10 year old son with Inattentive ADHD - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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10 year old son with Inattentive ADHD


Hello, my son was diagnosed last february with inattentive ADHD by his pediatrician. He was never sent to a psychiatrist for a second opinon. The first line of treatment was stimulant medication which I was very much against as he is only 10 years old and not at all impulsive or hyperactive. My husband was medicated throughout college due to focus issues himself. We started him on 20mg Vyvanse which was upped to 30mg by his pediatrician. The side effects are typical, lack of appetite and general moodiness. His grades and behavour have improved significantly and his teachers have noticed a huge change in his self esteem and personal responsiblity as well. I guess I am just looking for feedback as to whether we made the right choice in having him medicated, or could his change simply be from maturing and deciding for himself that he wants to do his best?

8 Replies

Welcome to the group, we are always here for you.

When you see a positive change.. then I would say yes you made the right choice.

It is very hard to pinpoint what all plays into the change, but you are describing a major change ( in things likes grades, self esteem, etc) in many things so that seems to lead to medication.

The other suggestions are to make sure he has a 504 educational plan in place before he makes a change in classrooms or middle school. There are a number of articles about the needs he will have in school. Here are a few examples: extended time on homework assignment, breaks if needed, for state testing he might need more time to have smaller sessions. This plan will really help when he gets into middle school and you will want to add to it so he can experience sucess when things get more challanging with peers, social exchanges and many more demands for a number of teachers.

Also, often time children with ADHD need a counselor to talk to and help deal with the struggles they face that parents deal with.

Sounds like you guys have worked hard and it is great to see success.

Saja3 in reply to Onthemove1971

I live in Canada so I am not familiar with a 504 Education Plan. He currently has an IPP (individualized program plan) that has specific accomodations for him. Such as working with an education assistant, writing exams in private etc.

Thank you for your feedback and encouragement . I do feel alone in that most everyone has a strong opinion on 1) medicating a child and 2) that ADHD is even a valid diagnosis.

I think it is great your son has felt so much success this past year! Even if he stops taking medication in the future, he will know what it feels like to be focused and feeling good at school. He will know the level of focus he can expect from himself. He will be better able to articulate when he feels "off".

My son takes Vyvance as well ( he is 9 yrs old) and it makes all the difference in the world. He, unfortunately, also has a mood disorder. We were very hesitant to put him on meds, but we realized that he was miserable and hopeless. We realized we were doing him a disservice by not putting him on the meds. And, also, as a family we were also suffering because of his behavior. Our home was a place of miser and it wasn’t fair to our other child. I wish you the best of luck.

I'm very sceptical about having medication prescribed without assessment and diagnosis by a professional. Ideally, he would be under the care of a psychiatrist to diagnose and prescribe meds. But more importantly, they will regularly review the meds and his wellbeing to ensure the best outcome. If a GP or peadiatrician (who have general skills, not specialist skills) prescribe whatever they can without ongoing care, you risk having him stuck on meds that would just mask the symptoms without providing support for the root cause. Do try and get to a psychiatrist specialising in disorders for young people - meds are only a tool to help you tone down the negative effects, which should give you the time and space to find other ways to cope with whatever condition it is you live with.

Our pediatrician has a special interest in Autism and ADHD. He only prescribes refills for 4-6 months with a follow up in between. I know from being with this pediatrician for 14 years that he is very thorough and not a "pill pusher." I do second guess having my child on stimulants for the fact that he is only 10 years old. The positives have been huge, but it is stressful to see him not eating during the day and just quite moody and down almost after school. I think that we will continue him on vyvanse until the school year is over and see how it goes the beginning of next school year.

Hi there, I can certainly empathize with you in your struggle when deciding what's the best path to take concerning your son's treatment. Right now, it seems like you've made some really great choices along the way. Your son's improvement in his classes and behavior, I think, is evidence of that.

As you continue to engage with other parents and professionals as well as various other sources, it may be easier to determine if whatever treatment you are attempting at the time is the right one.

Stay encouraged and continue to reach out to the group for support. Will be praying for continual positive change. Blessings!

my son's pediatrician also diagnosed my son with ADHD and I accepted that and he prescribed my son concerta and it did nothing for my son. The pediatrician then prescribed Vyvanse to my son which made my son very defiant and angry. I had my son rediagnosed by a mental health Dr. and he has ADHD as well as Generalized Anxiety disorder. The Vyvanse was stopped. Stimulants do not with any one that has anxiety. I read a book. Taking Charge Of ADHD by Dr. Russell Barklay and it states that stimulants make anxiety worse. The book is very informative on ADHD and medicines for the disorder. Now my son takes Guafacine and it attitude is so much better. I have seen a lot of positive effects from this medication. Hope this helps you. Dr. Russell Barklay also has utube videos that have been very helpful for me to learn about ADHD and what it is and how it effects people that have it. The deficits that are involved. My son also has the inattention ADHD, he is 15 and thought that he was wanting to take Drivers Education in school. I will say he is not quite ready for that yet. He didn't pass the class. When I think he ready for the class that is when I will let that happen. I'm also going to put a 504 education plan in place for my next year. I don't want to set him up for failure that can lead to low self confidence and I also know my son better than anyone else.

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