Need advice!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Need advice!
11
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 8:14pm
My patience is wearing thin! My son is 8 he is on Addrell 1 pill 12 hours. He takes it before school 8:30am by 7pm it is wearing off. This is when he starts homework, there is nothing I can do to get him to do it prior to 7pm. But here we are 9pm and we only got through 1 1/2 page of math, we still have 5 more problems to go plus spelling words and he as to read, not to mention he hadn't taken a bath. He has chewed up 2 pencils and three erasers, we've spent the last 20 mins trying to add 1 quarter, 2 dimes, 4 nickles and 2 pennies and all I get is "I don't get it?" He's in ESE (exception student education)Short of giving him the answers I don't know what to do, I'm at the end of my rope, I am using all my power not to explode, thats why I'm pounding the keys and deep breathing. I've been to ADHD parenting groups and nothing sems to work, he will not work independently, I have to sit next to him and use his fingers and walk him each step of the way. Classes are 28 or more kids to a teacher, he will not be able to get the one on one attention he seeks, he has to learn to do this stuff on his own-HELP!!!!!!!

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Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: lynn1513
Sat, 03-29-2003 - 5:28am
They 'advertise' Strattera as having a 24-hour effect, but I don't see it. Kevin's been on this (switched from Concerta) for 6-7 weeks, and what I noticed was that he was hyper in the afternoons. The thing-is, Kevin's ADHD is the impulsivity type, with attention as secondary. The one thing he is NOT is hyper ... and I felt that the Strattera was almost 'making' him hyper. Very goofy, very un-focused ... ? They increased the dose at increments 'til we got to 60 mg, and that didn't stop. I suggested we either do a split dose ... 40 mg in the a.m and another 18 or 24 after school ... ~OR~ go back to the Concerta, and increase the dose of that ... and doc suggested we add 18 mg of Concerta to the Strattera and see if that doesn't help. The added boost of a stimulant does seem to be helping. When asked about the 24-hour effect, the doc said "well, it's not really 24 hours ... what it does is last longer than the Concerta or Adderall XR. It's longer lasting, but NOT 24 hour!" So, mornings still aren't great. What I did with Concerta was give Kevin 18 mg before he woke up (I'd wake him at 6:30 to give him a pill and let him sleep another 45 min) so when he got up at 7:15, the meds were already working ... then he'd take a 2nd 18 mg after he ate. (36 mg on an empty stomach make him ill.) I may start doing the 18 mg before he wakes up again, then the Strattera after breakfast, to see if that help.

Anyway ... Strattera is NOT a miracle drug. None of them are. But, it is supposed to be longer lasting. There are some side effects ... so far, however, Kevin's had none of them! (No negative effects ... but it's not working as good as they suggested it would either, so maybe there's a corelation ... but if you're looking for longer effect, this is probably worth a shot!)

Nancy

Nancy 

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Avatar for ashdenson
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Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: lynn1513
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 7:00pm
I don't want to step on any toes here because I usually lurk and only post when I truly can contribute. There are moms here that have tried Strattera (I know Susan has.)

A week ago today I called the psych cuz the AdderallXL just didn't seem right - although the hyperness was fine. But a lot of things that you learn over the years didn't seem right to me. Anyway he wanted to change him to Strattera - I wasn't happy because a few kids on the ADD Teen board had TERRIBLE SIDE EFFECTS. I think I saw the same thing at this board.

That being said - I had to ween him off Adderall and introduce Strattera. He told me I would know IMMEDIATELY if there was a tolerance problem. So, yesterday he went to his full dose (60mg) and today was his last 7 1/2mg of reg adderall. The med take 4-6 weeks to get the full potential (like anti-depressants) but you see a difference a little bit each day. It does last 24 - but I would say more like 23 - cuz when my son got up this morning - he wasn't hyper(but he never was when he first woke up) but he was nasty and out of sorts - NO BIG DEAL.

What I did when he was on AdderallXL - was give him a 7 1/2 to 10mg reg adderall at about 3PM. But it did keep him up - I gave that up. As he got to about 14.5 -15yrs he seemed to be able to control his hyperness and force himself to do his homework.

This is why I love the idea of Strattera - if he wants to do his homework at 10PM, he could! But we certainly haven't let him get away with that yet - LOL

And yes, they do come in very small doses - and weight is considered too.

Hope this helps.


