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Think we might try DS on ADHD meds(10 Posts)
I'm completely torn on this emotionally and struggling to look at it all objectively.
He's still struggling in class despite a massive amount of help, and starting to get down about it now. We had our first 'can I not go to school please' last week, and he normally loves it there.
I'm torn between worry about how meds might affect him, especially his weight as he's a skinny lad at best, and the thought / suggestion that this might turn out to be really beneficial to him, both in his academic ability and how much he enjoys school.
Any wise words would be most appreciated. I guess he's still my little boy and this has all upped the game in terms of him needing extra help, and I'm finding that hard.
How old is he?
My DD (ASD, ADHD, Dyspraxia and Dyslexia) had low level school refusal right from reception but when she started in year 3 it became very severe very quickly. We were battling during most of this time for an ADHD/ASD diagnosis with the local NHS Paed who was hopeless and failed DD terribly. Eventually we got to see a sensible Psychiatrist at CAMHS who took one look at her, diagnosed ADHD and told us he could fix her severe anxiety and school refusal with medication.
We had been very anti-medication prior to this point but were so desperate we decided to try it. It was an absolute life saver for DD and our family and the best thing we could have done.
Her anxiety and school refusal disappeared almost over night. Its not perfect, but we can manage her anxiety as it occurs and can now work with her to find solutions to particular causes or problems.
She has now caught up with her peer group academically and is absolutely thriving at school. She is enjoying her lessons and is very excited by the topics she is covering this term.
The medication allows her other therapies to work, as she can concentrate and understand what is being asked of her.
She is in control of her life when medicated. She understands what is expected of her both at school and home and can organise herself as a result.
There have been side effects though.
She lost over half a stone in weight at one point and like your son was very skinny to start with. However she has managed to regain the weight now and its much more stable.
She found getting to sleep difficult when she first started and each time the dose went up. However, as long as she has her medication every day, her sleep is fine now.
It has also made her ASD behaviors more obvious.
Deciding whether to medicate your child is a really difficult decision and not one to rush into. However its been a hugely positive experience for us.
maybe you could trial it and see if benefits outweigh the consequences?
That's good to hear, thanks - we've been anti-meds if at all possible but it seems like we're getting closer to trying them.
DS is 7 and in Yr3 too - it does seem like things have been more difficult for him this year as the pressure to get on with things independently has increased.
He's thankfully not had too much anxiety but lately has pretty much ground to a halt on any reading at all - just finds it too hard, both to concentrate and to make out the works, and I wonder if the ADHD might be masking dyslexia or something. We're very aware too that he could start to really notice if he falls further and further behind his peers.
A trial sounds like a good idea - the Dr he sees seems to be good and school are really helpful so I think we'd get reliable feedback on how he is there too.
It feels like such a really big decision, one of those proper grown-up decisions in life, but I guess if it's not right for him we can stop or change and just see how it goes. It's good to hear it's helped your DD out though.
We've also just taken the step of asking to try medication. DS1 is a young year 5 and is starting to go down in the class because he says he can't concentrate. Already has an ASD diagnosis (with attention/impulsiveness problems) but ADD was always in the wings.
I've heard both good and bad stories, so entering into this with caution. For some people it seems to be life changing, while for others the side effects seem to outweigh the benefits.
We'll just have to wait and see! Good luck on your journey
Wait and see sounds about right, good luck to your DS too!
The thing with meds is that you can change your mind if the side effects outweigh the benefits. We had to do this with ds2 (although medicated for anxiety rather than ADHD). We agonized for ages over putting ds2 on meds but I am not sorry that we tried even though for him it was not a solution. At least we know this now and know an alternative solution is needed.
DD1 (ADHD plus dyslexia and dyspraxia) was a very skinny child when she went on meds. She stayed skinny but didn't get any worse She was on them from age 6 -14 and then stopped, then went back on them as a young adult ..at University! (They really don't grown out of ADHD!)
They aren't a magic pill for all children, but for those for whom they DO work..it can be so so helpful.
DD21 is now a 4th year med student.. still ADHD but doing well, and I have no doubt she would have never got to this stage without her medication.
The way I looked on meds with my DS was that he could not concentrate or sit still without them as his ADHD is severe. The psychiatrist told us that his behaviour therapy would not work until he was medicated because he first had to be able to listen.
The way I see it is the global benefits to his development by him being on meds far outweigh the developmental/health risks of him being on them. His appetite has been OK while on meds, I do notice though that the more the meds are wearing off during the day the more he eats. So feeding him when he is a bit hyper often works!
As our psychiatrist said ritalin is a very tried and tested drug.
I have heard that a lot of children grow out of ADHD so in my view the meds give the opportunity for them to keep up with their peers until their bodies develop to a point where they can control it more without meds
I was very anti medication for my son who has ADHD, we ended up last Easter agreeing to a short trial.
It was amazing the transformation. My son is still very much my son personality wise, we ended up with all the positives with no horrible side effects at all. He went from struggling at school, to really engaging and enjoying school. His reading age went up by 2 years, all between Easter and June.
We did try some other longer acting and slow release versions of Ritalin, but they both had side effects and did not work as well. So consequently we have stuck with the Ritalin.
I am a total convert, having see for myself what it does do, I think with correct diagnosis and careful monitoring of side effects it is vital for some children to be able to survive the school system.
My son has the inattentive type ADHD more than hyperactivity issues.
Have you tried VegEPA? It is natural and WORKS! Please try it before going down the road of meds. See my earlier post this morning for more info.
I hope this helps. X
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