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When/who initially brought up the subject of adhd?

(23 Posts)
clare40 Tue 07-Jun-11 21:13:46

Just wondering was it you, or nursery or school?

Also, did you have your suspicions? Was it obvious? What is the difference between an over excited slightly hyper child who is naughty and adhd? (I hope that question doesn't offend anyone, but that is how I would describe my DS and he is starting school soon and I am worried.)

runningonmt Tue 07-Jun-11 22:15:22

Hi clare40

Ok step one ..... take a deep breath. This is a long and complicated process to assess for ADHD.

Firstly it is very hard to diagnose ADHD in under 6 years olds for the simple reason that a lot of the most common and obvious symptoms are common in probably 95% of young, fit children.

The three symptoms are impulsivity, hyperactivity and inattention (dont be mislead by the last one and do some research on the internet to fully understand what they all really mean - no disrespect intended but sometimes it is not obvious by the single word title).

So basically you are trying to compare your child against a "normal" child of a similar age. Of course what, you ask, is "normal"?

Children develop at a great rate upto the age of starting school.
Once they are in school you are more able to compare them with their class mates (or at least their teacher is !!!)

Do some research on the web and listen to your gut feeling - you are the expert where your child is concerned. If you still have concerns speak to the class teacher when your child starts school and ask them to keep you updated with their opinions / feedback. The older the child is, the more obvious the differences are between a non ADHD child and one with the condition.

Many of the symptoms of ADHD are also similar to symptoms for other conditions such as Dyspraxia and Autism. The symptoms have to be obvious in more than one setting such as at home and at school and at friends/families homes. If they are only apparent in one setting it is unlikely to be ADHD.

Treatment for ADHD is largely behaviour management - many of the techniques work well for all children (not just ADHDers) so it is worth starting on them now to help your child even if he is just a bit over excitable rather than ADHD - Medication is really a last resort for officially diagnosed children. It is a very powerful drug and will not work for children without ADHD.

A diagnosis can only be made by an experienced child psychiatrist and not at GP but your GP would be the person to see first to get the referal to see a child Psych.

My advise to you would be to start on behaviour techniques now, do a bit of research on the internet, keep an open dialog with school and if by the age of 6 to 7 your child is still displaying all of the characteristics ask your GP for a referal.

Good luck to you and your family x x x

Chundle Wed 08-Jun-11 07:31:58

My dds school are rubbish with communicating with parents so I approached them and explained I was bit worried and how was she in class. Head of year said much the same as home and to go to GP. Went to GP had 3 app with community paed did loads of forms and assessments and was diagnosed on Xmas eve last year.
I have a dd and they are different with ADHD from ds's . As I've never had a child that isn't hyper I can't really tell you what non-hyper is like! I imagine it's bliss though smile

r3dh3d Wed 08-Jun-11 10:11:29

What runningonmt said. Imo, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then you can treat it as a duck at this stage; if in the end it turns out to be a chicken that likes swimming, well, you won't have done it any harm. So if your child behaves in an ADHD-like way at this age, it's worth trying strategies that work on ADHD because they will help most kids showing this behaviour.

It would be very unusual to get a diagnosis of ADHD before school - 6 or 7 is more likely, and then it would only be after school reporting a strong history of ADHD behaviour; you can't get a diagnosis to prevent problems at school because problems at school are pretty much the key indicator for diagnosis! That doesn't mean he would have to fail at school to get diagnosed: but it does mean school would have to treat him differently to help him succeed and that will form part of any eventual diagnosis.

DD2 is 5 and may well have ADHD (I do, so she's highish risk) and school have already talked about her getting side-tracked, for instance. I haven't mentioned ADHD to them yet - if she is ADHD, it's mild, so I want them to observe without me prejudicing them at this stage - but I've watched her at home and seen that she's prone to being distracted by stuff she sees, rather than what she hears. So I've told them that when she's getting distracted and she needs to finish some work, to sit her at a side table with her back to the rest of the classroom for 5 minutes.

unpa1dcar3r Wed 08-Jun-11 15:15:07

ADHD is not the 'new fancy' name for a disability or parents who can't be bothered (although of course there are those too) but was discovered in 1845 believe it or not by some french GP who had 4 kids, one of whom was not fitting into the right boxes. Forgot his name but it's all on here somewhere to be googled.
I love it when people say it's not real or it's a new fancy thing to lable kids and I tell em...erm, actually....!!!

runningonmt Wed 08-Jun-11 17:02:48

Totally agreed unpa1dcar3r - I have the following suggestion for the "it-dosn't-exisit-just-give-them-a-clip-round-the-ear" brigade ......

