and the military angle and there are reasons to think long-term.

 

I am thinking of getting my (obvious) ADD diagnosed and taking medications as I head back to work next year. I am not "anti-medication" per se, but before I start messing with my 9yo's brain chemistry I'd like to look at all the angles. I am particularly concerned with psych medications specifically as it relates to the still growing brain and dopamine production. My grandfather died of Parkinson's, so dopamine production and uptake is particularly important to me.

 

If my ds needed a particular medication or he would *die*, then the benefit (his living) would far surpass just about anything else. So, if he needed insulin he'd get it, period. However, most psychotropic drugs don't fall into that category, so I approach them even more carefully.

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Guest janainaz

It sounds a little like my ds5.5. He is a major wiggle worm and is always bouncing all over the house. He does his reading upside down, he runs straight at me, full speed to give me a hug, but it's more of a tackle, he is full of energy. I thought it was normal?!:confused:

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Yes, they do. There are also no long-term studies of patients taking stimulants for long periods of time. Those are my concerns.

 

Not to start a fight, but there are plenty of studies.

 

Long-Term Stimulant Medication Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Results from a Population-Based Study (Birth to Seventeen years)

 

 

This one isn't about meds. It points out that one of the major difficulties with long term studies is that the disease itself changes from childhood to adolescence and again into adulthood, so the parameters of studies can't remain the same: Outcome issues in ADHD: Adolescent and adult long-term outcome

 

Finally, this is a paper, published by the Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry. It is quite long, but the parts that are probably the most pertinent to this discussion would be on pps. 33 (Toxicology), 34 (Long-Term Trials), and 44 (Complications and Side Effects). There is a wealth of data within the paper.

 

Practice Parameter for the Use of Stimulant Medications in the Treatment of Children, Adolescents, and Adults

 

 

 

a

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It sounds a little like my ds5.5. He is a major wiggle worm and is always bouncing all over the house. He does his reading upside down, he runs straight at me, full speed to give me a hug, but it's more of a tackle, he is full of energy. I thought it was normal?!:confused:

 

Lots of kids are like that. The difference between "normal" and "pathological" is functionality. It sounds like your son functions just fine. The OPs son is dysfunctional (in clinical terms, not 'meanie' terms) in this particular arena. The meds are simply the spice that, for whatever reason, is missing from his endogenous recipe.

 

a

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It sounds a little like my ds5.5. He is a major wiggle worm and is always bouncing all over the house. He does his reading upside down, he runs straight at me, full speed to give me a hug, but it's more of a tackle, he is full of energy. I thought it was normal?!:confused:

 

That does sound like pretty normal boy behavior IMO.

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Not to start a fight, but there are plenty of studies.

 

Long-Term Stimulant Medication Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Results from a Population-Based Study (Birth to Seventeen years)

 

 

This one isn't about meds. It points out that one of the major difficulties with long term studies is that the disease itself changes from childhood to adolescence and again into adulthood, so the parameters of studies can't remain the same: Outcome issues in ADHD: Adolescent and adult long-term outcome

 

Finally, this is a paper, published by the Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry. It is quite long, but the parts that are probably the most pertinent to this discussion would be on pps. 33 (Toxicology), 34 (Long-Term Trials), and 44 (Complications and Side Effects). There is a wealth of data within the paper.

 

Practice Parameter for the Use of Stimulant Medications in the Treatment of Children, Adolescents, and Adults

 

 

 

a

 

The median term of treatment for the first study is 33 months. I was thinking in terms of 15-20 years of use! I know that in the short-term (less than 5 years) they are very safe to use. If I start my 9yo on them, what will be the effects on his brain chemistry and organs if he takes them until 24? Longer? That is my concern. Others don't have that concern.

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I hesitated for a long time before putting eldest on meds. I wanted to see if it was just "boyness" or if he really needed it. You know, it wasn't because he was hyperactive (he is), it was because he was/is so **** difficult.

 

One, my eldest was a PITA from the moment he was born. It never changed, it just got harder.

 

Two, 90% of our parental energy and money went to the eldest. We had nothing left for the younger two.

 

Three, eldest was burning through people. He is likeable but his uber annoying behaviour wears people out.

 

Four, we don't experience these problems with our other two children. Yes, they can be naughty and disobedient and act out but my eldest operates in a whole different dimension.

 

I hated being his parent.

 

The medication helps a little. His uber annoying behaviours are part of his personality so those don't go away (shucks). It does aid his ability to cooperate and listen to reason. Plus there are less annoying noises.

