Please help with advice!!

Beth - posted on 07/27/2015 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My son is now 6 ,he was actually diagnosed in Dec of 2014. We were at our wits end. He was being sent to the principles office EVERYDAY in kindergarten for shoving,hitting,kicking, etc. So we took him to a child psychologist . He was diagnosed with moderate to severe adhd with moderate odd. I knew the testing results but when you get that final yes this whats wrong . I cried my heart sank, all I thought was why? How? Did i not eat right when pregnant? The guilt is overwhelming . So for month's me and my boyfriend (sons dad) have debated on meds. It has been one of the hardest decisions. We filled the prescription today after my boyfriends family actually saying not to come around or talk to them because we decided to fill the prescription . They kept saying we were being lazy, we just wanted to dope our son up, and that Adderall was a VERY DANGEROUS medication . That we were bad parents. Also that we were going to mess his mind up. As if we weren't struggling enough with this decision . I am terrified , i have cried for 2 hours straight . My son doesn't eat much now, the thought of him loosing weight. So now I'm in a situation where my boyfriend is mad at me because his parents told him not to come see them anymore, and told my son they weren't going to see him anymore but that they loved him very much. I am so torn. Part of me wants to say never mind but the other part is screaming your son needs something, before he was diagnosed he actually said to me "mommy sometimes i cant turn my brain off" I just cried when he said that. I wish it didn't have to be such a hard decision . I only want whats best, thats my job as mommy...to protect,nurture . To do whatever it takes to make sure my children are safe, happy, healthy , etc. To whom ever reads this thankyou

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Raye - posted on 07/29/2015

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Beth, obviously giving your child medication is no reason to have CPS called on you. Your BF's parents are nuts, and you should limit what interaction your child has with them. It wouldn't hurt to get a second opinion on which medication would be better for a young child, but don't change meds too often. They usually take some time to fully show results, and it may take some adjustment and fine tuning the dosage.

Different medications work differently on different people (I'm allergic to penicillin, which helps millions of people but makes me die). What is horrible for one kid might be another's saving grace. So, take other people's opinions and do research, but don't dismiss a medication that works because someone else had a bad experience.

Sarah - posted on 07/28/2015

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Ledia makes some good points and offers some options. I simply want to add to her suggestions from the perspective of a school nurse that works with MANY ADHD and ODD kids.
First, contact your local public school and request a full evaluation by the Dept Of Special Ed. This is provided to at no cost and will help confirm his diagnosis. I am not saying the doctor was wrong, but to get services at school they will have to evaluate him first. He will have a speech, cognitive, behavioral, academic and physical ability evaluations. Then, all of those people will submit their opinion to you and help you set up and IEP for your son. You child may benefit greatly with a change is setting, a modified school day or an aide in the classroom. changing to private school is an option but can be very expensive and not all Montessori schools have room for ADHD students. I think homeschooling will prove to be frustrating and likely not very productive.
Second, before you medicate, I agree 100% that you should exhaust all other options. Behavioral and cognitive therapy can help him learn his triggers, to focus and to restrain himself; these therapists can help you learn how to approach tasks and learning with your child as well. Dietary "treatment" for ADHD is controversial, and I do see lots of these kids on gluten and casein free diets. Does it work? I am not sure. I do think for some kids, eliminating artificial coloring and flavoring does help. I also agree that Adderall is not the drug of choice for a six year old. You may want to revisit a neuro-psychiatrist before starting him on the meds. Who prescribed the Adderall? A psychologist does not have prescriptive authority and you pediatrician may not be up to date with current pharmacology. I see many more kids this age on other drugs. I am not going to name any because I think that is a decision best made by his physician.
Finally, the grandparents. The ultimatum they have made is out of fear. Perhaps if they do some research and learn the reality about ADHD and ODD, they will settle down. To punish the child, for a decision made by his parents and doctor is unkind and unfair. Hopefully with time, patience and education, they will wise up to the hurtfulness of their decision.
Lots of kids have ADHD, and it is not your fault. You can't control the diagnosis but you can control your reaction. Now is the time for you to educate yourself about therapy, medications, treatments that work and how to get services for your child at school. The more proactive you are, the more confident you will feel, and the happier your whole family will be!

Ledia - posted on 07/28/2015

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As someone who struggles with severe ADHD and ODD there are a couple of things I want to respond to here:

First is your reaction to your son's diagnosis.
" I knew the testing results but when you get that final yes this whats wrong . I cried my heart sank, all I thought was why? How? Did i not eat right when pregnant? The guilt is overwhelming . "
This breaks my heart, not for you, but for your son. We know we don't fit into societal expectations. We know we are a constant disappointment to our parents. We know there is something "WRONG" with us. That is what we are told, from the first moment we get that f@#$ing diagnosis. But with the right tools we can over come that and learn the truths about ourselves.
We are NOT broken. There is nothing WRONG with us. We are not some punishment for our parents because they did something wrong while pregnant with us or while we were infants.
The truth is that ADHD is not a disorder at all--we are simply different, and while we don't fit into the mold society wants for us, we can mold society to fit us and still achieve great success. ADHD is a set of symptoms, and we always seem to see focus on the bad symptoms and no focus on the good.
People with ADHD are often more creative than those without it, more stubborn and determined, and able to think outside the box and solve problems to make lives better that others didn't even see as problems. They can be incredible people, BECAUSE they poses the characteristics of ADHD.
So please stop looking at your beautiful son and wondering what you did to deserve this, or what is so wrong with him. Look at his gifts and qualities and find ways to use them to help him succeed.

