Struggling

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    • #84057
      EjJtAa
      Participant

      Hoping to gain some insight and commiserate. Our son ison is 11 and was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD when he was 6. My husband and I are feeling so checked out and clueless as of late. It doesn’t seem to matter what happens, what is said everything is a struggle and an argument. I suspect medication is part of it. He is
      on Vyvanse and Strattera as per our family doctor. We have an appt with a specialist next month so I’m hoping she is willing to change things up in that regard. I have found no benefit to the Strattera at all and he’s been on it for 6mos now. At least half of our interactions with our son are negative and it’s exhausting. It’s impossible to enjoy any kind of family activity because 20min in he’s arguing or having a meltdown. We don’t know where to go from here and are both feeling so defeated. I feel like our son is miserable and I don’t know how to help him.

      • This topic was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by EjJtAa.
    • #84060
      BRLK
      Participant

      Meds can definitely be a part in him being argumentative and having meltdowns. Too high/ow a dose or the wrong med/medcombo can exacerbate behavior instead of mitigate it. My son takes Straterra with Vyvanse and as I understand it Straterra is used to augment the stimulant to help with impulsivity and ocd. In our case iwe saw an improvement when combining the two where Straterra alone did nothing and Vyvanse alone helped with attention but ramped up ocd so the two together were the answer for us. You don’t say how long he’s been taking the Vyvanse but at 11/12 (my son is 12) their bodies start changing, puberty hormones start impacting their behavior, etc so adjustments to meds wouldn’t be uncommon at this age. Good that you’re seeing a specialist – family doctors and regular pediatricians in my experience don’t have the knowledge to manage adhd. Finding the right medication can be a long road so hang in there!

    • #84085
      DdylanCATO
      Participant

      You should let him grow before giving him meds try mabye after he is 9 or 10 i have tookin meds since i was 11 but my om was terrified to make me take them so i only took ritalin once until i was 13 my teachers kept complaining i was forgetfull and i day dreamed and lost assignments i tried ritalin but after a few weeks it stopped working and i was switched meds every since im not only innatentive i started to get in trouble when i didn’t take my medicine (adderall 10mg twice a day) but when i did i hated it and now im not only addd but adhd and i blame ritalin i only took 5mg twice a day but it was to strong so i took 2.5 two times a day it didn’t work and when i finaly switched meds it was to late now i take vyvanse 30 mg bc i didn’t want to go up to 40mg try counciling otr try signing him up for sports i wish my doctors would have instead of shoving drugs down my throat just because i fadmited “i coudn’t focus”

    • #84086
      DdylanCATO
      Participant

      Now i have to have them or i am terified i will blurt out somthing i will regret or say somthing wrong to the wrong person or i will loose somthing or my grades will drop i blame ritalin (adderall and vyvanse to) but ritalin changed me the most now if i skip taking them thats all i can think about “i wish i had my medicine so i could focus” or ” i bet if i took my meds i wouldn’t have said that

    • #84108
      jenifufu
      Participant

      I have a 16 year old son who was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 3. We didn’t elect to medicate him until he was 6.5 years old though. After going through a vast number of medications over a 2 year period we were fortunate enough to find a Pediatric Psychologist who diagnosed him with Severe ADHD and Severe Anxiety at the age of 8. We used to have to switch medications after one month as it would start to wear off and have no effect. Once he started taking Risperidone and Sertraline, along with his Concerta, we finally started to see real improvement in his behaviour. Also, once he hit puberty around the age of 12 his behaviour improved once again. He has since been diagnosed with Asperger’s and/or Pervasive Development Disorder. We do see alot of ODD behaviours in him too. We still experience meltdowns with him from time to time but our school Principal reminded me that 6-7 years ago he wouldn’t let go of the car door to be taken into school. Now our issues revolve around late assignments, losing homework and paper, forgetfulness, etc. All I can say to you, as one Mom to another, is hang in there. Your child is ALWAYS worth whatever effort it takes to help them learn to cope in society. Take deep breaths on the hard days and revel in the good days – believe it they are there!!! One Mom once told me that you take it day by day, or hour by hour, or minute by minute if you have to. I always tell myself that there must be something else I can try, or do, that will help my child. I don’t want to look back on his childhood and say that I should have/could have done more. Know also that you are NOT alone!!!! There are alot of great resources on the ADDitude website. Have faith!!!!