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It sounds a little like my ds5.5. He is a major wiggle worm and is always bouncing all over the house. He does his reading upside down, he runs straight at me, full speed to give me a hug, but it's more of a tackle, he is full of energy. I thought it was normal?!:confused:

 

 

I think it's about whether the child can be accommodated in a setting. Some families are super-active and don't do a lot of sitting work. If your child's activity level matches your family activity level or you're waiting to start formal lessons until the child is older, it's probably not as much of an issue.

 

I think holding off on meds for as long as possible is something to consider. I've watched a relative's child go on and off all kinds of meds, get them tweaked, watched them stopped working, watched the dosage change and change etc. It's been difficult to watch them struggle, and he's not been one of those who didn't have terrible side effects. Headaches, poor sleeping, memory loss, slowed bone growth, loss of appetite are some issues my this family has had to manage. People react differently to meds, remember. What works for some will be a disaster for others. As Mrs Mungo said, it's a fact that many of the meds used on children were meant for adults, and were not tested on children, or not in controlled studies.

 

While many children do really well, as evidenced by these posts, many children do experience dangerous side effects.

 

If you can accommodate your child's activity level, great. If there ever comes a day you can't, or the child is miserable, then it might be time to consider something else.

Edited by LibraryLover
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Yes, it does matter as there are no long-term studies of what stimulants and other brain chemical altering substances do to the brain over time. Add in the side effects (which are more relevent to children) and the military angle and there are reasons to think long-term.

 

 

Well, I will say that by "Does it matter?" I meant, "Does it matter if he has to take meds for the rest of his life if they make a positive difference?" I was addressing more the issue of "It is bad to have to take meds, and better to be able to handle it yourself" than the safety of the medication.

 

There is information on long term use, since stimulants have been used for ADHD (under various names) since the 1930s, but it is difficult to control for all variables so there are not as many good controlled studies. There is good information that stimulant use may slow somewhat the growth of children, and people are coming up with dosing schedules and meds that work around that. In the eyes of many parents, the risk of their child being 1/2 inch shorter doesn't compare to the benefits of the medication. There is information that indicates that taking medication reduces the child's risk of depression, other mental health problems and drug use in adolescence and adulthood. There is some information that stimulants may act as a trigger for those individuals predisposed to bipolar disorder or other psychoses. There is some evidence that taking medication, especially when combined with behavioral therapy, as a child actually changes the structures of the brain to be closer to "normal" rather than the typical ADHD brain, thus possibly reducing the patient's need for meds as an adult. There is lots and lots of good information showing that even the most effective therapy comes no where close to giving the benefits in improvement of symptoms that well-dosed and controlled medication gives.

 

There is a lot of information on the benefits and risks available, and I absolutely agree that parents need to weigh the risks and benefits and not just say "Meds are safe!" Personally, I thought there was no way I'd ever medicate my child for ADHD. Then I took ADHD meds myself. I now feel that, if my son is diagnosed with ADHD and medication is recommended, and we can find a medication with an acceptable number of side effects, then I could not deny him the help of the medicine. On the other hand, I have a nephew who is on a stimulant medication, and he has actually lost weight. No 8 year old should be losing weight. I would not continue my child on such a medication. I'd try a different med or stop them.

Edited by lamamaloca
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I hope that my ds has the same experience. I know he does on coffee, but I am hoping for more consistency.

 

The question is, does it last forever? Will they ever be able to be successful without medication? That is my worry.

 

:bigear:

 

My step-son is almost 16. He is ADHD and attends PS. He was medicated from a very young age (4-5?) until he was 13. Around 13 is when he started being ok with out it. Now, at almost 16, he functions quite well with out it (for the *most* part-there are times when he drives me NUTS, lol).

 

Yes there IS hope!

 

I want to come back to this thread though. My ds7 is dx with Asperger's and sounds very similar to your son. I have been wondering since the beginning of summer is meds wouldn't help improve his behavior. It gets to everyone in the family!

Edited by mama2cntrykids
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I used to be a 'no drugs' person. lol I am not any longer. But I think mediciating a small child is a different animal. Medicating a teen or an adult is something different. I do think teen lives have changed. In the old days a kid filled with energy and not into books would have been able to round up the cattle and plow the field, or take his horse in the woods for long trail rides...or fight a battle with the Spartans. ;) Today's teens do not have those outlets. Where does the child who would have done well in an agrarian society go when that is no longer an option? Most people try to fit into today's society as best he can.

