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Son just diagnosed with ADD
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Son just diagnosed with ADD

So I have known for a long time my was add but since other wasn't affecting his grades the doctor dint want to put him on meds. Well other started affecting his grades this year and they put him on a slow release Ridalin. He was on it for two weeks and was doing great but was having stomach problems because of it (he already takes acid reflux meds) so the doc didn't want tobleave hint on it. So he had home stop taking it until our next appointment which is the 26 of this month. Well I got his progress report today and he is failing everything. He went from being a straight A student to this. I have tell him a dozen times to do his homework and I am going to lose my mind. Did I make a mistake not putting him meds sooner? I just feel like we wouldn't be in this position now if we jade done something sooner. Any advice is appreciated and if you can tell me how you get your kids to stay on task that would be great. We have tried everything from rewards to grounding bury nothing works. Sorry this is so long.
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Avatar_f_tn
We're his grades straight A's on or before the medicine?? If they help enough with school that's he's getting straight A's and fails without the medicine it's probably a good choice to take some medication. I take medication for ADD and it helps with school soo much idk what I would do without it but I had to try a couple of different types of pills before I found one that worked with my body and didn't cause side effects. Maybe trying something other than riddelin and work untill you find one he's happy on. There's tons of choice so do some research and ask your doctor what he recommends
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Avatar_f_tn
He was straight A on the meds. I am hoping the doctor can find something for him next Monday when we go back. Someone told me about a patch but I was wondering if anyone knows how effective they are. With his acid reflux I am worried about him taking the pills.
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Avatar_m_tn
   Boy, got a ton of things to say - but lets deal with the meds first.
If he had acid reflux before going on the meds, its always possible that what ever had previously caused the acid reflux is the problem and not the new meds.  Did he take the meds with a meal?
   The patch does work.  There is also a new oral medication that I think might  eliminate the acid problems.  It will be on the market in January.  You can read about it here - http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/771878?src=nl_topic
   There is also Methylin which "has no dye, is very small, and comes in grape chewable and liquid."   And "Metadate CD,  Ritalin LA, and Focalin XR  capsules can be pulled apart and sprinkled on food."   Which would also be easier on the stomach.  
   Point being that there are a lot of ways to go.  Hopefully, your doc is aware of them.  What kind of a doctor are you seeing?
    How old is your son?
    And, by the way, telling a child with ADD to stay on task or trying to use punishment or rewards simply doesn't work (as you have found out) because they can't control it.
    I highly suggest that you buy  "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley.  It will give you lots of strategies to help him at home and at school.  You also need to educate your self on what or how ADD can affect a child.  The book will help.  This website is a good start - http://www.help4adhd.org/en/about/what/WWK8
   and I have others.
   Hope this isn't too much info.  There is a lot that you need to know. Please post if you have any questions about this.  Best wishes.
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Avatar_f_tn
This definitely helps. Thank you. I will get that book today. My son is 10 and he is seeing a psychiatrist for his ADD. The acid reflux has been going on since he was a baby. The doctors thought he had out grown it but it came back about two years ago and after a lot of trial and error we found a med that works for him. He was eating with the Ridalin when he was taking it. I am just worried after going through so many acid reflux meds that this medicine is going to effect it and we are going to back to square one with the acid reflux. He was so miserable when he acid acted up.
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Avatar_m_tn
     I dealt with acid reflux for several years.  Turned out it was anxiety related.  Took me awhile to get off prilosec.  But basically I learned how to deal with the anxiety (also quite my job as principal and went back to the classroom).  Anyway, I wonder if all of this attention to ADD and medication has kind of kicked off some anxiety feelings in him.  Does he have anxiety problems?  
    I also found out that when the reflux kicked in that something like maalox was very helpful.
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Avatar_f_tn
I don't think it is anxiety. He is one of the most mellow kids I have ever met. Nothing seems to bother him even when he gets in trouble he just apologies and shrugs it off. My husband is just like that to so he probably gets it from him.
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Avatar_m_tn
   An sometimes the calm ones keep it all bottled up inside.  reason I mention it is that 25 to 30 percent of kids with ADHD have anxiety as a coexisting disorder .  typically the ADHD is the root cause of the anxiety.
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Avatar_f_tn
You may want to check out Dr. Lawrence Weathers' book and contact him through his website.  It is not cheap but it is 100% worth every penny.  It's been about 3 months since we went through the CAER treatment taking a trip from where we live in Honolulu to where Dr. Weathers is in Spokane.  The results for my 9 year old 4th grade son have been incredible.  I just posted about it in the amazon reviews for his book http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/cr/0965951324/ref=aw_d_cr_books?qid=1354075806&sr=8-2
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Avatar_m_tn
      Just read your review.  Nice job!!!  I can really understand why you feel so elated.  I will check out Dr. Weathers book.   Its just sad that you had to go to Spokane to find out what you had to do.  But, on the other hand, most psychs won't spend the time.  And the Doctor sounds like he has the system down.  And that's certainly better than getting it for 30 min every month in some session. So in some ways or many ways, he might be cheaper then taking 6 to 8 months to hopefully get the same answers.  And I have seen so many posts where therapists just work with the child - crazy.