"Thank you for sharing your opinion with me - could I try the following experiment with you.......

Firstly drink 14 cups of expresso and two cans of red-bull (*other stimulant drinks are available).

Then tell me if you become more, hyper, jittery etc ..... if you do then you dont have ADHD, but when I give the equivilent (ritalin) to my ADHD son he becomes less hyper, jittery etc .... than he was before the meds were taken.

If it isnt ADHD please feel free to inform me why he and you have such different reactions ????????

PS - I have tried clipping him around the ear (shock/horror) and it didnt cure him. Whilst you are under the influence of expresso/red-bull may I clip you around the ear and see if it makes you less hyper !!!!!!" LOL !!!!!

The other (shorter) version is ...... "thats an interesting diagnosis - which medical establishment did you get your degree from doctor ..... sorry whats your name ..... doctor what ?"

unpa1dcar3r Wed 08-Jun-11 17:29:34

Oh I'm sat here LMAO Runningonmt! loving it, have you actually said this to people?

runningonmt Wed 08-Jun-11 17:42:09

Sadly not ..... I wish i was that brave to ! I did one tell someone (while keeping a very straight face) that my friends son was severely autistic until his parents smacked that right out of him. I am a little bit worried that they actually believed me !

unpa1dcar3r Wed 08-Jun-11 17:48:24

Lol and lol again! I have said to people before when they comment on my boys "My sons might suffer from Fragile X Syndrome but I thank the good Lord everyday that at least THEY don't suffer from ignorance" wink

runningonmt Thu 09-Jun-11 23:34:58

Spot on unpa1d - My son is incredibly accepting of other peoples differences - his cousin (and good mate) is type1 diabetic (since he was 7yrs) - he gets really grumpy when his blood sugar is too low and DS will shrug of his moody strops as he knows he really cant help it.

My DS can be very black and white with his approach to life and sometimes can say inappropriate stuff without thinking through the consequences. I do worry for him when he is older and more independant and out and about on his own - his mouth will get him into deep water if he doesnt learn to engage brain before opening mouth - it is never meant with malice but it is so easy to cause offence when you dont have good social skills.

unpa1dcar3r Fri 10-Jun-11 16:52:23

Hi Running. I have a young friend i was at university with, He has aspergers. Highly intelligent obviously but his social skills are somewhat...erm, lacking haha. Of course I laugh at it all the time cos I know he doesn't mean it when he says 'You're old and you've got a fat bum' (at least I hope he don't lol) but I have been out with him beofre and he's made comments to strangers which are totally inappropriate and I do brick it thinking that if they turn on him, I'll have to have a punch up on his behalf!!!

nicevideoshameaboutthesong Fri 10-Jun-11 21:20:24

runningonmt Tue 07-Jun-11 22:15:22 "It is a very powerful drug and will not work for children without ADHD."

I think you'lll find those drugs will help anyone concentrate because of their effects on the brain, specifically on neurotransmitters, dopamine in particular.

nicevideoshameaboutthesong Fri 10-Jun-11 21:25:59

further, caffeine and methylphenidate have very different structures and effects. they may both be classed as stimulants, but they are not even near similar. Caffeine is a powerful physical stimulant, whereas methylphenidate stimulates the brain far more than it does the heart / autonomic nervous system (the jitters etc).

runningonmt Sat 11-Jun-11 11:06:42

Thats an interesting view nicevideo and something i will have to look into a little more. My opinion of course is based on general research i have done as a mum and advise i have been given by the doctors rather than any medical background. I appologise if i have mis-led anyone in any way.

I am not trying to be 'snippy' nicevid but can you explain why many adults with ADHD self medicate with nicotine and caffine if they have a different effect to methylphenidate??? (thurst for knowledge not looking for a fight)

unpa1dcar3r Sat 11-Jun-11 12:03:39

I was also always told that if the child did not have genuine ADHD that the ritalin/methalanphenidate wouldn't work confused

nicevideoshameaboutthesong Sat 11-Jun-11 13:07:46

running: well, you dont need a prescription for caffeine or nicotine, nor do you have to have a doctor believe you need them...

Nicotine is an amazing substance. Totally addictive of course but its effects are still being discovered - and it is also vastly different to caffeine. There are nicotinic receptors in the brain - the stuff has its own receptors!

Methylphenidate will help anyone focus. It is a powerful synthetic amphetamine-like drug developed to, though its effects are closer to cocaine tham dextroamphetamine.

