Son with ADHD has started weird behavior

Michelle - posted on 05/22/2010 ( 41 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone. I don't know if anyone else has had anything like this happen, but I thought I'd ask. My 7 year old son is on Concerta and Strattera for ADHD, it has been okay for the most part. The last several weeks I have noticed a new behavior and am not sure what to think. My son started repeatedly twirling his hair, I noticed more when he was anxious or wasn't doing something with his hands. His hair was getting pretty long so we got it cut, and I figured that would get him to stop. Since that time I have noticed him repeatedly stroking his hair on top of his head, several times, when he is anxious or just sitting around, his teacher has noticed it as well. He doesn't really act like he realizes he is doing it. But it is very strange, it isn't like he is trying to fix his hair or anything, he does this all the time. Any thoughts?

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Bridgette - posted on 11/06/2012

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It may not be anything at all to worry about. I would suggest watching to see if he does other repetetive behaviors. My youngest son always had strange little behaviors that I didn't give a second thought to until he had face tics. When he started having what looked like a painful face tic I immediately took him to the dr. My son is not only ADHD,he has tourettes. Looking back he always had tics and/or repetitive behaviors. He is now 17 and still has it, but copes very well. Many times children with tourettes grow out of it. Of course, I am NOT saying this is what is going on with your son,. I am just suggesting watching for other behaviors or thinking if maybe he had other odd behaviors in the past that didn't seem as odd. Try not to worry too much and good luck.

Side note: it was when my son was on concerta that the tics did get more severe.

Kathleen - posted on 06/07/2010

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I don't think it has anything to do with the meds. Alot of kids have a habit of repetitive behaviors as a self-calming tool. He's seven, he may be able to tell you that it makes him feel better, try asking him in the nicest way possible. You don't want to make him feel bad about it. If the headstroking is too distracting in school, work with him and his teachers to find a more acceptable "fidget" that may help to keep your son calm.

Sharon - posted on 05/27/2010

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I highly advise everyone out there with add/adhd to take omega3 as part of there everyday diet. My son has adhd, he has been taking omega3 every morning at breakfast with his concerta. It has been proven to help with brain function in people of all ages. It is great for those with add/adhd. I first started giving it to my son because his medication was upsetting his stomach, and after doing a lot of online research I discovered all the other benifits of it for him. My younger son who does not have adhd also takes it with his multivitamin at breakfast. I take it aswell. Go to your drugstore or healthfood store, and depending on weight and age someone will help you get the proper dosage. If you have fish allergies obviously it can't be taken (depending on the allergy, ask a professional before taking it). I highly recommend giving it a try.

Sharon

[deleted account]

Do worry. Your child is creating a bad habt for themselves an d they are having a side effect from the medication. There are 2 sides to ADHD/ADD meds. Stimulant and non-stimulant. Do a 2 week trial on meds, note behaviors and talk to your doc after the 2 weeks. New behaviors are a view into what is going on with your child. Children that have a twitch or need to play with something on Concerta are over-stimulated. Unfortunatly you have to try all the medications before you find the right one for your child and their genetic make up. The best ones out there are Straterra and Vyvanse. No joke. Get 0.01 Clonidine to help your child sleep. Comforting your child to sleep[ will set you up for a big fall. That child will become used to the behaviors and need it throughout their lives because you created a large comfort zone for them. We are all uncomfortable at times and have to be used to it due to society's rules and dictations. As for Marina, sorry but you are setting yourself up for a hardship. Your child will expect people to coddle him as life goes on. You need to find a better way to get your child to sleep. You yourself are stimuli. Your child should be going to bed at a certain timr every night without people or things to comfort him. He should be able to put himself to bed. If you need medication to do it, so shall it be. It means his poor mind is in full swing and need helps slowing down. After all- he is off his ADHD/ADD meds by that point in time.

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Shelly - posted on 11/17/2013

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I'd be interested to hear about what your pediatrician says Rebecca. We have been struggling with this for over a year and just when we thought we had it under control, my 8 year old starts pulling his hair out again. We have recently started to make changes in his diet and have seen a naturopath as well and wondering if the combination is now overstimulating his brain. We are looking at possibly reducing his Vyvanse and eliminating the melatonin at night to see if we can get back on track. It seems to happen mostly at school where I can't be monitoring him but getting help from his teachers and school psychologist to help give him strategies to learn alternative ways of coping when he is "bored" - aka overwhelmed with choices during non structured times during the day.