   I suggest that you get a 504 for your son so that next years teacher will know what to do.  Unfortunately, not all teachers will be like this one.   You will probably have to train each and every teacher along the way (and some won't be trainable).  While I am sure that now you know how important it is for you to become an expert on ADHD - make sure that you also share this info with your son so that he also knows what is going on.
   And finally, do keep in mind that school will get harder - a lot harder.  He may be able to compensate with all of your help - or not.  So don't be afraid to use all the resources available to help him if he needs it.
   Please keep us posted on how he is doing and any way I can help with more resources - please just ask.  Best wishes.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for the support and advice on the schooling.  School is so much harder now than when I was growing up.  I am going to work with his teachers and use whatever resources are available to help him.  I will definitely be keeping on top of this and adding to my knowledge of ADHD.  

Dr. Weathers does have this down and has continued to provide free email consultation.  Recently, I saw an infomercial for this new product called iFocus Jungle Rangers which is a video game for kids to help them improve their concentration.  I was skeptical but after consulting with Dr. Weathers, he thought that the working memory training provided by the game could help now that we've addressed the anxiety issues.  It's only been a couple of weeks but my son loves playing the game and has advanced through about one-third of the levels.  Unfortunately, it's hard to get the consistent 30 minutes a day of playing time that is recommended because of our busy schedules.  I also am not sure how I'm going to tell whether he's benefiting from the game.  My thinking, though, is that he's going to play video games anyway so he might as well play one that has the potential to help him.  I'm hoping that this additional outside of the box approach will work as well.
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Avatar_m_tn
   I agree that the game certainly won't hurt and might even help.  I've included some links to studies on working memory training that you might find interesting.
   You also might want to buy the book,  "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley.  She has a full section on ideas for 504 plans that is very helpful.  Actually, she has a lot of good stuff.  I like the book because its very easy to get answers from it due to the way its arranged.
   Anyway, the links:
           http://www.sharpbrains.com/blog/2012/07/18/study-adaptive-working-memory-training-can-reduce-adhd-related-off-task-behavior/   and
          http://www.sharpbrains.com/blog/2012/11/15/study-emerging-brain-computer-interface-can-monitor-and-train-attention-in-unmedicated-adhd-children/
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Avatar_f_tn
So we went back to his psychiatrist on Monday and I have to say I love this man. He put my Monday at ease about the meds. We discussed doing the patch vs. the pill and we talked about our worries with the patch possibly falling off so he put him on Ridalin LA 10 mg. Down side was that there is no generic so we are having to pay a little extra every month but he has been on it for a week and so far so good. His teacher said she can already see a difference and I haven't been having to fight with him to do home work. No stomach pain this time either. We are supposed to go back on Dec. 13 and discuss how the med are working. As far as the 504 he goes to a private school so can't really do anything there. He is a very smart kid and that is why we have hint in a private school. The reason for the bad grades isn't because he doesn't get ire it is because he just doesn't turn in his work and of course with a private school things are a little more strict about turning work. But like I said so far he has been getting everythIng turned in on time. We have talked about homeschooling next year when he starts junior high because we are thinking some of the problem with him not turning in the work is he is bored at school. Well I will keep you updated as we learn more with this medicine.
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Avatar_f_tn
I saw the infomerrcial for focus too and I was wondering if it works. Please keep updated if it does. I would love to know.
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Avatar_f_tn
I would definitely find a good natropath. I feel like I have brain damage from being mishandled by doctors who think the only solution is meds. I was put on Ritalin age 6-18. I am now 26 and am so disabled by depression and fatigue that I can't work. And guess what. The meds pooped out and don't even work for my ADD anymore so now I have ADD, depression, anxiety, and fatigue. I would give anything to have back the hyperactive energy I had when I was a child. The great thing about natropaths is they will look for the cause of the problem, not just try and fix it with meds. Your son could have PCB poisoning. I finally got a toxin test done and it found that I'm in the 95th percentile of PCB toxicity. I also found out that I have food allergies. And some heavy metals. And genetic mutations in my Cytochrome P-450 enzyme system and COMT enzyme systems (I had too much dopamine and not too little! Ritalin was the wrong drug for me!) All of these things could have contributed to my ADHD as a child. But instead the only thing that was tried was behavioral therapy and meds. Make sure he's eating organic. Try fish oil. If I could go back in time I would have wanted my parents to exhaust every other option before meds. My friend who is a counselor has a student whose ADHD was cured when his parents took him off berries. He was being affected by the pesticides in the berries. Now he's fine. No ADHD. No need for meds. I hope you will consider seeing a natropath. There are so many alternatives to try before meds. PM if you want to talk more or visit my site ritalinawareness.com.
