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my10yr old daughter diagnosed with ADD
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my10yr old daughter diagnosed with ADD

Hello, my 10yr old. Was just diagnosed with ADD! The diagnosis was not a shock to me .the school has been recomending an evaluation for years and I was the one putting it off! So now the neuroliogist wants to perscribe meds for her and I'm very uncomfortable with all the potential side. Effect s that could happen! She's behind in all subject s and not sure what to do! I would like some feedback from parents that have been threw the meds. Good and bad!
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Avatar_m_tn
     If I were to generalize what I have seen from the years on this site - I would say that the communication with your doctor is perhaps the single most important factor.   All kids are different.  Those parents that gave the med to their child and then figured that their job was done, seemed to have more problems.  Doctors will start the child off on the lowest dose and wait for the parental response.  Communication is really important.  And if your doc gives you the old " take the meds and I'll see you in two months" routine - find another doctor fast.  In fact, sometimes it takes some trial and error to find the right med as they also do things differently.  So having the courage to experiment is also important.
   There are some interesting comments from both sides of the medication fence in this link - http://www.medhelp.org/posts/ADD---ADHD/How-long-before-seeing-meds-work-for-ADD-ADHD/show/1074551#post_7381430
     Also this site has lots of good posts on the subject - http://www.additudemag.com/topic/adhd-treatment/better-adhd-treatment.html
    And this is also a very helpful site - -  http://www.help4adhd.org/en/treatment/treatmentoverview
     I hope these help!   Please feel free to post if you have any more questions.  Best wishes.
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Avatar_m_tn
Take a look at wikapedias site on ADHD. There are several subtypes and even a new thing called Slugish Cognative Tempo or SCT. Different meds work better on one subtype than another. You need to find out which on they have to start. Low dose Dexidrine I think works better on inattentive type ADD and SCT, where as Rittalin will drive them up the wall, overloading them causing mood swings mania etc. I have heard that Rittalin works best for ADHD. You will notice the effect within min of taking the meds if they are the right one for the individual. Better impulse control such as a decrease in motor mouthing for ADHD for example and they will calm down. Some one with SCT will do better with fuctioning in complex social situations like a room full of people having conversations. Their processing speed with will increase so they can keep up with whats going on and not feel so lost. If your child is not hyperactive, and seems slow and spacy in complex social situations, Type in SCT on Wikapedia and check it out. SCT is just starting to be recognized, is far less common and is mistaken for inattentive ADD .  For all of these subtypes, take the smallest dose you can. Less is more in my opinion. I have SCT and low dose Dexedrine has almost no side affects at all. It works really well.
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Avatar_m_tn
   Excelllent post !  Thankyou.  I had not come across SCT until I followed up on your link recommendations.  Now, I need to go back to some of my regular resources and see if it has been mentioned and I missed it or they are just not up to date.  Anyway, good info.  Please keep posting!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your response s! Nice links and some good info..I'm really looking for some personal. Stories from parents who have been dealing with there child with using the meds and if they've seen significant good or bad change! Thanks
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Avatar_m_tn
I have a son who is 9 and has been on ADHD meds for a bit over a year. He was in second grade and was coming home with his book bag overflowing with unfinished work from class. I am Bipolar and also ADHD so I understand the concept of meds and the process one has to go through to find the right ones. I didn't know how to feel about putting him on meds. He was SO YOUNG! I did a lot of research.

We got him an appointment with a Psychiatrist. After much trepidation, we put him on Ritalin. We saw almost immediate results! He was actually able to focus! It was like he was a completely different kid. he started succeeding in school. He was actually reading and doing his homework! Then, after a little while, the Ritalin stopped working. Instead, he became irritable and started lashing out at his sister. It was pretty bad. They would bicker and he would hit her. Instead of talking it out. He also wasn't very hungry. He didn't want to eat and we had to encourage him to eat. I’ll try to make this a short story, but I want you to be able to understand that this isn't an easy process, nor is it fast or without risk.

