Any other ADD or ADHD w/o the "H" boys o

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Any other ADD or ADHD w/o the "H" boys o
2
Tue, 05-13-2003 - 8:24am
I was wondering if my son is the only one. If you have a son with this diagnosis, do you mind telling me about him? I am especially interested in what medications work for these guys and peer issues.

My son is a very handsome 6 y/o in K with very big blue eyes and a heart of gold. He is a bit behind in reading (letter sound recognition). Great in comprehension and pre math skills. After I started him on a stimulant he did a great job of trying to catch up, but I think we will hold him back to get a better foundation. Like girls with ADD inattentive, he has a tendency to be overlooked by his peers. He says they don't like him because he is shy and they think he is shy. He knows they get miffed at him because he doesn't stay focused when they are playing a game and daydreams into missing the ball, or keeping up. The stimulants have helped a lot, but I think he might also need an antidepressant. We are into our second week of strattera and it is doing nothing for him. Today I go to the pediatrician and am going to request a return to stimulant drugs. Any thoughts? Sio

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-13-2003 - 10:52am
Hi Sio! I don't know if I will be of much help here, but here goes ...

My son has been diagnosed with ADD (no "H"). He will be seven YO this summer, and he is in first grade. He is a bright, happy, funny, very verbal kid who loves soccer, reading, rollerblading, monkey bar navigating, and learning. Despite the fact that he can be maddeningly frustrating sometimes, he is a truly wonderful, magical kid overall. His ADD dx was "formalized" when he went through the Wechsler III IQ test - his verbal scores were *really* high, while his performance scores were just above average; a skew of this magnitude is an indicator of ADD - plus we were already aware of issues he was having with concentration/focus. At that point, he was not taking any meds.

Socially and emotionally, ds gets along well with his same-grade peers. He doesn't seem to have too many issues with shyness - his teachers have told us that he has leadership qualities (which I assume could also be termed "bossiness" sometimes, LOL!) Since the social/emotional factors seemed to be non-problematic, after a bunch of agonizing last year dh and I decided to have him proceed to first grade this year. "Negative" arguments presented against that were: He has a summer birthday, he is a boy, and he is small for his age. (He does make the cut-off in our district, but only by a couple of weeks). However, he attended a wonderful center-based day care as a baby/toddler, and he had always been "tracked" with kids who would be in his *grade* (rather than by just age) - he was very used to, and very comfortable with, his interactions with this peer group. He also has self-esteem coming out the wazoo - it would never occur to him that being small is a big deal (no pun intended), or that it would hold him back in any way. So, with all of that, plus the fact that his cognitive skills are very strong, we went with our instincts and kept him going. It seems as though we have made the "right" decision for our son - he has had a great year in first grade, despite his ADD. It sounds as though you, too, have followed your instincts with your son - that, to me, is the best indicator at the end of the day that you have made the "right" decision!!

My ds sometimes has a tough time completing assignments in a timely manner. He completes just about all of his work "in time", but is usually one of the last to finish. Occasionally, he will bring home something to finish at night that had been assigned as "deskwork" but that he was unable to complete. Most of the time, these assignments are more "creative thinking"-oriented -- things like writing/illustrating stories. With more "black and white" assignments, such as math and reading, he is fine. The ironic thing is, ds is very creative -- I think that it is just difficult sometimes for him to pin down all of those thoughts flying through his brain! It is also difficult for him to concentrate sometimes when the classroom is noisy (23 first graders do get pretty noisy sometimes, even under the best of circumstances!); we have not sought any accommodation for that issue at this point, but it is a definite possibility in the future if we need to go that route.

At this point, a lot of the work is pretty easy for him, so we are really working hard with him (in conjunction with his regular classroom teacher and his gifted pull-out teacher) in terms of his organizational skills and use of unstructured classroom time (two areas that have been identified as those requiring a "boost"). We are very fortunate in that his teachers have been terrific about working with us and him in these areas. We have also found that he does best with a more structured environment/schedule - even on weekends, we tend to keep pretty busy (sports, cub scouts, religious school, etc.) and on a pretty regular schedule -- though, of course we do our share of "just hanging", ds does NOT do well with HUGE chunks of "down-time".