Rebecca - posted on 06/23/2013

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Hi, Michelle. My son is 9, has ADHD also and is currently taking Ritalin. For the past 6 months he does what your son is doing. He constantly twirls his hair, so much that he is starting to lose his hair. At first I thought it was anxiety related behavior however he does it ALL THE TIME. He doesn't even realize he is doing it and I am always telling him to stop, but he can't seem to stop. It is very frustrating. I'm glad that my son is not the only child to have this behavior. My son has his appointment with his doctor this week so hopefully I will get some answers. I will keep you posted. Rebecca

Kimberly - posted on 05/30/2013

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My son has started doing this thing where he curls up his top lip. Kinda looks like what Elvis did lol. Talked to the dr today about it and he says he has developed a tic from the stimulant medicine he is on. He has been on vyvanse for over a year and is up to 60 mg now. We start the daytrana patch on Monday because the vyvanse has stopped working. Anyone else used this patch? Does it work?

Fouzia - posted on 04/29/2013

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Most doctors prescribe a too high dose for a child,you could ask yours to change the dose if possible!

Candy Leeann - posted on 02/21/2013

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My son is 8, and we have gone through just about every med. there is. He has had many side effects from them.... Paranoia, rage outbursts(scary ones to all who witness) and small ticks. He will always tells us that he does not like the way these meds make his head feel. Could it be that your son is trying to sooth his head from sensations that he does not like?

Lindsey - posted on 02/01/2013

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My daughter in on concerta. She pulls out her eyelashes. It is very stressful for me. I have tryed to get her to stop. I started writing down when I noticed when she pulled them out. I noticed she did it when she was stressed out in school. She struggles some in school. I am trying to teach her other ways to deal with stress. Now I know she does it out of habit. My husband and I do call her out on it when she does it at home. She doesen't even know when she is doing anymore. I have talked to her doctor about it but I guess it is normal for any kids with ADHD or not to pull out hair. I would talk to your doctor about it. They may have some suggestions for you. We couln't do much since it was her eyelashes.

Josie - posted on 01/21/2013

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my son is 6 and they said he has adhd and he hits kicks punch bite and even break things that is not his and also he kicks the walls and doors

Shelly - posted on 01/16/2013

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I guess so if everything is ok i wouldnt mess with it but i would moniter him and we just have to do whats best for our children. Out later!

Kendra - posted on 01/15/2013

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My 7 year old son is on Adderall XR 10mg and has developed some tics. They come and go. From sounding like he's clearing his throat to facial tics. Right now he chews on his fingers/fingernails. But I only notice these things when he's concentrating on something like a TV show or bored like in church. I've asked and he said he doesn't know why he does these things. I don't think he even knows he's doing it. His pediatrician said that if the meds are working otherwise and he's not being picked on in school just ignore them. They aren't that severe. Unfortunately that's what his meds do to him, but could be so much worse. And I don't want to try and switch to a non-stimulant if everything else is going well for him when we could possibly make things worse.

Shelly - posted on 01/14/2013

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Your child may have something going on like a nervous disorder and they have medication for it but you have to take him to the Dr. I know because my daughter does it and she takes medication and it is a non stop thing. She cant help her self but we just try to talk to her but she says she dosent know she doing it. Hope this helps.

Charlene - posted on 11/23/2012

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My son is 11 and has ADHD. He was twirling his hair too for a time. His doc suggested I take him to pick out a nice baseball cap. That didn't work. I asked him why he was doing it he said he doesn't know. After some time he had different things that he would do like moving his thumb rapidly, or chewing on his shirt. Last year he was diagnosed with Tourettes Syndrome and PDD-NOS (Autism spectrum). This has been a journey, To Be Continued.....

Nancy - posted on 11/16/2012

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i have noticed teens and adults doing it too ,not all adhd.it;s just one of those things you try to exnor . 2 out of 3 of my foster kids are adhd.each one is different.

Julie - posted on 11/15/2012

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My son is 7 & also ADHD & is currently on Adderall & he also has started picking his fingers & chewing on them, he doesn't even realize he is doing it. He never did this before meds.

