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ADHD in Boys

Just diagnosed son

My son is 6 years old & just diagnosed. I take him today for his checkup and to get the prescription. His father & I have joint custody and is 100% against medication. I have tried everything else thus far besides medicine.

My son has an above average IQ but his behavior at school may hold him back. His teacher keeps us informed daily and recently started seeing the counselor at school.

PLEASE give me any input, suggestions, best medicine for 6 year old boy with the least side effects. I’m heartbroken bc I feel it’s only me fighting for our son. His father states he won’t give it to him and will soon take legal action against me.
Thank you.


Hi.  I have had the same issues with my sons Dad. 
My son is 9 and has been diagnosed (by doctors whom only work w/ADHD patients.) his professional diagnosis was offered 2yrs ago.  With this said, after all appropriate testing and comment by doctors (pro meds,) it amazes me the lack of support STILL by sons Dads.
Look, if your child doctor suggests a treatment plan then I wouldn’t worry- in fact I’d be more concerned as a parent for not following doctors orders, ya know? Since my son has been medicated his school career has taken OFF! wink he’s in the 4th grade and able to focus and ‘appropriately’ participate.  I’m happy I took my time to wait for meds-although very tuff on me and his siblings.  I know now without a doubt I’m doing the best I can for my son.
Good luck…..

Posted by cwgrlyipp on Mar 05, 2014 at 6:56pm

Have both you and your husband watch the video “Essential Ideas for Parents” by Dr. Russell Barkley.  It is posted on this page below on the right hand side, at the bottom.  It is long but has the best information I have ever heard/read about ADHD.  Dr. Barkley is THE expert on ADHD in the U.S.

He also discusses medication in the video (and the end).  It will help you make an informed decision.

Posted by staypositive on Mar 05, 2014 at 7:38pm

I have not watched it yet. I will asap tho- Thank you.

I’m looking for input/personal experiences about specific med/side effects also.

Posted by lola.g on Mar 05, 2014 at 8:25pm

I’ve been there myself with our son.  My husband (we’re still married) fought me for 2 years before our son went on his medication.  Do men view meds as a sign of weakness or is it something else?  Anyway, maybe you can try my approach with his dad: we compromised. 

We had exhausted all other efforts (counseling, behavior rewarding, diet, etc.) and the only option we had not tried was medication. Since dad was still against it, I asked him for a compromise.  I suggested we try the meds for 30 days and if we see no improvement, he doesn’t take them anymore (they either work immediately or not at all).  Dad agreed and son’s been on them for 3 years now. 

Word of warning—it did take 3 tries before we found the right one for our son. The doctor wrote us 2 week trial scripts until we found one that he responded best to without side affects.  For us, that was Focalin XR. Everyone is different so what works for 1 person might not be the best choice for another. 

Good luck and keep fighting for what’s best for your child.

Posted by Machelle B on Mar 05, 2014 at 9:50pm

One thing the school will do is send the child home if he isn’t on his meds. Then once the father is tired of missing work cause his son isn’t at school he will give in. If the father chooses to fight it, he will be fighting the doctors, you and the school.

Posted by Maceystars on Mar 05, 2014 at 10:10pm

I agree that meds that work for some do not work for all, in fact, we have found that a med. might work for a year and then we might need to change to something different.  My child is 10 and we have had to do that twice now. We also provide supplements such as fish oil, extra calcium, etc. that help our child. When you find the med that will help your child, it can make such a huge difference. We tried so many things (thousands and thousands of dollars ) so that we would not have to put my child on medication. Now Vyvance is my hero.

Posted by christini on Mar 05, 2014 at 11:05pm

I might add that my husband was totally against meds also…I am a stay at home mom and told him that I would gladly not look at the med. route, if he would take 2 weeks from work and be with our child in the afternoons (homework,discussing his day etc.). My husband lasted 3 days before he said “uncle” to looking at medications stronger than supplements.

