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.
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.
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!
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
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.