Nicole - posted on 10/27/2012

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our 6 year old daughter rocks when shes tired and is ready for bed and never when shes sick..when she was a baby she used to twirl her hair and suck her thumb now she twirls and chews on the sleeves of her shirts..the pead thinks it could be aspergers/autism ..

Stacie - posted on 06/07/2010

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He makes noises when he rocks, which is annoying, but it isn't hurting anything really. I took him to a specialist who said that, while that is on the autism spectrum, he does not have any other autistic behaviors, and since he is where he needs to be scholastically and above in some areas, he is not diagnosed as autistic. My whole family has anxiety, Add, and ocd as well as numerous quirky behaviors and we are all artistic, and creative people and that is an affliction of creative people. I hate to think that children who have a few odd behaviors are being diagnosed as autistic. ADHD has a very wide spectrum of symptoms and many are outgrown as the children get older. My daughter is sixteen and has outgrown nearly all of hers.

Lori - posted on 06/07/2010

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thats normal every kid is different 'i think rittlin is the best choice thats what im on and my son as well.It has changed my life for the better.I wish i would have had it in school i would have done better, and gone at lot further.The reason it works better is because it stimulates the brain to help focus on what we are doing.Dont be'leave the storys about it and they get over the weight loss.It is defenitly linked in the family'so many adults have it and do not realize it.Take care

Deanna - posted on 06/07/2010

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When my son first starting taking medications he pulled his hair out. it's an ocd disorder called Trichotillomania. He eventually grew out of it, but we forced him to wear hats until the stage passed. We spoke with the school and he was able to wear them at school as well. It prevented him from touching his hair. We even caught him doing it in his sleep. He's 15 now, and still ocd about his hair. Unfortunately anxiety and strange behaviours are associated with the disorder and you just have to find ways to help them control them. Communicating with him is key.

Rachel - posted on 06/03/2010

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does he do anything else hun, like twitches or funny movements, repeats himself or make noises?

Stacie - posted on 06/03/2010

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Finally someone else with a child who rocks! I thought my son was the only one! I can't tell you how many times I get asked if he's autistic and he absolutely is not! He has been checked several times for it.It is very annoying for us, but apparently it is comforting to him. If all he did was twirl his hair, I would be perfectly fine!

Susan - posted on 06/03/2010

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I would not worry, he is releasing energy. My son is 8 and has ADHD and his way of releasing energy is rocking (while sitting)! He rocks sitting in the floor or in a chair/couch. It really gets crazy when he is rocking in the car going down the road and I can feel it while driving. The hair twirl or hair stroking, I would not worry!!

Stacie - posted on 05/30/2010

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My kids take adderall, and I've noticed that sometimes the medications cause odd behaviors like this. My kids would pick excessively at the fingers, but only when the dosage was too high. Is the hair twirling really hurting anything though? It sounds like a mild thing that he does to calm himself, if it isn't disruptive, I wouldn't worry about it.

Mandy - posted on 05/28/2010

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im sorry this is short and sweet, im in a rush, my son does that and its what they call part of the autism spectrum, this is what the hospital said

Melissa - posted on 05/28/2010

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Me son is 8 year old and is on Focalin for ADHA. We have had him on medicine for a couple of years now and he seems to go through phases of different little ticks. Sounds very much like what your son is doing. I have had it explained to me it is a comfort mechansim, and yes he may not even know he is doing it. We have gone through several different ticks. They are are uncomfortable or disconserting for us, but they find it soothing. We use the Omega3 too, seems to help. If he continues or increases how much he does it speak to your doctor. Hope this helps.

