My Forum Comments
Thanks so much for the quick reply!
Sounds like your son is in the same weight bracket but higher meds. Doesn’t mean it’s right for DD but maybe there is some wiggle room with Strattera.
We did have the gene testing done a couple of years ago. I don’t know if it was Genesight specifically but it put meds into red, yellow, green, and blue categories. A couple of meds that DD has struggled with were in the green category, as well as Prozac. So I don’t know if it is super accurate for DD. There were several SNRIs that were green/blue that I am waiting until DD is old enough to try :).September 3, 2018 at 6:25 pm in reply to: My 7 year old son with ADHD is violent and aggressive to me. I am desperate. #98075
When my DS acts this way, it is always (ALWAYS) due to high uncontrolled anxiety. Getting the anxiety under control by temporarily dropping some expectations temporarily, giving her more control of her life, and increasing sleep, exercise, protein, etc, usually gets those symptoms under control. You probably want to take a look at the meds. Stimulants can cause anxiety also.
You can ask your child’s doctor, of course, but swapping the long acting methylphenidate for the short acting should not cause any issues as long as the dose is right. Ritalin is methylphenidate, so it’s the same medication just short acting vs long acting. The one problem is it may cause more of a “crash and burn” effect vs a long acting that levels things out a bit.
I would still give the guanfacine on the regular schedule.
My DD has high anxiety esp when taking stimulants. The only one that doesn’t cause terrible anxiety is short acting Ritalin at a VERY low dose (half the lowest dose!). We tried an SSRI but it made the ADHD worse and didn’t help the anxiety much. After a LONG journey, she is currently taking THREE ADHD meds: Strattera, guanfacine, and Ritalin, AND two supplements (PS-100 and l-theanine). This combo is the best we have tried so far. The Ritalin helps focus and impulsivity, the guanfacine helps hyperactivity and impulsivity, and the Strattera helps anxiety and impulsivity; the two supplements also seem to help overall moodiness and emotional lability. She can actually handle a “punishment” (actual punishments are rare but I’m talking about even a conversation about behavior) without excuses and lying (“It wasn’t me”, “I didn’t do it”, etc), lashing out, or extreme meltdowns, so this is super good.April 2, 2018 at 1:21 pm in reply to: I think my child has ADHD, but his Dr and teachers think otherwise. #80560
My opinion is a teacher is definitely not qualified to diagnose ADHD, and a family doctor or regular pediatrician really isn’t either. They should be willing to make a referral, though. If they aren’t, find a new doctor. They may be right, but if they don’t listen to YOU the parent, then they aren’t worth keeping.
The best doctor to be referred to is probably a neuropsychologist.
Token economies always backfire with DD (unless the odd occasion when SHE comes up with the plan and has a specific goal to work toward). They drive her anxiety higher. For her it is easier to know for sure she won’t be getting whatever it is than it is to sit and worry about it all day, so she self-sabotages.
We have tried counseling for DD on three separate occasions with little to no success. The first time she was 6 and just too young to really let the CBT stuff sink in. The next time was a “structured discipline” approach that just wreaked havoc. The last time was supposed to be CBT and self awareness/self soothing techniques, and halfway through they wanted to change to a structured discipline technique (PCIT, which is for kids 6 and under and she was 8.5), and I just said no and discontinued therapy. If they can’t support me and what I have learned about DD then I am done at this point.
This has been gaining traction in forums for a year or two. It seems to be more accepted in the U.K. as a “girl” manifestation of autism. My daughter has a “classic boy” version of ADHD, but does seem to fit with PDA. But until it is accepted as a real “thing”, there isn’t much you can do about it. In the US they tend to label it as ODD.
I agree with the above poster who mentioned dopamine levels. FWIW my DD doesn’t respond well to SSRI’s (even though anxiety levels seem to be at the root), but has had a lot of success with Strattera which is an NRI, and norepinephrine is the precursor of dopamine. I am also finding a couple of supplements that supposedly help with dopamine levels are helping DD to be less combative.
I completely agree with the poster who said anxiety. For some kids, anxiety comes out as defiance and opposition. Mine is one of those. And while I agree that kids need discipline, you cannot punish away a chemical imbalance or mental condition like anxiety and ADHD. It does not work.
Ross Greene, author of “The Explosive Child”, believes that “if he could do better, he would do better.” This is a theme that recurs in all the ADHD literature; Dr. Ned Hallowell says something similar, as does Dr. Russ Barklay. Kids WANT to be successful. They want to be good. Sometimes they don’t know how. Instead of punishing them for what they don’t know and can’t do, it is usually more constructive to try to teach them skills to help them learn how to be successful. It can also help to flip our viewpoint.
Example: My daughter will argue anything. There is a drawer in the bathroom she sometimes leans her weight on, and she broke the drawer in our old house so I am concerned she will break this one. If I remind her not to put her weight on it, she will either stop or argue that she isn’t (in this case I know her anxiety is acting up). If I argue back with her, she will keep arguing that she isn’t doing it, because in her mind she can’t handle knowing she is screwing up again. Even if I tell her she isn’t in trouble and I just want to remind her, she can’t always handle it. Lately we have flipped the script. I tell her that she doesn’t think she is doing it, but she knows I think she is because I told her to stop. I suggested (not in the moment; later) that she ask questions when that happens. “I’m not…am I?” Instant defuser. She is no longer arguing but asking. She is no longer on the defensive and I am no longer annoyed that she is arguing. If she forgets to ask then I start asking questions: “I wonder what will happen if your body leans too much on that drawer? What do you think?” Now she is in charge of the answer, and I worded it in a way where I didn’t highlight her mistake and gave her a chance to correct it without even ever being “in trouble.” It’s a win win.