Hi, just worried like all of you...

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-05-2003
Hi, just worried like all of you...
Wed, 07-28-2010 - 9:13am


Mom of 4 boys......

I have an 11yr old son (second son)that me and my husband have finally agreed to talk to the Dr. about medication. DS has always been ADHD, I have known it for MANY MANY years at least since first grade I noticed that he's not only strong willed but definately hyperactive, impulsive and inattentive. Can they be all 3? Are some stronger areas than others?

It took us this long to finally go the medication route, I guess you could say we have always worked on behavior modification. Not to mention he was in elementary school and we only had one teacher to deal w/ my biggest fear is now he is going to middle school and he'll have 5-8 teachers to deal with. I use to think who cares if he fidgets, squirms and can't sit still he is not hurting anyone else, right. Well now it's not only that but these last 2 years I have been worried about his social skills. Always an eccentric kid but his immaturity is starting to come out and it seems kids are starting to leave him alone. He has his 2 best friends which I am always greatful for. Not everyone needs to have 5-10 buddies but I have to admit I do want kids to "like" him (not popular just likeable) if that makes sense. DS is highly intelligent w/ gifted and talented for 2 subjects. I always thought that would explain his "eccentricness", right?. So I rarely have the school work issue. He does get frustrated easily, though and does not like to put any mental ability to his work, minimum that's his motto or fastest, easiest route.

I know when I mentioned to his pediatrician about the social and teacher relationship issues that were coming up, doc was so defensive of my son like I was;) he felt the same way I did but he also knew how much it can hurt a child because his son was the same way too. Well now that ds is starting a new school, I want to give him the best start if only for trial for a semester then let's try it. I honestly was convinced is going to have to be pulled for homeschooling. But time will tell. Ds is appt is up in 2 weeks and I am just gathering information. DS did have a full IQ, autistic, behavioral evaluation by our school psychologist. He has met w/ a counselor a good amt of times over the years. But it was all just to deal w/ the behaviors. I was not surprised by anything that I learned. Except for they were a little encouraging about how much better ds could do academically if he was on meds. Not to mention behaviors.

Ds always had great teacher in elementary school except for ONE year which was a horrible horrible year in 4th grade. He had a good 5th grade techer but ds did feel she was crabby too. Which in my terms means she was just frustrated dealing w/ his quirks and who wouldn't. I do too....Now that middle school is coming I just want to give him the best start and give him a fair chance at a new school.

I am sooooooo worried about the meds, what is the right one, which would be the right one. Not to mention I probably only have a semester to get this right. I am trying to make sure dh and son is prepared that this could take a few attempts and we may not get it right at first. I am asking them (my son and husband)to give me one semester and preparing them for the different meds we may have to try to get it right. My attempt is to learn all I can about the meds. My son is very worried about the side affects and doesn't really want to try it. I told him the whole speech about having a heart condition or diabetes I would take meds too. blah blah blah...

Any advice I would appreciate on the meds. Wish me luck at his appt. Thanks, Cris

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Thu, 07-29-2010 - 11:53am

I understand your concerns about homeschooling. We use the K12 program, which is all laid out, provides all the books and materials and is scripted (tells you what to say and do.) In some states you can do this as a Virtual Academy and it is free. The Virtual Academy students get a "teacher" whom you can consult and there are requirements about logging attendance and progress, which can be very helpful if you are a type that procrastinates unless there is pressure to perform. The program takes a lot of the pressure off the parent, and is actually a lot like what teacher's manuals are like. The program is very complete, and in this time of budget cuts, better than what the kids are able to get in some struggling school districts. (Which I have personally seen.) Oh, and despite all the scripting - you don't have to do everything exactly as laid out - we do modify and eliminate mindless stuff or do some things verbally instead of written. Which actually makes the day go much faster.

But, all that said, it is for keeping in the back of your head as an option, should the middle school not work out. As well as keeping in mind that if you do decide to try homeschooling that public school is always there as back up!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-05-2003
Wed, 07-28-2010 - 10:27pm

thanks for responding, I will check that book out.

I will say that I guess I wouldn't worry so much if my ds acted satisfied in his friendships. But the truth is I can tell he wants more friends. He got in a big fight w/ one of his best friends for a few months and that was a terrible time for us. Thank god they made up, but I don't want him in that position again. The problem also is that he is so darn particular/sensitive of who is friend worth also. Well maybe if he had better manners/self control then he could be more choosy as to who he wants as friend. That's a different story:).

I honestly am very scared to homeschool, I just don't know if I am thorough enough. I will do it of course if I have too, but am very worried. Did I mention I am self diagnosed ADHD myself. My brother had it severely and I struggled but learned to manage "somewhat". I still can say I "manage". And would consider taking meds myself but I am prioritizing my kids med bills over mine. Again that is a different story altogether.

