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Deciding to or not to medicate ADHD

DobbyForever

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I’m hoping this isn’t against the rules to ask. My son is 6 with multiple comorbidities: Autism, Speech Language Impairment, Sensory Processing Disorder, and PTSD. He’s made huge strides with these, but he also has moderate combined type ADHD. He’s going into kinder and his TK team says he has a 3-5m focus stamina for non preferred activities and frequently elopes from lessons and activities despite reinforcements and breaks. He has a 1-1 behaviorist at school.

He’ll basically be 50/50 general ed and mild/mod sdc for kindergarten. But I’m starting to wonder if I need to consider medication. I believe it should be a last resort, and we’ve tried just about everything else. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of medicating kids.

I’m just curious what we’re your questions or concerns or considerations when the topic of medication came up for your child? Or if you opted not to medicate, what did you do instead?
 
Well, with mine (I have 2 with ADHD, one is diagnosed and everything, she's 6, the other is almost 5. With her, I was heavily against medication for the longest time, honestly, I was so against it, it almost blinded me to it's benefits. My biggest fear was that it would change her, meaning it would "drug" her up and cause her to not be her (this was my irrational fear speaking). Anyway, long story shorty we tried a very small dose, so small it was the smallest dose she could possibly have of the medication and still kind of feel the benefits of it. Turns out, best decision I could have made for her. While, she's still monitored very closely for personality changes, it's improved her ability to focus immensely. This has not only benefited her, but her peers, even her siblings. It helps her focus and do the things she enjoys without being so distracted or in her head all the time, because we have her on a low dose, it wears off right after school, so she's able to wind down and everything before bed and not have as much left in her system before she falls asleep.

I am no docor or anything obviously and this is purely from my own personal experience.

I have noticed her mood swings are a lot more prevalent at night sometimes, can't tell if it's just her age or if it's a side effect of the medication. She's always been very sensitive though.
 
With my son, well as soon as he's 5 I'm taking him through the same channels I did with my daughter, through a certain Dr at their pediatrician's office. Any other route and I'm met with 2 year + long waiting lists to be seen.
 
Thank you so much for sharing! This is long. I'm more venting/ processing than anything.

I have mild ADHD and a host of other neurodivergencies where I teetered on the edge of needing medication. I probably could have/ still could benefit from medication but with age I learned how to cope with my body. Some periods of time better than others. I'm really glad my mother never allowed my doctors to medicate me. But even my mom has said I was never as active/distractible as my son. I also would never disrupt class because I would get punished at home if I did.

I have the same reservations as most parents. I also worry because my family does have a prevalence of people with addiction problems. I'm an alcoholic. I also have an anxiety disorder, and I can see glimpses of that in my son though he hasn't been diagnosed with it. And I have read that people with these issues in their family have to take caution with ADHD meds. But that's a discussion I need to have with the doctor.

It is hard because I have full custody and he's my only child. So there's not really opportunity for him to annoy anybody, and I can act as his 1-1 aide because I don't bring work home. The only time his ADHD is a concern is when he listens to music or watches certain movies and he'll jump or clap very loudly. If I lived in a SFH, I honestly wouldn't care. But I live in a duplex and the neighbor can definitely hear it. I love his energy. It's hard to keep up sometime, but I love his enthusiasm and athleticism. The eloping in public is hard. So either I have to bribe him (ie if you let me finish my shopping list at Target then we'll go buy one new toy), not take him (thank you curbside pickup!), avoid taking him altogether by going when my mom can watch him or doing my errands before picking him up from school, or put a safety tether on him. But I think back on being a kid and I remember literally climbing up the walls, being louder than the average bear, always in motion (swinging my legs as I write this), climbing trees, spending hours every day at the playground, running away from my mom in shopping malls to hide in clothes racks and scare her.

I'm thinking if he's still struggling middway through the school year then it's something I need to seriously consider. The other hard thing is the school says he's not learning because they can't assess him/ he can't focus on the lessons, but then he comes home and it's so clear he's learned things that day at school.