    • #84123
      Lilmissy
      Participant

      Hi i am a 35 year old single mum of 2 boys age 6 and 8 my 8year old has adhd its took 4years to get him looked at the doctors put him on ritalin 20mg although hes doing better in school its the complete oposit at home im now his punch bag and he is distroying things in my home he doesnt get to sleep until early hours in the morning i have no support at all i have tried to get his meds changed as his temper violance and behavoir seem worse now than befour but no one seems to listen i dont know what to do any more i sit and cry many nights as i fell im at breaking point i have lost alot of weight with the mental strain if it all and wonder weather i have failed my son and as a mom i live on my nerves as 7pm he becomes a ping pong ball. It has coused me problems with my naigbours he doesnt have any respect for me at all and ignorse me all the time i feel lihke im talking to the wall. Any advice plz im at breaking point

      • #84144
        jetbust
        Participant

        Limissy. My son use to be similar as BRLK described. His 9 and we just started him on
        5mg Ritalin 3 Times a day. We break a 10mg pill in half.

        I’m assuming you live in a small town if the specialist only comes 3-6mnths. Can you drive to to a city and try to see another doctor?
        Or
        I recently started my 9yr old son on
        300mg Magnesium (veg) for a month and
        Now he takes 500mg. (Iherb.com) I open the capsule and stir it in half a glass of water right before he goes to bed. I also take 1000mg before bed. Best nights sleep and I wake up great! Great like I was before having kids. I’m 6’ tall though. Adults should probably Start with 500mg.

        He also listens to meditation music. There is
        This great app ‘Calm’ or YouTube also has lots.
        Doctors say you should only take Melatonin for 2-3weeks or if taken for too long it will
        Mess with your natural sleep patterns.
        You could also try an essential oil ‘Calming’
        From Rocky Mountain Oils. rmo.com
        In a diffuser/humidifier in his bedroom. Start
        It 30mins before bed. He will fall right to sleep. Amazon has white round 500ml $30 diffusers/humidifier. They last 8-10hrs on the low setting.

    • #84124
      BRLK
      Participant

      Lilmissy try and find a new doctor. One that specializes in ADHD. It sounds like his meds are not right for him. Although ADHD kids often will fall apart at home because it’s a place they feel safe and they’ve had to work so hard to keep it together at school all day, it sound like in your case when he’s coming off his meds he’s “rebounding”. It’s very common when a dose is too high or the med is not the right one for kids to have huge behavior swings when it wears off. There are lots of options so keep pushing until you find someone who will work with you to get it right and hang in there!

    • #84127
      Lilmissy
      Participant

      Thank u for your advice i do really appreciate it the specalist that cody sees only comes through to my town every 3 to 6 mnts i spoke to him at our last appointment he didnt seem to be concerned or botherd to be honist i feel like im fighting a looseing battle i have been to the gp sevral times in few weeks and been in tears i just get the same awnser they cart change it only the specalist can but you can never get hold of him nor does he return calls emails ect i feel like they dont care or carnt be botherd im just given the meds n sent on my way im so scared that im going to break ive been so close a few times now but dont know how much longer i can go before i do its a sickning feeling

    • #84132
      ParentADHDSon
      Participant

      Do you think your son would do well if he had alot more structure? And does he like to be very detailed?

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by ParentADHDSon.
    • #84211
      Penny Williams
      Keymaster

      It could be a medication issue. Strattera can cause moodiness when it’s not a good fit for someone.

      Parenting approach can play a key role in a child’s moods and behavior too. Traditional, authoritarian parenting doesn’t work for kids with ADHD. A compassionate, collaborative approach meeting your child where they are is much, much more successful. This is often referred to as positive parenting.

      The Single Most Helpful Strategy in Raising Your Child

      Raising a Child Who Wants to Behave

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

    • #84406
      jenifufu
      Participant

      Dear Lil missy: When my son was younger we would give him Melatonin at night along with his nighttime meds. We’d give it to him at 8pm and he was sound asleep by 9pm. He also suffered from night terrors until he was 4 yrs old so I do understand how tired and worn out you are. You must feel like the life has been sucked out of you – that’s the phrase I use to explain life with my son. I would also get another opinion if you don’t feel comfortable where you’re at with your current doctor. We live in a small town and drive 1.5 hours to get to our specialist. We have seen her every 2-3 months since he was 9 years old. We keep a close eye on his height, weight and see her this often to make sure his dose is right. We usually change it about once per year now – since he hit puberty.

      Perhaps you could keep a diary just for a week or so to try to see if there is any link to certain situations that might be leading to meltdowns. We took our son to an Occupational Therapist every week for about 2 years. We found that he requires a LOT of exercise and likes to be squeezed or squished. This seems to relieve some of his pent up stimulation. We also took him to massage therapy which seemed to help him as well. Try to keep him physically active as possible. Try soccer, baseball, lacrosse, or even Track & Field. Our son plays hockey through the winter and then Lacrosse in the Spring & Summer.

      When he was smaller we couldn’t go out to restaurants to eat because after 5 minutes he’d be running around like a chicken with his head cut off. Our nick name for him is the “Energizer Bunny” – he keeps going and going and going. We changed our lifestyle to accommodate his challenges and that helped to cause less meltdowns. I had to learn to let go of some of the disciplines I was using and focus on what was really important. For eg: did I need him to sit at the table to eat dinner, or could he stand so long as he ate his food.

