6 yr old, newly diagnosed w/ADHD

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-24-2003
6 yr old, newly diagnosed w/ADHD
2
Thu, 09-25-2003 - 12:37pm
Hello my name is Heather and I am new to this board. I have a 6 yr old son who is

in kindergarten and was recently diagnosed with ADHD. He is on a ritalin based medicine

called Metadate CD 20 mg. This is his second day on the medicine and so far I haven't

really seen a change and today he got in trouble at school. Someone tell me it gets

better.

Thanks,

Heather, Douglas(6) & Christopher(3)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
Thu, 09-25-2003 - 3:07pm
Hi Heather,

It might get better, but it might not. While meds for ADHD can be wonderful, it can also take some time and some tweaking to get it right. We have been through many different meds and doses, some with horrendous negatives (rebounding) and others that didn't seem to do much of anything. It is a very inexact science and I wish someone had prepared me for how difficult it can be to find the right one. We found that the stimulant family of drugs (Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall) were not good for my ds. He has been having fairly good success with Strattera, but it is by no means the answer to all our problems.

Who is prescribing for you -- your pediatrician or a psychopharmacologist? We started off with the pedi and it was clear from the get go that he was not as intimate with the nuances of the drugs and was not going to be the right person to guide us through this maze. We then found a psychopharmacologist (ds had been evaluated and tested by a psychologist) who worked closely with us and ds's psychologist to get to a good place.

It is a bumpy road -- prepare yourself for having to make changes and perhaps seeing some less than wonderful side effects (the rebounding is very hard to tolerate but there are also appetite issues, etc.)

I don't mean to frighten you, but I really wish I had been better prepared when we first started with meds. Lots of good luck and try to be patient because you may well find that meds make the world of difference you are looking for.

Hang in there!

Julie

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2000
Thu, 09-25-2003 - 5:50pm
I'll tell you it gets better. It did here!

DS was 6 when we started with this, and we started with 5 mg of just plain Ritalin. We didn't see any effect either - good or bad - so we upped it within a few days to 10 mg. There we saw a drastic, obvious change. His handwriting was like a night and day change over night. The 10 mg didn't last all day, so we added a 5 mg after lunch and eventually a 5 mg for homework. That worked well for several months, then started to be less effective. After about 11 mos, we switched over to Concerta. First trying the 18mg, then the 36mg, before finally settling on the 27 mg where we've been for about the last 6 mos.

So my point is that his dose may not be enough. Or it may not be the right med for him. If you don't see any noticeable change within a week or so, I'd call the doc back. With the stimulant type drugs, you should see a change pretty quickly.

My kiddo ended up repeating first grade, the first time around was so bad. But last year, he just soared. He made all A's for the first half of the year, he received awards at the end of the year for having the biggest increase in his SAT composite score in his class, for the most overall improvement, and the runner up for their student of the year award. That was after a year when all the previous teacher could come up with was an "effort" award. And she made it sound like it was because he was so slow that he had to put forth such effort. I would have preferred her to give him an award for having curly hair or something.

So yeah, it can get better. And I surely hope it does for you!

Karen

 


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