The FASD Trust
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Mornings and Medication

Hi all,

We just wanted to share our experiences with you. Our adopted son, who is eight: has FAS; as well as sensory processing disorder; ADHD, relative micro cephaly ; underweight ; under the dietician ; and the bladder and continence services.

For his ADHD he takes Medkinet XL (brand name) , our Peaditrican recently changed his medication to equasam (brand name). We noticed a huge difference in his behaviour. Mornings have always been challenging , but when he changed his medication he became more violent : attitude that was arrogrant; and lying about anything (which was more than normal).

Has any other parents experienced morning problems? Has any other parents , who have children on medication noticed any other differences?

Mornings are a nightmare! And when he is in his mood we more often than not have to take him in the car to school.....

Regards D

7 Replies

My 10yr old adopted son also has ADHD, sensory integration problems and most likely FASD. Mornings here are an absolute nightmare as well! I dread them!!! My son is now on concerta xl which is the longer acting methylphenidate and that doesn't seem to either exacerbate or lessen the early morning challenges. However, he was previously on medikinet but could only tolerate a low does because when increased it made him very tearful and down and his anger rocketed. I tend not to give it until we are near to leaving for school because otherwise the 'wear off' is earlier in the afternoon and of course the challenges all start again when it has! Because of his clubs etc if the effects wear off too early then he has problems at them. I think though, it is trial and error, with any medication as what suits one doesn't another.

I have found that my son becomes calmer on our 30 min walk to school because the walking feeds his Sensory system. He will argue about walking and try to resist and I will get a whole ton of verbal nastiness directed at me which will continue for half the distance but then he calms and he admits he likes to walk. Getting the breakfast routine completed is an absolute battleground of resistance, non cooperation, tempers etc and that's every single morning. I have found generally that if he is having a major tantrum the length can be lessened slightly if he does something to physically exert himself - for my son it is kicking a football really hard for a while in the garden, or if he can't go out, he uses a soft ball against the kitchen or lounge wall. But if he is all fired up in a temper he refuses to do that! I have noticed his anger and aggression is being expressed now with a physical element to his environment which is very concerning.

Until recently I was unaware of the FASD concern so was parenting him using traditional parenting approaches. When I had gone through the steps of request, warning, consequence he would become even more enraged and furious. I couldn't understand why and of course any advice from SWs or behaviour specialists was to use the various behaviour approaches. It wasn't until we were assessed at a specialist therapeutic organisation for adopted and fostered children that they highlighted that he most likely has FASD that I could comprehend his inexplicable behaviour which got worse when using behaviour management techniques - he doesn't understand cause and effect so could not comprehend the justification of consequences! Problem now is finding someone to diagnose.


Thank you for sharing your experiences . What you have written is exactly what we experience!!

So we are not going mad and not only us banging our head against a brick wall!!!

Thank you again , be strong and take care D


Hi Dave,

Our son is only 3 and not on medication yet so I can't comment on that but I just wanted to say that his mood and behaviour is usually more challenging in the mornings before school and much better in the evenings. I think it's likely to be a physical thing to do with FASD.

I know that low blood sugar is an issue with FASD and his mood can be a bit better after breakfast. Before that we try and take it very easy and allow lots of time to do things. And TRY and stay calm 😉.

Also as Strawberry Cream said, physical exercise is such a need and it helps to walk/run some of the way to school if possible. I think sometimes first thing in the morning is hard because they haven't had that physical exertion/exercise yet.

One question I have for you and others is that when you say your children have ADHD, sensory processing etc as well as FASD is that how it is seen medically? I thought all these conditions/traits were part of the FASD or is it that they are seen as separate diagnoses? As far as I have seen most people with FASD have that combination of elements of ADHD, autistic traits, sensory processing, oppositional defiance etc so aren't they all just part of FASD?

Be interested to hear what people think on this. Good luck with your mornings!




Yes ADHD and Sensory processing is a part of FASD but for us those diagnosis have been given before FASD had even been recognised or considered. We are yet to get the potential of FASD to be assessed and diagnosed.



Thank you for your reply. As you quite rightly say , as we all know , FASD is a combination of symptoms, like ADHD, sensory processing order etc.

Unfortunately in our situation , the Medical professionals and teachers etc, just treat what they know. They do not understand about FASD, although we have in proven by genetics!!

Thus, they treat what they understand and not the whole holistic nature of FASD!

Thank you again for your comments .

Regards Dave


Hi Dave,

Thanks for clarifying. It's really frustrating the lack of awareness isn't it and the particular lack of awareness of FASD being a spectrum like autism is a spectrum.

It's also frustrating that there is so much more awareness of conditions like autism even though FASD is more common!

It makes me want to go on an awareness raising mission (if I had more time!) but the FASD Trust are doing a great job in this area too.

Thanks for your reply,



in response to strawberry cream answer, please see the link of how many things do overlap!

regards DAve


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