I think my son has ADHD

My son is 4 and in Reception at school. During parents evening tonight the teachers recommended I visit the Dr about his lack of ability to concentrate. I am convinced now he has ADHD and am so worried because during my first 8 weeks of pregnancy I didn't know and was taking a large dosage of Effexor. I was under the impression I couldn't have children so becoming pregnant was not an issue. Now I am consumed with worry and guilt. I don't want to go to the Dr's in case it is but life cant stay as it is, I am really struggling with his behaviour. I stopped the very day I found out I was having a baby and reports say it is particularly damaging in the 3rd trimester. I just don't know what to do and if the diagnosis comes back he is I know I will blame myself and perhaps with good cause.

7 Replies

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  • Amy you didn't give yourself the Effexor did you love?. When I became pregnant 30 years ago with my youngest daughter I was put on valium as my doctor said it was "safe" for pregnancy. I suppose deep down in my heart I knew it couldn't be.....but doctors were gods then and you did exactly as you were told. I weaned my baby off valium by breastfeeding her. I never mentioned it and They didn't mention it either. She is a very fit , healthy, 29 year old now ,currently expecting her 3rd child. I wasted a long time feeling guilty and worrying about this. So don't fall into the same trap. It's not your fault love. You didn't take it in the 3rd trimester either. It won't do your little boy any good by feeling guilty and worrying. Take him to the doctors Amy, it may be that nothing is wrong at all? Don't be so hard on yourself love. Just love him with all of your heart like he loves you Love and Hugs x Ella x

  • Hia Amyloubarritt, if that's what you think and believe, that your has ADHD, make the Dr's aware, make everyone aware, as if your child HAS ADHD, then the earliest he is seen, diagnosed and medicated the better for your childs childhood and future. If your child hasn't got ADHD then at least you will know and can stop worrying about that.

    Believe me, you have to make everyone aware. I knew something was wrong with my son as soon as he was able to walk, maybe sooner. He didnt walk but ran everywhere, bumping into things because he ran that fast. He wouldnt play with toys, the baby musical things he hated and would scream when I put them on for him.

    When he was 2 yrs old, he knew how to open the front door and when everyone was asleep, as he hardly ever slept, he would take our dogs for walks, he didnt have any idea of time and did this because there was no-one to say 'no'. Twice my neighbour, who was a policeman, brought him and the dogs home all hours of the night/morning. Also at 2and a half he was thrown out of his creche as they didnt have enough staff to watch him constantly.

    At 3 yrs old he was excluded from his 1st month of his 1st school, as the teachers and the headmaster said they couldnt cope with him, he was very frustrated and this caused him to have behavioural problems, because people did not have the extra time to give him and try and understand him.

    By the age of 6 yrs he had been excluded from school more times than he had actually attended. He would get out of the house no matter what means of prevention I had put in place and was brought home by the police, neighbours, myself and my other older children nearly everyday. He had no idea of time or danger and NOBODY listened to me.

    I had gone to, education, social services, adhd team, cahms, behavioural support, Dr's, thousand of internet websites, my MP, I went everywhere. Then I wrote to this Psychiatrist who I had been told about who diagnosed him with combined adhd and odd and started medication immediately. My son then was put in another school for special needs children. This was when I enlisted the help of a brilliant solicitor who after 3 yrs of fighting my sons corner with me, got him into the best school there was, for my son, that is. Got him support during the holidays. The only problem was/is, my son is now 12 yrs old, goes to a residential school, he comes home at weekends and holidays, he is now taking 40mgs of ritalin 4 times daily (total of 160mgs per day) and 2mg of respirodone at night, he has severe adhd, mega behavioural issues, but is the most caring little boy ive ever come across.

    My point is, I think if people had listened to me in the begining and helped straight away, my son may not be as bad as he is now, he may have not needed to go to a residential school and he would most definately had a happier childhood, they didnt though and thats where we are today, still being proactive, forseeing possible problems, and organising support 6mths in advance, and still fighting but now for a secure future as an adult.

    I wish you all the luck in the world and I mean it, these children are extremley hard work but they are also very caring and loving and even with their disabilities they are very special and the whole experience is in the end very rewarding. I have learned so much good stuff from son and I would never ever chance him.

