NEW ADHD DX in 6yo boy -Focalin

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    • #91565

      My son has always been my little “maniac” & I really don’t know why I didn’t suspect ADHD sooner. I just thought he was rambunctious & it was part of his personality. The first day of kindergarten was last Wed & within AN HOUR of dropping him off at school the nurse called me to ask what medication he takes & if he took it today. He isn’t on any meds. DOH! I took him to his pediatrician the next day & it didn’t take long for her to tell me she thinks that he has severe (probably wrong wording,sorry) ADHD. His labs are done & now just waiting for his teacher to fill out her evaluation form. The Dr plans to start him on Focalin when all red tape is done. Can anyone tell me how their kids did on Focalin? I don’t want him to be a zombie, but he HAS to chill out to succeed at school & life in general. Thanks for your time & help!

    • #91567

      Hi Junebug

      I saw your post and I absolutely had to reply to you my son is 12 and he has been on the generic of Focalin since he was 8. His medicine name is dimethylphenidate. We were having similar issues at school prior to the start of his medicine and I have to say in my son’s case the medicine has made a tremendous amount of difference in his ability to focus in school. Now the medicine is pretty much out
      much out of his system come early evening however our physician also informed us about a quick release to get us through homework time if needed. Just FYI. Within 2 weeks, we started to receive nunumerous comments for the better. The medicine has a lot of side effects listed but don’t let that stop you from trying. Personally my son has done very well with it and chances are your son will too. My son takes Melatonin to help with sleep. God Bless. I completely understand what you are going through.

    • #91568

      Sorry for typo..ooops

    • #91575

      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.

    • #91586

      Thanks so much for all your input!! My insurance sucks, but his pediatrician gave me a list of places for therapy & also have some recommendations from friends. It really helps hearing from ppl who can understand. I plan to try meds,therapy, work with him at home & hope for improvement. Thank you both again!! đŸ™‚

    • #91664
      Penny Williams

      Here are some user reviews of Focalin:

      Focalin XR

      Also, learn all you can about ADHD medication in general, so you can determine the right medication and dosage for your son:

      A Patient’s Primer on the Stimulant Medications Used to Treat ADHD

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

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