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Parents of ADHD Children

8 Year old just diagnosed

Hi, I am new to this board. My son is 8 years old and I have known for a long time, that something wasnt quite right. I thought at first he was starting Tourette Sydrome because he started developing some milder tics and I have Tourette’s myself (it was pretty bad when I was younger but I am doing well now)

Over the past couple of years his behaviors got more and more into a direction that seemed like Asbergers. He is not very social, has a hard time making eye contact with new people, has been very precise all of his life, his strength is math and so on.

His counselor suggested though that he may have ADHD (his version was what used to be called ADD but according to him this term is not used anymore)

So now we started the official evaluation process with all tests that go with it.

The tests are finally completely finished and we received the doctors report.

He has a moderate form of ADHD
He also has Anxiety as well as Tourette Syndrome (which luckily right now is pretty mild)

He also has some traits of Asbergers but not enough to be diagnosed with it, but they will be keeping an eye on that.

A medication trial was recommended.

So he was prescribed Concerta. We tried over the weekend and come to find out that he just can not swallow pills. We tried EVERY trick in the book. It was extremely frustrating for the both of us.

Yesterday the doctor changed the prescription to the Daytrana patch. Today he is on the first patch and I really hope that this works for him.

I am extremely nervous about it, especially since these meds lower the tic threshold.

Does anyone have any kind of recommendation for me as far as meds are concerned? Does anyone else have children that just can’t swallow pills?

How do you help your ADHD child through homework as well as through social situations?

Thank You so much for reading my novel!!


Your description is very similar to my 12 year old son’s profile.  He has ADHD, tics (not Tourette’s), and anxiety.  Some doctors call this the triad.  His tics come and go.  I haven’t seen a motor or vocal tic in a year.  He was on Daytrana and we did not see an increase in tics.  It worked very well as it enters the body through the blood not the stomach.  My son swam, showered, and exercised with it on and it never came off.  One thing we learned was to clean the skin with alcohol before putting on the patch.  It will adhere much better.  Daytrana worked well and improved our sons attention and focus, but it did make him moody and less hungry.  We went off in the summer at his request and he is managing ok without it.
Hope this helps!
-Katherine Price
Coaching Parents of Kids
with Special Needs.

Posted by KatherineADHDC on Jan 01, 2013 at 7:31pm

My 9 y.o. son was diagnosed with ADHD last summer. He also has anxiety disorder and is being evaluated for mild Asperger’s. He doesn’t have problems swallowing pills but he is extremely sensitive to the medications. He is on the lowest dose of Biphentin. It comes in a capsule which can be opened and the granules inside can be mixed in with yogurt or apple sauce. We don’t need to do this, but for children who can’t swallow pills, this can be a good alternative.
My son also has a hard time socializing and making eye contact, and of course the anxiety doesn’t help! The only way we found to help him was to constantly reassure him and accompany him whenever he has to meet or interact with someone new.

Posted by Fredadd on Jan 01, 2013 at 9:04pm

When my son (12) was on the Daytrana patch, it took a long time to “kick in”.  We would put the patch in the freezer for a little bit before putting it on because we were having trouble peeling off the backing.  They may have worked this out with their product by now, but in case you have trouble, try the freezer trick.  It won’t harm the medication.  It did work well.  He takes concerta now and does not have trouble with pills.  Many of the meds have capsules that can be taken apart and sprinkled on something.  You should ask your doctor or pharmacist.  I believe they just came out with a liquid med for ADHD.  I don’t know much about it, but it might be something to consider.

Posted by serenitynow on Jan 01, 2013 at 9:17pm

Focalin XR can also be opened up and sprinkled on food like yogurt or applesauce. So, that is another option you can try in the future if needed.

Good Luck!

Posted by JS on Jan 01, 2013 at 10:36pm

Hi there.  My daughter was diagnosed at 6 and we had tried a few different meds.  Concerta worked the best for her, but she developed some vocal tics that she started getting teased for.  The doctor added intuniv and the combination is really working well for her now.  I too was nervous about meds but she has really blossomed with her school work and making friends.  Sometimes it is a matter of a little patience to see what works best for your child.  Debbie

Posted by stone5 on Jan 02, 2013 at 12:23am

To all parents with ADHD & combination of other childhood problems:

1. Please continue to follow direction of medical professionals, therapy and adjunct therapy that often helps in combination but not alone.

2. Providing a more structured environment at home is very important as well as finding a right school, an understanding teacher and educational support programs.

