My 10yr Old refusing meds

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    • #129798
      Tami Rich
      Participant

      Hi there, has anyone got advice for kids who suddenly decide they don’t want /need their medication? My son has been on Vyvanse for just over a year – he has made such wonderful progress since being on it. A year ago he had no friends, was miserable and anxious. The medication [and of course other therapies] are really working – but he has been pretending to swallow the tablet, spitting it out etc.. I don’t want to trick or force – currently, i simply check his mouth, which is unpleasant for everyone. Any advice out there? Thanks in advance!

    • #129999
      jlynn37
      Participant

      I’m sorry. This is one of my biggest fears is that my son will decide one day to stop taking them. Have you guys talked about why he takes them and what they do for him? Does he understand the difference between last year and this year? Has he said why he doesn’t want to take them? If you do therapy, I would address with his therapist to see if they can help out with the reasons why he doesn’t want to take them and why they are important for him to do so. I’ll be thinking of you, this is a tough one.

      • #130000
        Tami Rich
        Participant

        Dear fellow mum, I want to tell you this is the first time I have joined and posted on a support group. The first 2 words you wrote to me were “I’m Sorry”. Thank you so much. You signed off with – you will be thinking of me. Thank you again. I suppose we all understand we face the same challenges, and on the front line, it feels lonely. Your empathy is greatly appreciated. Your idea of chatting about differences between last year and this year is a great idea, I will try it. His therapist and myself are working hard to explain his ADHD brain. I wish you a lovely weekend, and thanks again for your lovely and useful reply.

      • #131523
        jlynn37
        Participant

        You are so welcome! It is so hard to navigate all of this and we all need to be there to support one another as much as possible! I hope you have found some resolution to the issue.

    • #131210
      Accendo
      Participant

      My advice? I would turn towards your first instinct which for me says something about his body that believes it’s poison. Not saying medication isn’t the answer, but could mean it’s time to find a different one – or a more “invested” specialist. No doubt expensive no matter which way you go about it unfortunately, as a patient myself (32 years old) I know that personally. We (family) made the mistake of sacrificing cost for medication and I paid deeply for it. Try to involve your son in the decision making process, you already know he’s smart enough. 👍

    • #131213
      morris.jen
      Participant

      Yes. We have had that issue as well. My son has been on medications since he was 8. It is really frustrating. My son has been faking taking his meds off and on for the last two years (that is the time frame I have been trying to solve this problem, so if anyone has any good solutions for you I would love to hear them.)

      I doubt your son’s resistance is for the exact same reasons, but as my son and I have talked about it, his concerns are 1) He doesn’t have any appetite at all, but is hungry all day long. The hunger bothers him, but he can’t make himself eat. 2) He doesn’t feel like “himself” on the medicine. He mentally understands why he needs to be on the medicine, but for a kid who is impulsive and doesn’t naturally value future over present, the long term benefit never is worth the short term side effect.

      We recently switched to the patch, hoping for more compliance. He seems slightly more compliant with them- his grades have gone up and he is able to do his homework- but he says the hunger issue is still there and has noticed more irritability, which I have noticed as well.

      So, no real solutions to the issue, but sending lots of empathy.

    • #131221
      FranB
      Participant

      Seconding the “Talk with him” advice. Ask him why he doesn’t want to take them. Most of the time, people don’t just start refusing to do something without cause.

      Ask him to journal/write down the differences he notices days he takes his meds and days he doesn’t. Getting him to realize cause and effect for taking meds vs not taking them should help him decide if he wants / needs the medication. It might be that he feels the meds aren’t helping any more, as for long term medicating, the “new normal” can make you doubt that the meds are doing anything. It’s only going off them that makes it clear that they’re the reason for the new normal being a good one.

      If he wants a med holiday to see how things are, set up a period of time for it and let him do it. Have him do self observation (and remind him to write down how he feels and what he got done that day in the evening, just so he doesn’t forget.)

      Over all, you want him to feel that he’s an active participant in his medication plan. Allow him to have choice and ownership in the action. Medication is an emotionally complex issue, and it’s best to encourage him to decide his own course of action, and to talk out what he’s feeling. As a parent, I know you only want what’s best for him, but it’s often very difficult for anyone to see outside of their own experiences. Letting him test out medication vs non-medicated in a safe, supportive environment will help him out a lot in the long run, even if it’ll be very anxious for you in the short term.

      Good luck with everything.

      • #131234
        ADHDinPGH
        Participant

        Ha — I didn’t even see your comment about a med holiday, but I had a similar sentiment. I like your idea of journaling the observable differences. Sometimes I need a med break to both reduce tolerance but also to remember what my brain feels like without it and how it can help/change how I act, think, and feel.

    • #131232
      ADHDinPGH
      Participant

      First, your son is very lucky that you care and are taking the time to try and find the best ways to help him as best as you can. Kudos to you, mom!

      I agree with everyone who has said to talk to your son. Also, sometimes we just need a medication break. For me, after 5-6 months on even the most effective adhd medication, I tend to need a month or two off. I start to not quite feel like me. That was especially true when I started meds and was in the throes of puberty, so keep that in mind in coming years!

      Maybe he needs a different med or maybe he needs a break for a month or two. If he does take a break, make sure he understands that he then needs to support his brain in other ways like playing outside, doing creative things, limited sugar/artificial anything, taking vitamins, etc.

      Our symptoms ebb and flow throughout our lives so you will do your son a great service in helping him learn many different ways of managing them when they are being problematic (they aren’t always a negative!) — whether that’s time is now or when he is older and perhaps more equipped to self-manage. Good luck to you and him in finding the best solution for today 🙂

    • #131241
      Accendo
      Participant

      Haha don’t expect him to react kindly to the idea of “journaling” and then wonder if it’s his behavior. Just a personal observation 😂

    • #131430
      Penny Williams
      Keymaster

      Kids often refuse meds because of side effects or not feeling quite right. Listen to his feedback and discuss a possible change with his physician. It could be that it’s not the right med or dosage for him but he’s a kid and he doesn’t know how to communicate it well, so he just refuses.

      Penny
      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #131522
      Accendo
      Participant

      Penny – you couldn’t be further from the truth by inferring the child doesn’t know how to communicate well – and at the same time concur medication is right for him. Clearly the medication is because he can communicate it, and most aren’t emotionally or mentally attuned to either understand it, or receive it.

      • #131795
        Penny Williams
        Keymaster

        It’s not about the child knowing how to communicate, it’s about a child, any child, not necessarily putting together “my tummy hurts so it must be the medicine,” or “My head hurts, I think it’s the medicine.” Kids develop the skills to interpret and verbalize how they’re feeling and make inferences and correlations as they age and mature.

        Penny
        ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

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