Second is his treatment at school. Kids with ADHD do not thrive in traditional school settings. Put him into a Montessori school or consider homeschooling groups in your area. They will identify his strengths and weaknesses and cater his learning experience to him specifically. School is not a job, it is preparation for life. Yes, he will have to fit into the confines of his job as an adult, but if he goes to the right school, he will learn how to do that, even when it goes against his natural tendencies. He will build social tools that allow him to use his unique traits to succeed in any situation. If you leave him in a traditional school where he is constantly told to sit down, shut up, and do as he told, without giving him the tools to express and suppress his natural personality, he is going to become depressed and rebellious. He is going to wonder what is wrong with him. Why is something that is so easy for others to do so difficult for him. He will start to see his unique traits as a disorder, disability, rather than the gifts that they are.

Lastly, medication. I AM medicated, and while I do think medication can be very helpful, it should be a LAST resort. Your son was only diagnosed 8 months ago, and he is only 6 years old. In MY opinion, it may be a little early to be considering medication, but that is ultimately your decision. It can take up to a year before you can truly see results with behavioral and cognitive therapy. You don't mention how often he goes to therapy or what type of therapy he is receiving, but if this were my son, I would give it a few more months, but I would also consider that maybe the therapist isn't a good fit for my son, or that the balance could be off between therapies. At 6, you are as much a part of his therapy as the doctor because you have to be consistent at home with the behavioral tools he is gathering. It is a pain in the ass for a lot of people, especially those who do not have ADHD and do not understand why these little things and rituals are so important.

Adderall is dangerous. It seems like an odd place to start for a 6 year old who was diagnosed less than a year ago. I do know more and more doctors are turning to it as a first response, but I feel that is a push from the manufacturers.
Ritalin is still a very good drug for children. For starters, it only lasts 4 to 6 hours then is completely out of the system. Yes, they need to take it more often, but there is no addiction, no need to ween them off--if they miss a dose, they are fine. In fact, many children who take ritalin have permission from their doctors to skip doses on days when they do not need to focus on stuff they find difficult to focus on. (ADHD is NOT an inability to focus--I assure you, if you find something your son is passionate about, he can focus on it. Rather, ADHD makes it difficult to control what we are focused on).
If I were in your shoes, I would not start my son on Adderall without at least 3 concurrent opinions, all independent of one another. That is just me though, I'm weary about medications simply because it took so many tries to find the one that works for me, and because some of them were so horrible. Yes, they made me calm, and I could certainly focus while they were in my system, but there was often this horrible undercurrent of thought that was depressing me.....and I mean that seriously, I didn't know why, but I couldn't be happy, I just wanted the years to pass. That's the wrong medication. At 6 YOU have to watch for that in him because he won't know how to tell you.

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Sarah - posted on 07/29/2015

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@ Beth You stated in your OP:
"thought was why? How? Did i not eat right when pregnant? The guilt is overwhelming..."
That was my reason for assuring you that it was not your fault.
As long as you gave a medication that was prescribed by a licensed provider and gave it as directed; you have nothing to fear from CPS.
My main advice is to carefully research the other meds available that have fewer long side effects but are also effective. Ultimately as the pare3nts you get to make the final say.

Beth - posted on 07/29/2015

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Just to add to my post... We did decide to try medication. Because we decided to do this my bf parents called child protective services on us. I had to let the invegater take pictures of my children, home and go through my kitchen. Only to tell me she was closing the case and she was sorry she even had to put us all through that. As an update my son has only been on adderal for 2days and so far he seems OK. I know only time can tell but he is NOT a zombie. He seems easier to communicate with. He actually is taking a second to listen to me. Versus before he would just go into a meltdown and lash out physically.

Beth - posted on 07/29/2015

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I think you took my posting wrong, I don't feel like I'm being punished as a parent. I just have ALOT of information to process. I stated that I cried because I just didn't know if it was something that I did or did not.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/28/2015

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Your boyfriend's family needs to grow up. What kind of people tell a 6 YO that? What a twisted outlook they have! IMO, he's better off NOT being around them, with that attitude.
You and your partner have to do what's best for your child, not what his family dictates is 'best' for them to associate with you.

Raye - posted on 07/28/2015

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I am not one to usually advise the use of medications to solve a problem. But sometimes medication does make mental disorders easier to handle for both the child and the family. Don't let your BF's family get you down. You are trying to help your son by trying the medication, and I would still advise keeping him in counseling. If the medication doesn't work, you may need to try different medication. If that doesn't work, then maybe some more aggressive behavioral therapy. It's going to be some trial-and-error for a while to find out what's going to work for him.

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