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New Diagnosis for 5 Yr Old....Where Do I Start?

JessicaCol profile image
JessicaCol

Hello! I am new here. I am a mom of three and my oldest child, Cameron is 5 years old. He was just diagnosed with ADHD (which did not come as a shock to us whatsoever). I just don't even know where to start. He is struggling so badly in preschool and at home with us. Psychologist said he does not think therapy would work for him at this time because of his age and how hyper and out of control he is. I don't want to jump to medication yet. WHERE do I start?

Do any of you use Brillia? Pros and cons?

9 Replies

Good morning Jessica, I can't help you with Brillia and I even had to look it up to understand it. Ha! What I have seen it's a much better option than any prescription meds than have scary side effects. Anything that you can do naturally for him will be your best option. Have you explored his diet and taking out certain trigger foods? I absolutely encourage you to do this now. No sugar, processed foods, etc... here is a link that explains that a bit.

bit.ly/3fee2MN

I'm a huge health advocate- natural is always better!!

Good luck and hugs!!

Patti

Hi, Jessica. I’ve never posted, but you sounded so much like me. I have three kids. My oldest is so capable and strong (in fact he’s cooking breakfast for our family right now), but for a while his good traits were muddied with some behaviors that were making life pretty hard for him and the rest of our family. I wasn’t actually ready to hear the ADHD diagnosis, as I was also pretty resistant to the idea of medication. However, his behaviors just got more dangerous as he got more capable. By early third grade, his impulsivity led to him accidentally shooting out two windows in my house with his BB gun in one week. Thank goodness it wasn’t an eye. He grilled fajitas for our family (with supervision, because he loves to be in charge of things). I asked if he turned off the grill. He went outside to do it so I assumed it was done. In the 10 feet between the back door and the grill he got distracted and didn’t turn the grill off. Later, a fire started. There are still black marks on our house where it almost caught fire. I could go on and on. He was always in trouble, and that was miserable for him AND us. Soooooo, we had to do something.

He completed a year and a half of counseling, and it helped tremendously. However, without medication, counseling would have been a complete waste of time. There’s no way he could have focused to participate. In our situation, medication has saved him. He is way more thoughtful of his actions. He rarely gets in trouble. He thinks before he speaks. He doesn’t pester his siblings like before. He completed his homework in about 30 minutes without complaining instead of 3 brutal hours. It’s like he is his best self.

So, you should definitely do what you think is best for your kiddo. I just wanted to add my experience. I was so against the idea of medication, but I am so grateful that we gave it a chance.

Thank you so so much for sharing your story. That makes me feel better that others are out there dealing with the same struggles we are. Because he is 5, I’m trying to hold off on any medications until at least 6 or 7. I’m actually a pediatric nurse practitioner and care for many patients that are in the same boat as well. It’s just so different when it’s your own child. You fee lost and so unsure as to where to go.

So, to up the ante and make this weirder, my name is Jessica and I’m a PA (though not in pediatrics). 😆My pediatrician knew how apprehensive I was. I actually had my kiddo tested with these objective tests that give you numbers because I needed proof that he had ADHD, despite him trying to tear our house down. You are probably more familiar with those tests than I was. Anyway, I had specific concerns about meds. For instance, I was specifically concerned about introducing stimulants to an impulsive kid and the implications on how it might lower his threshold for trying drugs later. My pediatrician was able to share a study with me where they showed the opposite to be true. I also had these thoughts about how ADHD is over diagnosed and kids are over medicated. That’s actually probably really insulting to people like you and my pediatrician who care enormously for my kiddo. Anyway, those were my concerns.

Anyway, at the end of the day, you have a provider who you trust for your kid. Discuss your specific worries with them. They may be able to provide you with evidence to help your decisions one way or the other. He’s your kid. Not your patient. So let someone else do the heavy lifting when it comes to making recommendations and just be his mom. My husband (who isn’t medical) was actually a TON more objective than I was about this whole thing at first. I am glad that I understand medical info, but in a way being a provider puts this extra heaviness on us to make a perfect decision. That’s something we do to ourselves. Whatever you decide isn’t a one way street. You got this mama!