Its now a year later. we changed his meds to adderall (adderrall) a few months ago and it worked for a little while, but it really wasn't very good for him. He was eating better, he was better focused, but also very aggressive and he wasn't in a very good mood. My son is usually a sweet, smart, mischievous boy who never holds still. He is thin, painfully so now. He can't sit without it hurting his butt. We have switched him to concerta and it seems to be OK. Its worth it to be able to have a conversation with him and know he is listening. I can give him a direction and he actually hears me. I still make him repeat my instructions, but I don't feel like he's always in la la land.

You must also bear in mind that medication alone won't do it. The child will also need therapy to deal with whatever else is going on with them. So, in our case yes, meds were helpful. We have now had 2 that worked for a little while and then stopped. For us, cost was also an issue for a bit. The kids were in between insurance agencies and the long acting medication is more expensive. The bottom line: Yes, meds can help, they can also be a problem. Always keep in close touch with your Dr and pharmacist. IMHO if a child starts new meds, the rd should want to do a follow up in 2 weeks. 4 at the most. Also read all product inserts. Talk to your pharmacist. Don't be afraid to ask the "silly questions" that pop up. Always weigh the risks vs the benefits!! I hope I have helped. I feel like I have just babbled and not given any helpful information.
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Avatar_m_tn
   Lots of really good info.  Thankyou.
by the way, here is a link you might find helpful.  Its about finding the right dose/or kind of meds.  http://www.corepsych.com/2009/04/adhd-medications-use-the-therapeutic-window-corepsych-radio
   Hope to hear from you again.  
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Avatar_f_tn
We have decided to exhaust all other options before putting my daughter on those meds! We have started her with a tutor three days a week..I'm looking into natural remedy s to increase dopamine , threw changing her diet and having her classified n school!  Thinking maybe even holding her back , to give her a chance to catch up to grade level. .if all else fails then maybe we will try the meds
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Avatar_m_tn
   I have always recommended trying everything else first.   Exercise will increase dopamine levels - food will not.  Definitely get a 504 plan for her at school.  The book, "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley. ,  has a whole section on 504 suggestions to help a child in school.  Plus, its a really good book (about 10 bucks on amazon).
   This is a very, very good link for helping kids with ADD.  I am sending the one for homework, but on the top of the link page you will find many, many other things that will be helpful.    http://www.additudemag.com/search/keyword/Homework%20and%20Test%20Help.html
   When is her birthday and what grade is she in and I will try an give some feedback about holding her back.  Although my first thought is that a child child with ADD does tend to have anxiety and self doubts and holding her back, unless she really understands why might be harmful.  However, if she is young for her age group - that does help.
   My main recommendation is to really, really make sure that you become the expert on ADD.  You will be the one running interference for her at school, and comforting her at home.  Its really important that you understand how it can effect people.  For now, my favorite site for information is this one - http://www.help4adhd.org/en/about/what/WWK8
   Hope this helps.  Please let me know if you need any more info.  Best wishes.
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757137_tn?1347200053
They wanted to medicate my daughter. I refused. She was a wonderful kid and I did not want to distort her personality or damage her physically. So she wasn't a great student. So what? As a person she was a jewel.
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Avatar_f_tn
Yea that s how we feel about it to @allmymarbles.think education is important but I don't want to medicate her and change who she is! After reading up on the meds it seems they only work for a short time and u have to keep switch ing them up.plus all the nasty side effects like. .possible sudden death or suicidal thoughts. .wieght loss ect..just don't seem worth the risk at this point to me! Yes my daughter is young for her grade level most of the kids are already 11and my daughter dousn't turn eleven till sept! It's deffinatly a factor in the equasion..thank you @sandman2 for the helpful links. .I will continue my resurch and try to do what I feel is right for my daughter! Being a parent is so hard when there's no clear path in how to help our children!
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Avatar_m_tn
   If you daughter is not turning 11 till Sept.  she probably is one of the youngest in her class.  However, they is probably not what is holding her back.   But, giving her an extra year to catch up - if she is able to concentrate and do so - might help.  Be aware that at this age its not something that the kids typically like to do.  But if she is in say 5 grade and all the kids are moving on to middle school, it is easier.
   One other thought.  I am not sure what you have been reading when you say After reading up on the meds it seems they only work for a short time and u have to keep switch ing them up.plus all the nasty side effects like. .possible sudden death or suicidal thoughts. .wieght loss ect."   I think that is an extreme look at what is going on.  
         "Of US children aged 4 to 17 years, 4.1 million (7.2%) had a current ADHD diagnosis in 2007, and approximately 2.7 million were taking ADHD medication."  The risk can't be overly high if 2.7 million kids are on the meds.   I am not saying that kids should take meds (particularly without trying everything else first - which you are doing),  just that sthe risk isn't that bad.   And the reason doctors or parents keep switching is because every child is different and the meds are all a little different and thus work differently.  Thus the first med a doc trys, may not wind up being the best one for the child.   I am not sure what you mean by working for a short time.  Some like Vyvanse will work for 8 to 10 hours plus.
   Anyway, keep learning about ADD or ADHD - its the best way to help her.
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757137_tn?1347200053
Postscript on my daughter. Time brought surprises. Without any prodding from me or her father, she became very interested in certain areas of study. She was accepted by a top tier American college and ultimately went on to a famous university for her master's. She won a fellowship for her second year and finished at the top of her class. She is very successful in her career, having a position of authority never before held by someone so young, and never before held by a woman.

