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Parents of ADHD Children


My daughter was diagnosed last year with Inattentive primary ADHD. She is 7 yrs old and already underweight. She has tried Ritalin LA,which gave her stomach issues and did not last long enough and she could not handle the larger dose and started fighting eating the medicine in applesause, pudding etc. So tried the new liquid med and that did nothing for her but make her hyper and defiant. We then went to Daytrana, which helps her stay focused, but she is anti social, withdrawn, seems sad and has now lost to much weight that I had to take her off for a while. My Dr tells me we are out of medication options because for her size and weight, not sure what to do now! The school is working with us on accommodations for her during the day. But she is still struggling to get all her work done and keeping up. I just don’t know what to do. I don’t want my child not socializing with her peers and depressed. She is a very happy child off meds. Anyone else experience this?


If I am reading correctly, looks like the doctor went right to long acting Ritalin? Was there ever a time when they tried ritalin that would stay active 3-4 hours with a dose administered by the nurse after lunch?
As a parent I would not be OK with withdrawn or antisocial feelings, but I have accepted appetite supression for my low weight 11 year old.  We handle this by strategically choosing food that has a huge appeal, and giving him extra meals/snacks all evening. 

We make sure we have a high protein/high calorie breakfast
We are happy with any lunch he eats and it has to be very appealing to him (pizza and an ice cream cup)
Smoothie with extra protein and chia (omega3) during homework
His appetite returns at dinner and then we usually have 2 more snacks between dinner and bed

Posted by momtodom on Nov 04, 2013 at 10:53pm

Have not tried the fast acting Ritalin May have to discuss this as an option. This is so frustrating!! The major problem I was having was because she lost so much weight her appetite was also affected when she was off the meds, and she became very picky, would no long eat the things that I used to be able to give her to fill her up, no eggs, cheese, potatoes, meat, she used to love all these foods and now wont eat them. ugh!

Posted by HLove on Nov 05, 2013 at 12:24am

Hi HLove! Ask the prescribing doc about non-stimulant medications for ADHD as well. There are more options than you have tried thus far. My son’s therapist would suspect another underlying condition with the mood issues you’ve had with the medications you’ve tried so far. You may have that discussion with her doctor as well. Many other conditions, like anxiety, can be exacerbated by stimulants and need to be treated before the ADHD. You may need to get a second opinion.

Here’s a chart of all medications available to treat ADHD: There are others not mentioned in this cart also that are often used off-label for ADHD.

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Nov 05, 2013 at 6:45pm

The non stimulants were brought up to us, but we were told they most likely would not work for her because she responds well with focus on the stimulants just to may side effects. Also we were told the non-stimulants work better for kids with primary hyperactivity ADHD and not as well for inattentive ADHD. UGH so frustrating!

Posted by HLove on Nov 06, 2013 at 5:06am


The most important thing for someone with adhd (young or older) is proper nutrition and diet.  Since your child isn’t eating then its impossible for her to get the nutrition she needs. Medication didn’t work for me so I had to find another way to help myself and that was with vitamins and minerals, fish oils.

It changed my life, I take vitamin B6, B12, crushed flax seed and Omega fish oil vitamins, Magnesium is one of the best, zinc, and others, I cant remember them all right now.  Also very important for you to look into a gluten free diet and a low meat diet, low sugar as these have also helped me with focus and depression.  Its not a quick fix but I noticed a difference with in 3 or less days. Since most people are gluten intolerant this means they don’t absorb vitamins as well as others.

My grandson is 6 almost 7 and I couldn’t imagine giving him any of those strong medications.  Also I feel doctors should let the parents try out the medications that their children are trying so adults can feel the strong high and the heavy fog that comes with many adhd medications. Adderall made me like a zombie, a starving zombie.

Best of luck, many people will give you different opinions, that’s what make this group work.

Posted by BexIssues on Nov 04, 2013 at 6:37pm

One more thing, Protein!!!  I recommend Raw Protein from The Garden of Life Brand.  Your child will love it, mix it with a banana or berries.

Posted by BexIssues on Nov 04, 2013 at 6:40pm


If you are seeing a regular doctor to treat her ADHD you probably need to turn to a pediatric psychiatrist.  You are not out of medication options, that may be true to someone with limited understanding of the available meds (understanding usually obtained from drug reps and a book, not practice).  You should have your child evaluated by a pediatric psychiatrist and prescribed by them as well.  Doctors are great, pediatricians are great, but they don’t deal with ALL the drugs available for ALL brain conditions EVERY day, day in and day out.  They deal with them every so often.

Our daughter was also diagnosed at 7, also a happy little girl off meds, but like yours couldn’t function well in school.  She went through all the testing available at school and she has no learning disability and in fact is very bright.  But she can’t focus.  I don’t care how many eggs you give your child to eat in the morning, they are not going to allow her to focus enough in school.  That is not to say that diet is unimportant.  It is very important.  But by trying to rely only on diet you may inadvertently be setting your child behind years in school.  Our daughter was diagnosed at the end of 1st (because she turns 7 in May and the doc would not diagnose before that) consequently they wanted to hold her back in 1st.  But I knew she “got it” she just couldn’t focus long enough to go through a big long test.  So by beg. of 2nd she was at beg. 1st level.  But on meds there was a dramatic difference in her ability not only to focus in school but to do homework. It took her all year but she caught up in 2nd grade and ended the year at grade level.

Our daughter is on Adderal which pretty much only addresses attention - does nothing for wiggly, or anxiety, or impulse control - it works very well for people who only, or primarily suffer from inattention.  And when she started she was on 2 1/2 milligrams.  You may know they don’t even make them that little. But that is what her psychiatrist prescribed based on her weight, her age, her symptoms and severity.  So we were breaking them in half for months till she grew.

As to the weight issue.  You need to just feed her what she will eat a lot of.  And we do medication holidays (one day a week) where she can eat as much whenever as she wants to keep the weight on.  Kids this age don’t eat yet when not hungry, unlike us adults!  So you have to allow them to eat what they will.  So our daughter will always eat rice.  I make extra to put in her lunch and for the next night.  I put all the veg and protein on her plate just like everyone else in the family, but I put no restriction on how much she eats.  She is skinny but she has energy and that is the important thing.

But bottom line, find a pediatric psychiatrist, preferably one who is an expert in ADD/ADHD.  I wish everyone could have ours, she’s lovely and always thinking of ways to make our daughter more functional with her ADD.

Best to you.

Posted by YellaRyan on Nov 04, 2013 at 7:57pm


Thanks YellaRyan, I was told by my Ped that she could not handle Adderall because it has more effect on appetite then the Ritalin type of meds. Because she is so underweight. How does she take the Adderall is it a pill? or do you crush it in her food? My daughter can not swallow pills have tried for ever but she still can not swallow them. I think I will try to find a psychiatrist that my be my next step.  Thanks!

Posted by HLove on Nov 06, 2013 at 12:02am

Posted by adhdmomma on Nov 06, 2013 at 7:32pm

Adderall instant release is a tiny pill that you can swallow or it will almost instantly dissolve in your mouth, I would think it would be very easy for anyone of any age to swallow wink taste sweet not bitter at all. Just have breakfast or a protein drink for calories about an hour before the Adderall so the person gets calories and the meds will still work.  Mine always worked better if I ate about an hour before taking it, i’d get shaky if I didn’t eat first. Hope this helps

Posted by BexIssues on Nov 15, 2013 at 4:18am

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