      We also have a 10 year old son as well and he doesn’t have any of the issues that my older boy does. However, the behaviour issues impact all our lives, including everyone else who is ever around my ADHD child. We parents have to constantly think and be vigilant about everyone else, not just our own child/ren. We were able to find a few good sets of friends in our new town that had similar life philosophies and who could understand the chaos of our lives. Those who don’t understand don’t really get any time from us – it makes life simpler.

      A friend recommended this book: 1-2-3 Magic – this is where I started with my education about ADHD, ODD, behaviour issues, etc. The method they describe works – it still works on my 16 year old son. The next book I read is called “Your Spirited Child” – I found this to be very helpful as well. I have read as much information as I can on these health issues to see what strategies might work at least some of the time. The latest I am reading is called “Smart but Scattered”. It is also very helpful.

      You might also see if you can access an ADHD or Autism group in or near your area. We used to drive to one about 45mins away once per week as they offered “Social Groups” for kids like ours. My son was accepted and understood there. It was the first place I could leave him behind without watching over him like a hawk. What freedom!!! We were able to access Respite funds from this group to help pay for the costs of Occupational Therapy, massage therapy, etc.

      You could also look into the website for “ADDitude” – I recently saw information about trying to find a Life Coach for yourself and your child – they might be able to really help you.

      Hang in there – you are a good mom and your child is a good child too. He just needs some tweeking to get him sorted out. I’ve been where you are and I remember how hard/challenging it was. Don’t give up – your kids are totally worth it!!!!

    • #84408
      jenifufu
      Participant

      Dear EjJtAa,

      I would definitely try to see the specialist more frequently. We could usually tell within one month if his meds weren’t working. For the first two years we would go once a month, or every 6 weeks to really stay on top of his behaviours. If he doesn’t have a specialized plan at school yet you should enquire with the Resource Teacher about this.

      Please see my recent reply to Lil missy regarding other therapies we have used with success, along with book suggestions that might help reduce the negative interactions.

      It wasn’t until my son was about 12 years old that I realized that he will still have what I call “blips” – just like everyone else they will have bad days – theirs are just soooooo much more noticeable. We used to have several meltdowns per day, then it went down to one or so per day, then it went down to a few per week, then one or two per week. His behaviour changed noticeably when he hit puberty at age 12 and we noticed a real difference in his ability to cope with things.

      For some reason these kids have a very difficult time transitioning from one thing to another. We used to give him a 10 minute countdown. Often the 10 minutes was more like 20 minutes. I would keep reminding him at 8 mins, 6 mins, 5 mins, and then would advise 3, 2, and 1 minutes. This little trick alleviated alot of meltdowns. Sometimes, if he was having fun and good behaviour, I might give him an extra few minutes.

      We also used a reward system at home and school to try to use positive reinforcement for his behaviour.

      It definitely is not an easy road, but it is most assuredly worth it. Lots of times my 16 year old has asked me if I wished he wasn’t around, or wished he didn’t have ADHD, etc. My reply to him always is: “I love you and I’m grateful for you. I wish that I could make life easier for you; help more people understand you. If I take away your ADHD then I take away all the amazing things it gives you, ie: creativity, witty, athletic, charming, kind, exciting, exuberant, enthusiastic, funny, affectionate. Without your ADHD you would be a completely different person, and I love the person you are deep inside!!!”

      Hang in there – your kids are worth it!!!!

    • #84409
      jenifufu
      Participant

      For all of us that are struggling and dealing with ADHD, ODD, Autism, etc I just remembered something I was asked to do when my son was first diagnosed.

      A family counsellor that my husband and I were seeing asked us to make a list of 10 great qualities that our son had. I first I thought I would NEVER come up with nearly that amount. After several minutes we both came up with lists with MORE than 10 wonderful things about our challenged child – alot of them were different.

      We placed these lists on our fridge. Whenever we were having a rough day I would look at those lists and remind myself that this wonderful child was in there – we just have to use different strategies and tactics to bring them out.

      Reach out for as much help as you can get: read books, see counsellors both at school and outside, get in touch with your Resource teacher, see if you can find an ADHD group or Autism group near your area, look for a Professional Life Coach, keep talking with other parents like us!!!!

    • #84426
      Lilmissy
      Participant

      Thank you so much for your advice sorry it has took me so long to reply and say thank you i dont get much time to come on i will look into your sagestions to see what help theropy ect and go for a second opinion as i dont think im being listen to by my sons specialist when my son was daignosed with adhd i was left 3wks+ over xmas holiday with no meds by the time he got them i was a wreck i felt so drained and spent my days/nights crying locking my self away from the outside world so thank you all for your advice i love my boys so much i want the best for him it just seems like my cry for help goes nowere.x

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