3. Generally, ADHD gets settled in 30% of cases by the time a child gets to 15-16, upon puberty/maturity but 2/3 may continue to have other forms such as Conduct disorder, Bipolar, or just plain ADHD or ADD.

Please ensure to watch any exposure to alcohol or drugs such as marijuana, smoking etc as they can complicate.

If you need help plese contact in NY/NJ area at 718 222 1701 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Please wherever you go, please do not stop treatment as the journey is a long and frustrating many times.  But good luck.  Many ADHD have also a very brighter side, they are active, they can be very good in some art, music etc.  So ultimately, dont lose HOPE

Therapy Guru
718 222 1701

Posted by Therapy Guru on Jan 02, 2013 at 1:25am

Did you try in ice cream?  We did that and pudding and applesauce.  Nothing worked forever and soon she got bored of the stuff so just started taking the pill on its own.  Of course she grew a bit.  It is hard to swallow pills so crushing and putting in something yummy, if they are not too bitter, or open and put in or just the whole pill wrapped in a scoop. 

Best of luck.  Find a child psychiatrist who specializes in ADD and Aspergers if you can.  Better than a physician who is likely to just throw medications at him and see what sticks, where a psychiatrist will take his symptoms into account when prescribing… most doctors don’t know enough about the condition or the meds to do this and only prescribe what the drug reps are pushing at any given time.

Posted by YellaRyan on Jan 03, 2013 at 1:31am

Please do not ever ever break open pills that are xr. Extended release!  Bad info you got there. Those pills are to release slowly throughout the day, not intended to go into the blood stream all at once.

We used honey to teach our boys to swallow pills. Pour a teaspoon of honey, place pill in spoon and coat it well. Have your child swallow without chewing of course. You can practice with small pieces of cereal or pieces of small candies like smarties. Pieces not the whole thing. Hope it works.

Posted by Mom and wife to ADHD on Jan 04, 2013 at 3:40am

My 8 year old can’t swallow pills yet, either.  I’ve been given a couple of recommendations.  AS LONG AS IT IS NOT XR, put it in an oreo cookie.  If the pill is larger, double stuff oreos work like magic!  Because of the crunchy cookie, the crunch of the meds are less obvious, and the sweetness of the filling covers up the taste.

If the pill is crushable and/or will dissolve in liquid, dissolve it in juice, applesauce, pudding, honey, chocolate sauce, ice cream, etc… you get the idea. 

At this point, the Oreos work best for us.  I hope you find a way that works for you!!  Good luck!

Posted by muzykl1 on Jan 04, 2013 at 8:45am

Have him try taking the pill while drinking with a straw.  This was the only way we could get our son to swalllow pills.  We tried everything else, inluding ice cream, applesauce, yogurt, hiding it in a piece of bread, etc.  Apparently the mechanics of using a straw it make it easier to swallow pills.  We also had him practice with tic tacs, first breaking them up into smaller pieces then gradually increasing the size of the fragment.  A big barrier to pill-taking is fear, and this is especially hard to overcome in someone with anxiety, but he’ll get there.  My son did but it tooK several months.

Posted by Doctormom11 on Jan 04, 2013 at 8:48pm

If your child does not have any other oral motor issues, a speech therapist could help. Also, I open some of my son’s supplements in chocolate syrup.

Posted by Erin H. on Jan 04, 2013 at 9:54pm

My now 9 year old was diagnosed in Kindergarten and has always taken capsules that can be dissolved in applesauce or something else OR has taken liquids. We took him off vyvanse (which he was on from the start) last June, but just before Christmas break, needed to put him back on a different medication. This time, we were striving for a capsule, but some error occurred and we found ourselves at home with little white pills that cannot be crushed. My son surprised me by taking it and swallowing it successfully! It happened so quickly, I almost couldn’t believe it had happened. So, my point is that, for the time being, keep utilizing the non-pill options out there, but realize that your son WILL be able to swallow pills at some point in the future. You can practice with him with little tictacs or something else small that is also sweet. I suspect with my son, he just needed to grow and mature.

Also, watch out for negative side-effects that can develop after a while. For my son, after a year or two on vyvanse, he became increasingly angry and would strike out physically. Find out what can happen with your patch and watch for it.

Posted by Herpcrazie on Jan 04, 2013 at 10:46pm

I always had a problem in swallowing pills. Don’t matter the size. Just can’t do it. So I usually bite into them and washed it down with something.

Posted by sh31adhd on Jan 04, 2013 at 10:47pm

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