ADHD Parents Together
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New to ADHD

Hello, I am new here. My son ... age 14 has been diagnosed with ADHD. I think all along I knew he had ADHD. Since kindergarten there has always been issues but last three years of his schooling have been extremely stressful. I don't know if I was scared to find out for sure or just didn't want to know. He stared high school this year and I thought new school, new beginnings. I along with my husband and son where excited for the new beginnings. After 3 weeks it all started over, the teachers where claiming he is not focused, constantly fidgeting in class, disruptive and impulsive. He was suspended for a day for swearing in class. Finally I caved and we had him tested privately. ADHD was diagnosed. I was completely against medication. I have tried everything from vitamins to changing his diet. Nothing was working. I finally gave in and went to my doctor. My son has been on Concerta for 2 weeks. A very low dose - 18mg to start. I have noticed some changes in his behavior but most of the time he is the same. I have been trying to research medication and dosage amounts. I am thinking his dose maybe to low to see complete changes. We have talked to my son about his condition and he states that his mind is to fast. He can't focus on one thing. Another concern I have is with the school. I feel they will label him and give him a harder time or watch him more closely knowing his condition. If anyone has advice about medication or how to approach the school that would be awesome! Thanks!

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Hi Jaxy53, I have a similar situation. We always knew our son is “too much”. He was playing too much, jumping too much, too excited etc. I was also anti meds, but I got to the point that constant phone calls from the school, detentions, suspensions, meetings etc at school , plus arguing at home, taking privileges away and making deals , made me so tired, close to give up, that I had him diagnosed last September.

At first, the medication worked well. Grades went up, effort got better, phone calls stopped. Then in December, he started to get disrespectful, talking back a lot, grades went down. We are searching for a new medication. We did the genetic test to see what medication has a best chance to work well to help him. He is in 7 grade. We all need a lot of patience...

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It is nice to read that we are not the only ones. I sit at work wondering when my son will text an issue or the principle will call. It makes my day long and stressful. A genetic test? That sounds better than trial and error. I may have to research that a bit. For now he has 16 days left on the 18 mg concerta and we will review with dr where he is at and I guess go from there...

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Jaxy53, some parents are happy when the vacation is over, because finally the kids go back to school. For me, it’s a beginning of a nightmare :( As you said, I go to work worried “ what will happen today?” . It’s not easy. I am exhausted, tired and frustrated.

The genetic test, to figure out how his body is metabolizing meds was done by Assurex. The medication he was taking was not metabolized correctly by his body. The “left overs” were accumulating and probably gave the opposite results. We are going to the doc tomorrow.

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Good luck with the results. I am seeing my son's dr. next week. I plan to ask more about it. I hear ya. It is a nightmare for me too when vacation is over. And you know. It is not just me. My son gets stressed about it. He gets frustrated by constantly being in trouble. He says to me all the time "mom I am trying so hard to be good in class" I seriously believe he is trying his hardest.

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Jaxy53,

You are not alone. My son who is 9 is going through it as well. He was recently diagnosed with ADHD and is has been extremely stressful to say the least. I was against medication as well but caved in. Haven't seen results yet but just recently started. He's had issues in school the past few years and is now a year behind. He tries so hard but now just seems completely defeated. He's starting to show signs of depression as well but I don't know if it's due to the diagnosis. He also gets so frustrated with himself and gives up easily. As you can imagine this is heartbreaking. In addition I've had many calls from school saying his grades are falling, he won't do the work, occational melt downs as well. We are looking for a therapist who specializes in this and hope family counseling will help but it's been rough. I'm just glad to know I'm not alone. Good luck on your journey

Kat0762

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I always thought we were alone. After he was diagnosed I started looking for online support groups. It is so nice to know that we are not the only ones going through this. It is so nice to talk with others who have the same experiences. My son has been on concerta for two weeks now and I have seen small results in my son the last few days. For example his video game stopped working yesterday. He came to me and said "I googled how to fix my disc and it worked"! 2 weeks ago before concerta he would have had a melt down. Threw or broke the disc and probably would have dropped 1000 F bombs. I think I just stood there in shock lol. I was so proud of him. Good luck on your journey as well.

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I was diagnosed 45 years ago. I was in special education but my motivation and determination got me a Doctoral degree. Don’t give up hope. Find the right meds.

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May I suggest a couple things to you?

Please continue working with your psychiatrist to experiment with medication. Give a particular mediation/dosage combination a 7-10 day trial, unless your psychiatrist feels that's too short of a test window. If the child isn't responsive after that period of time, in my opinion, you should try another medicine combination.

I don't feel that most psychiatrists provide good enough advice to parents around how long to stick with medication before trying something else, and most parents aren't experienced enough to know that when you find an effective combination, the impact is usually fairly profound and fairly immediate.