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Avatar_m_tn
   I really think that if "Focus" worked someone would have posted about it here sometime over the past 5 years - and no one has.  And looking at the ingredients in Focus, I don't see how it would help with ADD.  Fortunately, I doubt that it would hurt to try it and it should have a minor calming effect, which might help a child with ADHD at night.  But its pretty expensive for what it is.
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Avatar_m_tn
   Good news.  I am glad to hear that you have a doc that takes the time to listen to you!
   School thoughts.  Not turning in homework is a pretty classical ADD and ADHD thing.  It's almost always because the child can't concentrate enough to finish the homework.  And the older they get, the more it happens. I really doubt that it is because he is bored with school.  By the way, he might find it easier to do the homework right after school, while the meds still might be in his system.  
    Ashley does give some good ideas in her book on how to help with that.  By the way, even though he goes to a private school, her ideas on 504 plans are essentially ways that a teacher can help the child to achieve.  Don't be afraid to share those ideas with his teacher.  They are good teaching strategies.
    Home schooling should be a last resort.  What I would do is in the spring time start visiting schools, both public and private and see what is going on.  Look at their test scores, etc.  Talk to parents in your neighborhood about the local schools, etc.
   Oh, and do keep your doc informed as to how the med is working.  He has started your son on the lowest dose (which  is the correct thing to do), sometimes after awhile the body adjusts to it.   Good Luck.
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Avatar_f_tn
Also wanted to share this with you....White Spots on my MRI: Improper medicating during my youth has probably thrown off my brain chemistry even more, leaving me with some of the issues I deal with today. When my dopamine and norepinephrine were incorrectly increased beyond already excessive levels my brain probably started either decreasing dopamine and norepinephrine production or shutting down receptors in order to cope, a coping mechanism that may have manifested in neuronal death. It is with this logic that I assume that the two small bilateral white spots on my frontal cortex found during an MRI (“bilateral frontal deep white matter tiny hyperintense foci on FLAIR sequence” to be precise) are medication related. White matter obviously is neuronal death. Ritalin acts on the part of the brain where this white matter has been found. The neurologists have informed me that the white spots are not representative of an inherent neurodegenerative disease. This means that they must be the result of exposure to something. While I can't prove this, it isn't out of the question that this damage is Ritalin-related.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for posting your experiences. I have been arguing with my husband for years about putting our 9 year old on meds since he is stuggling with ADD (all his life). I fear that although he has potential to be a A student, he always gets Cs, Ds and Fs, meanwhile his sister and older brothers are considered gifted and are in gifted/advance/honor courses and are getting straight As. My husband always opposed meds and I kept begging him to give them a try. After reading your article, no there is no way I will consider meds anymore; I will continue to fight the good fight with research and alternatives. Thank you and good luck to you.. I sincerely hope naturopathy works for you and my son.
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Avatar_m_tn
How is the Ifocus program going? Do you see tremendous results with it? I am eager to purchase it but I don't want to waste money nor go through hassles of getting a refund if it doesnt work.
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Avatar_f_tn
My son had stomach side effects from ritalin and we changed to Adderall (adderrall). We have  few probs since and children's Tums helps when the rare tummy ache happens. I do make him take the pill with food though.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had a very similar problem. failing, fights, hiding homework. we had found no solutions and public schools had 30 children in his class. ( huge problem). no funds, interest or time for extra help within the school I was lost.
may not help and many parent simply cannot do this but..
the only and absolutely best thing I've ever done was pull out both of my children from public school and home school them.
my family is for the most part normal again.
hope this helps someone.
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Avatar_m_tn
  If you read all of CBL's posts, you will see that he has had a lot of toxins identified in his body.  I doubt very much that the white spots he mentioned can be directly correlated to Ritalin.  And granted that the millions of kids who have used ritalin have not had brain scans, but they also have not had his problems.  Anyway, there are reasons not to use stimulant meds (which is why some people go the non-stim med route), but make sure that the reason you choose is scientifically valid.  It is your child that you are doing this for.
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4295582_tn?1358800015
Every child is diagnosed with add it adhd nowadays. It's called being a kid. "oh Johnny doesn't do his school work, that must mean he has problems concentrating, so lets put him on pills" you're kid is just a normal kid who hates school. And this is coming from someone who was "diagnosed" with add. Its all bulls***.
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