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After this latest incident, we have taken the very difficult decision to medicate younger son

(20 Posts)
streakybacon Wed 26-Jun-13 11:21:27

We also tried all other options before going for medication (long story). Ds was dxd at 10 years (three years after HFA dx) and we dithered a further six months before taking the plunge.

There are quite a few different drugs but most consultants will start with Ritalin at low dose (about 5mg) to assess for potential side effects (eg sleep difficulties and lack of appetite most common), but for most patients these are transient even when they do occur. It's worth bearing in mind that ALL drugs have potential side-effects, but it doesn't mean that they aren't a useful tool for treating the conditions they're prescribed for.

It's common to tweak medication as time goes on, either adjusting the dosage or combining with other drugs. Ds (now 14) takes 35mg methylphenidate (Ritalin) over three doses, plus a morning dose of 40mg atomoxetine (Strattera). This combo works well for him but as someone said upthread it doesn't cure ADHD, it's no magic bullet, and symptoms will remain. But the drug will give better clarity of thought and processing for your child to learn appropriate management techniques and you most likely will see progress. Watch out for the ADHD/puberty combo though - it's a cow wink and he'll probably need a drug adjustment then.

I don't envy you the decision as it's such a difficult one, but our story has been nothing but positives for ds. For him, progress has been down to three elements: being home educated, having an excellent martial arts club which has provided focus and support, and a good consultant psych with the right attitude to medication. Ds is nothing like the child he was at school and pre-medication - he is calm, sensible (sometimes!), has friends and an active social life, and can get about independently. He is far less impulsive than he used to be as he's developed more ability to think before he acts - it's still a work in progress but he's getting there. He's already taken some IGCSEs and is studying for more in the next couple of years. Above all he is HAPPY and enjoys life, which is something I never thought I'd be able to say.

The best of luck to you and your boy, and well done for making the leap.

magso Wed 26-Jun-13 09:52:25

We decided to trial medication after several very serious incidents (like escaping through an open window and out to the road - potentially life threatening to a learning disabled child with no awareness of danger) at school. (Ds has ASD/ADHD/MLD) Our intention was only to use it for school. Medication did not change him - he is still very sparky and always on the go, but it did give him a chance to learn to control his extreme impulsiveness and communication. He is slightly less unpredictable and impulsive on medication. If medication slows him down at all it is to give him a millisecond between thought and action - its still less than the rest of us! Now he is 13 and needing to interact with others 7/7 he uses medication 7/7.
we tried everything we could before medication, but once we saw the benefits (admittedly it took a while to get the med right) it was clearly in his best interest.

Aspergers/ADHD. It was not a decision we took lightly, in fact we spent 2 years trying everything else first.

The meds have enabled him to stay at a school he loves, make some basic 'friendships' and function without every day being a nightmare/disaster. No regrets.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Wed 26-Jun-13 09:16:00

Thanks all. So many different medications! How do we know which is best?

We're seeing the paed on thursday. What should we ask him?

Justabout, smile thanks. You're all fab too. He's just changed so much and I don't know why. He's becoming a different person and it's so sad.

prissyenglisharriviste Wed 26-Jun-13 01:43:14

Ds1 takes vyvanse. He's ADHD with asd traits (and anxieties and phobias).

When he started taking these meds (we had had an earlier concerta trial which made no difference) he said 'they make me easier to control', so we asked if he meant it made it easier for other people to control him, or for him to control himself. He said 'both'.

It's been no miracle cure - he takes it in tandem with heavy duty omegas, zinc, and magnesium (via Epsom salts baths). But it's better.

justaboutreadyforbed Wed 26-Jun-13 01:06:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

toffeelolly Tue 25-Jun-13 23:24:12

My D's age8 has been on Ritalin now for two years do not know were we would be without it. He was on 4 different tablet's before Ritalin which did not agree with him. You just have to find out which one is best for your child.

HotheadPaisan Tue 25-Jun-13 21:56:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Badvoc Tue 25-Jun-13 21:27:19

I'm sorry hec.
Friends son went on Ritalin when he was 7.
It changed his life.
Good luck x

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Tue 25-Jun-13 21:08:16

Thanks v much. I know we have to try because he's barely functioning.

tallulah Tue 25-Jun-13 17:31:32

DS2 dx with ADHD at 7 yo and initially put on amitriptoline as too anxious for ritalin. Effect was immediate. No more punching and no more climbing the walls.

