Meds for 5 year old: My son will be... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Meds for 5 year old

gmb17 profile image
12 Replies

My son will be 5 in April and we are meeting with the doctor today to talk about possibly going on medication. Anyone else have a child this young on meds? What have your experiences been like? We feel as though we have done everything outside of meds up until this point. He’s such a smart kid we just want him to be able to enjoy school and reach his full potential

12 Replies
Onthemove1971 profile image

Gmb17- our son is 12 years old now and we started at that age. For us it was the right decision becuase he needed help to focus and decrease the impulsivity. I strongly feel it was the best decision and helped him through school. I will say I wish someone had told me to work with a child psychiatrist at that age becuase we started with a single dose of medication and now he takes 2 different types. 1 to help with focus and 1 for the impulsivity. There is not 1 drug that controls both.

Best of luck on your journey, we are here for you if you need us. Big hug.

gmb17 profile image
gmb17 in reply to Onthemove1971

Thank you! Impulsivity is a big thing we deal with. Especially throwing and hitting. We are working with a child psychologist and behavioral pediatrician who have helped move us in this direction. I am hoping starting the meds will give us an answer on whether or not it is right for him before he hits kindergarten

Onthemove1971 profile image
Onthemove1971 in reply to gmb17

Well what I know from my experience.. if it works it will work. The only side effect we see if a decrease an appetite. Which we make sure he has protein at each meals and extra protein shake often. Thank -you for being willing to try medication your son will benefit from it.

Best of luck.

DewsMom87 profile image

My son was diagnosed at 5 with combined type with ODD and he started with meds soon after and also in therapy. The meds helped at first but he developed ticks, emotional breakdowns, and decreased appetite *these are things to look out for* so we've just made the switch to a new medication. *fingers crossed* Hes now 6 and I'm sure we'll be on the medication journey for awhile but we're hopeful. From speaking to others it's just finding the right combination. I wish you lots of luck!

Pennywink profile image

I think it depends on the severity, but it’s not unheard of to start that young. Some prescribing doctors maybe hesitant to start stimulants at that age, but it all really depends. Best of luck! I know for us, medicating was a long & scary step, and I wasn’t even opposed to it. So, that’s awesome you are willing to give it a try. For most, it really is the most effective method for treating ADHD, especially when combined with parent management training & school accommodations.

Tmlc profile image

We just started our son on medication he is 5 1/2. He struggled a lot with paying attention in class and was falling behind academically and socially. So far I see that he can sit and focus for longer periods of time and is a lot calmer and not so fidgety. I was also nervous about him swallowing pills but he does it no problem.

Alliea79 profile image

We were faced head on with these decision at that age too. My daughter is 11 now but back in kindergarten, her teacher (who looking back was out of line in soooo many ways and places) reaches out to us letting us know that spring (yep, school year is 3/4 over) to tell us he bella is doing and that it isn’t great and that she thinks we need to put her on meds! Now, I know enough to realize how out of line and wrong she was there to say that(especially as our first real contact) So my husband and I grappled with wtf to do and tried meds. We were clueless and went to our pediatrician, had our daughter with us and had planned to grab ice cream after. Sooooo you can imagine how that appointment went: my daughter was climbing up the walks, the dr was sure seeing her behavior there it was a good plan and started her on her first stimulant. So, the story surely goes on from there and I have a thousand thoughts as I look back, but to answer your question, yes, my daughter was five and started meds. Despite the pusher who got that route going, it was honestly inevitable and I don’t regret our decision and my daughter has no resentment.

MunchkinMommy537 profile image

My son was 4.5 when we started him on medication. After going through several combinations and a gene study, we found a pediatric psychiatrist who is more comfortable and knowledgeable about what medications are available and what they do. He’s 6 now and we’re still trying to find the right combination of medications. I recommend having a GeneSite study done to show how certain medications are processed in her body. This will help you know why something might not be working. I also highly recommend finding a pediatric psychiatrist. Ours helped explain the GeneSite and is way more knowledgeable about adhd medications than our pediatrician was.

Terrilynn04 profile image

We started our daughter the month after she turned five (she turned 6 yesterday) and it was life changing for all of a good way. It doesn’t fix all of her impulses or turn her into a completely different development wise but wow... it still makes a big difference! She is so fun to be with when she’s not constantly moving away from you or shouting or interrupting. She can sit a watch Polar Express with us and even tell us what’s going to happen next where, pre meds, she would sit for about 5 minutes and be gone to do something else (for 5 minutes)...We noticed a huge difference right away and were glad we did it. We started with Ritalin and have now switched to guanfacin at night and Ritalin after morning snack at school. No Ritalin on weekends. That has really helped her focus in kindergarten and improved her interaction with her peers. Good luck, hope it helps!

Maggie611 profile image

My son started Quillivant XR (stimulant) at age 5. He’s now 6 and I will say it’s been helpful. He’s able to focus and thrive in school. He has been in Strattera as well but after switching prescribers, learned that it was a subtherapeutic dose. Although his focus is better, he battles with agitation ( in evenings which could be coming off of the stimulant) unsafe behaviors and some pretty inappropriate ones too. For that reason his prescriber will be introducing Guanfacine in evenings then we will eliminate Strattera. We’ve tried almost everything prior to meds; neurofeedback, diet change, vitamins, testing for Lyme and being treated ( Lyme was negative but they found antibodies ) so he could have been exposed. Naturopath started him on an antibiotic which made him worse. In addition to taking meds, he has a therapeutic mentor that helps him navigate safety and socially appropriate skills in community. He now goes to an after school therapeutic program. When he was in the after school program at his regular school I was getting calls regularly to pick him up. He is now going to be starting therapy.

Just trying to manage it/ blast it from all angles.

He is an extremely bright student and has a lot of promise but it’s been a lot of work. Getting kicked out of a Montessori preschool at age 3 was the beginnng, and from there camps, programs.

Sometimes I wonder is this his personality or ADHD? I hope to God I’m advocating for his benefit and that is my fear daily/ guilt. I question myself daily.

I had Caleb at age 40 via artificial Insemination, only child. He has a step dad that he struggles with . It goes on and on.

One day at a time, lots of love and conversations (and yelling), but I tell him I’m not perfect and that I love him daily. That’s all I can do and pray hope that my decisions are helping or will help in the long run.

gmb17 profile image

Thank you all so much for your advice and sharing your stories. We started meds a few days ago and it’s hard to not analyze his every move. I am so grateful to have found this message board to be able to talk to people who understand and not be judged for my decisions

Onthemove1971 profile image

Dr.Pax- thank you for taking the time to post all of the information on ADHD. I have a question for you. I have to be honest I have not read the studies on "redshirting", keeping kids back when they are between the age to go to school. . Why do these studies say it doesn't matter when they start school? They all catch up in the end, just curious on your opinion about that.

Thanks again.

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