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I need help-ADHD or something else?
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I need help-ADHD or something else?

My daughter has been diagnosed with ADHD at age 5 and the pediatrician prescribed 40mg of ritalin everyday. (20mg at breakfast, and 20mg at lunch) She's a very hyper child. She started grade primary and the teacher noticed that she wasn't catching on to her work (sometimes like she was lost and didn't understand) She was your typical child who would have a tantrum when out if she didn't get what she wanted (her tantrums sometimes get to the point where we don't want to take her out) She is always on the go.With her medication and without it I still see the same behaviors. Today I didn't give her any and she's laying down watching cartoons (before you couldn't get her to sit long enough to watch a 30 minute cartoon) What I'm wondering, does she have ADHD or is it possible it's something else? Could she have a learning disability? She seen a pediatrician in the summer of 07 who said she was your normal typical child--when we left my daughter chased the pediatrician down the street so that made us wonder. We went to another pediatrician december 5-at the request of the school-she sat with us and my daughter for 45 minutes and said she should be on ritalin. She didn't do any kind of tests (the building block test, reading, etc) NOTHING!  She's 5 years old and weighs 45pounds and 40mg of ritalin everyday seems like alot..Alot of people we know say she shouldn't be taking that much-Even her teacher was surprised. She's tried the slow release tablet but I didn't do anything except make her more hyper to the point where she couldn't focus to have her eye exam done. The school told us she had a lazy eye but when we took her to our optomertrist they said her vision was perfect.  I really need help to understand what else we can do for my daughter. I don't want her medicated if she doesn't need to be. What else can we try?  We need a referral to go see another pediatrician. I even called the children's mental health department of the hospital and they don't deal with ADHD.-*My mother says my 4 year old nephew is hyper like my daughter and she said my niece was hyper like that when she was young so she says it might just be a phase they are going through.
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I forgot to mention when she takes the ritalin she barely eats or drinks and hardly sleeps plus she's mean. She tells her father she doesn't love him and that she wants him to leave and she gets really mad. When she gets like that she calls me "mean mommy" and she says she doesn't love me either. She looks really pale from not eating.
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Avatar_f_tn
Ritalin effects children differently--for some it makes them calm, others almost dazed or lethargic and for still others it has the opposite effect and it makes a child hyper.
A few things: I would stick with the medication and dose but I would make sure she gets to see another doctor. Switching from having the medication to not having the medication also will cause her body to react.
Medication will not take away all the behavior, unfortunately. It should make it so that your daughter can cope better and focus.
It sounds like the medication may be the wrong dose or wrong medication entirely but I would not rule out other medication in the future. No parent likes to see their child medicated, however, if it is the right dose and right medication, it can help her focus and often these children are quite bright but can't show it at school because their minds are racing so much.
As far as a learning disability, it might be harder to diagnose until you get the ADHD and medication at the correct dosage. It is possible to have both ADHD and a learning disability but often the learning disability stems from the fact that their ADHD is preventing them from absorbing the material. It would be wise to ask for other testing to be done, however, I would probably wait and get the medication situation under control first.
As far as her not having ADHD, in my experience, children who have ADHD are prone to outbursts, having difficulty focusing on tasks for reasonable periods of time (while they may be ok on a computer or watching tv, it is difficult for them to complete a task without frustration) and their ADHD is not just situational--in other words, it effects their day to day life at home and at school. The outbursts and telling people she does not love them can be symptomatic of the drug but also can be part of ADHD in which these children can have some difficulty with emotional attachment and understanding how that phrase might hurt you--their behavior and outbursts are impulsive.
Clear, consistent consequences and routines will help. ADHD children really do need to know what will happen next and their routine as transitions can be another source of frustration.
As well, there are those that believe that foods can also have an effect on ADHD and this might be something you want to look into. Pay attention to her diet. The fact she hardly eats and drinks is a problem because she does need to keep up her fluid levels and you don't want her losing weight either. This is also something you must mention to a doctor and they should be watching and charting her growth closely.
I hope that helps..don't give up, get her into another doctor and be her best advocate because only you know how the medication is working.
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Avatar_f_tn
I would call the Dr. that prescribed ritalin and they would probaly change her meds. They have no way of knowing how your child reacts to a certain med unless you tell them. She could still have ADHD but may not be on the right meds. You could also make an appointment with a different Dr. but keep working with the one she has until you can get into a different one. Do you know any other parents in your area that have hyper kids? Maybe someone knows of a Dr. that has been successful with meds and ADHD children. Did the Dr. do any blood test? Did you have to fill out any forms with different symptons on them? The Dr. also should have given you forms for the Teachers to fill out concerning the behaviors that they witness at school. How does her Teacher think she is doing since she is on meds? The school can not tell you when to take your child to the Dr. They also can not make diagnoses. Does your daughter have an IEP (Individual Education Plan)? If not, and you feel that she may have a learning disabiltiy, you can request (in writing) that she be tested by the school. They may try to talk you out of it but you know your daughter and if they are saying, (sometimes like she was lost and didn't understand), it would be to her benefit to have her tested now. I have found that they will not mention testing for learning disabilities unless the parent mentions it. Also, the best advice for any parent is to make copies of all correspondence with the school and document even conversations so you can have them to refer to. It seems like alot of trouble but you will not believe how useful this information will be later. You are doing a Great job advocating for you Daughter. Keep up the good work.
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My daughter hasn't had any tests done-blood work or anything. That's why I was kind of surprised when the doctor she she needed ritalin. How do you tell a child is ADHD just by sitting with her for 45 minutes?  I asked her (the pediatrician)about a building block test (that somebody whose child was ADHD told us about) and she said she never heard of such a thing. She said there was no test. She also changed my daughters medication this afternoon to dexadrine. She has to start tomorrow morning with 5mg. The pediatrician said dexadrine is twice as strong as ritalin (she was taking 40mg with ritalin) and the doctor said that was too strong. My husband was "diagnosed" with hyperkinesis (now ADHD) when he was 5 or 6 and was on dexadrine until age 8 and after age 8 had no ADHD symptoms at all. It's frustrating and confusing all at the same time :)
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that's what my mother says to..we live in an apartment building so there's no much space for her to get out to play except in the nice weather when she can go to the park..my mother says she should be into some extracirrular activities like sports, etcc..something where she can run.
what tests do they do in the U.S.?
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Are you sure you want to put your little girl on such strong meds? Even if she is hyper active and all that-don't medicate your child just to make the teachers job easier. Is she a good kid? Are the med effects making her personality different or just her behavior. Please let her be her for a while-5 seems extremely young to make that diagnosis. In the mean time at school, find extra help for her outside of her classroom or after school.  She may need some one on one and might have feelings that she is not as smart as the other kids so this is why she acts out. Just guesses- let her stretch her legs and run around. Sports are great at that age and that amount of energy.
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What do you mean that you went to a different pediatrician at the "request of the school"?  Did they requested that you change doctors?  

