Hi all. I am new here. My 7yo son has recently been diagnosed with ADHD - inattentive type. We are currently deciding on whether or not to medicate him. He is having a hard time focusing in school, and his struggle with executive functioning causes problems at home as well. I'm afraid of medication and all the possible side effects (depression and anxiety already exist in our genes), but my husband wants to give it a try so that our son doesn't fall behind in academics and doesn't suffer any more with his self-esteem. He is a bright boy who loves to read, write comic books, and build things. They say there are therapies out there to help him, but I have no idea how to find them. Can anyone relate and provide their experience?
New diagnosis ADHD - Inattentive - CHADD's ADHD Pare...
CHADD's ADHD Parents Together
I am also new and have never done any type of support group chats before so you are in good company! Also, sorry for the novel!
I have been trying to reply to your post for two and a half hours, but keep skipping around, rewriting things, and being distracted by the rain hitting the roof, kids outside, and all the other things I can't stop hearing. I have ADHD.
I am nearly 30 and didn't know I had ADHD until 7 months ago. Growing up my parents thought I was only depressed, anxious, or maybe even bipolar. ADHD was never on any ones radar, not even my extended family who had a child with ADHD.
Growing up my parents would "threaten" to take me to see a counselor, but after a while I figured out how to hide most of my symptoms and got out of going. Hindsight 20/20, I really wish I didn't hide what was going on and let my parents take me. Life would have been very different.
I didn't do well in school because I couldn't retain any of the information, which only intensified my depression and anxiety. I hated feeling stupid. My parents even had me tested to see what my IQ was, and everything came back normal. No one knew why I wasn't doing well in school.
I finally saw a counselor when I was in college and was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. After objecting to medication for years I finally tried to find something that would help alleviate the pain I felt inside. I had seen many counselors, psychiatrist, and even went to an out patient treatment program for my depression. Nothing helped me feel better.
After years of not getting better I had given up hope I true happiness existed. I stopped seeing any type of mental health providers because nothing helped. My husband wanted me to get better and kept asking me to start seeing someone again. I had promised him the next year I would go see someone, but next year turned into 3 years later.
This next part is not here to scare you, but in my life story I had come to the point where I was going to end my life, because nothing helped. The only thing that stopped me from ending my life was the promise I made to my husband to see someone, though in my head I knew if this didn't work nothing would ever work.
When I called to make the appointment the intake specialist let me know the first appointment the provider would not diagnose me, but just listen to my story. I was frustrated because I already knew I had depression and anxiety and didn't need to go in more than once to get the diagnosis. I really didn't want to waste the money for more than one appointment.
During the second visit he wanted me to take get genetic test to see if I had any markers that would make it so the medication didn't work for me. I was so hesitant to get the test because it was going to cost $300, and didn't think my life was worth that much money for a test I knew wasn't going to help.
After much deliberation with my husband we moved forward with the genetic test. When the results came back my provider went over the test results with me. All of the list came back green, meaning my body shouldn't have any issues with the medication. I was devastated and knew I was right, there was no hope for me.
Right after he showed me the results the provider said, this is a great thing! And let me tell you, I was extremely confused. How could it be great if all of the medications I had taken before should have worked? He said, because all of them should have worked we know the underlying condition was not depression or anxiety, you have ADHD.
I seriously looked at him and said, What?? Um, what?? We went over a list of things about ADHD and my entire life made sense! That was the best news I had ever received! Hope was restored.
I called my mom right after my appointment and excitedly told her the news, I had ADHD!!! Like me, my mom said, What?? Why does he think you have ADHD? I began to tell her why and she was not convinced of the diagnosis. She doesn't disagree anymore after finding out all about ADHD.
It's only been 7 months, but with counseling and medication my life has drastically turned around. We still are working on what my medication cocktail, but I can now say I know what happiness feels like. I can't change my past and wouldn't want to, but from what I have experienced after being diagnosed I know my life would have been different.
Previous things I thought were unattainable are now achievable. Part of it is medication, but the other part is knowing how my brain works and what I can do to make life more manageable and happier.