 

Busy 5 yr olds are not quite in the same category for me. I have seen many people medicate little children who might have been accomodated well in a different family. (Too bad you can't choose! :D) If you are a quiet family who likes to sit around reading books, and you get a powerhouse of a child who needs to move- move- move, you may feel something is necessary. If you have a powerhouse 5 year old in a house full of rock climbers and surfers, chances are you're not even going to notice.

Edited by LibraryLover
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As for losing stature. Does it matter? It would depend, I suppose. My relative lost about 1" due to the meds (best guesstimate by the Dr), and then another 2" due to scoliosis. Nobody saw the scoliosis coming. If your genetics says you should be 6ft tall or more, it probably doesn't matter. If your genetics put you at 5'8" and you lose 3 inches, does that matter? For some families it might not.

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As for losing stature. Does it matter? It would depend, I suppose. My relative lost about 1" due to the meds (best guesstimate by the Dr), and then another 2" due to scoliosis. Nobody saw the scoliosis coming. If your genetics says you should be 6ft tall or more, it probably doesn't matter. If your genetics put you at 5'8" and you lose 3 inches, does that matter? For some families it might not.

 

If anyone had read the paper I just posted, they would have seen that the height bit has been essentially debunked.

 

 

a

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It sounds a little like my ds5.5. He is a major wiggle worm and is always bouncing all over the house. He does his reading upside down, he runs straight at me, full speed to give me a hug, but it's more of a tackle, he is full of energy. I thought it was normal?!:confused:

 

A lot of kids aren't dx'd until they're in school, because until then, the exuberant behavior could just be normal...or not. It's when they sit in front of a math sheet with only 10 problems and get 8 of them wrong when you KNOW (you KNOW) that they know how to do the work.

 

But, instead of doing the work (which took them 30-60 minutes, and should have taken no more than 5 or 10), they doodle on the paper, sing songs, fall off the chair, get angry, cry...etc. The day before my son was on meds, he couldn't do the 10 problems w/o the above happening.

 

The morning that he first took the meds, he did his 10 problems in under 10 minutes and they were all correct and there wasn't a single drawing on the page. He didn't cry or complain. He didn't throw his pencil down on the desk in frustration. He didn't start trying to tell me a long involved story in the middle of the page. (That's how it usually was done in my house.) I didn't have to re-direct him for every single problem. (Ok--now stop drawing and move on to number 2.) He just sat there like a "normal" person, did each problem in order, wrote down the answers and voila! was done with NO FUSS.

 

Holey-Moley! Math done in 10 minutes! I used to have to schedule over an hour to teach the lesson and have him do the single page!

 

Adhd isn't just being active and exuberant. It stops you from being able to function and focus on a simple task. (simple task--I'm not talking about making them sit and do 5 worksheets with 30 problems on each sheet.) The simple task becomes insurmountable with add/adhd.

 

Well...that's what we've seen with our sweetie pie.

Edited by Garga
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My oldest has severe and multiple LDs and in grade 3 was diagnosed with ADD. We took him off meds when we started homeschooling. At the start of 10th grade we tried them again because he has been struggling in high school. Bad news is that they upset his stomach and he has digestive problems to begin with so...we gave up and he's trying to cope without. I might look into the natural supplements and see if they help.

 

My second son, the autistic child, had ADHD diagnosed in first grade. He was so incredibly distractable. The problem -- the meds turned him into a flat, emotionless zombie. Off the meds he was this smiling, exuberant for life, loving child. On the meds he was monotone. I hated it. His special ed teacher was in my corner in trying him off them in 3rd grade. His teacher couldn't cope. When we started hsing the first thing I did was throw those pills away. He does better off them than his older brother. His pediatrician told me that autistic children have issues with ADD meds because they tend to cause some odd results, like in Mike, making him emotionally flat.

 

My third son has struggled with impulse control his entire life and finally last year after yet another round of 'you've got to learn control' we discussed seeing our family doctor and seeing if there was help to be had. After going through all the questionnaires we gave concerta a try. It has helped him tremendously. He is far calmer and in more control. During all the work-up he told me how the constant level of anxiety he felt was making it hard for him to maintain his temper, etc. I had no idea he was feeling that much anxiety. I'm not sure how long he'll be on it but for now it's a definite blessing.

 

So, while I'm not anti-meds, I'm also of the mind they should be used with caution and it's worth trying other methods *first*.

 

My last child, praise God, shows no signs of any of those issues. He has physical handicaps that led us to homeschool and that opened the door for homeschooling the others.