Why did I refuse intervention? Put it down to a mother's instinct.
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Avatar_m_tn
    I doubt that your daughtrer could be diagnosed in todays world.   The clinical guidelines say it must persist for 6 months and must be present in at least two places.  I highly doubt that you would say it was present at home, which would eliminate one of the two places that are called for.
    It sounds like your daughter was intelligent and probably was quite bored by her teacher.
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757137_tn?1347200053
My point exactly. I contend that most of the ADHD diagnoses are in error, and that much damage is done thereby. (By the way, in her school there was a different teacher for each subject, even though the children were young.)
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Avatar_f_tn
To allmymarbles I totally agree with you about a lot of kids now a days being miss diagnosed..seems like every kid around the block is on adhd meds .I do not deny that my daughter has add..I've seen it for yrs between home and problems at school with focusing.and having to tell her 10 time s to do something like go brush teeth or put ur shoes on whatever..she gets deatracted along the way..Her neurologist said on a scale of 1to 10 she's a 71/2..girl's het age should be 4 or under! On the other hand she has an amazing talent for drawing she sees thing on computer and can draw them to a tee cartoon characters ect! Part of my issue is how come she can focus long enough to do stuff like that but cannot do it for her school work? Or for me when I ask something of her?
@sandman2 what I ment by the meds only work for a short while is I've read after about 4 monthes the body builds a tolerece to them and they become inaffective..also alls you need to do is Google side effects of add adhd meds and u will see possible sides sudden death , weight loss anxiety , ensomnia  depression , suicidal thoughts ect..this is why I'm so torn and will try ever other option before throwing her on meds. .sure you can say al meds have some type of risk ..even if its 1percent its still there. .I would never judge any parent for using drugs to try in help there child .I just want to know I did everything possible to avoid it  thays all!
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757137_tn?1347200053
Maybe your daughter is just willful and does only what she wants to do. We used to call that ornery. Annoying, but is it an illness?
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Avatar_m_tn
     The quote below is from a link I earlier sent you.  That link was -
      http://www.help4adhd.org/about/what/WWK8
    

Are the inattention symptoms of ADHD constant? Are these persons inattentive in everything they do?
    No, though the inattention symptoms must be chronically impairing for a diagnosis of ADHD, this does not mean that they are constant in everything the person does. Everyone with ADHD has a few types of activity in which they are able to function quite well without much trouble from their usual inattention symptoms. They might be able to concentrate very well when playing a favorite sport or video game. They might be good at maintaining focus for a long time when watching TV shows they like, doing art or building Lego models.