One of my best friends actually told me that school is a very stressful environment for our kids especially for our spirited children. She helped me put things into perspective.
I do feel that I don't like to leave my kid w/ other parents or unsupervised w/ an unpatient adult because I just don't know what he'll be impulsive about. I know for sure he's not criminal but more so I get anxious and worried about his impulsiveness and hyperactivity.

Thanks again for the recommendation and good luck to you...

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Wed, 07-28-2010 - 8:51pm

Sounds like me, only my son is a few years younger. I had him evaluated so that I would know if I was dealing with autism or ADHD. In our case, the doctor said ADHD, but because we homeschool he did not recommend medication. He also said my son could coast in regular school for a few more years because he is so smart, but it would catch up eventually. My son started vision therapy not long after the evaluation (for his reading,) it has also helped with sitting still and concentrating. But vision issues are related to other muscle control issues that he has, so not something that will work for everyone.

A friend who is a counselor recommended the book "Healing ADHD" by Dr. Amen. It does talk about how the kids are inatentive to social areas as well as school, and tend to lag behind their peers by a couple of years. The book was great for me to understand the different types of ADHD, and if/when we do medication, I will be referring back to it. I was able to get it from my library, which was really nice.

Good luck with all of this, school wise. I am taking the view that my son may need a few extra years to catch up with his age mates, but it really doesn't worry me much. I don't care if he takes a few extra years before going to college, or decides on something that doesn't require college. But yes, the teacher thing is an issue, which is why we homeschool - our "bad" teacher was kinder and I knew because my daughter had her. Despite my recommending a different teacher - he gets the one that 8 boys transferred as soon as they could for my daughter's class. Homeschooling has been good for us - although I have to keep him focused, I don't have to fight with the school, which results in a lot less stress.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-05-2003
Wed, 07-28-2010 - 12:15pm

Thanks ladies;

so nervous but very anxious for our appt. I am very confident in my pediatrician and I am sure he'll direct me to a neuropsych if need be. The school psychologist did not diagnose ds w/ anything. The school psychologist was the one in charge who also does his observation along w/ a team. Great Guy too. I didn't mean to make it sounds like they diagnosed him w/ anything, if I did make it sounds like that. They give you the test results and we the parents can do with it what we see fit. They were looking for Learning or cognitive disability or autism, is why he was tested in the first place. Which they do not feel he has.

It leaves me w/ his behavioral concerns which was why he/we saw a counselor, not a psychologist I think it was a Liscensed therapist. Where we just dealt w/ behavior modifications and social therapy. Now we are left w/ his ADHD, something I hope to give him a good start w/ meds.

I was concerned about side effects and what side effects are okay, i don't want to give up to early on a certain med and not give it a fair chance. So I am hoping to read thru other's experience. Thanks, Cris

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Wed, 07-28-2010 - 11:35am

HI, and welcome!

Yes it is possible, and is called ADHD/combined type.

You mention that he has had an eval by a School psych. But has he been evaluated by a Neuropsychologist? If not I would make an appt to have an eval. A school psych cannot diagnose anything, and a pediatrician shouldn't be prescribing ADHD meds. A psychiatrist is more prepared to deal with side effects, med choices etc.

Meds can be wonderful for the child, but sometimes finding the right med is hard, and can take time. Hang in there, and let us know how it goes.

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

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

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2008
Wed, 07-28-2010 - 9:48am

We all worry about medications before starting them, but I can tell you they can be so, so beneficial! We had to start medication when our son was four, his ADHD was so extreme. It changed his life and ours. He went from literally bouncing off the walls, being aggressive to kids and adults, unable to focus on anything for more than five minutes that didn't enthrall him and just all around difficult, to a sweet, calm, normal boy. People now see him for how smart and funny he is, not for his ADHD. He went from one friend to being the "Norm!" of his class with kids calling out to him to play.

Side effects have been almost non-existent for our son with Concerta. He does lose his appetite further (hates to eat to begin with ... well before meds started) when we first started and have to adjust dosages, but that greatly improves over time. Otherwise, that's it. Be careful about which sites you use online for information about medication because there is a lot of misinformation out there. The best people to talk to about medication are your son's psychiatrist and pharmacist. Then you can get a medical perspective on potential side effects.

Keep in mind that with stimulants if you don't like a side effect for any reason, you can stop the medication immediately. It's out of the child's system by the end of the day, so you can be done with a medication if you hate it and try another one. It can take trial and error or you may luck out and find the perfect match right away.

Good luck!