 

I will also say, HSing children with ADD/ADHD -- wow, that is amazingly difficult. I try to explain to people so they can relate and what it boils down to is, for example, HSing my oldest is a full time job in itself, not counting that I have three others to manage. I hang in there by the fingertips most days because we just have no other option. The public schools here are bad enough that we've never been able to send them back. Kind of one of those situations where the 'worst day HSing is better than the best day in public school'. :/

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For years and years we thought our little girl was just a dreamy, artsy type. But by the time she was in public high school she spent the majority of her days doodling, staring out the window; it was so bad that her peers and teachers told her she needed help. She would drift off in the middle of sentences, never finish what she was saying. So we put D was on meds for ADD for about 2 years, age 14-16. She was much more focused on them and her grades improved a lot. Unfortunately, she developed anorexia while on the meds so she had to stop.

 

We began homeschooling D last year when she was turning 17. She makes a strong cup [like 1/4 cup of grounds!] of coffee for herself in the morning, that will carry her until noon. At lunch she will have a slightly weaker cup of coffee. Any more caffeine than that, though, and she is ADHD!

 

At almost 18 she says the ADD has diminished somewhat with age and self-discipline, but she laments the loss. She loved to get lost in her daydreams and her wild imagination; unfortunately, now that she is "on task and centered" she can't let her imagination go and she is not quite the happy, exuberant, vivacious child she used to be.

 

It is indeed a difficult path to follow. As a parent I can feel her pain, because she has lost some of her spontaneity and creativity. But it is my job is to prepare her for survival through the mundanities of everyday living.

Edited by distancia
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I hope that my ds has the same experience. I know he does on coffee, but I am hoping for more consistency.

 

The question is, does it last forever? Will they ever be able to be successful without medication? That is my worry.

 

:bigear:

 

This is my fear and why I have steered away from meds....my youngest son sounds a lot like yours...but what are the long term issues involved? My husbands godparents had an adopted son who was medicated all through grade school and high school....in 11th grade he decided to go off meds and ended up commiting suicide....this has scared me so far away from any kind of meds....but then again....I wonder if in the long run meds would help my son with his "social" issues.

 

:bigear:

 

Has anyone had any info from adults who were medicated as children and what the outcomes were?

 

Faithe (who is happy this is working for you and is not trying to be contrary, but rather trying to gather information that may help my son.)

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My husbands godparents had an adopted son who was medicated all through grade school and high school....in 11th grade he decided to go off meds and ended up commiting suicide....this has scared me so far away from any kind of meds....

 

Faithe, could it be that the meds kept him from despondency all the way up until 11th grade? It sounds to me like going off the meds was the problem, but I could be misunderstanding you.

 

Barb

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So.....my DD8 has ADHD! This sounds like every morning for me, but we work on talking about it and practicing not doing these things. I had a horrible experience experimenting with ADD meds with my oldest and just never will go through that again! One med even made her throw her little sister (age 4 at the time) across the floor in a restaurant. I don't even know where this kind of strength came from! Another made her like a zombie child. Another caused huge mood swings (she would go from very sweet to just completely psycho within minutes). Another caused her to loose so much weight that I became worried.

 

By med #4, I told the doc to give it a rest and I was through! :001_huh:

 

I cant do that again.

 

I want my children to learn how to deal with this behavior on their own and not become dependent on meds. I have. They can too. My oldest is 17 and has.

Edited by parias1126
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Faithe, could it be that the meds kept him from despondency all the way up until 11th grade? It sounds to me like going off the meds was the problem, but I could be misunderstanding you.

 

Barb

 

No, you are not misunderstanding me...and going off the meds probably contributed to his suicide...BUT...would he have been despondent if he never went ON the meds in the first place...or learned other coping mechanisms? His parents are wonderful, caring, loving people and would have done anything to help him...and thought they were with the meds for adhd. It seems that the crux of the boys problems were not addressed because they were medicated out of him and seemingly "cured." He seemed OK to everyone around him as long as he had his meds....but obviously he wasn't ok and the meds didn't solve his issues, but mask them. i know another little boy in whom I see the same type of behavior. he is the sweetest little boy on his meds, but OH BOY...if his parents forget or if his dosage needs changing...that kid is frightening. he isn't learning to cope. he isn't learning social skills. It is more like he is being controlled...and I am afraid of what will happen to him when he is an older teen and decides to go off his meds.

 

I am not saying this is the case with any of the moms here. You all obviously researched and weighed the pluses and minuses before you made your decision for or against medications. I am also trying to weigh that now and appreciate any info you may have from adults who were medicated as children and thier outcomes whether they continued on meds or went off...

 

Thanks,

Faithe

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