6 year old with recent diagnosis

hi! My 6 year old son was recently diagnosed with ADHD and we are weighing the pros and cons of medication. My first instinct was not to go that route and to try to manage it with therapy and homeopathic supplements etc. especially because he is still so young. We have not see any significant change in behavior though and he has really been struggling with impulsivity etc. and I just wanted to see if anyone else has a child this age or younger who does take medication and any feedback you may have from your experiences. Thanks so much!

18 Replies

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  • My son is turning 6 in a few weeks. I think I need to have him tested but no one is giving me any direction on who to go through. On my own I've started him in some essential oils (we call it super boy oil), fish oil (though it's challenging because he is a very picky eater) and I'm slowly trying him on a gluten free diet (which is basically his main food group). We just started but I'm hoping to get somewhere.

  • My son just turned 7, never had meds yet. I'm fortunate to live close to Nationwide Children's Hospital and I made the decision to have him seen by a child psychiatrist. She has proved herself to be more knowledgeable and resourceful than his pediatrician. For me there's comfort in knowing she will only recommend meds if she truly believes he will benefit from them. I can't say all child psychiatrist are like her but I do believe they are worth the visit. I never wanted to medicate my son, however, I was diagnosed just two years ago and the meds made such a vast difference in my life that it changed my viewpoint. If recommended, I will medicate him under close watch of his psychiatrist.

  • My 7.5 year old son was diagnosed Dec 2016. We tried everything too. Diet change, homeopathics , and we even changed our parenting style. We knew that medication would be a last ditch effort. But we ran out of options and decided to go for it. It has seriously been the best decision of our lives. He can also tell a huge difference and says he likes life better with help of medication. His teachers saw a HUGE difference in him as well. I was also resently tested and diagnosed with ADHD. Working with my therapist on life-strategies and medication has been an absolute game changer. I was always missed diaognosed and have struggled for years. I didn't want my son to experience those same struggles. Thank God we got the help we both needed. Good luck to you!!

  • Hi,

    Just interested to know how you were diagnosed as my Dr said it's difficult to diagnose an adult. I think I may have ADHD as well as my son. Thanks

  • There's a questionnaire they give you and you answer the questions with a range of numbers...not at all / sometimes / very often... sort of thing. The score tells you how you rate on the ADHD spectrum. You could probably search online and take one on your own, but make sure it's legitimate.

  • THanks very much. I'll google and have a look

  • I was lucky to have a proactive community around me that helped me get this figured out. I am working with a Therapist and we spent 4 hours on testing. And now meet 1x a week for strategies. My regular doctor that prescribed the medication was very pleased that I decided to get tested. It made it easy for him to figure out what medication would be best to start me on too. Of course he started me out on a low dose and I can already tell it's not going to be the right dose. But that part of it takes time.

    It's actually been a blessing to finally have a name to what I have been experiencing my entire life. You can research online ADHD testing for adults . They are informal but ask the general questions and will give you a push in the right direction.

    If you really do think you have ADHD, then I highly recommend finding someone to do the testing with you esp if ADHD is negatively effecting your life. 😊

  • I was diagnosed when I was 43 and it was only because I was referred to a psychiatrist for an eating disorder. The meds they put me on to help reduce the binging are also prescribed for ADHD. I was mind blown from the first dose. I was later sent to a therapist for an official diagnosis and it was confirmed. I never realized that ADHD had been the root of so many issues I had. It's mind boggling. And I never once my entire life suspected that I was ADHD. It's been a life game changer! Good Luck to you.

  • I was diagnosed in my late 40's. Get in touch with CHADD

  • Hi are you based in America? My GP (England) had never had an adult asking if there had ADHD and suspected that there would be no support available. So I wondered if things were different abroad? Thanks

  • My son started meds in 2nd grade. For us, meds are a Godsend. Nothing else really works and he was really struggling in school.

  • My 6 year old was diagnosed with ADHD combined in April. After consultation with several mental health professionals and her pediatrician, we started 10mg of Ritalin in May. The message we got from all doctors was that therapy alone (without medication) would not produce significant behavioral changes as ADHD is a biological/chemical imbalance. She was really struggling in Kinder with reading, writing, flexibility and general focus. At home we were struggling with almost daily major meltdowns. Meds were the BEST decision! We saw immediate changes in behavior and general disposition. She was writing full paragraphs at school when she struggled with a few words before. We are working now to figure out the right dosage/formula to get her through a full school day for first grade (Kinder was only half day). We've had some bumps in the road but know that meds were the right decision for her.

  • Thanks so much everyone for your responses! It really has helped me to see that medication doesn't have to be the "bad" choice and if it can help my son succeed and have positive self esteem then it's something we need to try!!

  • I can't wait to hear back on how this helps him!! I am excited for y'all!!

  • We had almost the same experience as KrisCA with my 9-yr-old daughter. When it was determined she was ADHD, we thought we would try therapy only first, then a week later she failed a retake of a test she had taken a day earlier (after studying the night before with me). We knew we needed something that would produce immediate results because her grades were really struggling. Her teacher noticed a positive change immediately. She is taking Vyvanse instead of a Ritalin or adderall. At our 6-mo checkup I mentioned that the Vyvanse seemed to help everything but the angry outbursts. So they prescribed Vayarin, basically it's a super dose of fish oil and takes a little longer to work into the system, but I also believe it has helped. We are about to start our first full school year on both medications - looking forward to it.

  • ksdarcy my daughter was diagnosed at 6 also. She now 13 and starting her freshman year. At first we medicated her with a low dose of Adderal which she did well on. We had to have monthly appointments with her pediatrician to evaluate how she was doing on her medication and how she was doing with weight. Her doctor was always criticizing me about how little she was and it didn't matter that she was only 6lbs at birth and all of the women in my family are very petite. I got so sick of the criticism and not be heard that we finally decided after they changed her medication to Ritalin and she chased her brother through the house with a knife that we were done medicating. She did really well until 6th grade she began to notice she was having problems concentrating in class. We let her decide at that time if she wanted to start taking medication again. We put her back on Adderal and she has done amazing. My advice is to do what you think is right for your son and when he is older and understands more about what ADHD is and how it effects his daily routine let him help decide if medication is something he wants. Hope my rambling helps.

  • Sometimes I wonder if it is too easy to acquire an ADHD label and it conceals other underlying issues. All we had to do is for each parent to fill out a form, as well as the teacher. Then he got his diagnosis. The questions on the form can apply to other health problems but you end up with the label. There are facilities across America that perform comprehensive testing and that is the route we are about to take. My suspicion is that my child has other health problems undiagnosed. Just food for thought.

  • My 5 year old son is on medication for his ADHD. It has helped him with his focus and he is calmer. There is ups and downs. He has lost weight due to the medication that is the only side effect my little guy has had.

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