Sarah - posted on 10/01/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )
My daughter is 4 years old & she is on 1 medication for sleep & 1 behavioral medication. Her doctor just prescribed Ritalin in pill form (pharmacy didn't have the liquid she wanted her on) to take twice a day - once when she first wakes up & once at lunch time. The doctor is hoping it will help her focus more & stay on task.
My daughter, Olivia, is on the spectrum, w. no real understanding of where. She has limited understanding of communication, although that is improving. She has a very difficult time focusing on any one thing for more than a few seconds, although when she does get fixated on something she really gets fixated & we have a difficult time moving her focus at that point. She's a head butter & screams a lot when she gets frustrated, she also hits herself in the head.
She is on sleep medication because she flat out will not sleep. As it is now, we have finally gotten her on a decent sleep schedule. She is usually asleep by 8pm & sleeps until about 5am in the morning. She has school in the morning, and plays in her room until I get her up at 630am.
She can be such a happy child, lots of laughs & giggles. When we have hard days, they are HARD days, and seem never ending. I am happy to try a new medication to see if we can improve her good days & make the harder ones less & less, but Ritalin seems to come w. some hefty side effects. I am not worried about her losing any weight, at just 4 years old she is 46in tall & 58lbs. While I don't want my 4 year old dieting, she's put on a lot of weight from other medications in the past. The doctor said that by taking it early in the day, it should not interfere w. her sleep, but there is a chance. She wants us to give it a try for 2 weeks to see if we get any improvements or not.
As a side note: I know many many people do not medicate their children. Bless you all. That is not something my husband & I feel comfortable doing. It is important for our daughter to sleep and be the best child she can be. If that means she needs to be on medication for now, then that is what we are doing. Our ultimate goal is to have her off medication, or on the least amount. When we moved to Germany last December (my husband is stationed here in the Army), my daughter was on 7 different medications. I hated it all and the doctors we left behind in Idaho didn't seem to want to listen to us on wanting her on the least amount of medications to help her be balanced. This new doctor we are seeing has been wonderful & helped us a lot. I do trust her judgement, and she is always willing to listen to my concerns & allows my husband & I to be part in making decisions for our daughter. Please, do not attack me for having my little girl on medication. I need some insight & advice. If it is anti-medication - please be kind & offer suggestions & useful information.