ADHD Parents Together

What to do?

Hi, I'm new here...

I have a 8 year old boy. Last year he was officially diagnosed with ADHD. We didn't put him on meds, I appreciate modern medicine but don't use them unless absolutely necessary.

We had to switch him to a new school because he was constantly blamed at his old school for not sitting still on the carpet or asking questions, or climbing trees. His new school staff is caring and wonderful.

He has his moments - tantrums when asked to stop video games, etc. Limiting his screen time really helps though.

Last week we had a teacher parent meeting to follow up on some undesirable behavior since school started, and it turned out that he was doing great the whole week. However, things quickly took its turn today when he went back... He was publicly being disrespect-able to his teachers and was taunting his teachers right in front of my husband when they were having a last minute meeting to discuss today's events.

One of the teacher actually suggested medications, one of her kids used to be on meds for ADHD and she said it helped. We have an appointment tomorrow morning to see his doctor to discuss our options, both medical and non-medical. I just can't bring myself to feed him pharmaceutical pills at this age.

What are your experience with meds?

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My husband and I went back and forth on putting our son on ADHD medication. They start him on a low dose and to be totally honest it makes SUCH a difference. Instead of thinking that you are putting him on meds think of it this way it is a balance issue without the medication they are all over the place and when they take it it helps to balance them out and have the attention span needed to succeed in school. Most of the pills we have been told about the active ingredients only last 12 hours so it mainly during the hours of school is when it is most effective and it will wear off in the evenings, it helps a lot on the weekends as well. It makes a huge difference though. Our doc says that fish oil is a natural way you can try out to see if it helps, but it takes three month to fully kick in and it did not make much of a difference for our son but it is worth a try. Get the Red fish oil pills if you want to give it a try.

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Thank you for sharing :) We had a long visit at the doctor's this morning. We haven't made a decision yet, but I'm working on all the options and am being open minded. Thanks again!

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My son is almost 8, he was diagnosed in May after a long stressful school year. By the time he was diagnosed he was very far behind on his work and was having self esteem issues despite seeing a counselor (actually 2, the school counselor and one we found for after school once a week). I was so nervous to put him on medication at his age, but it was breaking my heart to hear my son say he thought he was stupid because he couldn't focus to complete his work. And he HATED school, at 7. I couldn't take it, I told him (and myself) that we would try it to see what happens. He's been taking 10mg of Vyvanse, and while he still fidgets and needs move still, he can complete his work at school. He's been nervous about this new year (falling behind like he did last year), but so far he is doing okay and I'm just doing my best to remind him that I'm staying in touch with his teacher and if something changes we'll address it.

I've noticed that the medicine has also helped with his nervous behaviors (bitting/chewing his clothes and believe it or not nose picking).

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Thank you for sharing your experience. We are going to try lifestyle change (as much as we can with diets, etc) for a month and see if it helps. Then we will try medication...

Is Vyvanse a stimulant? Has your son said anything about being on medication (feelings, etc)? Thank you!

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Yes it is, we had tried as much lifestyle changes as we could. I've asked him about but he won't tell me much. At first he told me he didn't like it but wouldn't give me a reason, even if I suggested reasons since I wasn't sure if he would really be able to articulate why. My husband is also ADHD and he told me when he was trying various medication as a young adult that when they found one that worked everyone made a big deal about how great the medicine was working. He remembered feeling like he wanted it to be him praised for the work and not the medicine. And I think maybe that was kind of what my son was feeling. I of course felt awful thinking about it in retrospect, maybe I had placed too much emphasis on the medicine. I've since focused my praise towards his effort. He hasn't said much about it other than when he first started. He doesn't like taking it because he won't swallow pills so I have to put it in food, but I think now that's the only aspect he doesn't like.

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"He remembered feeling like he wanted it to be him praised for the work and not the medicine." Wow, this is very enlightening. I have not thought about it like that before.

After my son's diagnoses I read Delivered from Distraction by Dr. Hallowell and decided to get myself tested, it turned out I'm in the same boat (kinda explains why I never finish my projects).

Another parent suggested The Walsh Protocol so I'm going to look into that as well.

