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Advice

I am new to ADHD.. My daughter’s 1st grade teacher came to me about a month and a half ago, and said she was worried about my daughter. She was such a sweet care girl but she had a very hard time staying on task. I told her that this has been an issue in the past (she was held back in kindergarten), and something I thought she would grow out of. But she asked it If i would talk to our pediatrican about the issue. So I did and and the Dr recommend we (parents and teachers) fill out a survey to see if she had symptoms of ADHD. After filling out the paperwork and the Dr reading them she recommend we put her on Adderall XR 10mg to see if we saw any impovement.
Well, it has been a month and I dont really see a big difference at home other than she has had 2 pretty big melt downs in the last month, but the teacher says that she is able to focus after she gets started on a task, but sometimes to get started it takes her awhile.And teacher says that my daughter is worrying a lot more about getting her stuff done.
So my queston is did you see with your children a big difference in their personality??  I dont want her to change, she is the sweetest little girl in the world. She didn’t have any behavioral issues, and I dont want these medicines to cause her to become a different kid. And do you guys have any advice for a new family going thur this????

Replies

I have a 10 yr old (5th grade) son who we had similar problems that began in 2nd grade.  We did not begin or even consider medicine though until beginning of 3rd grade.  he’s been on medicine now for 2 yrs and doing quite well and absolutely no personality change whatsoever.  it has taken some tweaking along the way though to get the right dosage for his body to respond best.  He is definitely much more relaxed and lets frustrated however i will say that the only downfall is the appetite decrease and sleep has been definitely affected.  we are still trying to come up with a solution for that and so far he does take melatonin on occassion if he’s not sleepy by bedtime. 

hang in there and maybe the dosage needs to be increased a little.  10 mg is a very low dosage.  Good luck

Posted by cak on Nov 06, 2013 at 12:19am

Welcome to the club? Gosh, I was having flashbacks reading your post.  My boys are now 15 and 19 and we started this process back in kindergarten too. For me, knowledge was calming and my calming tool.  I read every issue of Additude magazine as soon as it arrived in my mailbox. The website is helpful as well. I read books, I joined blogs, now there’s even helpful pages on Facebook. It helped me to know that others were having the same experiences. Yes, I did see a change in my boys when they were on meds. It was a painful choice and I truly “liked” them better off of meds. However, they were really struggling in school and their self esteem was quickly disappearing. My solution was not to medicate on weekend and school holidays. I had to learn to choose my battles though. I don’t regret meds as it really helped them to be “available for learning”. They no longer take meds so this isn’t necessarily a lifetime decision. Btw, we had meltdowns both off and on meds. I think it’s just part of ADD land. I have educated my boys about ADHD and encouraged them to self advocate just as they would if they needed to take insulin shots during the day or an inhaler for asthma. ADD provides our kids with many gifts, along with a bucketful of challenges.  Remember to see always look at both sides.  Good luck to you and your daughter!

Posted by Nemo on Nov 06, 2013 at 12:22am

There are medicines that will change their personality, therefore you may need to try something else.  This particular medicine that you have her on might not be the right one for her.  You may have to try different ones until you find the right one.  Unfortunately, they do take a little while before you can judge to see if they are actually working or not.  You might want to consider having your daughter tested for ADHD.  If she does have it, then I would advice looking into getting an IEP set up for her in school.  If for nothing else, to set up an arrangement for your daughter to take her tests in another room (not with the class) so she can focus better.  And, she may need assistance in the classroom to follow through on multiple step instructions (since short term memory is an issue with ADHD children), or she may need additional time to finish her work.  I would recommend doing this sooner rather than later so you can help your daughter as much as possible in the school environment.  Unfortunately, schools think that all children are alike and learn the same way :(  Few teachers really understand ADHD.  I would also recommend hiring a student advocate who can help you figure out what she needs in her IEP and gets the help.  Don’t let the school tell you that they can’t help you if she is on grade level . . . don’t let them make you wait until she starts struggling even more . . . it is better to be proactive than reactive.  Good luck!

Posted by reneerh on Nov 06, 2013 at 12:25am

I suggest getting another opinion on the best medication for your child. I don’t feel pediatricians are the best for this. We have seen a pediatric neurologist as they are specialists in the brain. Each medication is different for each child. Also, the drug’s delivery system can impact how your child deals with coming off the drug. With Concerta, we saw a lot more tantrums based on how the drug delivery system worked. We switched to Focalin and it is working much better.

Our neurologist specializes in pharmacology, making it so much better to see the differences in meds. The only difference I see in my daughter regarding personality is that she is a lot happier!

Posted by momodoodle on Nov 06, 2013 at 12:27am

Momdoodle - great advice about seeing a pediatric neurologist!!

Posted by reneerh on Nov 06, 2013 at 12:30am

Thank you so much for our advice and guidance. We have an appointment in the works to see a pediatric neurologist, the wait is long to even get an appointment.

Posted by Leydibug on Nov 06, 2013 at 1:47am

10mg sounds high for a first grade girl. See a pediatric psychiatrist and make sure the dose is correct. My daughter is also on Adderal and the only time we saw this kind of behavior and anxiety was when the dose was too high.

Posted by YellaRyan on Nov 06, 2013 at 3:40am

If my medicine seems to be working now…finally… should I still go see a neurologist for my son?

Posted by vabronxboogie on Nov 06, 2013 at 10:20pm

He is 4 yrs old. He is now on 30mg methylphenidate (long lasting retalin) and 2mg intuv at night

Posted by vabronxboogie on Nov 06, 2013 at 10:31pm

Hi there, my daughter is now nine and no longer on any medication.  She was diagnosed in grade one with ADD by a pediatrician. I did not want to go the medication route but after much debate with teacher and doctor, I relented and we started with Concerta. On her first dose, she began with uncontrollable tongue thrusts that was almost non stop the whole day and she would weep at the littlest thing. It was the first and last day on Concerta as it was horrifying to watch. My Pediatrician continued to get me to try other drugs but it took me over a year to try again. So we started with Adderall 5mg, and then 10mg. Over the course of a couple of months my very happy sweet daughter became a different person. She was moody, withdrawn to the point that she wouldn’t even talk to anyone when she got home from school. She would weep at the smallest thing and was becoming very aggressive with classmates. She became a zombie and I kept explaining these symptoms to her pediatrician because she was no longer my sweet happy girl that I became scared that she would not come back if I took her off the drug and it did not help her one bit at school. I decided to stop the medication and will probably never try again. Maybe when she becomes a teen and wants to try herself perhaps I may but there was no improvement that warranted even continuing with different doses or trying other drugs. My daughter struggles with school work but she is on an IEP Independent Education Plan and she isn’t that far behind her peers. But she tries her best and she a very happy girl. I know it is super scary and every parent wants to do what is best for their child and I am just giving you my experience with medication. I hope you all the best.

Posted by Thistle_ss on Nov 09, 2013 at 8:28am

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