ADHD Parents Together
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Medicate vs non medicate and when to medicate

I just joined this the other day. I have twin boys that are 6.5 in kindergarten. My one son had a provisional neuropsych diagnosis of ADHD at 4.5 which was recently confirmed by his neurologist. I’m very fortunate in that he is on the low end of the spectrum. He was doing great in school and they took away his IEP. Recently, things have taken a turn and gone downward. I have called a meeting with the principal for the 9th of May. The neurologist said to wait until the first grade and if it really starts affecting him to do a low dose just during school.

I have no judgment for anyone whether their child uses no meds or 100 meds or at what age they started. I have very little problems with him at home and he is just a joy to be around. I’m actually having severe behavior issues with his twin, but that’s another story. However, he looses focus at school, blurts out things, and gets a case of “the sillies” that he can’t control. He is getting low self esteem and frustrated with his own behavior he can’t control

Has anyone’s child been able to get by with a low dose of medication just at school? It should also been mentioned that we had to move three times in the last 2 years and there was a divorce Him and his brother hate going to see their dad out of state So that may be a factor as well I’ve had them psychotherapy for that

Also, when did you tell your child that they had ADHD. He is very intelligent and understanding . I’m think it might help him to understand but I’m afraid it could also backfire.

Thank you for your time and consideration

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My son was diagnosed at age 5 and started medication trials in Kindergarten when he was 6 years old. He was unable to self regulate at school and became a disruption to himself and others in the classroom. It was a very tough year, but we got through it and finally landed on the right medication (Clonidine/Kapvay - a blood pressure medication). The medication has been a lifesaver as it just turns the dial down on his ADHD, which allows him to learn and attend. He still has struggles in the social emotional realms, but the small dose of meds has been remarkable.

He has always been a part of the ADHD process, so he's known from the get go what ADHD is, what it means for him and how we are taking care of it.

Good luck!

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(just a head's up, i'm not a parent. I'm a senior in high school with add/adhd who is hoping to give parents an insight into what's going on in their kid's head :] )

well, speaking from my experience, i was diagnosed with add when i was six, and my parents told me about it then. i think that, especially how you described your son, it would be good to tell him what is going on. the sooner a kid understands why they are different, learning to cope with it, and understand that add/adhd isn't an excuse, the sooner they can make big progress (at least in my opinion)

i actually started on medication when i was diagnosed, and have stayed on medication ever since.

to begin with, i would take a small dose of methylphenidate in the morning, a bit before i left for school. i would take a second dose at lunch, as the medicine is a short release and doesn't last very long. it honestly wasn't a big deal, but it made a big difference.

also, on the note of IEPs: i would highly suggest looking into a 504 plan. the big difference is that while IEPs actually change what a student is learning, on a 504 students learn the same things as their class, but have special provisions to help them learn.

now, i'm a senior, so what i have will be kinda different from what you would do with your child, but some things that a 504 can get you are

sitting in a certain spot in the class, such as the back or front so you aren't as distracted

being allowed to bring a fidget of some sort (i use a fidget cube and playdough) to help with restlessness

being able to listen to music in class so you can concentrate and not be distracted by classroom noises

and many others. it really depends on what will help your child learn.

if you have any other questions or things i may be able to help with, feel free to let me know.

i hope that this helped answer your questions :)

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My kindergartener was also diagnosed a few months ago at age 6. We haven't medicated yet, as he's doing well academically & socially, and his behaviors only affect himself (he's Inattentive Subtype.)

Though we haven't had a big talk about ADHD by name, he knows he has distraction issues - he's told me that all year. So I basically explained that his doctor, teacher & I are trying to help him with that. I have also explained that his brain works a little differently (our variation of the race car w/ bicycle breaks analogy.)

As Erin said, if he's on the mild side and can handle the academic content from an intellectual perspective, a 504 could be a better option for him than an IEP.

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You can have 504 accommodations in a iep my daughter has a iep and has accommodations in it like she would have with a 504 plan

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Well that's a tough situation. Both of my grandsons were diagnosed and put on medication in kindergarten. But there's been so many reports of us boys being immature at that grade and all the upheavals in their lives could cause instability too.

Could you find a psychologist or behavioral therapist to do an evaluation?

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Thank you for your response! I have had both his brother and him in therapy for almost 2 years (since the separation/divorce). The child/family therapist doesn’t believe he has ADHD but some other things that mimic ADHD. However, my sister has ADHD and says he he has it and she wishes she had been medicated when she was in grade school. Every day I’m back and forth about the medicine. I have depression and anxiety disorder but I didn’t go on medication until my late 20s. I wish I had gone on then in my teens but probably not before that. I don’t know if I’m comparing apples to oranges, though

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My child is the same way. Behavior triggers more at school. He is in guanfacine twice a day, but seems only help with body fidging, but impulsivity at school is the same.

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We told our daughter this year. And she is on meds. We told her that the meds help concentrate a bit more. Luckily I can tell her I have it too and when i was a kid there was no meds for me and i had to learn self control! So o excuses! I am noticing a lot of parents saying our kids are all sad from just being themselves. I wish there was a local group for kids with ADHD SO THEY KNOW THEY ARE NOT ALONE. (Sorry caps went off). TATA

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I really liked the “How to ADHD” YouTube channel for helping to provide a positive outlook on ADHD. My 7 year old is probably too young for it still, but I can see it helping kids a bit older. She talks about “welcoming” people with ADHD to the “tribe” and it’s very upbeat and inclusive with lots of helpful tips.

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I am glad to see these posts, I have read so many posts about medication but I really feel that behavior modification is key. Expected behavior for these kids. has to be learned and children need help gaining the coping skills they need to operate in the antiquated school systems we have to be part of. I see it in my son, it is so draining for him to ‘control’ his body and he has anxiety too, as well as sensory processing issues.

I attended a conference by Dr Ned Hallowell recently and he has a wonderful philosophy on ADHD. He sees it as a gift, one that has to be carefully unwrapped. He and his children have it and he now treats people with the condition. Very inspiring!

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My six year old was diagnosed in first grade and has never had behavior issues-- so it was completely focus related and inability to really catch details or listen to instruction. We put her on 10 mg of focalin and it really did help with all that stuff-focus, handwriting, listening, details etc. However, it did make her less jolly and friendly, which was something she noticed and we talk about with her. She would prefer not to be on medication, but she does recognize its helpfulness in the classroom and at lessons. This summer I am going over the list of activities and asking whether she wants to take it--and she is pretty good at deciding when she wants it and when she doesn't.

I am trying to determine if the small dose is worth her feeling some social concerns. So do know that a small dose will likely be helpful for school, but it does come with areas of concern too.

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