You are a great mom, the fact you are here shows how much you love your son and how much you want him to succeed. One day at a time :)

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My son struggled even in preschool. His teachers always love having him in class because he is so pleasant and upbeat, but his wild behaviors that were distracting in preschool became big issues in kindergarten and first grade. Worse than that, he was very far behind in reading. I was told to sit down with him and read every single day, and every single day we would both end up crying or losing our tempers. He simply couldn't pay attention and got easily frustrated, which resulted in unbelievable tantrums. He was placed on an IEP for reading and behavioral plan at school for his classroom behaviors. He had no friends because he was always touching other kids, grabbing them in bear hugs, taking their belongings, or wouldn't wait his turn. The school was implementing classroom modifications and we were working on tools at home. He had been asked to leave karate because he wouldn't pay attention and just wanted to spar. His soccer coach screamed at him constantly to get back on task. He started to feel very down on himself. Finally the school suggested he see a pediatrician to be evaluated for learning disorders. They suggested that he might have ADHD because he had normal intelligence and did above average in math. We did a comprehensive evaluation and he was diagnosed with ADHD, severe symptoms. The pediatrician recommended medication and behavioral therapy, and I included diet modification and parent/family training (multimodal treatment, suggested in my favorite ADHD books). I read everything I could get my hands on. I was desperate to give him every single possible assistance to help him get on track fast. It worked! He did great on medication, his behaviors improved to the point where his behavioral management plan was discontinued, he was discharged from behavioral therapy and told to return when needed, his reading IEP was discontinued, and in April this year he met his reading goal! He has not experienced negative side effects since changing from Adderall to Concerta. I couldn't have been happier (well, I would have been happier if his dad hadn't fought with me about the medication for the last 2.5 years and ignored all of his positive progress - but that's in another post). Good luck and many blessings for you and your family on this journey.

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Thank you so much sharing your experience! My son's biggest challenge is social interactions. The doctor suggested Concerta and it seems like it's the better choice for kids their age (we just have to make sure that he will swallow), but hopefully we will see some improvement this following month with lifestyle changes so we don't have to go there, although I'm understanding this type of changes takes several months to kick in VS medication is instantaneously...

Thanks again and I'm glad to hear that your son is doing better now :)

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It takes time to find the right medication and the right dosage. It does make a difference as far as focus and fidgeting in school but stimulants don't fix behavior. Find a dr you trust and see if you can get genetic testing done to see which medications can be tolerated best. ( it's just a mouth swab) Good luck!

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We like his current doctor. Do you know if the genetic testing accessible through regular doctors, or just specialists? Thank you!

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Hello, I have the same struggles in regards to medicating. Its my absolute last resort after I have tried everything in my power. My daughter is seven and was diagnosed early this year. However she is academically on target in both reading and math. Her behaviors are whats going to hinder her in the future if she can't maintain emotional balance during the day. She has random moments when she absolutely refuses to complete a lesson shuts and down and rages in class. She can be quite disrespectful to teachers, which is appalling when I hear what she says. I've modified her diet low/no sugar, no processed foods, free of dyes especially Red #40 and no high fructose corn syrup. I can't cut out carbs/gluten too much because she is almost underweight for her age. I also diffuse a combination of essential oils such as vertiver, cedarwood, and lavender. Supposed to help with emotional well being. Her pediatrician also prescribed Vayarin which is an omega 3 supplement designed to penetrate the brain blood barrier more effectively. I am now exploring the possibility of Neuro Feedback therapy.

You are not alone. Good Luck!

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Thank you for sharing! Could you tell me where to find more info on the Neuro Feedback therapy? Someone mentioned Neuro Plus, do you know much about it?

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You can find on youtube,

or search Neuro Feedback therapy. I live in California so I searched on-line for neuro feedback in my area and I found one who is also a licensed therapist. Your child would basically have an EEG done on their brain to identify exactly where in their brain there are deficiencies/weaknesses. Electrodes are attached to the head and fed into a computer. The patient plays something similar to a video game, while the therapist makes subtle adjustments to bring their brainwaves into balance. They recommend approximately forty sessions for permanent results. It is non-invasive not harmful at all. At this point I'm willing to make the investment in my daughters future. I came across research that says 80% of adhd cases will show improvement in all areas including emotional balance. Some neuro feedback centers are quite pricey so you'll need to do your research.

My daughter has her initial assessment appointment tomorrow.

Again good luck!

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THANK YOU!!!

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