For me, I believe medication is one of the many tools in helping an ADHD brain. A wise friend once asked me, if you had a heart condition would you take medication for it? Of course my answer was, yes. Then they said, your brain has a condition, why would you not take medicine for it? For me, that put everything in a different light.
Whatever you decide, I think it's wonderful you are trying to gain insight and knowledge on how to help your son. I hope all goes well for you and your family!
I'll bet whoever gave you the IQ test all those years ago screwed it up royally: You probably had some very low scores and some very high scores, and this person just took the average and said you were "normal," despite the fact that the subscores are EXACTLY what the test is for and a single-number IQ is basically irrelevant.
My 5 yr old son and 13 yr old daughter have innattentive as well. My 5yr old is not on medication, we are doing some OT, speech (he's super delayed too) as well as some PT with him. We are switching from our pediatrician (who we love) to a developmental ped for him so we can get more specific help with ADHD. It is SO different in boys than girls, esp for innattentive. My dr. says lots of exercise. like over an hour a day. We try our best to do this.
Having a yoga ball at home is great for him to bounce, roll, and sit on when he needs to get out his fidgets. We dont' have a trampoline, but those are great if you do. Using a sand table or sensory bin (you can make your own---look on pinterest) helps too. Also look at the "time timer" which really helps us as well a book called smart but scattered. I esp love her take on how to organize a kid's room and your house to make them succesful. Subscribe to the ADDitude magazine and listen/watch their webinars and podcasts. I've learned SO much from them. SO many resources.
Also, as an fyi, my daughter was diagnosed when she was 10. I don't have any amazing things to say except you need to be your son's advocate. Get him an IEP or at least a 504, go to understood.org for some great resources on this so you can be prepared. Schools are usually helpful, but in the end, an IEP or 504 makes more work for teachers so if a kid doesn't need it because of behavior issues, they don't always offer it up. I had to really fight for the 504 for my daughter, she was in 5th grade at the time. She was an average student, very well liked, made friends easily and was obedient. "She's not a problem and doesn't need accommodations" were the things I was hearing form her teachers. We actually were treating her for anxiety and mild depression when things just tanked for her at school. We ended up paying out of pocket $$$ a third party child psychiatrist (not her psychologist) to do a panel of testing because we knew she had a learning disability as well, but we no idea it was Innattentive ADHD! After we got the diagnoses, it all made sense.
On paper, she was managing ok at school until 5th grade. She fell apart and couldn't keep up, esp. in the areas where her executive functioning deficits and learning disabilities were both needed she failed horribly....and her anxiety would fuel the fire which just made things worse. This was in anything that was multi-step like long division in math, long term projects like the science and state fair, etc.
Keep a close eye on co-morbidity with innattentive. We tried SEVERAL drugs (do it over a break or summer if you can) and we finally found one that works for her, the fast acting Addarall that she takes in the morning only on school days. Sometimes she will take a very small (2.5 ml) of focolin when she gets home from school if she's got a lot of homework to help her stay on task. It took us almost a year to figure this out...so don't kill yourself trying to get it right the first time.
AND, make sure you tell you son how amazing he is. Good luck
Omg this is exactly the year my son starting having issues with grades but he has been on meds since he was 4 and we still have huge behavioral problems. It's so overwhelming
Thank you so much for this reply. It is extremely helpful. I just bought Smart but Scattered and am reading it now. We have a 504 plan in the works now at his school and have a very good teacher this year. We are leaning towards the meds. It’s all just scary and daunting.
Welcome. I would go to his Pediatrician that is experience d in ADHD and see what him or her says. But my experience they need the meds. My son has improved tremendously. Also make sure he gets an IEP evaluation at school and keep him on it!
Hope that helps...
Hi! Read your story and it struck a cord with me! My son is 10 yrs old and diagnosed with inattentive type adhd as well! We chose the no medication route! My son struggles with being able to focus, disorganization, and controlling his frustrations in an age appropriate way. We chose to change the way we do things at home quite drastically and in ways to help teach him the executive functions he struggles with. My son works with a counselor once a week, and we have a 504 plan at school to help with those challenges. My son still has good self esteem and a small group of close friends, so for us the benefits of medication were not worth the side effects, i'm not saying medication in not the right choice for your son but there are alternatives! We are seeing a drastic change in out son since seeing the counselor and implementing the new routines! I also highly recommend the book "smart but scattered" it gave us many ideas how to teach our son the executive functioning skills he is lacking!
autismspeaks.org resources in ABA Therapy
Understiid.org executive functioning skills and coping skilks.