Since then he's been on ritalin then concerta. He's taken GCSEs and A levels, done 4 years of University (but unfortunately not passed final year) and managed to live semi-independently. He's had a number of jobs around Uni and has now got a permanent job.

Occasionally he stops taking the meds, and we can always tell sad

blossbloss Tue 25-Jun-13 17:31:13

We started our dd on medication in May and the response has been amazing. Although it was not an easy decision to make I wish we had done it years ago.

Positive story for you coming up..

DD1 (dx at 6 wit ADHD and some ASD and OCD traits) On Ritalin Did GCSEs, did A levels (still very much ADHD) and has just finished her 3rd year of medical school..and pretty much at the top of her cohort of very able students!

Incidentally after a break of a couple of years she went BACK on medication (Ritalin) and is continuing to take it as a young adult. She has had support from student services but has done mindblowingly well . She hs had an anti depressent added in adulthood as it helps combat her OCD tendencies .

In two years time she will be doctor... still ADHD and her fast mind and lack of need for sleep is serving her well!

Meds did need jiggling with and adjusting at times, but without them she most certainly wouldn't be where she is today!!!

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Tue 25-Jun-13 16:56:37

grin I say that, ouryve. blush I find his symptoms ease a little after he has run a bit on the treadmill.

I suppose it is better now that he seems more interactive, but I just wish it wasn't so violent. He's poked one in the eye, punched two and now this. I think he has intrusive thoughts perhaps, or other compulsions.

I really hope this helps him. I have everything crossed.

MumuDeLulu Tue 25-Jun-13 16:41:43

he was always very passive
Or inattentive-subtype, as the Americans call it. In a way, acting out is better, cos at least they're interacting with the real world, not just with their own wandering thoughts

MumuDeLulu Tue 25-Jun-13 16:39:44

It's a difficult decision now, before you've seen whether it helps him. If it does, the decision to continue meds is much easier than the decision to start. Be aware that it's not a cure for ADHD behaviour (or if it is, the dose is too high!) It just takes the edge off, just delays their impulses a split second, so that toddler-taming-style techniques can start to work.

For me,the first month or so was spent in an is-ritalin-working-or-not fussy head state; once I knew that it was, the more complex situation of wholy-irrational guilt for not trying meds earlier hit me. For a week.

ouryve Tue 25-Jun-13 16:39:40

DS1 has ASD and ADHD and he's been medicated for about 3 years now. He was hell without it - especially in evenings. He found it hard even to do simple, enjoyable things, like play with lego and his communication was virtually non-existent - usually resorting to screaming with frustration. Evenings were a nightmare - he'd pingball around the room and was even worse when he was physically tired (which is why I greet all suggestions that exercise is a magic cure all for ADHD with my hardest hmm)

He's been taking atomoxetine, all this time, and we couldn't go back. He's far from perfect, still bouncy & impulsive and still has huge meltdowns, but it's all far more contained and within days of starting on the medication, he became able to tell us that it was stuffed up nose that was bothering him, or that he was hungry. The downside is that he is relating his displeasure to us a lot, but he'd already begun to bear grudges, anyhow.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Tue 25-Jun-13 16:38:09

He's 12.

When he was younger, he was always very passive. It was his brother who was really aggressive. But as he's getting older, we are seeing more and more of this and we appear to be losing him to it.

daisysue2 Tue 25-Jun-13 16:18:24

I would try anything you can always take him off. I did it with my dd and she was on it for a while not sure if it made much difference and she came off it she was much better generally. So not sure if she learnt new ways to behave or control herself. Try making a list now of all the troublesome behaviour, times, length and be honest with yourself. Then after being on it for a while see how much that behaviour has really changed or if you are just hoping it has.

How old is you ds as that's probably important.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Tue 25-Jun-13 15:58:43

Excluded again for spitting in his TAs face. Just arrived back and gone straight to his room. Doesn't want to interact at all.

So it's the ADHD medication. We can't carry on like this. We owe it to him to at least try.

I am shitting myself because I really didn't want to take this route.

I think he is acting on intrusive thoughts. Apparently 30-40% of children with adhd have them.

I would love positive tales please. Of how it really helped your autistic co morbid with adhd child. or your just plain child with adhd, I'm not picky!

Thanks so much.

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