ADHD Parents Together
7,460 members2,242 posts

Starting middle school with Adhd

Hello, I'm new to the group and am looking for some advice! I am a step mom to a 12yr old girl who was diagnosed with ADHD 3yrs ago. We have tried just about every medication out there with little to no success. We tried behavioral therapy for a year and a half with little to no success. I have tried an elimination diet and supplements with little to no success. My husband and I decided to give our daughter a break from everything for the summer since this has definitely been trying for all of us. My step daughter is getting ready to start school and is going into middle school this year and I am very concerned about the transition from elementary to middle school will be for her. I am trying to get my husband to agree to try medication again but trying to get her to even take them is a struggle. Any ideas on how to get them both on board with trying the medication again? She really struggled last year with random outbursts in class, talking out of turn, walking around the class room in the middle of lessons, and getting along with other students (she got ISS for biting another student...). I'm just at a loss here and I really don't want to see her struggle this year in this new environment.

14 Replies
oldestnewest

ADHD is a neurological disorder and rarely managed by anything but medication. Your daughter needs daily medication, preferably a stimulant. You don't say what you tried, or how it failed, but I would find a good physician and start trying and adjusting doses. It is very doubtful that either of you will have a good year if she's not on meds. Middle school is much different than grade school and high school is even more challenging. She truly cannot control or change her behavior and therapy doesn't do much without the medication. Think of this disorder the way you would think about diabetes or a seizure disorder. You would not allow her to refuse meds for these conditions, right?

3 likes
Reply

I agree but I also really think you need a good pediatric psychiatrist. Also please be open minded that it might take more than one type during the day to make it all work. Each drug does some thing different, one for impulse one for focus. Promise it will work for you, we have all been there and had success.. I agree it may take the correct dose.

Have you worked with a Specialist before?

1 like
Reply

Well from my understanding about the medication there are two different groups of ADHD meds, one group being stronger than the other. We tried every medication in the weaker group first as her Dr recommended trying them first and then tried almost everything in the stronger group except for Ritalin. We tried different meds for almost 3yrs with very little results, there have been so many I couldn't even tell you the names of all of them. Her father thinks because we have tried so many that they just won't work for her and I think that has also rubbed off on her considering she didn't like taking them in the first place. She had alot of trouble swallowing the pills, we tried the liquid kind, kinds you could crush up or chew, kinds you could open up and put on food, I tried getting pill glide throat spray, and she still struggles to take them. We are not going to force her to take the medicine because it seems to make her more resistant to them and ends in tears and seems to be traumatic for her. I've tried to get her to see the difference in her behavior in taking meds vs not and since none have really worked for her that's a hard concept to prove. I'm just looking for some advice on how to get her and her father to be open to trying the medication again and hoping that the last one or two we have not tried will work. We have even tried combination meds for morning and afternoon.

1 like
Reply

Weve tried focalin, straterra, dyanavel. Minimal response to the straterra but nownisnt doing anything. I totally understand your frustration. My dd is in 6th grade, school hasnt even been in a whole month and she is one missed assignment away from after school detention.

Reply

Hi, my son is on media since last September. I was trying to avoid meds , do not admit he needs them and I was hoping he will mature and change. Well, he didn’t, and the older he was getting , the harder it was to deal with adhd. He suffered from being constantly punished: at school and at home. His self esteem suffered.

My advice: read and print some posts from here. Read it to your husband. Read again. He will start to identify the problem.

Watch the YT video of dr. Russell Barkley

Good luck

2 likes
Reply

Thank you so much I will for sure watch it!

Reply

I also HIGHLY endorse watching this video, and reading any of Barkley’s work is a great starting point.

Reply

I am thinking about your question, how to get your husband and daughter on board with meds?

Possibly talk to her about how medication can help her feel less angry and emotional. Ask her if she would try it for 6 weeks and see if she feels happier. If you get her on board, her dad would probably come around.

My son was not medicated until middle school. He finally came to me. He said he was tired of constantly being in trouble. He was ready to try something.

I also want to applaud you!! Huge kudos for treating your step daughter so well! A lot of times it’s hard for step parents to understand and commit to helping. I think you’re amazing!

1 like
Reply

Thank you so much! I just hate to see her struggle and always getting in trouble!

Reply

Shoot, i just wrote a long reply but couldn't post. Anyway, dr Barkley is my hero. Mine is 12 and a girl too. She deals in facts . Black and White. I try to explain the science behind the meds to her. I showed her the results if her genetic testing. I made her listen to the med portion of this video. No fights about meds... Ever. Well, unless she is in a rageful odd moment then she will do nothing i ask. We do Seroquel as well as Vvyanse. The Seroquel made all the difference with her anger. Good luck

Reply

Welcome and kudos to you for not giving up. Middle school is much tougher than elementary school so you definitely want to find the right meds for her. It took me 7 different meds and 3 drs for my son so my advice is don’t give up and make sure you are seeing the right dr. If you feel the meds aren’t working don’t waste your time and move on and sometimes that also means switching drs. My son takes Focalin several times a day. He’s been on it for 5 yrs and it works for him. Unfortunately ADHD meds are not a “one size fits all”. Body chemistry plays a big role so you need a good dr that specializes in treating ADHD kids to help find the right combination. You definitely want to get your husband and daughter on board with accepting she needs help. Like others shared there are a lot of good videos out there to help explain ADHD. Good luck

Reply

I agree with all of the comments. I have a 12 yo daughter with ADHD , ODD, and Anxiety. She is on her 3 rd med for ADHD, just started a week ago. Summer is a good time for med trials. She is on vyvanse 40 mg, and started strattera (will take 4-6 wks for strattera to kick in). It is too early to tell, but I am hopeful. She did have obsessive thoughts with adderall and also with vyvanse, but lesser with vyvanse. I am also considering finding a different Pediatric psychiatrist, but few take my health insurance,so it can be difficult.

Middle school is definitely more challenging. She will have difficulty with executive functions, and will need medication to succeed. Keep trying, and dont give up. I have gone through so many therapist, and psychologist. I give my daughter her med every morning, and if I forget, she tells me she has a harder time e focusing at school.

Reply

I'm in the same predicament with my eleven year old son (my adopted blessing) who will be starting school Tuesday. He is dreading every minute of it:(. Last year was really hard and I am praying that this year is better. He is on intuniv along with a new med that helps with focus. He started playing an instrument and went to a camp and seemed ok with it although the orchestra teacher emailed me regarding inappropriate shout outs from my son which seemed to end after I told him what the orchestra teacher wrote. I talked with the middle school counselor and have him on a 504 plan. He's enrolled in a public school but if the classes are too big and the teacher not understanding...it scares me. I might consider a private school but will it be better? I guess take it one day at a time...

Reply

I wonder about her talking to another kid who takes medication who sees how much the medication really helps them? My son is going into 7th grade and this will be his 2nd year in middle school. He has no problem taking his medication and knows that it is a must.

To be honest it has taken us a while ( maybe 6 or 7 different medications). But our son is able to functation only due to daily medication. He takes 2 different types. 1 for impulse and 1 for focus.

1 like
Reply

You may also like...