Just started meds and Wow: We began... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Just started meds and Wow


We began medication (focalin xr) for my 8 year old about a month and a half ago. Oh my goodness he’s a whole new kid. He’s still the hilarious, quirky, imaginative kiddo. We’ve had a few side effects that seem to minimizing but we are powering through.

We were pretty much forced into getting him on meds from the school who was threatening to kick us out mid year (private school). Now they want him to stay and I’m getting glowing reports daily. Which is great... so I have documentation to give to the new school I’m sending him to next year. Regardless of the school’s change in attitude, we are moving to a school with more supports and patience for kids with educational learning differences.

For any of you parents out there who are on the fence... I can tell you we were shocked to see the difference. Now when I ask my son to do something he says.. “ok mommmy”. ... what??? Now he goes straight into his room and starts his homework all on his own and finishes it. It used to take us 1.5 hours and it was a constant battle for him to just sit down for more than 5 minutes.

My husband and I got into so many arguments when we chose to start meds. He was so angry at the school for threatening us and putting the pressure on and he was angry at me for obliging and he wanted us to just pull him out immediately and homeschool him. A month and a half later my husband willingly agrees it was the best decision we made.

10 Replies

Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is very hard unless you are living in the nightmare, then start the medication to truly see the benefits. You are a role model to all the parents who do not want to try it for whatever reason.

I tell them, medical professionals would not push medication, unless they knew how life changing it would be for families and their children. Of course there are families and children that do not try them or are not successful with medication and there are other tools to help them.

Happy progress! Please make sure you get a 504 plan set up for school so you are able to get all of the services and resources available for him. This plan paves the way for the rest of his educational experience.

Thanks again for sharing...

We are trying to move to a private school that is wiling to do traditional 504 accommodations and has experience with ADHD kids. We actually just had our meeting today with his current school and they asked us to stay, stated all previous behaviors are gone whereas two months ago they told us he wasn’t a good fit for their school and was too noisy, hyper, and unable to focus. It was good to hear them say that but regardless, I know there will be challenges ahead and need a school with experience and flexibility.

Pipu in reply to Onthemove1971

Hi! Does the 504 plan work for private schools?

Jgirlie123 in reply to Pipu

No. My son’s current school won’t accommodate much. Only extra time on assignments for the same day. The school I’m interested in is also private and they said they would review the psychologist’s recommendations and try to accommodate as much as they could. They have lots of ADHD kids and they have a therapist and teachers and administrators come from public school. My current school has none of that and admitted they don’t know how to work with ADHD children.

We live inner city urban area with horrible public school system. Some public schools are incredible with learning differences. Ours just has a very low academic bar and my son is smart and needs heavier academic instruction.

ADHD_DAD in reply to Pipu

We were in public school through middle school. It was a constant battle to get them to add reasonable accommodations to my son's 504 and then they wouldn't follow it. Never did a week go by that we didn't have to email a teacher, administration, district office etc. It usually took 3 meetings and to get enforcement of the 504. This year we switched to a private school. Not a religious school but an independent college preparatory school. They do not technically have to follow the 504 plan, but they do because they want my son to succeed and they want us to stay. It is night and day difference. Not only does the private school follow the plan, but individual teachers have identified additional helpful accommodations and have implemented them without being asked and without a fight. We intend to keep the 504 up to date in case he ever goes back to the public school but (unless I lose my job and run out of savings) that is not going to happen. Every single day of the private school has seemed like a dream. Even with the covid mess, they have exceeded our expectations in every way. My son feels wanted, normal amd like everyone else. It's been wonderful.

Jgirlie123 in reply to ADHD_DAD

Yep it’s 100% school dependent and most parents unfortunately have to try several before they find a good fit. I’m about to put my son in his third school by third grade. I wish this wasn’t our journey but it is.

ADHD_DAD in reply to Jgirlie123

Try a non religious private school. The religious schools value conformity which isn't a good fit for a kid who needs specific accommodations. Good luck to you. Glad meds are working. We had a similar experience with meds. No fighting (we don't fight) but I was very hesitant to start meds and was VERY wrong. Be well.

I felt the same way. It was unreal. He was happy, calm, agreeable, and all that other stuff, when on the medication. I actually cried for a lot of the first two days, like "I have my child back."

I was so upset with myself for not doing this sooner, for all the anger and fights we had had, and I felt a lot of guilt and shame for not doing something that could have helped him, and helped our relationship, sooner. All of that frustration, fighting, anger could have been prevented.

We ended up not staying on the medication, but I will never dismiss it again like I did before. I have so much more confidence now managing his ADHD, because I know I have another tool available that I can turn to, and I know works.

My husband and I got into huge arguments about the medication and he’s a pediatrician, which made no sense. It’s different when it’s your kid you know? It’s so easy to tell someone else to do something but when it comes to your baby, it’s really a hard decision for a lot of people. We had family telling us we were neglecting our child’s needs and family telling us he doesn’t need meds, screw the school and homeschool him.

I don’t regret not doing it earlier because mentally we just weren’t there yet and we did the therapy first and attempted behavior modification stuff as much as we could. Although the school wouldn’t do any of them really. They just wanted him to conform. Also, we probably would have done it later on, but felt very forced to avoid being kicked out of school mid year. We did not expect to see such huge results.

I’m sure the school is probably giving themselves high fives for strong arming us into the meds, which are working but discussions shouldn’t be like that. I just want other parents on the fence to know I was one of you (my husband very much not wanting meds) and it was the best decision we made.

My daughter went to private schools all the way through high school. It was a challenge but constantly meeting with counselors, the school nurse and teachers got her the accommodations she needed. Keep working with the school until you change schools. But 504's and IEP's aren 't always followed like they should be. You still have to stay on top of the school and the teachers.

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