DS had been on Ritalin since the Fall, but he developed a facial tic. The Ritalin was pretty effective, although his concentration/focus were still weaker in the afternoon than in the morning. (The extended release stuff, like Concerta, didn't do much, so ds was taking Ritalin 3 times a day.) So, at this point, stimulant meds (which, as I said, were pretty effective) are pretty much "off the table" in terms of being a therapeutic option. He has been taking Strattera since mid-March, with mixed results. It did take awhile for us to see any effects of the Strattera at all, but -- although it is kind of frustrating -- this is "normal" (such as "normal" is these days). The Strattera seems to be more effective in curbing impulsive behavior than in enhancing ds' focus/concentration.

DS has some issues with impulsivity and acting-out that are pretty much isolated to home - he has never had any behavior problems at school or with his friends. The acting out has gotten significantly worse again, after a period of it being pretty much under control (again, since the Ritalin was stopped) and our PED just recently suggested that we consult a PED psychiatrist who specializes in dx and med management. So, that's where we are now - we have an appt with a p-doc in mid-June. I suspect that there may be a bipolar or ODD component to ds' behavior (you don't know how hard it is for me to even *type* that!) so hopefully the p-doc will be able to figure out a combo of meds that will be effective for everything ds needs. The psych practice we finally found to see ds requires that patients see a therapist as well, so we have just begun that process, too. We had seen a psychologist for awhile with him when we started going through some difficult periods with him, but hadn't gone that route for awhile.

Sorry this got so long!! I hope that, somewhere in this rambling, is some info that might be helpful. Hang in there, and please let us know how you are making out!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2000
Tue, 05-13-2003 - 10:52pm
I've got one of those!

Although I'm starting to see the "H" more and more, it seems.

Mine is 7, has big brown eyes and curly hair and is as sensitive as they come. He has a summer birthday, and we started him in K shortly after he turned 5. He did OK in K - not great, but OK. Even with a wonderful teacher, it seemed to take him a while to learn all the rules, but he was never disrespectful or agressive - just things like touching the artwork in the hall (huge crime) or playing in the bathroom, talking, etc.

When he got to 1st grade all the wheels came off the cart - quick. I could have told you within the first 3 weeks of 1st grade that he wouldn't pass. But we worked all year. Your average cockroach has a better personality than his teacher had. I think that because he required extra attention, she was content to just let him orbit the solar system all day in her classroom. Homework was a horror story every night. We finally got him diagnosed in February and started on Ritalin at the end of March. It made quite a difference, but was not really enough for him to catch up on everything he'd already missed.

He is repeating 1st grade this year with a wonderful teacher and is having a great year. He made Principal's List (all A's) twice.

One thing that made the decision to hold him back last year a bit easier was the fact that there were no peers that he was particularly attached to. He had a couple of kids that he hung out with at recess and occasionally talked about, but it was not a 'best friend' situation at all. He didn't seem to miss anyone, and they didn't seem to miss him. (some are still on his soccer & baseball teams) This year, he has made some really good friends. He seems to be accepted by the kids in his class - even though the majority of them had been together last year in K (and some in PreK).

The summer between K and 1st, he played T-ball with one of those "world series" coaches. Everyone in the league knew his name from the coach yelling at him to PAY ATTENTION. Not suprisingly, he refused to play at all last summer. During fall soccer, we experimented with giving him his meds on the Saturdays before his games. Huge difference. He actually payed attention to HIS game and looked like he has some clue about how soccer was supposed to be played. Really showed progress during the spring season. This year he's playing baseball. I have no illusions of him going to college on a baseball scholarship, but he's having a good time and a good bit of success. (Of course, his coach has something to do with that. We've got a coach with a great attitude this year who always has a positive word for the kids instead of yelling at them.)

I also see him with a lot more confidence this year. He'll ask a kid if he wants to play or a group of kids if he can join in.

We used Ritalin for nearly a year. It gradually seemed to not be doing the job, so we switched to Concerta in February or so of this year. He seems to have more difficulty sleeping with the Concerta, but I like that it lasts into the evening (for those 5:45 ball games) and he doesn't have to take meds at school.

Hope some of this is helpful to you.

Karen

 


PJPIIadoration.jpg picture by Kimberly_sahm