I wish there was a parent 8 ball that could just tell me what to do hahaha.
 
Thank you so much for sharing! This is long. I'm more venting/ processing than anything.

I have mild ADHD and a host of other neurodivergencies where I teetered on the edge of needing medication. I probably could have/ still could benefit from medication but with age I learned how to cope with my body. Some periods of time better than others. I'm really glad my mother never allowed my doctors to medicate me. But even my mom has said I was never as active/distractible as my son. I also would never disrupt class because I would get punished at home if I did.

I have the same reservations as most parents. I also worry because my family does have a prevalence of people with addiction problems. I'm an alcoholic. I also have an anxiety disorder, and I can see glimpses of that in my son though he hasn't been diagnosed with it. And I have read that people with these issues in their family have to take caution with ADHD meds. But that's a discussion I need to have with the doctor.

It is hard because I have full custody and he's my only child. So there's not really opportunity for him to annoy anybody, and I can act as his 1-1 aide because I don't bring work home. The only time his ADHD is a concern is when he listens to music or watches certain movies and he'll jump or clap very loudly. If I lived in a SFH, I honestly wouldn't care. But I live in a duplex and the neighbor can definitely hear it. I love his energy. It's hard to keep up sometime, but I love his enthusiasm and athleticism. The eloping in public is hard. So either I have to bribe him (ie if you let me finish my shopping list at Target then we'll go buy one new toy), not take him (thank you curbside pickup!), avoid taking him altogether by going when my mom can watch him or doing my errands before picking him up from school, or put a safety tether on him. But I think back on being a kid and I remember literally climbing up the walls, being louder than the average bear, always in motion (swinging my legs as I write this), climbing trees, spending hours every day at the playground, running away from my mom in shopping malls to hide in clothes racks and scare her.

I'm thinking if he's still struggling middway through the school year then it's something I need to seriously consider. The other hard thing is the school says he's not learning because they can't assess him/ he can't focus on the lessons, but then he comes home and it's so clear he's learned things that day at school.

I wish there was a parent 8 ball that could just tell me what to do hahaha.
That's definitely a tough situation, especially considering your family history. I also suffer with generalized anxiety disorder, and I too see it in both kids with ADHD. However, when he's at home you have full control over the situation but at school he'll be around others and you won't be able to mitigate. This is just something to consider but, maybe he would benefit from trying a very low dose of the medication? I've noticed at least with my daughter that it lasts just long enough for school. Since you're his soul caregiver and guardian, that means you have full control over who has access to his medication. I know you probably have a rough family history but you obviously have taken steps in the right direction apart from your family's mistakes, so you totally be prepared to make sure that nothing like what you're concerned about happens.
 
There's also coffee or soda, horrible in sugar but half a cup maybe less of coffee might help. Crazy I know, but my son always wants a drink of mine and it takes the edge off for him. Although its like once a month I let him so not a lot to go off of. Teas might also work and way better for him. I just cant brew a good tea atm.
 
Oh interesting about the tea/coffee/soda. He’s super picky. He hasn’t really gotten a taste for soda. He’s strictly water or apple juice/lemonade when we’re out haha. Not for my lack of trying to get him to the dark side.

Interesting about it lasting just during school. I’d feel better if it just helped at school and I got my little energizer bunny back when he came home.

idk if I’m doing any better for him but I’m trying
 
Hey all,

I was going to give it until his mid Oct IEP to make a decision, but I decided to go ahead with medication even though I personally hate everything about it. It’s what I’d best for him at school.

I know he’s high risk for serious side effects, and his psych was nervous about that. I asked for the slow release because his day starts at 7am and ends at 3:30. He’s about to get kicked out from his after school program because they don’t want to deal with his behavior. But she said that’s she’s super concerned that the 8 h is going to basically f* him up. So she said start him on the 4h then do a blood pressure later (I’m not comfortable and my two brothers who either finished or are halfway through Med school said absolutely no) or work up to the 8h.

this was a long winded way of me asking if your kids went straight to the long lasting Med or started on a short lasting one
 

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