Same is true for Adderall / dextroamphetamine - in fact, many people swear by Adderall to Ritalin because of a differerent but similar effect of helping one to focus. Pstychostimulants will help anyone focus, not just children with ADHD.

These drugs were NOT invented for ADHD, they were discovered in the late 1800s and used in the early 1900s to treat nasal congestion, and they were used extensively in WWII to combat fatigue and keep the soldiers alert.

Treating ADHD is just one of several uses of these drugs - which are also used for obesity, depression, and narcolepsy.

nicevideoshameaboutthesong Sat 11-Jun-11 13:12:35

errr, the previous post should read methylphenidate was developed to treat low blood pressure. It was used in the 60s to treat 'minimal brain dysfunction' as ADHD was known back then.

nicevideoshameaboutthesong Sat 11-Jun-11 13:39:50

also, it depends on your definition of 'work' - how do you decide that an ADHD drug 'works' on a child? What are the positive effects you are looking for? What are the negatives you're willing to tolerate to achieve the positives?

Psychostimulants (ritalin, adderal, caffeine, cocaine) cause increased blood pressure, jitters (activation of the peripheral nervous system), loss of appetite, strain on the heart, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, psychosis, heart attack, etc etc.

But they also cause increased focus, increased ability to stay awake, less need for sleep, euphoria, etc etc.

Those are effects documented in the entire population, not just in the ADHD population. So, really stimulants 'work' for anyone, if your definition of 'working' is to help the person concentrate and be awake and focus...

runningonmt Sat 11-Jun-11 14:31:45

My definition of "work" in summary is to improve his quality of life. Definately a positive effect.

Negative effects: Increased blood pressure - No, BP is taken rgularly at all his medical apts and no effect on blood pressure noted even whilst medicated.
Jitters - No, far less jittery when medicated. He has no tics (ritalin conta-indicated for people with tics)
Does supress his appitite during the day a little (not a prob as he has breakfast before meds) and eats more in the evenings when it has worn off.
Strain on the heart - I would say less strain in my opinion than when he is hyper - used to mention palpitations before he started taking ritalin, hasnt since although this could of course mean he is now less aware of his body working now he is not so hypersensitive.
Anxiety - Was before he started on ritalin, still is to the same degree I believe so no change there.
Paranoia - not noted (I on the other hand know EVERYONE is out to get me)
hallucinations - none noted
psychosis - no loss of contact with reality observed
heart attack - nope.

increased focus - Yes
increased ability to stay awake - he has NEVER had a problem with staying awake - getting to sleep and staying asleep has always been a problem since birth,
less need for sleep (see above),
euphoria - overall happier certainly as it appears to help him control his symptoms which does make him happier.

You missed one - stunted growth - not indicated so far but as it is anticipated he is likely to be in excess of 6 ft when he is an adult an inch or two in the grand scheme of things is not an issue - he is weighed and measured at each medical appointment.

Positives - a happier child. More able to self-control, more able to make good decisions, more likely to make safe decisions, less hyperactive. Dont ask me how it works or why it works - for my child it does - for others it doesnt and yes i did my reseach before i decided on medication and now feel i have justified myself fully to you.

If sticking a strawberry up his nose, wearing greensocks and morris dancing under a full moon had the same positive effect on his ADHD we would probably have given that the same carefull consideration.

nicevideoshameaboutthesong Sat 11-Jun-11 14:40:02

your child may not be suffering those side effects, but those ARE side effects of Ritalin.

nicevideoshameaboutthesong Sat 11-Jun-11 14:40:49

Also, why are you on the defensive, justifying yourself to me? I didnt ask you to.

runningonmt Sat 11-Jun-11 16:22:09

also, it depends on your definition of 'work' - how do you decide that an ADHD drug 'works' on a child? What are the positive effects you are looking for? What are the negatives you're willing to tolerate to achieve the positives?

No but you did ask me to answer all of the above which i have done - You seem like a well educated person - Did you not believe the style of your posts would come accross as inflamitory - or perhaps that was the purpose of your post. If it was to engage in an open debate about the side effects of Ritalin why not start your own thread rather than hijack someone elses. Reading my earlier posts you can see that the decision to medicate is a very personal and controversial decision which many parents come under attack by idiots that have little experience but a great deal of opinion !!!!!!!

biscuit

nicevideoshameaboutthesong Sat 11-Jun-11 18:04:46

i wasnt asking, i was speaking of a hypothetical 'you', not YOU you...

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