Reply To: NEW ADHD DX in 6yo boy -Focalin


My son is 12. He first started on Focalin as well and yes, he also had for lack of a better word, a severe form of ADHD, along with other attendant physical issues. So I know where you’re coming from. I resisted giving him medication early on and insisted they put in IEP in place with significant supports, including a one on one aide to direct him and try to keep him focused. Fortunately my town has good services in place. Not all do. That being said in third grade I did have to put him on Focalin and it did make a remarkable difference with him. However, my son is also a rapid metabolizer and what that means is that he has gone through many medication changes and always going up and up and up in the medications. A word of advice, medication is just PART of what you need to do with your child. At this very early stage in addition to meds what he needs is a behavior therapist so he can learn what is socially acceptable and not and how to compensate for his lack of organization, inability to feel time, inability to note social cues, etc. Medication alone is not the answer and my suggestion to you is that if you have good insurance you bring every single therapy you can locate to bear. I have looked at this process as rebuilding my son from the ground up. His ears and skin were too sensitive, he had no sense of balance and space, he would do reckless and dangerous things without a single thought. I learned later on he was basically blind as a bat because his eyes did not know how to track movement. I got him intensive therapy for all those things and most resolved very, very well. The most important thing you can do for your child is observe him and research, research, research everything you see and address issues as they come up. It is a long process, and you have just begun. As to medication itself, not every child will respond well to every medication. You need a neurologist or a nurse practitioner with deep understanding of ADHD meds WHO IS ACCESSIBLE TO YOU, because you may need to make medication adjustments quickly. Waiting for an appointment does not work. That person need to be able to get back to you by text, e-mail or whatever. And if they are unresponsive, you look for another provide who is. If you want some peace of mind with the meds and not have to guinea pig the poor child until they find the right medication, consider having his DNA tested. There is a test called GeneSight that will tell your doctor exactly what meds will work for your child based on how his body processes them, by looking at his DNA. ALso, hear me clearly, no one at the school can force you into giving your child medication if you don’t want him to have it. They are required to place him in an educational environment that is best suited to his needs. A lot of times that means putting him in a school that gives a half day of teaching and the rest of the day with therapies and the town has to pay for it. So just because someone says where’s his meds, doesn’t mean you are required to go that route. You do what you think is best for your child. I decided to try the medication because my son was unable to interact well with his classmates and he was sad and lonely. He was suffering because he was ostracized. Did the medication help? With schoolwork very much so, with interacting with his peers, not at all. He required nine weeks, 5 days a week of social skills training to get him there. He’s in a much better place now. Anyhow, all the best. I know it can be nerve wracking but one day at a time, one step at a time, you will make it through.