Medication for a 6-year-old boy

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    • #40250
      Penny Williams
      Keymaster

      This discussion was originally started by user geeg76 in ADDitude’s now-retired community. The ADDitude editors have included it here to encourage more discussion.

       

      My Son has been Diagnosed at 3 years old and has been in a special education program from pre school. Last year he had a great year in Kindergarten in a 8 1-2 self contained class so in first grade they decided to move him up to the 12 1-2 class and removed his PT. He was doing good up until mid October.

      He was never on any medication. But recently he has regressed and is more hyper in class, very defiant and disruptive, is not able to concentrate and becoming aggressive with the other children. He also follows other kids negative behaviors.

      I am so torn on whether to give him meds, I do not know if I am doing the right thing. I do not want him to be labeled as the bad kid or grow up to be depressed or isolated.

      Please help… What meds are effective? What are the meds with the least side effects?

    • #41039
      Devon Frye
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user adhdmomma in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      Each person’s experience with ADHD medications is different, so what is most effective and has the least side effects depends on your son’s neurochemistry, metabolism, and genetics. That means you just have to try it to see.

      We made the decision to try ADHD medication when my son was six because he couldn’t succeed no matter how hard he tried. He was really sad and had no self-esteem. Medication gives him the opportunity to succeed more often, but it’s not a “fix” (because there is no cure for ADHD).

      I found it easiest to consider medication when I could make an informed decision — by knowing the facts about ADHD medication. So, here are some articles to help you do that:
      https://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/1592.html
      https://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/718.html
      https://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/856.html

      Penny
      ADDconnect Moderator, Author on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen boy with ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #41055
      Devon Frye
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user Traquy in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      Both me and my husband were very much against medication for our girl with ADHD, however by 3rd grade it was clear that she was not being successful with the interventions we were using. By 3rd grade things start to “get real” so I discussed with her doctor what options there were (he knew we were not interested in medication and was waiting for us to ask). He immediately said he would not give her stimulants which was a relief since that was my biggest concern. He suggested Intuniv, a non-stimulant time release medication. I have to say it has been a total game changer and I am SO happy we finally opened our minds. My daughter is now having a much happier and more successful 4th grade year. I have a friend who was in the same boat and eventually tried Straterra (another non-stimulant) and is having great success. I have not noticed any side effects aside from some initial sleepiness that was over in about 3 days. We started it over spring break last year so it would be over the sleepiness before school started again.

      I think often pediatricians just default to trying stimulants first when it may not be necessary or even the best option. I would try a non-stimulant first and see if it works. I wish I had started her in 1st grade, it would have saved us 2 years of struggle and hating school and would have saved her poor teachers a world of hurt.

      I just re-read your post and we also had her in a self-contained classroom starting at the end of 1st grade, 2nd grade was only 2 hours a day in mainstream class, then 3rd grade was as much mainstream as she could only going to the Learning Center class if she had behavior issues in mainstream. We started the meds spring break of 3rd grade and by the end of school last year she was in mainstream almost all day every day. This year her Learning Center teacher said to just start her in mainstream 100% with the expectation already there. She has done excellent and we are thinking she will have the Learning Center removed from her IEP at the end of this year.

      My feeling is that ADHD is like any other medical condition and this is the concept that changed my husbands mind about meds. He was diagnosed with diabetes and he suddenly realized that hey, he needs medication WHILE he is changing his lifestyle, eating, behavior, etc…why is it different with our daughter? She was unhappy, suffering, struggling, and if there is a way to help her why not do it? Now I look back and I feel like it was really unfair of us to completely eliminate an option that could help her SO much.

    • #41070
      Devon Frye
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user Traquy in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      Just to follow up, I don’t want you to think the medication turned her into a perfect angel and model student. She still struggles with focusing on her school work and can be disruptive in class on occasion, however it has gone from a 7 or 8 on a scale of 1-10 to a 4-5 which is a huge improvement. It also has slowed her down enough to start seeing how her behavior affects others, and for her to even be upset when other kids are disruptive and cause her to miss out on things (teacher reading out loud a book she likes, petting the class rats, extra art time etc.) Karma kid, it’s a bitch 🙂 At the rate she was before she was having a hard time even absorbing the behavior modifications the school and I were trying to implement, now she understands and is learning her boundaries better.

    • #41076
      Devon Frye
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user geeg76 in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      Thank you for your telling me about your experience.

      We did decide to try medication this weekend, he is on 5mg of generic Ritalin. It’s only supposed to last 4-5 hours. The first day he did seem calmer, but didn’t last very long. Today is the 3rd day and he seems out of sorts, still very hyper and overly emotional.

      I am going to see his pediatrician tomorrow and talk to her about the non-stimulants, that might be better for him.

      I just don’t understand what made him regress in mid-October, even the teachers keep saying that this is not like him. He was much more manageable before.

      Something’s got to give. I’m just at a loss for words 🙁

    • #41109
      Devon Frye
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user adhdmomma in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      @geeg76,

      It could be that your son just can’t tolerate the short-acting version of stimulant medications. They get the medication all at once and then crash. My son did terrible on short-acting pills, but does great on time-release, long-acting pills. He takes Concerta, but Quillivant, Vyvanse, Adderall, Evekeo, etc. are all long-acting medications. The time release in the Concerta, Quillivant, and Vyvanse are the smoothest from what I hear.

      Penny
      ADDconnect Moderator, Author on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen boy with ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #41114
      Devon Frye
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user geeg76 in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      Thank you, we are going to see the doctor on Wednesday, I am going to discuss the long-release med.

      The short-release is definitely not working for him.

      How long does it take for the medication to start working? How was your son’s eating/sleeping habits when starting the medication?

      Thank you for your help!
      geeg76

    • #41116
      Devon Frye
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user adhdmomma in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      You should see results right away. However, they aren’t always positive right away. You’ll know if the dosage or medication needs to be changed in a week or two. Make sure the doctor is starting on the lowest dose, and then increasing only if needed.

      My son has always had trouble falling asleep. He did eat a lot less and lose a few pounds the first year or two, but there are ways to address that. Now, at 14, he cannot stop eating. 😉

      Penny
      ADDconnect Moderator, Author on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen boy with ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #41122
      Devon Frye
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user geeg76 in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      So, we started my son this past Tuesday on 5mg of Focalin XR and he went back to school on Friday, teacher said he is still having a hard time regulating himself. I do notice some anger outbursts, but they are very short and he seems more tired but overall it is much better then the short release Ritalin he was on.

      We also set up to meet with a behavioral therapist, hoping it will help to decrease the aggression he’s having in school.

      This week coming up is a full week of school, so I’m sure we will see if the dose is good enough.

      Thank you for your support,
      Gina

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