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Parents of ADHD Children

Hoping to regain some sanity...

Hi, I am new to this group and hoping for some advice. My son, almost 7 now, was diagnosed with ADHD about a year and a half ago. His psychiatrist started him on Focalin XR and the dosage has more than tripled since he has been on it. He has always been a energetic boy, but his personality has turned pretty violent. His school has been EXTREMELY helpful and accomedating but they have recently sent him to an alternative school because they didn’t have the approriate staff to keep him or the other children safe. The psychiatrist now wants to add an antipsychotic to his medication regimen. He has not put any weight on since starting these meds. I recently took him to a homeopathic peditritian and she changed his meds to intuniv and quillavant. Is there any thing else I can do? His diet is also pretty natural and non processed along with weekly behavior therapy. I’m terrified if this isn’t under control soon his will end up in serious trouble the older he gets.

Replies

You are doing all the right things!  Hopefully the new medications will work better for him.  Behavior therapy, medication and intense structure at home with lots of exercise and fun time to feel he is loved.  It should get better as his brain develops and you all learn how best to work with him.  Hang in there.  Coming to this site has been a great help to me, so you really seem on a good path.  You are not alone.

Posted by Ilana on Jul 19, 2014 at 11:26pm

You are doing all the right things!  Hopefully the new medications will work better for him.  Behavior therapy, medication and intense structure at home with lots of exercise and fun time to feel he is loved.  It should get better as his brain develops and you all learn how best to work with him.  Hang in there.  Coming to this site has been a great help to me, so you really seem on a good path.  You are not alone.

Posted by Ilana on Jul 19, 2014 at 11:26pm

Great job taking him off the focalin. It may not have been the right med for him. My son started on it and eventually had to switch. Looking back he was a different boy on it, very reserved and rigid, tense. He’s been in vyvanse for a while with good results. I would not start on a anti psychotic at all! I would reserve that type of medication for severely disturbed individuals and your son does not sound like he needs to jump to that until he is off the focalin for awhile to see where he is at. Good luck to you !!

Posted by Starla571 on Jul 20, 2014 at 3:38am

Hi lisamd!

You are right to be hesitant about antipsychotics, especially when your son is so young, and hasn’t tried different stimulants yet. Antipsychotics have their place, and truly make the difference for a lot of individuals, but your son is still too young to have self-awareness and self-regulation and recognition of emotions and appropriate ways to show them.

My son can not take Adderall or Vyvanse because they made him violently angry, as you describe. Some individuals have that reaction to the methylphenidates (Concerta, Ritalin, Quillivant). It is very possible the medication was causing the increased anger, so trying something new was a good idea.

About 6 months ago, my son started having a bad reaction to an anti-depressant added for anxiety. The doctor was sure it wasn’t his medication, so he added an antipsychotic, adding insult to injury. It got so bad it nearly tore our family apart. I finally listened to my intuition and stopped all meds except the stimulant. After 4-5 weeks, I got my boy back—turned out he was ultra sensitive to those medications and became toxic. It was an eye-opener for his doctor.

I share my personal experience to help you recognize these signs, if you end up down the same path we did and it happens to your son.

I definitely suggest behavior therapy (http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/882.html) and occupational therapy—both can help with anger and emotional reactivity.

These articles have additional strategies for handling anger in ADHD kids as well:
http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/9868.html
http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/10491.html

Keep advocating and following your momma intuition!

Penny
ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Jul 21, 2014 at 1:21pm

Thank you all so much for your support and suggestions. This has been hands down the most emotional journey I have ever been on. We tried sports to improve his social skills but the competition seemed to only make things worse. I’m now trying some equestrian therapy and boy scouts (fingers crossed).

Posted by lisamd717 on Jul 22, 2014 at 10:01pm

My daughter is almost 7 and, along with her 5 year old brother with ADHD, does therapeutic horseback riding. She really loves it, and I like that it is non-competitive (for her, at least) because she has low- self esteem, as well. The volunteers are great, and my daughter has gotten to know her horse and is gaining in self-confidence; at least I hope, in that she realizes that the horse will respond to her when she acts and speaks appropriately (ie, calm body, clear voice). I’m hoping that she will someday transition to true lessons and continue horseback riding for many years.

Posted by Les_Etoiles on Jul 23, 2014 at 12:23am

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