adhd child and strattera

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-19-2003
adhd child and strattera
3
Fri, 09-19-2003 - 6:22pm
i am the mom of two boys. my older son is 15,younger is 12. he is the one who i would like advise on. he is newly diagnosed w/adhd. his doctor put him on strattera (40mg),which was then up to 60mg. i won't know how well it is working until report cards come home. all of his life he has had trouble being in groups,playing well w/others.in preschool,i was told he worked well by himself but put into a group,he was not all that o.k. i was very shocked when i saw it for myself. all through grade school (he is now in 7th) not one teacher mentioned adhd or add. i did ask about it but was told that it did not apply to him. i do have nieces and nephews who have these. one teacher even went as far as telling me ,at a parent/teacher chat,that all she could say about him was do not let him become the class clown. i have noticed and have complained to teachers that he does not bring home any books,tests,homework,etc.... can my child be that smart as to not need any of these items. i actually demanded to know why they weren't asking the same questions i was.in my family homework is brought home to do.when i did ask my son about this,his response was all his homework was done. i had finally had enough and brought him to a local doc who specializes in add & adhd. my son was given the tova test which he scored poorly and showed he had adhd. after taking strattera,he was tested again and scored much higher. my fears lay in the unknown. i can handle all sorts of mishaps when it comes to my kids but adhd is way out of my area.thousands of questions and really no one to answer them.am i being stupid about being scared of adhd because i never thought it would hit us? is strattera right for him? are the headaches and upset stomach side-effects that i need to mention to my family doc or are they a product of my son's genius because i wanted him to know what he was taking and let him read the brochure that came w/ the pills? if anyone out there knows how i feel,please contact me. this is the first time ihave actually turned to a web-site for info like this. but i feel if i connect w/others i may just make it through this in one piece.
Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 09-21-2003 - 7:01am
To have gotten this far and not 'known' is a tough blow ... but it isn't uncommon. My DS (now 11) was diagnosed with ODD when he was 5, but ADHD wasn't added until he was nearly 10. Although I felt there was 'more' going on with him, I never suspected ADHD. Why? Because I "know" lots of ADD/ADHD kids, and you always sort of knew there was something going on. My DS isn't hyper. His attention span isn't short. For him, it was the impulsivity that gave him the ADHD diagnosis. He is very bright, in gifted classes. When I asked the docs how it was possible to have ADHD and for the teachers NOT to know it, they basically told me it's because he's so bright, he could mask it. His grades were fine ... not all A's or anything, but a solid B average. He got A's in conduct, so he wasn't disrupting the class. With 30+ kids in each of his classes, he was never one to stand out ... he's quiet, shy, keeps pretty much to himself, isn't overly social, gets good grades. What's to stand out? The 'behavioral' issues that brought us to the point of therapy were all home-based, so the school wasn't even aware of problems (and probably thought I was 'crazy mom' when I had asked that teacher evaluation forms be completed.)

So, I do know how you're feeling, and you are most definitely NOT alone. Having support and understanding for YOU will help you get through all of this, so you've definitely come to the right place.

Now, as far as meds go, they all work differently ... some meds that work really well for one child, won't for another. In our case, Concerta was the miracle pill ... when they put DS on that, not only did his impulsivity improve, but the ODD behaviors did as well ... so much so that he's now OFF meds (and I'm not sure if that will last, but I think we were able to take him off because being ON the meds helped him learn some things he needed to learn, about thinking before acting, and how nice it is to get along in situations without having people angry all the time.) Strattera didn't work for DS ... but he also took that after 15-16 months of Concerta, and at a point where I think we all needed a med-break. BUT, DS doesn't 'know' he has ADHD ... or what it means. For us, I didn't give him 'names' for things because I know him well enough to know it would all be an excuse for his behaviors, and I didn't want him to be any more manipulative than he already is.

Sometimes, it does take awhile for meds to kick in and work ... and there are some side effects. Stomach aches are typical, and it helps to eat before taking a pill. But, if it continues, you may need to try something else. Often, you need to try 2-3 different kinds of meds before you find one that is right for your child. (Hitting the 'right' one the first time is very lucky.) You'll also want to educate yourself and learn as much as ADD/ADHD as you can. "Driven to Distraction" was an interesting book, written by a doc who has ADHD himself, and there are others. Just understanding that these kids are quite 'normal,' they're just wired a bit differently, helps.

I'm glad you decided to pop in for support ... You are not alone in all of this, and sometimes, just knowing that can get you through a day.

(((HUGS)))

Nancy

Nancy 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-28-2003
Sun, 09-21-2003 - 3:59pm
I've been dealing w/ADHD for the past 9 yrs. And we've been down a long road.

We've been thru numerous meds. & it does take trial & error to find the right meds for your child. The Strattera has not worked for us, we are at 120 mg. Strattera also takes a while to build up in the system. The stimulant meds are usually immediate, so you can see results right away. Side affects are something one has to watch out for, each med has it's side affects, & also, each person is different.

The best thing to do is read up on as much as you can about ADHD. Back when we started this, there was no interent for me to get info,so I mainly got my info from books, & some were out dated at that. So much more info has been obtained in the last few yrs. plus the internet is a great source for info. There are also many internet support groups. I've included a link to one of the supports groups.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/adhdparentssupportgroup/?yguid=6168773

Hang in there! ;o)

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-19-2003
Sun, 09-21-2003 - 7:31pm
nancy,

thank you for replying to my post. it was like looking into a mirror. my son's behavior problem's are all home-based and i am trying with the help of a doctor to correct that problem. he is also a wonderful student.there are no behavior problems at school.teacher's also think i am just a little nuts when i call about him. i try to explain what is going on and it's like they've heard it a million times before,one million and one is just too much. i do know this will be a long road and am grateful to be able to reach out to people like you. thanks.

joanne