In addition, do consider consulting with a behavioral specialist. If you can't find one, ask your school's principal if you can talk to the special education teacher. Many special education teachers have a special kind of training on behavioral modification based on rewards and incentives that can help tremendously with high functioning kids. I wish we knew this earlier. You might be able to have the special education instructor work with you, your kid's teacher(s), and/or your child directly to establish a behavioral system that will improve your kids' classroom and home behavior. They may also refer you to a "behaviorist" or "behavioral specialist" that works outside the school.

We've seen extremely encouraging results with our 8.5 year old son with ASD and ADHD after just a month working with a great behaviorist.

Good luck and best wishes to you!

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A behavioral specialist never crossed my mind. I am not sure where to look for one. I know there are not any in the school he goes to. I will have to research it a little more. Thanks for the advice!

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Yes, keep at it. We changed meds about 6 times in 6 months and will have to keep adjusting as mine gets older. i recommend genetic testing, it did give us concrete evidence of why my daughter needs dopamine, but really, we knew already. Your son has suffered a long time and needs help from meds and school. School should be discrete with his condition and support him by making allowances.. More time for tests, etc. His dopamine is low and his brain doesn't have the ability to process information like his peers. Become an expert in a ADHD. It won't go away.. Ever. Watch this video by Dr. Russell Barkley. It's 2+ hours, but worth every minute.

Good luck. 😀

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That is so interesting. My son always had problems keeping friends. He has friends but he does not have good friends. I also noticed through his childhood that a lot of friends will not invite him to parties ect. Always broke my heard :( Thanks for video. It was very interesting

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First of all, you need to look at ADHD as a true neurological disorder, which it is. This is not something that is ever cured, but it is manageable with the right tools. Think of it like diabetes.....you can certainly manage it with diet and medication, but if left untreated, it can have devastating effects. I know that all of us disliked the thought that our kid was going to have to take medication everyday, but look at the flip side: at least there are many options out there now and most of them can be very effective. Your son will very likely need a much higher dose of Concerta.....he may end up at the highest dose, like my son. He will also need to change meds every few years or so, as the efficacy of one drug decreases. This is the nature of the disorder and the brain's response. Read up on ADHD - buy some books and do your research on all the medications. Teenage boys with ADHD can be a real challenge.

School is also a big challenge, but the main reason our sons are targeted in school is often because they are acting out - like swearing in class! They will be giving him a hard time if he can't control himself. Medication can help with his impulse control and his ability to focus in class. If your son does not have an IEP or 504 plan, please consider requesting one for him.

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Watch videos of Dr.Russell Barkley to better understand this condition and help your son.

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Jaxy,

Both of my sons (12 and 16) have had ADHD since birth (most likely since they struggled greatly in elementary school), but were not officially diagnosed until 3 years ago. Our doctor encouraged the non-stimulant Strattera as treatment. Well 3 years, several D's and F's, along with numerous teacher conferences later, (and my boys are very intelligent) we have started with Adderall; my boys' lives have changed!! My youngest just called me (coincidentally) to inform me that he was awarded a Stellar Student Certificate at the school assembly today for his school work this new semester. NEVER in my wildest dreams did I think this would happen. The first day my older son was on Adderall, he was very excited to call me during lunch break to tell me that he raised his hand in several of his morning classes and answered questions. I was like: "What do you mean? You've NEVER raised your hand to answer a question in class?" My inquiry was based on the fact that my kid is incredibly smart, but was not doing his homework after school and therefore basically failing most classes - I had NO idea of his insecurities in the classroom and inability to keep up with what was being lectured. But he explained that now he can take pages of notes with clear comprehension, and even glance out the window briefly and still "hear" his teacher. He is beyond thrilled and I have seen his confidence level go from a 3 to a 10 academically and socially. This is a HUGE blessing to our family and although I would pride myself these last 3 years that my boys were not on a stimulant, now in shame and sadness, I see how they suffered. Adderall literally slows down their brilliant minds so they can comprehend the average.... that's the way I see it. Please don't let you son suffer any longer. :) By the way, I regularly text them at lunchtime to ask about if they are eating their lunch, and even ask for video of them eating... they think it is funny and thankfully humor me, but they are well aware of the importance. (In NO WAY am I affiliated with the makers of Adderall and rarely promote any sort of products and/or services, but this is highly important to me and has changed our lives for the better!) Good luck! :)

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Good to hear that heatherfish !!! Glad it worked for your boys!!!

My son starts Adderall tomorrow. I needed to read something positive , since I am scared, and you gave me hope . Thank you

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What dose are they on ?

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That is awesome to hear! I pray that my son can have a awesome high school experience going forward. I do see some changes on the 18 mg concerta. I am glad that my son understands and is 100% on board. He knows and his self esteem is so low. Thanks for the positive note, it sure gives me hope going forward!

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