5 year old diagnosed w/ADD, What to do

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Registered: 07-31-2004
5 year old diagnosed w/ADD, What to do
7
Fri, 02-26-2010 - 10:41am

My DS has been diagnosed with ADHD/inattentive after months of testing. He is in pre-school now, his teacher thinks he should be held back from starting Kindergarten in the Fall. I don't see how this will help because he will have ADHD next year as well. Also, he will see all his friends move on to the new school and he will not. He already feels like he is different.


He knows all the course work, but

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-13-2010
Sat, 03-13-2010 - 2:17pm

Our son is on his first week of Vyvanse.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-05-2010
Sat, 03-06-2010 - 7:43am

hi !


i know all too well your reluctance to meds.....

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Fri, 02-26-2010 - 5:44pm

HI, and welcome!


There is no evidence that holding kids back in school helps them academically,and it scars them socially. I would not do it. The school can

A child may HAVE ADHD, but it is not what they ARE. Never tell a child they ARE ADHD.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 02-26-2010 - 5:23pm

Seems to me you are right about not holding him back. How is he socially? ADHD kids often struggle that way & if he has real friends going on to KG who'd be with him, I'd send him, honestly, for that alone. Meds or not meds: you could, I suppose, wait until KG starts, and see how it goes & give them a try then. But in all honesty, if you trust the preschool teacher, you're better off trying meds sooner, with someone who is really familiar with your child, to help you sort out the effects. It takes a bit for any teacher to get to know a kid...

We didn't get the diagnosis until after 1st grade. But, I can totally see where it affected him in preschool: he went to a non-academic preschool (you know, some academic stuff, but not much in the way of seatwork), so not that much sit-and-concentrate was being asked of him. KG for us was also highly non-seat-work--they had tasks to get done, but it was all dynamic enough. On the flip side, I'd say he learned fairly little reading that year, probably because of the inattentiveness issues. Problems were huge in 1st.

If I had it to do over again, and had known then what I know now? I would have medicated for KG. No question. It really is, like the other poster said, like putting glasses on your kid. Glasses that keep changing prescriptions and no optometrist to carefully measure things for you ;}. I know how hard it was for me to decide to medicate my kid. Lest what helped me helps you: I finally realized that trying the meds wouldn't hurt anything. 99% of the side-effects go away when you stop them (ritalin & derivatives, that is!). We got lucky & the first med helped (Concerta), though we've changed around since then.

Good luck, parenting has such tough choices in it!

Megan
Megan
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2008
Fri, 02-26-2010 - 2:51pm

Catherine,
I'm so glad my experience could help. It certainly feels like you're all alone at times when dealing with ADHD. I think your approach sounds good. Pursue treatment for the ADHD and then see how he does in kindergarten. I suspect when you find the right medication, he will have the focus to succeed. If he's bright, I think he'd just have more trouble in preschool because he'd be really bored.

Update us and let us know how it all goes!
Michelle

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-31-2004
Fri, 02-26-2010 - 2:45pm

Thank you so much Michelle. Your post gives us hope. My gut tells me to try the meds. I would like to give it a try and start my son in Kindergarten in the Fall. If he has issues at that point, we will consider holding him back then.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2008
Fri, 02-26-2010 - 1:24pm

Our son is seven, but we've been working with doctors on his ADHD symptoms since he was three. Our son started taking the regular ADHD medications at four (he had extreme symptoms that led to him being kicked out of preschool) -- Ritalin was life changing. We were reluctant to try medication with our young child, but Ritalin made me think if only we'd tried sooner! He was the same child -- same personality and still full of energy -- but he could focus and wasn't aggressive or hyper anymore. Just normal.

Now, in the first grade on a long-acting form of Ritalin called Concerta, he won the school's responsibility award and a parent commented last week how focused and mature our son was in class! His teachers see how smart he is now, not how he can't concentrate or behave. Night and day difference. Someone here mentioned this comment and it's so true: Medications are like glasses for the brain for kids with ADHD.

We're not seeing any side effects right now. Appetite drop-off can be a big side effect. The medication did dull his appetite in the mornings when he first started (and when we have to boost the dosage), but that improves greatly over time. Now, it's really a non-issue. Our son's not a great eater to begin with, but he does eat a good breakfast and a lot at night.

Ritalin, in particular, is very well studied and has been used for decades. What's also helpful to realize is that with most ADHD medications, if you don't like how they work with your child for the slightest reason, you can stop them immediately. They only work for a specific amount of time each day and then the med is out of your child's system. So, if you try one med and hate it, you can quit right then and there. Do keep in mind it may take trial and error to find the right med and dosage, so talk it over with the doctor.

Sorry, just realized this is novel-length, but hope my experience helps!

Good luck,
Michelle