Medication not working? : My son is... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Medication not working?

Madmarie profile image

My son is 11yrs. old. He’s been on the same medication for adhd, for going on almost five years now. He also has a major learning disability is in special ed for reading, and Math. He is in the main classroom for social studies, and science. He has a helper in those rooms. I just got his progress report he has a F in Science, and teachers are saying he has no focus or desire to even try. This is nothing new. We increased his dosage lowered his dosage, still the same. He’s been on generic Concerta Methylphenidate 30mg. is his current dosage. My son is very aware that he is different, wants to fit in so bad. He says they treat him like a baby. He says he doesn’t need the help, and just wants to be treated like the rest of his class mates, and stay in his main classroom. Essentially I think he’s embarrassed, and prideful. He does desperately need the extra help. I haven’t spoken to his Science teacher, but I plan on it. We have a appointment with his Dr. on Monday, I feel like it’s time to change his medication all together! My son came to me, and said he feel like it’s not working, and wants to try something else. Any advice about this would greatly help, does the medication stop working has they get older, and after they have been on it for a while?

16 Replies

Thanks so much for your post, I am sure that there are other families out there struggling with the same issue.

When our son was first got his diagnosis we saw a therapist (psychologist) and we were on a single dose of an ADHD medication with our Pediatrician. This was not good enough for us. As good as they tried to help, we needed more. So I asked to see a Child Psychiatrist, this is where things really changed for us. Inside if was so painful to know we needed to see a Psychiatrist. But what she did was really do a good interview to learn about our son and his personality. We then started on a trial of a number of medications and now we take 2 different medications ( this was also painful to think he needed 2) 1 medication helps with impulse control and 1 helps with focus.

With medication there is timing, dose and type that are all important. Only a skilled Specialist knows how to deal with this.

What is great about your situation is that your son understands that the medication is not working so you guys have a change to make a change. It was not until we made the change to 2 medications that our lives changed.

One more question, you said he has a "major" learning disability, what does that mean. If he struggles to process written work are they giving him things like bookshare ( a digital library) to listen to his books, a computer with speech output? Electric dictionary? All of these things?

I would also suggest that you do a little research for successful people that have both learning disabilities and ADHD. To show him that there are so many people who are doing great things. Kid something don't have role models and think they can be successful. Can you also get him into something he loves. to balance out the school that he struggles with.

Much love!!

This is just another part of the journey....

Good luck!

We are always here for you if you need us.

Hello, and thank you for this good advice. We may do just that. See a child psychiatrist. He does not have learning disabilities. He has rather high IQ and scored 97% in verbal reasoning. Has been reading since 3 years old. Very good here but math is just average.

I think your advice about 2 medications is right on!

Changing and raising medications seems to be the nature of the beast with ADHD. It would be nice if there was one medication that would work for everyone and keep working. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case; however, if you have not yet looked into broad spectrum micronutrients, I encourage you to. These have helped my son tremendously and were recommended by his psychiatrist. There are two companies...Hardy Nutritionals and True Hope. Wishing you the best!

Jacq7777 profile image
Jacq7777 in reply to Cjkchamp

Wow, I will look into these. I have done the Omega 3 and vitamin D seems to help. Multi vitamin too. Less sugar and more protein. And he loves raw veggies and the healthier smoothies with out all the fruit etc.

Preteen years are when my grandson's medication stopped working. It took trial-and-error to find something else for him. He is on 3 different medications one for ADHD, a mood stabilizer and an anti-depressant. It is frustrating to deal with this. Hopefully your son's psychiatrist will help you figure out the best options.

Jacq7777 profile image
Jacq7777 in reply to anirush

Thank You, this seems to be his case than. Wow! The moving target of ADHD!

I appreciate the feedback.

My twelve and a half year old son takes the same medication. He used to take one 36 mg pill every morning before school and then he told me that he was having problems concentrating and it wasn't working anymore so his pediatrician decided to up his dosage to 2 36 mgs a day. You might try increasing his dosage just to see what happens. Good luck 😁

Jacq7777 profile image
Jacq7777 in reply to virgo02

He takes 36mg of Methylphenidate 2x dailey? Perhaps I will up the afternoon dose. With the Dr's approval. We are noticing that even the 30mg dose is taking longer to kick in though. Thank You for your feed back.

virgo02 profile image
virgo02 in reply to Jacq7777

Yes, he takes 2 Methylphenidate OSM ER 36 mgs each morning before school. It's basically generic concerta. It generally wears off about seven to eight hours after he's taken it. Good luck.

This may have multiple factors affecting his school performance. It is possible that his medication dose needs to be adjusted (it does not 'stop working' unless he has outgrown the dose, is not consistently taking it, or has a co-existing disorder such as anxiety or mood problem). He may also have problems with science, such as understanding it or the work demands. Discuss this with his doctor.

Jacq7777 profile image
Jacq7777 in reply to Elijah1

Yes he may need an adjustment or another medicine with this one. He is good academically when he focuses. Curious george they call him:) and beats us at Jeopardy!

Hidden profile image

Yep, yep. My daughter is the same. Booster at 2 pm. Also, I posted this above, our pediatric psychiatrist (worth her weight in GOLD) suggested this test that shows how my daughter metabolizes medications. My daughter is also bipolar so many meds, but it was fascinating!

You are in the right place!!!

Madmarie profile image
Madmarie in reply to Hidden

I am going to start looking for a pediatric psychologist, I think there could be more at play here, I’m just not sure!

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Hidden in reply to Madmarie

That's the really hard part! There is a reay high instance of other mental health disorders with ADHD. I just tested my daughter for everything and looked at it as data and information to help guide us! You are a great Momma, believe in yourself!

I definitely think it’s not effective any longer, he had some makeup work from missing Friday. It literally took us all weekend, because I couldn’t get him to focus for more then an hour or so at a time. I’m definitely going to talk with Science teacher. The progress report said he has 3 missing assignments that he got zeros on. I’m all alone in this. I’m divorced from his dad, he chose to move 35 minutes away from school district, and refuses to give him medication. My son takes it himself before school, but sometimes forgets when he’s at his dads. I am going to fill paperwork out, and have it given to him at the school. It’s a nightmare situation. Thank God I live 3 blocks from my sister, she has her masters in special education. She is going to look over his iEP. and make some adjustments, and modifications, and sit in on a meeting that I’m about to have.

Here are a few more tips: Some schools ( I assume he is at a middle school) have a study skills class instead of an elective. This is usually run by a teacher who can go over work, make him write down assignments, but also assists in the communication with teachers when assignments are not done.

I would really look into giving him the medication at school so that no one forgets and it lasts most of the school day.

He should also getting help on things that he struggles with at school so you are not spending the time at home.

This is such a hard journey, but you are doing a great job so far, these extra tools will really help.

Take care

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