I could have written your exact post! It is so heartening to know there are so many lovely parents out there just trying to do what is best for their kids. Reading some of the other posts on this thread had me smiling…”take my unmedicated child home for a week and then tell me how you’re going to fix them..” hehehe
1. How old was your child when diagnosed?
Like many of you, we noticed something was not right early on – our daughter was about 3 years old. She is now almost 7 and she has just finally been diagnosed with mixed type ADHD, anxiety and SPD.
2. Did you decide to medicate right away, or did you wait?
I’m thankful that we live in the era that we do.I have been on medication for many years (+20) for anxiety and goodness only knows where it’d be without it. I am prefacing my response with this information so you know that I am definitely pro medication when it is required.
However, my husband and I are not sure whether to start medication for our daughter as, since her diagnosis (in the last 4 weeks), I have researched ADHD nutritional treatments and started her on high doses of Omega 3s and magnesium and have noticed a moderate difference. Her anxiety has lessened i.e. she can now go outside at home without me having to go with her every single time; her sensory issues have lessened i.e. she can get dressed in the morning without melting down; her rages / mood swings / defiance have lessened i.e. she would have multiple rage episodes every day, resulting from nothing much at all. She was never violent with people but would thrash on the ground and scream etc etc, and has stopped this entirely; she is less hyperactive and seems more able to truly engage in life and play activities.
She is still very silly, impossible to keep at the dinner table, emotionally sensitive and reactive, and unfocussed. However, the defiance and extreme worrying behaviours have lessened / disappeared.
(For information regarding nutritional treatments of ADHD, check out Julia Rucklidge’s research group from University of Canterbury, New Zealand and Dr James Greenblatt’s book “Finally Focused”.)
3. If you waited, what was your final reasoning for opting to medicate vs going with other methods of treatment that don’t involve meds?
4. Does your child also participate in therapy? If so, did they ever have therapy sessions before medication and did they seem to help at all before you added meds?
Over the past 3.5 years we have tried CBT, OT therapies, movement therapies, mindfulness, diet changes (cutting out gluten, dairy etc). Nothing helped. With regard to the different therapies; our daughter was unable to calm down enough to listen and engage in the therapy process. Our plan is to get her calm enough (either with nutritional supplements or medication) so we can revisit these therapies.
5. Which med does your child take, and at what dosage?
She has been prescribed Rubifen 5mg / day as a starting test dose. Rubifen is the generic form of Ritalin. We are in NZ and our summer holidays are starting in a week. We are thinking of trialling the medication over the summer break but want to see what gains can be made with other nutritional supplements first.
I wish you all the best for your son and know your struggle and concern well. Please keep me posted on your journey…
6. Do you notice a negative difference in your child with meds vs without? N/A
7. Are you glad you decided to introduce medication as a treatment option? Do you have any regrets?
I know I will regret it if I don’t do absolutely everything possible to help my daughter.
Any information you care to provide in addition to the answers to these questions would be most helpful. Again, thank you in advance for your time, and for your help! We just want what’s best for our son