    -x-

    adders.org ................chadd..............just google ADHD

  • Before you come to any decisions about your little son, PLEASE read the book which is sweeping America called "The ADHD Fraud How psychiatry makes patients of normal children" by Fred Baughman MD and child peadiatric neurologist. This book is a must for all parents with concerns like yours. You also may like to take a look at ritalindeath.com

    Drug companies are heavily promoting ADHD in this country now but they do not want you to know that in America over 500 kids have now died due to the adverse effects of dangerous stimulant drugs which can cause sudden death in children. Also despite years of expensive research psychiatry still has no valid blood or laboratory test which proves that any child has this invented for profit disorder. Behaviour is not a disease . The symptoms of ADHD are typical ways in which all young children behave. Its called CHILDHOOD yet millions of innocentkids are now being labelled as mentally ill by over zealous psychiatrists who overanalyse every human feeling, mood and emotion under the sun and turn it into a disorder with a drug to treat it. Do not be taken in by this . Your 4 year old is probably just being himself.

    Is it so wrong to daydream at four?. Apparently Albert Einstein did it.

    Let your child have a happy drug free childhood and love him for who he is. Kids are unpredictable and go through lots of phases as they grow. Giving them amphetamine stimulants is very dangerous and it can cause long term health problems.

    Be skeptical and PLEASE read the book!. Good luck and best wishes

  • I couldn't emphasise the above post any more if I tried, seek help for your son but err on the side of caution before rushing into having him diagnosed and/or medicated for adhd. Labels can be more debilitating and damaging than helpful at times and if not now possibly in the future. Give him the best possible chance by checking, double checking and questioning every diagnosis, suggestion, advice, medication, therapy, 'this is best for him' notion. You will thank yourself for it one day and hopefully your son will too, this is one of those occasions when being anxious/neurotic can pay off! The best of wishes to you and your son. (in case you're wondering, yes I've been there)

  • Hello,

    Is there a direct link with Effexor and ADHD? Did you notice any of the symptoms at birth from taking Effexor whilst pregnant because they are noticeable and should have been picked up from a very young age?

    Hollow and Optimistic are so true in what they say.

    **ADHD can be genetic, environmental (yes this includes, parenting, sleep patterns, discipline, environment), diet (food additives), sugar and brain injuries, culture, expectations....

    Lack of inability to concentrate!! at the age of 4! typical adult concentration span is said to be 10 minutes before you start losing it! Bear in mind teachers have a curriculum to follow and the little darlings have to 'learn' at the same rate as each other or else....

    In Europe they start formal education at 7 years old. That's when the child is 'ready' to learn and they tend to have less learning issues at this later stage and achieve much quicker.

    I am surprised they refer you to a doctor, maybe things have changed but we used an Educational Psychologist employed by the Education Authority who like myself would observe the child for an hour or so (no it isn't long enough-just a snap shot), look at how the teacher's methods were infective, (actually what methods has she used?) what evidence there was to support the concerns, behaviour with others, behaviour at home. Observing a child is the only way to diagnose properly. If you haven't had this information then please ask for it before going to the GP's. The service is restricted and expensive to the authority but it should still be the first port of call if the school are concerned.

    Has teacher already spoken and documented the concerns with the school SENCO then? Was it him/her that's agreed to a doctor's assessment? All the GP can do (as far as I'm aware) is refer back to the school - how can he diagnose & prescribe in a 10 minute appointment?! SCARY! See previous paragraph. Again - If you haven't had this information then please ask for it before going to the GP's or you will look desperate to label.

    I have supported many a child with supposedly 'ADHD' in the past and it was really the parents that weren't aware of positive disciplining, directing and focusing (no I don't mean punishments) instead of utilising the child's skills and energy rather than blaming and labelling. (and no I'm not putting any parent down). I would guarantee that the child behaved differently with me than their parents, or the teachers for that matter, it's called 1:1 understanding how to work with this individual. The educational psychologist was often reluctant to diagnose and label as it stays on the child's records for years to come. We would diplomatically and sensitively work with the parents on all of the above ** to make life easier for all.

    Of course in some circumstances it was found that the child was in fact ADHD because all the above ** were found to be well practised.

    My ex son in law has ADHD he's now in his mid 20's, been on medication for years. I have the most beautiful granddaughter who is now 5. Ever since she was born I've quietly had my eye on her. Observations!! ;) lol!