  
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Anxiety often mimics ADHD - especially with the tantrums, inability to "learn" in school",  and hyperactivity in public.  A child with anxiety usually is able to focus on television and other activities when in a comfortable situation; however, it takes a lot of time to feel "comfortable" after being in a "perceived unsafe" situation as school.  Many parents will not notice that their child is able to focus during the school year - perhaps only during the summer vacation.  Is this longer Christmas vacation proving this point?  I doubt if it is "a phase" - there is a reason for different behaviours and these words "a phase" are used to placate parents but I do feel you should have your daughter re-evaluated.  Hope this helps -

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My daughter always was a good kid just really hyper and didn't like to listen.  I've been doing alot of research and I came across some information about "thyroidrism" and central nervous condition. Any of this a possibly? I'm in the process of finding a new pediatrician and my husband and I decided to make a doctor appointment with our family doctor and demand they do some blood work just to rule out anything else. She's a tiny little girl and with medication she's losing weight and not eating very much.. With the dexadrine she's very emotional, crying just because and she has an eye twitch going on. I spoke with her teacher briefly this morning and she said my daughter is way too hyper and needs to be on something. I find the school is not very helpful at all. The teacher also told us that with the ritalin my daughter was still hyper (but she told us 2 weeks after the fact) My mother says my niece and nephew are hyper children too.
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Her Teacher is over stepping her boundaries. She can not tell you that you child needs to be on medication. She can only state the facts concerning her behavior. I would ask her to document her view for you to give to the Dr. I hate to say it but, your Mother doesn't seem to be very supportive. I am glad your husband is on the same page as you. Some Teachers actually expect all children to be little yellow ducks in a row and that very rarely happens. Have you talked to the Principal or the Superintendent of the school? How is your daughter on the weekends? If you get an IEP for your daughter at school they would have to change their way of teaching her so that she could be successful. If she has already been diagnosed ADHD, then she is qualified to get an IEP under (other health impaired). Don't give up, everything you are doing is to help your daughter and someday she will thank you for it. I don't know what state you are from but in my state (Missouri), there are child advocates that will help you in getting the services that your child needs. Believe me, the public school will not provide you with anything unless you find out it is available and ask them to do their job.
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