Hi there, I have Inattentive ADHD (I.A.) myself. I struggled pretty bad in school when I was your son's age. Unfortunately it does not get any easier, the older one gets, because of the larger amount of responsibilities, deadlines, and the fact that people with ADHD are living in a world setup for the strengths of people without ADHD. Medication and supplements can greatly change that. When someone with I.A. goes through puberty, their reward system (dopamine and serotonin) drops quite dramatically in comparison to neurotypicals (people without a cognitive condition). This leads to very aggressive behavior and what is known as entering mental circles of rage. If the adolescent does not take medication along with supplements to help fight off bad side effects, then the teenage years can be quite negative, intense, emotional, and quite draining. As a teen I was in an irritable mood on a daily basis, I never felt like I could really connect with anyone, my energy levels were always really low, and my grades suffered because of it. If I did not get enough sleep or eat right, I would feel horrible for the entire day. I got myself diagnosed in my mid 20s, and started taking medication and supplements in order to help out my condition. It has dramatically changed my life for the better. I would recommend a low dose stimulant medication to start out with, to be taken with supplements. I am in grad school to become an MFT Psychologist and have been studying ADHD for over 4 years now.
Here are the supplements I recommend, if your family decides to go the stimulant medication route. Any loving parent would be concerned, especially from the negative reviews they read of the side effects of stimulant medication. Unfortunately these reviews are from people who take stimulant medication WITHOUT supplements. Supplements help eliminate a lot of side effects and help the medication work to its full potential.
1. N-Acetyl Tyrosine: This supplement helps boost Dopamine and Norepinephrine, those are the two neurotransmitters most stimulant medications work with and they are the primary neurotransmitters people with ADHD lack. Great for focus, concentration, and motivation. And also highly important to take this either 1hr or 30min before the medication wears off, otherwise the person goes through what people call "the crash", which involves the person feeling really irritable and sad once the medication wears off. This supplement eliminates the crash.
2. L-Tryptophan: this supplement is helpful for increasing Serotonin levels, since people with ADHD lack this neurotransmitter as well, especially the Hyperactive and Combined Type subtypes of ADHD, it is highly beneficial. This supplement elevates the mood, and helps the body relax.
3. I take a supplement called R-Alpha Lipoic Acid which is known to be one of the most powerful antioxidants out there. It really helps stimulant medication work to its full potential while fighting off oxidation. Stimulant medication creates a large amount of oxidation that is not good for the body, and that can cause physical discomfort as well as mood swings because of it. This supplement helps my body feel at ease, and helps me mentally to mellow out. This supplement alone can help greatly with mood and mood swings.
4. B-12: Methyl-cobalamin form (most bioactive form): People with Adhd according to research have an issue with getting enough B-12. This is not due to diet but to differences in brain chemistry/makeup, and because of this our brain absorbs much less B12. When the brain/body does not get enough B12 it is common for there to be a lot of muscle fatigue and aches, along with feeling irritable more frequently.
If any of this sounds helpful and of your interest, you can click my pic and it will take you to my profile where I have a link in my bio that includes all these supplements as well all the ones I personally take, along with info as to why they help people with ADHD. I am not selling anything, the link will take you to a helpful google word doc I made that includes information on each supplement, what places sell it, and how much it costs (Amazon has the best prices in my opinion). In my profile you will also find a link to a youtube video series I made, detailing problems people with Inattentive ADHD go through from Elementary school through adulthood in case you're interested. I made these because not much attention is given to the Inattentive subtype of ADHD, and not many people know about it. I also just published a book on Inattentive ADHD that gives a lot of information on behavioral modification advice, supplement advice, and advice on ADHD medication. It is also partially biographical, and I show the reader what I went through in my life and the struggles I faced due to not being medicated or having treatment. Hope this helps.
Link to the book incase you're interested