When asked why they can pay attention so well for these favored activities and not for other important activities, such as school or work, they often explain that they can pay attention easily on activities that are interesting to them, but cannot make themselves pay attention to tasks that do not really interest them, even when they know it is important. This makes it look like ADHD is a willpower problem, but that is not the case."      Which also answers allmymarbles last statement.

        You said, "I just want to know I did everything possible to avoid it ."   And I said that, "Anyway, keep learning about ADD or ADHD - its the best way to help her."     Most of the information that you have is incorrect.  For example, when you said, "  body builds a tolerece to them and they become inaffective."   Thats totally false.  People are on the meds for years (well into adulthood if necessary).  If it were true, everybody would be off the meds in 4 months.      
     Take the time to read information by the experts.   Start with the link I again mentioned above and read all of it!
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Avatar_m_tn
   Wow, did you just said that there has been something like 20 million plus wrong diagnosis for ADHD in this country?
   My point was that the standards were very different when your daughter was diagnosed.  Today,  the standards are much, much tighter (have you ever looked at them? - I can send you a link).  I doubt that your daughter could be diagnosed with ADHD today!
   And yes, some damage can be done if a person is diagnosed in error.  But statistically,  much, much worse damage is done to children who go through life undiagnosed and thus unhelped.  There is a huge amount of evidence showing that kids who don't get help will self medicate with drugs and alcohol.  Have much worse depression and anxiety.  And a huge jump in criminal records.
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757137_tn?1347200053
"When asked why they can pay attention so well for these favored activities and not for other important activities, such as school or work, they often explain that they can pay attention easily on activities that are interesting to them, but cannot make themselves pay attention to tasks that do not really interest them, even when they know it is important. This makes it look like ADHD is a willpower problem, but that is not the case."

This opinion does not sound any more valid than mine. Where is the science to back it up? In fact psychology is not a true science.
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Avatar_m_tn
   Its not an opinion.  Its from research on lots and lots of kids with ADHD.  Most of these kids are not "willful".  They want to please and do better, they just can't.  Feel free to read about this. The information came from
              Brown, T. E. (2000). Emerging Understandings of Attention Deficit Disorders and Comorbidities. In Attention Deficit Disorders and Comorbidities in Children, Adolescents and Adults. T. E. Brown, Ed. Washington, D.C., American Psychiatric Press: 3-55.
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757137_tn?1347200053
I am going to back off now since we can never be reconciled. The trial is loaded since these children are already "diagnosed" as having ADHD.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm not looking for debate here! My
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Avatar_m_tn
   Theres lots of things that we still agree on - just not this (whatever it was, I've lost track).
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Avatar_m_tn
   By the way, this is a pretty easy reading article on ADHD "myths"
           http://www.medhelp.org/add-adhd/articles/Dont-Believe-These-10-ADD-ADHD-Lies/5
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973741_tn?1342346373
Hi there.  I just wanted to write to you mom to mom.  I've got a son who has challenges of his own.  He does not have add/adhd but something called sensory integration disorder.  LOTS of what you speak of he has in common with her at the age of 9.  I've done a lot of thinking and you know what is hard for my son?  The struggle he has.  HE wants to do better.  HE wants to stay focused.  It's just hard for him.  If I could help, I would.  we do sensory strategies that are something called 'heavy work' which is a combination of muscle work and deep pressure and luckily that does have a positive affect for him.  I will tell you that if medication helped my son feel better, do what he wanted to do, feel more like he sees his peers----  I'd absolutely do it.  Kids have a hard time with add/adhd kids.  Period.  socially, these kids suffer.  Academically, it can be difficult as well.  And this all takes a toll on self esteem.  