    My daughter has struggled with her, but she has been a single mum for 5 years when the little one's dad walked out at birth! I have advised throughout the best ways of handling and understanding my granddaughter and yes at times she can be 'interesting' lets say. The child tells me the teacher says she has 'ants in her pants' !!!! Alarm bells!!! She laughs because she doesn't have anything in her pants, silly teacher!. Bless. At parents' night the teacher tell mother how she does not have much concentration and keeps her in at break times to finish her work. :( !! She left a 5yr old for 20 minutes to complete a worksheet - that she didn't - and said her attention span wasn't great. No interim checks, no time checks, no coaxing etc... get the picture. ;)

    In all honesty I AM expecting her to have slight ADHD but would not have her on medication for it - in fact not even a GP's appointment - there are a variety of ways of working with the child and accepting rather than labelling.

    LOL! If you've read to the end of this you've done well. Sorry but I do feel passionate and it's too close to home.

    Either way - please try not to worry, good luck and keep us all informed.

    xx

  • Thank you so much everyone, I really appreciate your input. He doesn't really display behavioural problems in school, he just goes off in to a world of his own and has trouble focusing. Saying that he was 4 in August and can spell all 3 letter words and most 4, can count to 100 and his writing is coming on a treat so I am not too worried about his progress. Every week he shows another learning curve. I asked his teacher today does she think it is ADHD and she said not. Last night at parents evening I stated "I wonder if it is ADHD" and she didnt respond leaving me to assume that is what she thought. I then came home and read on the net which probably wasnt the best move. I would never medicate my children to alter their personality. I have my child in private education and because of my turbulent past I am striving to make things as perfect as I can.

    He was extremely alert at birth. I remember him being only a few days old and looking me straight in the eye with his head turned to focus as I sang him nursery rhymes. I thought nothing of it at the time but after having my second, a very sleepy baby, I now see it as different. Apart from being very alert I did not notice anything untoward with him.

    I will read the book you recommend. I follow Dr Breggin who is against any psychiatric medication so have a fair idea of the oposition to psychiatry. I just find myself struggling with his behaviour and the school his concentration and automatically started blaming myself and the medication I took in the very early stages of pregnancy.

    I do have a drs apt in the morning as the school asked me to make it. I guess if they are independent, they wont have the resources of the Council in terms of Psychologists etc. I dont think I handle him right. Sometimes I just bark at him and in reality his behaviour gets worse and my bark gets louder. Im really reaching the end now and really wanting something to change so if I get some help from my Health Visitor then things may improve. I certainly dont want a label on his record as it will serve no ve+ purpose.

    Thank you again people, will keep you posted

    Amy xxx

  • Sounds like you have taken breath and reflected on things. You sound more positive. It's great that you have re- posted.

    It doesn't sound like it's ADHD... from what you have written. You mention the difference in your children - yes that's normal! :) Alertness may be that he is actually under challenged, and has time to mess about, one for you to consider... and the teacher! ;)

    Forget the net. go with what real people face to face are saying for any actions that you make. Net is great for background reading, general info. etc.

    You now mention a private school - no they definitely won't have the same resources because they have to pay out of their own budget! Hence the GP recommendation. See it all makes sense now, teacher doesn't know who to turn to. You haven't mentioned a SENCO. Special needs is unheard of in most private schools and tends to be 'small business' if any, obviously, it's achievements and success that they are focused on.

    But times they are a changing.

    You finally mention YOUR behaviour. Why not try parenting classes? Ask at your local health centre, health visitor will know, local children's centre always run them, the local college will run short parenting courses on play, behaviour like a 'starter pack'. I know I have taught them. ;) You will find a massive difference in HIS behaviour, he's only mirroring you!

    A little tale.

    My daughter gets cross when she tells her little one to go and get changed for bed, she's 5 and more than capable. She tells her she's got 10 minutes (bit pointless as she can't tell the time!! der!!)

    The little one sees a toy on the floor on the stairs on the way up and plays with it whilst tidying it away because it's good to keep tidy. (trying to please mum here). Mum meanwhile loses track of time because she's washing up, (she's broken the deal here!) 20 minutes later and little one is in trouble for not being ready for bed!!! Argh!

    Little one goes to bed upset because she doesn't understand what she's done wrong, and would NEVER on purpose upset mummy. :( :( :( ... etc.....

    Daughter rings me to offload because she's.... stressed.

    . .... and breath again. :)

    xxx

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