iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 09-11-2003 - 12:42pm

Hi everyone,

My son just recently went from taking Ritalin 10 mg TID (30 mg), to taking 36 mg of Concerta in the morning as well as 10 mg of Ritalin at 3:30pm. He has been on the dose since fairly recent. I believe he started the 36 mg of Concerta on the 27th of Aug. We switched last week to the extra dose of Ritalin in the afternoon because he was becoming MEAN in the afternoon. We never experienced MEAN behavior when he was on Ritalin alone. However, his day care director says the concerta and ritalin combo are better because he participates with the other children more.

Okay, well here is our problem. Ty started 3rd grd this year and there is some major adjusting to be done to this grade. He is forgetting to write his assignments down and isn't telling me what the homework is. I first thought he wasn't comprehending so I called his RSP teacher and now he comprehends, however, this morning he tells me about an assignment that is due TODAY. He didn't write it down and he told me he completed his homework. Well he completed 1 page and failed to tell me the rest. To include he is playing soccer. The practice schedule is twice a week and I was bringing Ty only one day a week. Well the coach lays into Ty telling him that he isn't understanding the game and MUST be there two days a week. Okay I understand but don't you think you should discuss with the parent and not the child since he is in capable of making those decsions?? Anyway, coach also said that Ty is EXTREMLY frusterated on the field. Practice is at 5:00 - 6:30 and my sons meds are wearing off. I see his frusteration. He is tired and exhausted. So I told Tyler that he can go to practice twice a week but if school work suffers he won't be able to play soccer. HE REALLY WANTS TO PLAY!!

My question- should I talk to the doctor about a new med? Is concerta better? SHould there be an increase in the afternoon dose? What methods do you use and has anyone had these problems?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Thu, 09-11-2003 - 1:51pm
If you've posted on this before, I may be telling you this again! But I really want to make sure I've told you!

Last year, we switched Liam from Ritalin to concerta. His teacher said he was doing great, much better then on Ritalin. That he didn't like the afternoon dosing and it is making him calmer, so the other kids are playing with him and so on. I thought "happy days!" Well, a couple of weeks into it, she says he actually isn't doing so great and could we talk to the pediatrician because he's just not focusing. It seems to wear off after lunch. I talk, we decide to up the dose. Two weeks later, she says, still not so great. So we up the dose one more time.

By the time he gets home, I'm seeing my normal child. So I am thinking these differences are very subtle. I decide to start giving him his meds on the weekend. Suddenly he is watching a lot of TV. I don't want to be redundant, but I start noticing he is acting very strangely. For example, he is constantly wiping his face. And I can't get him to focus on anything. He can't hold it together. One day I see him at school, he is wiping his face, can't keep up with the other kids in the lunch line, and well just acting very wierd. I take him out of class and straight to the doctors office. I remember his teacher saying "Liam just hasn't been himself for weeks now. I can't put my finger on it." And on the way to the Dr.'s office I'm wondering why she hasn't said anything to me about it! She's just griped about him not focusing and being figity.

My son was completely over medicated! When a child is over medicated on a stimulant it can look a lot like they aren't getting enough medicine. They over focus, which makes them look like they aren't focusing. And they can't hold their thoughts together. And they get real fidgety. Or at least that's what happened to my kid. Oh, I forgot, he was totally cranky. Especially when he was coming off the stimulants.

Another thing I think happened is this, his teacher and my DH and I became accustomed to seeing him on a stimulant. Our expectations changed. We wanted him to be more like a kid who doesn't have AD/HD. Or more like he was when he was medicated, but just more of the good things, like calm and focused. Less like the wild child he can be if the mood hits him.

Now Liam is on strattera. It doesn't do anything at all for impulse control, but it does help him focus a bit. Other then that, he is who he is.

Hope this isn't what is happening to your son!


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-11-2003
Thu, 09-11-2003 - 2:58pm
Is the concerta extended release? Our doctor swiched my daughter to that form and it has made a HUGE difference in schoolwork and homework time. Sports is another story. An understanding softball coach and not expecting too much has been our solution there. Make sure it is your son that really wants to play and not your need for him to be like other kids. On the school assignments issue, we are teaching our daughter to use a day planner. We are now on the third one because she can't keep up with it. I am sure to sit down with her and go through it each day, also her backpack and school folders to see what is inside. I came to the sad realization last year that I will never be able to trust Tori to tell me when she has work to do. So I cope, and I hope I am teaching her to cope as well. Any feedback on methods and attitudes would be welcome!
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-25-2003
Thu, 09-11-2003 - 3:21pm
Wow - you have a two fold problem. First you need to get the meds squared away. There are other things you can do. I know when my son was crashing off his ritalin (it was nasty!) we used to give him a can of Surge or Mountain Dew when he came home to slow that crash. It worked well. (he was 8 and hasn't been on Ritalin in years now).

There are other meds. It sounds to me like his meds are not what he needs but I'm no doctor. I hate when it's time to mess with meds. It's so frustrating. There is no easy answer to that one. But yes, a call and meeting with the doc is definitely in order.

Now that coach... you need to corner HIM. Tell him what you told us, that you have no problem with getting him there for extra practices however you would appreciate that he clear that with YOU, not the child. Explain that part of the reason your son is not 'getting' it is his ADD and that if he expects the child to give you a message - he's got a 50/50 shot of getting it to you. You could also ask that he work with him one on one for a couple of sessions and see if that focused coaching helps. That might be all your son needs - a bit of one on one to explain the game better to him. With all the action in soccer, he could very well be easily distracted, meds or not!

There are options here. It doesnt sound like the coach 'gets it' either.