Every parent must be cautious about medicating their child.  But there does come a point in which it is in the best interest of the child if their diagnosis/disorder is causing them difficulty to the point of they themselves feeling unhappy about the situation.  I can explain further what I mean but somehow feel that a mother of another out of the box kid like my son might get what I'm talking about.

As to her drawing, that is wonderful.  An occupational therapist said to me once----  'Accentuate the positive and minimize the negative."  Take her drawing and run with it.  It's awesome that she has a talent that she enjoys.  

by the way, have you ever tried the approach of physical activity or 'heavy work' as it is called?  I can give you a list of things to try if you are unfamiliar.  good luck and peace
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your post! I can relate to a lot in yourpost. I know she wants to do the things we ask of her and do better. .I think all kids just want to please ..especially there parents..and I always try to focus on her positives..one thing we have her doin the . Warmer weather is horse back rideing lesson. .she loves the horse's and listens well to her instructor..it is pretty physical too..her doctor agreed it was good for her as well.I would love a list of heavy work idea's that we could try with her at home.my plan is to exhaust all other options before considering meds..currently she's working with a tutor to get her caught up to grade level. .and she really works well one on one ..her problem comes in when she's in groups like a class room filled with destractions! She doesn't have a lot of social issues ..seems to make friends pretty easily..she's friendly and  out going .and kind natured! She was diagnosed ADD..not Adhd ..she doesn't have the hyper end of it , just problem s focusing when something doesn't come easy to her of is un interested in them ..even if she knows its important .so thank you again and I hope you see this I would love some feed back on heavy work and the things that have worked well for u and ur son, xxx
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Avatar_f_tn
After reading my post there is one thing I left out..I don't want to make it seem as though she has no social problems. .there are certain things she will do or say that I don't see as appropriate or can be perceived as rude..when I call her on them she seems to have no clue as to what was wrong with it! Like  she didn't mean it to be rude like one example is we were checking out at the store and the lady ringin us up was obesse..she says loude enough that the woman heard her "omg she so fat!! Of course I was mad and I explained to her how rude that was and how awful she made that women feel! Now I know kids aren't born with maners ..afrer all of that she started crying and said she didn't know it was rude..but as far as her peers even her teacher has said she makes friends easily and kids seem to like her..
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Avatar_m_tn
   That is not a real unusual behavior for a 10 year old.   And fairly normal for someone on the AD/HD spectrum as they tend to be impulsive and say things without thinking.    Kind of sad to get mad at her for something that may have been out of her control.
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Avatar_f_tn
Well you know what like I said ..kid's are not born with manners they need to be taught the right and wrong way to act!! If I didn't show her my dismay and blew it off she would not know and think that was ok!!! Add or not  you don't get to be hurtful to pple..it's our job as parents to show them right from wrong! And if you don't that is sad!!
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Avatar_m_tn
        I agree completely that kids do need to be taught manners.  And I know that if my child had said that - I would also have been very upset.  But teaching can be done without you being upset and without upsetting the child - its difficult, but it can be done.  
       And I guess I am just sensitive.  I have seen kids with ADHD get screamed at for something that they were not even really aware that they had done.  And I can't blame the parent (or the teacher).  Working with a child with ADHD is tough.  But it gets easier if you understand where they are coming from.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Well I didn't scream at her!! I used a stern voice and explained how rude it was..she's very smart and is able to understand right from wrong!
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Avatar_m_tn
   I'm sorry.  I didn't mean that you had screamed at her.  I said, " I have SEEN kids with ADHD get screamed at for something that they were not even really aware that they had done."  And most of those kids did feel bad afterward because they could distinguish between right and wrong.  The problem is that up to a certain age they don't have the impulse control to stop their action in time.   But kids with ADD typically are not impulsive like the ADHD kids, however they are easily distracted which can cause them to not think twice before acting.   And none of this may apply to your daughter or your situation.  I just wanted you to be aware that just being smart does not necessarily mean you are always going to do the right thing.
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