CHRISTI - posted on 05/28/2010

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my son is on concerta to he went from d's &f's to a's &b's works wonderful:) strattera not so great he was way over emotional and even more anxious then normal. maybe they just don't have his meds yet.my son is almost 8 he tears up strips of paper when he's bored he also cut his hair a couple of at school this yr. he also rubs the toes off every pair of shoes i get he's been trying so hard to quit:( i have to by him shoes every month:( god love him be patient u'll find what works for your son just remember add or adhd kids r very immature and thrive on positive attention. be strong times can be very hard my son has NO very he'll do anything his friends tell him or dare him to do so i have to watch him like a 2yr old. good luck & god bless:);) your new friend chrissi

Brenda - posted on 05/28/2010

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I think his meds might need to be changed if not ask him to do somethimg else to take place of him playing with his hair.Ask him to draw or play with lagoes or something like that.I know when my son was on his meds he use to chew on his lip.I ask him to stop he couldnt so i told him to draw or right a story.It worked it just took a little time for him to learn to draw instead of chew on his lip

Belinda - posted on 05/27/2010

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Its probably a comfort thing especially if he is doing it alot when he is anxious or stressed. I have 2 ADHD children a boy almost 9 and a girl almost 7 and they have their little quirks as well. Think about it this way you would rather let him twist or stroke his hair then act out on himself or someone else right.

Felicia - posted on 05/27/2010

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Also on the two medications at once... speak with your pharmacist.... sometimes the doctors don't realize what the interactions are. The pharmacist should be consulted as well... Our pharmacist has saved me numerous times from medication reactions that could have been devastating given my migraines and history of stroke.

Felicia - posted on 05/27/2010

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My son with ADHD adjusts his glasses. If this is a new behavior, it warrants speaking with his health care professional about it. Sometimes the child does not realize they are doing something or not aware of why they are doing something. We have recently switched my son's medication from Concerta to Vyvanse. He is on a dose of 30mg per day and seems to be improving, and more like him. His personality shows with the Vyvanse but wasn't there with the Concerta. He also had to be put on Buspar because he was having anxiety issues and worrying about everything all the time. This is common with ADHD kids and those with lasting effects from chemotherapy (my son). Communicating with your child and the health care professional AND the teachers is essential. I'm proud to say that he is being tested for gifted in visual arts next month and I am pleased with how he is turning out as a human being. Definitely watch for bullying in schools. My son who is 15 is bullied constantly because he is different. Good luck.

Sharon - posted on 05/27/2010

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My son is going on 14, he has been taking concerta for the past 3 yrs. I have not seen him doing anything out the ordinary like your son. It sounds like it is a self comforting thing. Is he having any issues at school with school work or with other kids. I'm wondering why he is on both concerta and stratera at the same time. That seems like a lot of medication for a child your sons age to be taking.
My son has never been on two medications at once for his adhd.
Have you talked to his pediatrician/doctor about your concerns.
Like I said it might be a self soothing thing. Ask your son if he is having trouble any kids at school (bullying is a huge problem).

Sharon

Hedy - posted on 05/27/2010

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We've tried so many, but are sticking with Focalin. Seems very stable, few side effects.

Phyllis - posted on 05/26/2010

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Yes, both my kids have done it since they were 2 (or younger in my youngest sons case.) I did it as a child and my husband as well. Every child needs comfort, whether its tactile or not. Teddy bears, blankies etc. and I see no reason to deny them that comfort if they are not hurting themselves. And yes, my son has been checked out for everything under the sun. He is ADHD/ODD and slightly dyslexic.

[deleted account]

Since he was 2?! Have you looked into other medical conditions? The need for tactile comfort is an indicator for autism and asbergers.

[deleted account]

Whenever my son did something "different" I would always ask him "why" and add "does that make you feel better?" I have found that communication is the key to answering ALL. My son is now 24 years old. He and I have an open relationship and talk about EVERYTHING. Ask and you shall receive...
Talk to him...you'll be surprised at the answer you'll get, I'm betting. ADHD children are extremely intelligent.

Phyllis - posted on 05/24/2010

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My son has done that since he was 2. He is now also on Concerta, and the behavior is no worse than before. It is indeed a calming thing for them, and my son will also play with MY hair during bedtime snuggles or if he crawls into our bed at night. Also he plays with his own more often as he gets tired. It relaxes him right to sleep. I would not worry at all, unless he is pulling it out or something, then that would be a different story.

Marina - posted on 05/23/2010

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it could be his way of relaxing , or to make himself feel better i would not read to much into it. my little boy has adhd he is eight and he likes for me or my partner to stroke his back , legs to relax him every night. if it worries you offer a distraction box with some of his favourite things in that he can choose to play with either on his own or with you , this will distract him away from his hair. if that does not work then ask him why are u stroking ur hair or copy him then when he asks why ur doing it you can ask in return.

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