Regarding Brillia, they provide their (very limited) data on their website. It isn’t convincing (poor study design, tiny study size, etc). We know a few people who tried it who didn’t get results, so we didn’t try it. It seems like it can’t hurt, though. There is actually some reasonable data on eliminating red dye from your kid’s diet. That’s not easy to do unless you are able to control every single thing that goes in their mouth. It wasn’t realistic for us, especially for an active impulsive kid. I wasn’t ready to snatch the Gatorade out of my kid’s mouth at every little league game and try to police every snack at school, because my kid isn’t the type who would be on board and it would take buy in from him as well.

So right now this feels heavy, but you are going to settle in. What works now won’t work later. Counseling will be on the table at some point. Preschool doesn’t know what to do, but public school has to make accommodations. But, you’ve. Got. This. 💙

I love your post. YES, it is always so important for any parent to know that if they "try" medication and it doesn't work they can stop. I just know how kind our psychiatrist was is encouraging us to try until.we found success. Such a hard journey, but the pay off for the child is amazing. They can control themselves with the help of medications.

Thanks for sharing your very personal experience.

Wow! How crazy. I truly appreciate your kind words. I too don’t know if we could totally do an elimination diet. He has two younger siblings as I mentioned and if his sister has something, they tend to both enjoy it together. I too couldn’t imagine putting strict regulations on his foods at school or social events. We could absolutely do better at home to decrease sugar content and overall, we could all eat healthier for sure.

The psychologist said that they don’t typically do the “official” testing until 6 years old but that testing may also help us hone in on what things he specifically struggles with and then come up with ways to help with that.

I did find a therapist who specializes in ADHD so we are going to do a few sessions and see how it goes. If the focus is on him, and he is getting attention from the therapist during the sessions, we may have success. We shall see.

I too have the same concerns you do. I will look and see if I can find research on the topic you mentioned because I’d love to read that. I do know that kids are over diagnosed and over treated. However, given my profession and see all ends of the spectrum quite often which gives me a good broad pictures of the different kinds of children with ADHD. It’s helpful because it allows me to see where I truly feel my son is compared to others.

Again, I thank you so much for your kind words. The first thing I did this week was search for community because I don’t have anyone close to me who has a child with ADHD. I feel alone and unsure. My husband is supportive and wants to do what’s best for our son as well but he also doesn’t know where to start.

One day at a time! That’s all we can do. ❤️

Welcome, we are glad you have joined us on this journey. We all want the best for our children. Children with ADHD need different tools to help them in day-to-day life. Each one takes time to set up. If he is in some type of educational program they could support him. Most schools have specialist that can help. You will find all different types of providers some we agree with and some we don't. I know our son needed intervention early. We use therapy, medication and a school plan. As our son got older his thearpy contuined to help him work through issues he has. When something comes up our thearpist helps us work through it. He uses simple "blunt" language which takes any blame off me and places on our son, which is what he needs.

We also know that taking medication was the best tool to help "change the lens he sees through", it does not change his amazing, outgoing, creative personality. It simply decreases the intolerable symptoms that none can live with.

Good luck,

Hi Jessica,I am also the mom of a newly 5 year old boy in pre-k (and two other children.) We tried weekly therapy sessions, PCIT (they train you how to work with your own child), and supplements (Additude website has lots of info--we use Fish Oil, Iron, Smarty Pants Multi's, Zinc, Probiotics, H5TP/L-Theanine, and Melatonin) before resorting to meds.

The last straw for me was hearing that my son may not be moved up to Kindergarten based on his inability to sit still and follow directions. At that point, we worked with our Ped to find a Psychiatrist to get a formal diagnosis and start meds. This was Feb. 2021.

What a difference 2 months makes. A very low dose of Ritalin worked immediately. We stopped hearing anything negative from school, and they are re-assessing Kindergarten. Now we just need to find something longer acting that works!

I know meds are scary, but if it will help your child, it may be the best thing. I wanted to share my perspective of someone in a similar position.

Good luck!

I think Brillia is a great option it does reduce hyperactivity. My son was unable to use it because he has a seizure disorder and the supplement would alter the med. Don’t be afraid of meds I was too I felt so guilty. The first med didn’t work out he had side effects where it aggravated his tic disorder. The second one, guanfacine 3 mg is working great it’s a nonstimulant. He is now able to learn at school, he’s less aggressive, and is now able to make friends.

I’m in CA and in our state you cannot Medicate an adhd child till they are 6yrs old. Your child may benefit from practicing sports I noticed my son less energetic when I enrolled him in swimming classes 4 days a week.

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