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Mom of 12 year old girl looking for feedback on starting meds?

Sunflower00 profile image

Hi everyone - my husband and I have finally gotten to the point where we think medication is needed for my daughter. She has been seeing therapists since she was 5 to help with her ADHD. Over the elementary school years things really seemed to improve. She had a lot of friends and did well in school (although it took her forever to get her work done). We are just finishing the first year of middle school and it has been really rough. She has lost a lot of friends due to not being able to control her feelings and saying things she doesn't mean. She is also immature and lies constantly (about everything, no matter how insignificant) and her friends know (everyone knows at this point). We are on her constantly about the lying, along with the help from her therapist. School work has been overwhelming - I spend 4 hours a night helping her study and get her work done. She has become very anxious and has been picking her scalp until it bleeds.

My biggest concern is her social skills and social life - it breaks my heart to see the girls that used to be her friends want nothing to do with her. She is a fun, silly kid & we used to be the house where everyone would hang out. Has anyone been in a similar situation and has medication helped with the social issues?


16 Replies

Hi sunflower. My son is younger than your daughter (8). We started methylphenidate last summer and I do think it has helped him socially. He still has trouble with anxiety and emotional regulation but the medication seems to give him a little more time to think before he acts. It was a hard decision for us to start meds so young but the research supports the decision as there seems to be lower risk of mental health and drug issues later on. Best of luck to you and your daughter.

Sunflower00 profile image
Sunflower00 in reply to SylvieS

Thanks so much!

Our son is 12 years old and will be 13 in September.

He is going into 8th grade and middle school has been the worse experience of my life. 6th grade we were not allowed a 504 plan and it was horrible both behavioral and academically. We even had a letter from his child psychiatrist. 7th we were finally helped by a 504 plan and they school have been getting much better. We known 8th will be his best year! We have already requested better teachers and study skills last class of the day becuase his medication is starting to wear off.

He has been on medication since 5th grade.

The only side effect we see is his not wanting to eat. So we make sure he has lots of protein at every meal and don't stress when he doesn't eat lunch.

Having a child with ADHD take medication has meant that all of the negative symptoms ( excessive talking, silly behaviors, being obnoxious, etc) all go away. His core personality is still there and better.

It is a long journey and it may take a while to get the right type, dose and timing. But please know you are making a wise choice to help your daughter.

The best thing is that you can stop it you want to.

Stay strong and known in the end it will be the best outcome for her.

Also, please consider an educational plan in school to help her. Homework should not take 4 hours. Our sons has a studies skills class where he does most of his work so he has less to bring home.

Hope this helps, I am here if you have any questions.

Best of luck on your journey.

Thank you so much for sharing your experience and your advice! It is really great to hear positive stories - I hope your son has a wonderful year in 8th grade.

Please let us know how your journey goes, we love to learn from each other and you sharing your courage will impact others.

Take care!

I definitely will. We have a 3 day neuropsychological evaluation scheduled for the beginning of July, before we start meds, to make sure we aren't dealing with anything else along with the ADHD. I'm sure I will have so many questions once we start the meds. Thanks again.

Our "blog" is always open to help you any time. This is a lot to process, big deep breaths and know it will be ok we are all here for you!

Try to enjoy down time for a while.

Big hugs..

Hi Sunflower! My daughter is 12! She was diagnosed last fall with ADHD and bipolar. The medication for ADHD has helped her tremendously both socially and in school. Honestly, it has been a lifesaver! She agrees that it helps her SO MUCH. She is an active participant in our doctor visits and she would tell you if you ask that the medication is good for her and she doesn't like how she feels when it wears off.

We are also in counseling together and she has her own counselor as well. We have changed the dose several times and that is to be expected and totally normal. I had her evaluated by an outside doctor with all the neurological tests and then asked the school to do an evaluation as well. She started with an IEP in January and I just can't tell you how much it has helped. She goes to a small classroom for Math and then instead of an elective she goes and gets help for executive skills. We have other accommodations as well, like extra time for homework (if needed, she doesn't know that we have this accommodation, but I can use it if needed). I am so lucky because she has a great team at school. We do have homework, but it is pretty limited, which is great. Honestly, the school can be your best friend if you approach it right.

The social thing is hard. I think it is hard for any 12 year old girl. I swear the drama with these girls is just unbelievable. One day they are friends and the next day not so much, but I do think our kiddos struggle with the social aspect of life more than others. My daughter does good some days and then not so much. I think her therapy is super helpful to her and the therapy we do together has helped us communicate better. Honestly, I just love her and I know you love your daughter and would do anything for her, which is what you are doing. Hang in there, we are all here for you!

Sunflower00 profile image
Sunflower00 in reply to

Thank you so much for sharing your story, I feel so much better hearing so many positive stories.

It may and it may not. Middle school is a time when all of that social stuff changes anyway...with or without adhd. It is especially harder for girls to navigate this time. You can get her into a social skills group and do everything you can to support her confidence in herself. My son has always been outgoing and social so he did not have a problem in that area.

Where the medication will make a difference is in academics. This is the time when the adhd will make doing schoolwork harder. So, it will help her to start trying to find the right med for her now. My son’s school work went downhill in middle school and he was not turning in a great deal of work....and he lied about it. I eventually got him on meds and things got better.

Finding the right med can be a challenge due to affect on the appetite. Work with your Psychiatrist and they will be able to help find the right one that will allow her to focus, learn and turn in work. Then she won’t have to lie. The medication helps stop this spiraling cycle that only gets worse with time. It should make doing homework more efficient and a less of a struggle for her and won’t take as long.

Hope this helps!😊

Sunflower00 profile image
Sunflower00 in reply to dermis63

Yes, it definitely helps, I really appreciate any input I can get from people that have been through similar situations - Thanks so much!

Hello Sunflower, children should not spend more than 30 minutes to 1 hour on home assignments. You should ask the teacher to condense her assignments. If she has an IEP you can ask for this accommodation - modified assignments or no assignments.

Medications may help to mellow her out so she is not so giddy and offensive. It will definitely help with her focus in school at during homework time. You will also notice the anxiety and picking will subside also.

Sunflower00 profile image
Sunflower00 in reply to Janice_H

Thank you! She has a 504, but we haven't asked for the homework accommodation yet. I will see how she does in September after we start meds and if homework is still taking this long, I will speak to the school.

Janice_H profile image
Janice_H in reply to Sunflower00

She has already been in school focusing on work for 6 hours. An additional 4 hours of having to sit still and focus on work is just too much. Be sure to get the homework accommodation so you both are not feeling stressed each evening.

Hi Sunflower00. I too have a just turned 13yo daughter with ADHD. We have been through years of therapy and meds. I just posted an update that you may would like to read. We do meds. I was at my breaking point when she was in 6th grade...please go to my posts and read what I have discovered that has made a huge difference in my beautiful daughters life. We dont even discuss adhd anymore

I see this post was from 2yrs ago. Any updates you can share? My 12 yr old daughter with ADHD&anxiety just finished 6th grade & it was a terrible year for her socially, down to barely any friends and things at home are rough, constant mood swings. In the process of changing meds now, so I would love to hear if or how things have improved for you - any advice on getting us through this stage?

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