Hi! Just joined and could really use... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

CHADD's ADHD Parents Together

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Hi! Just joined and could really use some help and support.

ColoradoMomma profile image

First, I apologize for my long post. It has been difficult to find support, so I'm kind-of pouring it all out right now.

My 8 year old daughter was diagnosed with ADHD right before the pandemic hit, and while we have several concerns and lots of questions, we do not have much support to address those concerns and questions. I love my daughter. She is an amazing little girl with such a fun spunky personality, so to see her struggle and not know how to help her is very difficult for my husband and myself. At school, my daughter was getting in trouble a lot (talking out of turn, getting out of her seat constantly, not completing her work, randomly pinching or biting friends, not respecting other people's property). At home, she is defiant, dismissive, behaves as though she is above the rules and struggles to make good choices (which is very concerning in regards to our dogs who are incredibly patient and loving ). I know her inability to focus has caused some academic set-backs for her as well. We have tried Adderall, Concerta and Vyvanse. Currently, she is taking Guanfacine, which is not providing much help. We also tried Guanfacine with Adderall to no avail. We ended up doing genetic testing to see which type of medication would work best for her, and we found that her body does not use the dopamine that is available, so stimulants do not work and can actually make her symptoms worse. I learned excess dopamine in your system is responsible for impulse control, competitiveness, aggression and reward based motivation (among other things). She has struggled with all these things for years, and we now understand why discipline has been difficult since she was tiny (she is not motivated by rewards and is unaffected if we take away privileges or toys). If anyone has experience with ADHD and the lack of dopamine uptake, I could really use some suggestions! School is such a struggle right now, and with homeschooling on the horizon for next year, I really want to find some steps that will help my daughter and myself before then. Thanks so much!

6 Replies

Hi Colorado Momma,

I'm also a Colorado mom and my son was diagnosed with ADHD the same week the pandemic hit. My son is struggling with some of the same issues as your daughter. My son is currently on Foclin XR I'm not sure it's the right fit for him. I'm trying to get him into therapy which has been a struggle to find anyone who is willing to help. I wish I had advice for you, I don't. I understand how you are feeling. It's a very isolating feeling to not know where to go for support and have others understand what you are going through. I just wanted to let you know, you are not alone!

Thank you so much Mof2boys! Connecting with others that are experiencing the same thing definitely brings me some peace. 🥰 Finding a therapist right now is worse than looking for a needle in a haystack, and finding one within network is basically impossible. In regards to medication, I do recommend genetic testing to help narrow down the possibilities. It was so hard to watch my deal with side effects from her medications, knowing only time would make them go away. I finally couldn't stand it anymore, and our pediatrician recommended genetic testing through Genomind (they test for medication effectiveness for all mental issues). The amount of info we learned from her test results was wonderful! We now know what types of meds will and will not work, how her body metabolizes different medications, and which medications she will most likely have interactions with based on her genetics. I feel this saved us months, if not years, of trial and error guesswork, and now we know that natural remedies are probably going to be our best option. I truly hope you find something that works for your son soon, and if you ever want someone local to chat with about providers or anything else, I'm here for you!!

I recommend the same book that Erickson recommended, “Finally focused”. Get it in paperback, mine has markings all over it as this is the best guide that puts all the bits and pieces together that I have picked up in groups, articles,books. This explains everything so well and has an easy to follow action plan. I just had my dr do blood tests today to check for my child’s mineral deficiencies. I’ve sent hair sample tests to check for other deficiencies. Some supplements are safe to just start without testing. You’ll love this book. Lots of science based info. One of the pieces in helping out very difficult but precious kids.

Welcome to the group. You could try reading or I get the book on audible . Finally Focused by Dr James Greenblatt. He goes through all the natural treatments plans when stimulants don't work or for parents who want to try the natural approach before medication. He even talks about adding some natural approaches with medication to lessen side effects

Thank you for the recommendation! I just purchased the audible book and look forward to listening to it (hopefully with my husband 😉).

It is a struggle to find what works. I have two teenage grandkids. One is on Guanfacine with Straterra, the other on Guanfacine with Wellbutrin. None of the meds did it by themselves. And there have been many med changes over the years. They both started on medication in kindergarten.

Good luck finding what works for your child. When you do it is wonderful.

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