Posted by christini on Mar 05, 2014 at 11:14pm


Medicine is a huge decision and for you both to consider this is a step forward. I started my boy at 5 1/2 on med’s I wish I knew what I do now. I recommend having you try Adderall immediate release, take one in the morning and four hours later take the other. It’s been the best way so far for us. We started on 5mg but the doctor had us 1/2 the 5 mg pill in the morning/afternoon in the beginning of trying this medicine to make sure he see’s if that works. We ended increasing it to 5mg twice a day since September, everything is going well this year. We tried Vyvanse, Concerta, Intuitive, Kapvay, Flocan. All in my opinion were not for my son, too many side effects and caused depression, low energy level and lots of crying and meanness.

Posted by livingwith-adhd&add;-infamily on Mar 05, 2014 at 2:28pm

There is no way to know what medicine will be the best for your son with the least side-effects in advance, unfortunately.  It is trial & error, period.  What works for one person will not necessarily work for someone else.

The most frequently prescribed medicines are stimulants, but there are also other non-stimulant medications.  There are two different classes/groups of stimulants Methylphenidates (MPH) and Amphetamines (AMP).  The majority of people will respond (meaning have a decrease in ADHD symptoms) to a stimulant medication.

Of those who do respond some will respond to drugs in both the MPH and the AMP class but they will almost always respond better to one class than the other; some will respond to ONLY drugs in one class but not the other; some will only “partially” respond; some will respond to neither class.

The MPH class includes Ritalin, Methylin, Focalin, Metadate, Daytrana, Concerta, and Quillivant.

The other class of stimulants (AMP) includes Dexedrine, Adderall, and Vyvanse.

As for the disagreement between you and your husband (who has indicated that he will sabotage the plan to give your son ANY medication for ADHD) the only way I can see you getting anything close to compliance from him will be for you to go to an attorney and include this in your joint-custody agreement.  You should probably notify the physician who you go see about this particular problem, too, as they may already have some ideas about what steps you should take, as well as how they might need to involve themselves in that dispute (whether it becomes a “legal” dispute or not).

Perhaps the physician meeting with your husband personally to educate him more on this situation would be enough to prevent this from becoming a legal issue.

Posted by BC on Mar 05, 2014 at 3:43pm

Posted by adhdmomma on Mar 06, 2014 at 5:59pm

Thank you all so much!!! VERY helpful! I have more questions but I will post a new topic. TY again

Posted by lola.g on Mar 06, 2014 at 10:54pm

My question to your husband would be “Why?”  Why does he not want his son on medication.  I think that would be a helpful avenue to take; maybe he has misconceptions about meds, maybe he heared horror stories from friends/co-workers, maybe he truly doesn’t understand what his son is going thru.  No one “wants” to medicate their child if they don’t need to, I certainly didn’t “want” to either.  What your husband needs to hear is that it isn’t about him and his wants or needs, it is about what his son needs to allow him to be successful academically and socially.  If your son is anything like mine was before medication, it might be helpful if he could be a silent observer at school to watch as his son cannot sit still, in constant movement, can’t stay on task or complete the assignment given to him because his mind is racing, blurting out answers, talking excessively, observing how other children and his teachers respond to him, etc. . . Maybe that would enlighten him.  At 6 years old he is supposed to be learning many things that will be built upon on in coming years of school and if he can’t grasp those concept now, he will struggle the rest of his school career both academically and socially.  Maybe your pediatrician has another set of parents that were reluctant to try meds but now are pleased that they did that your husband could speak to.

I second the response above regarding offering a trial of meds but make sure you get before and during feedback from teachers AND your son, they are the ones that are benefitting, not you or your husband.  He also can be off meds on weekends as another compromise. 

We were lucky with meds, the first one we tried (Concerta) worked and continues to work.  My only complaint about it is the decreased appetite side effect but with planning and patience you can work around that.

Good luck, hang in there and always keep in mind what your son is going thru, that is who this is all about, it isn’t about the parents/adults!!

Posted by JBagyi on Mar 07, 2014 at 5:44am

Hi, I am new to this group and my son will be 5 in May. He hits everyone he comes into contact with whether it be for fun or because he is angry. I just don’t want to be my lil guy on meds, I feel this is just a phase but just fooling myself. I feel so helpless that I can not change his behavior around. We are seeing a physcologist and occupational therapist and will have him tested for adhd next week. This kid has literally drained the life out of me but I love him so much.

Posted by jeacro on Mar 14, 2014 at 12:32am

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