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ADHD - need advice


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For many, many years I have suspected my youngest has ADHD. I tried to ignore it because and work on behavioral issues as I think it is a cop-out for a lot of parents who just don't want to discipline. But, as a former teacher, I know it does exist. My youngest eats a fairly healthy diet, swims over a mile, close to 2, 5 days a week, and still is fidgety, prone to saying whatever is in her brain at a particular time, and immediately regrets it, lies and doesn't know why, can hyper focus. She usually falls asleep immediately at night. One of her teachers in co-op is a child psychiatrist and she says dd definitely has it. She also said don't medicate until it is affecting her moods relationships and she is showing signs of depression. We are there.

 

She is very smart. The main problem is the boundless energy. She gets in people's faces, climbs all over the place, jumps in place, always needs to be doing somethings. She is just overwhelming to her friends and they are getting uncomfortable around her. But she can focus on building her KNex, knitting and school. But the impulse control and temper are awful. And she told me last night that she feels like she just can't control her energy. She can sit for a church service but afterwards is zooming around the place during fellowship.

 

I have read some of the posts about the coffee and 5 Hour Energy. I think the possibility of getting a 10 yo to drink black coffee is slim, and, while I hate artificial sweeteners, I am wondering about a sugar free coffee drink or creamer. But would one cup of coffee work all day?

 

DH is fine with going to the doctor. I am all for treating without meds, but BTDT, and it ain't working. So, are any of your kids being treated for ADHD and if so, what are they taking? My psych friend likes Strattera, but I know that has some side effects. In fact they all do. I have one friend who says ritalin saved her son. I know this may be trial and error. But after my experience with trying very expensive antidepressants and then finding out that the older one on the $4 list at Walmart works wonders for me, I am wondering if we should just start simple and work our way up.

 

My poor, poor dd. She is so sweet too. She is spending an incredible amount of time knitting scarves for the kids who are at the domestic violence shelter where a friend of mine works. She has made 3 since Sunday. And some toys, too. No prompting from me. She came up with this on her own. She has got such a huge heart, and right now it's carrying a heavy burden. And it is getting harder and harder for people to see it because her energy just turns them off.

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My son was very hyperactive as a child and was always climbing or talking or doing something. He just couldn’t sit still anywhere. He was on a variety of different meds, including straterra. He couldn’t seem to concentrate on school at all, so the straterra did help with that. We eliminated a lot of food from his diet and found that certain foods triggered his behavior. Artificial food coloring, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, sugar and gluten. Now he is a teenager, and he now eats gluten and limited sugar. He is no longer on meds and seems to be so much calmer. However, if he had a lot of sugar, any caffeine or artificial food coloring, we see a lot of the previous behaviors: endless energy, getting in people’s faces, talks a lot, etc. The food dyes seemed to make him really moody too.

 

It could be that he grew out of his adhd, but I think it has a lot to do with diet.

 

A friend of mine has a son who also seems to have a lot of energy. He exercises or participates in something physical at least three hours a day . . . sounds like a lot, but it is what works for him.

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There have been a few attempts by therapists to get my son on ADHDmeds - but so far we've managed. He's no where near what you describe behaviorally, though :grouphug:

From what I have discussed with family and a few docs - the older the drugs are the more they have been tested, and the longer they have been around to be recalled if something was wrong.

The newer drugs are usually not even tested on kids and are prescribed "off label" for things like ADHD. My older son had to go on Atenolol for about ayear, and I absolutely hated it because it had only been (lab) tested in 20 kids. Use in children at the time was still considered "off-label"... That did work out fine - but I did a ton of personal research before I allowed him to take it.

I recommend a hefty Google search, and try to stay away from ritalin if you can (there have been some rather disturbing reports in the news about it).

Have you read the thread about coffee in the morning? It's a much safer stimulant (ritalin is basically legal amphetamines) and has been around for ages.

I wouldn't feel bad about caving into the drug thing - I know I've been right on the edge :tongue_smilie: Just go eyes-wide-open, and prepared with info on the meds that may be prescribed.

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While the meds do have side effects possible, there are side effects to NOT medicating also. Then consider that meds like Tylenol can be fatal yet we give it to young babies you need to weigh the risk/benefits.

 

Personally I would stay away from Strattera for hyperactivity. It is a cousin to the antidepressants and can make mood issues worse. For hyperactivity the stimulants seem to work the best. There are many to try and if one isn't the right one, try a different type.

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I had a boyfriend once with ADHD. He described going on medication the first time in his early teens (13ish) as 'coming out of the fog with the earthquake stopping." Or something like that. As an adult he did not always use medication, but he said it made huge difference as a teen and student. He was amazed at how much he was missing in his school work and in relationships. Before medication he didn't realize just how overwhelmed he was with sensory input and that being able to focus could make life easier. The reason he didn't feel he needed it as an adult was because his career was once he was naturally drawn to and could focus on, mostly anyway. J also said that being on the medication also helped him learn how to control himself off the medication because he knew what 'calm and connected' felt like and he could find ways to get back there. If that makes sense to you. Personally I found that he was much less of a risk taker on the medication than off.

 

Your dd may have a biological or chemical reason that her connections are off. Medication has been proven to improve those connections. If she had any other health issue, you would most likely welcome medication, even on a trial basis. Fortunately there are multiple choices in medications now instead of just one.

 

When I started teaching about 16 years ago, there was a study that my asistant principal showed me. The study compared young adults on medication and those identified but not on medication. Those who were not on medication were more likely to engage in dangerous behavior, use illegal drugs, and get into legal trouble than the ones on medication.

 

Medication is obviously a choice the entire family needs to make together. I would seek out a psychiatrist rather than a regular PCP simply because there are a few alternative tools that can be used as well including counseling and biofeedback.

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My ds is taking Vyvanse, but it has only been 2 days. He LOVES it!

 

We'll have to see how it goes over time. I remain cautiously optomistic.

 

The coffee was not consistent enough and didn't last long enough.

 

So far, no side effects. They may come later, though.

 

Glad to hear it is working. We saw side effects right away. If appetite is an issue you can try to have him eat a large breakfast and then take the meds and then give him 1/2 hour or more before you ask too much out of him.

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