Denise

Denise

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: lynn1513
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 6:30pm
Ok tell me more about Strattera. Now I hear it takes time to get into the system and start working. How long was it taken before you saw results? My son is 8 and barely 50lbs although he's over 4 feet tall so can I get that in a low dosage and he will eat? We talked about this in the ADHD parents class and it seems it either worrks or doesn't but I'm hearing alot of possitive. Do tell -anyone who using Strattera!
Avatar for ashdenson
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Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: lynn1513
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 4:46pm
The med is Remeron. My son's been taking it for 3-4 years. In the first year he gained 20 pounds! - and even to this day - it makes him a little sleepy. But I'll probably stop this soon because I just switched from Adderall XL (been on this since Adderall first came out) to Strattera - he has no side effects- it works 24hrs. Right now he is experiencing a little tiredness after school (he's 15.5yr) - but his appetite will cause us to take out a 2nd mortgage. LOL

Denise

Denise

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: lynn1513
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 1:40pm
Right, she only 10 mg in the am and 5 mg after school if she needs it to get throught homework. But you're right when it wears off she is hyper and can't focus at all. So because of this we also give her Remeron at night before bed. It calms her down and makes her sleepy, the bonus is that it increases her appetite. I really didn't want to give her another med on top of the Ritilain but once we gave in and saw how effective it was I was glad we did. But if you think the med isn't doing what it should or something it shouldn't, you have to go with your gut feeling, because that's really all your doctor is doing. We changed meds 3 times before we found the right one. Hang in there.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: lynn1513
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 12:14pm
So your daughter takes no medication during the day? The Adderal is at a 10mg dose, I don't want to give him more cause he gets zombie like, then when it wears off all the surpressed hyperness comes out. Other than P.E. my son gets no recess at his school so when he comes home he wants to play so he's ready at 7pm and I can't get him to start sooner. They ave alot of homework every night reading, math every night and he is just in 2nd grade, he started school later due to birth date. Well thanks everyone and I think in conclusion I should try a different medication.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: lynn1513
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 10:53am
My daughter is 7 in 1st grade and we have the exact problem you described. We told our doctor and he gave us a presc. for a 5mg dose to give her as soon as she gets home from school to get through homework. The problem with this does is that she would not be able to go to sleep at night, she wanted to do homework all night!! (what a change) We would finish homework then she would want to do practice sheets out of workbooks for fun. So we told the doctor about this and he then gave us a presc called (Rumedon - spelled wrong) but we give it to her about 8:15-8:30 at night and she calms right down and is ready for bed in about 15-20 minutes. The great thing about this presc is that it also increases her appetite, so gained a much needed 3 lbs this past month since starting it. I'll try to post the correct name of the med this weekend so maybe you can talk to your doctor about it. We don't take Ritilan though we take Focalin (a version of Ritilan). The ritilan caused our daughter to much anxiety even though it cured her inability to focus. Just keep talking to your doctor.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
In reply to: lynn1513
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 9:33am
Here's what I do. My son is in first grade but still has homework. We do our homework in the morning! I give him his med's while he is sleeping (with a cheese stick in order not to have stomach ache) and then wait. It usually takes about 30 minutes to get into the system He then wakes up and does all his dressing, etc. Then I pull out the homework which he completes pretty much on his own and then off to school! I know it is almost impossible to do past 6:30/7:00. He is stepping on homework by then pencil going all over the place. Let us know if you think this helps.
Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: lynn1513
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 5:34am
Why can't you get him to do homework before 7:00? What time does he get home? Homework used to be a battle in our home. When Kevin was 7-8 (2nd grade) I told the teacher that I would not get emotionally involved in his homework ... I had enough battles on my hands, and if he didn't do it, let the school deal. (OK, Kevin also has ODD, and at the time, we didn't have the ADHD diagnosis, he wasn't on meds, etc.)

What I did that year (about the 2nd half of the year) is make a 'Homework Jar.' Every day that Kevin did his homework, without battles or problems, he'd get a poker chip. If he completed the work but gave me a bit of a hard time, nothing happened. If he didn't finish it or if he had a meltdown, he lost a chip. When he accumulated 20 chips, we'd buy him a new Game Boy Game. It was almost like paying him $1 each day he did his homework, but heck, that's worth it. There were very few days where he lost a chip, and my afternoons were much more pleasant.

Kevin is now 11, in 5th grade, and I've used all sorts of modifications to the 'token economy.' What we do now is have a "Responsibility Chart" which breaks out each day by Morning/Afternoon/Evening, listing what his responsibilities are ... and what privileges he earns for compliance. (And, everything in our home is a privilege.) So, after school each day he has HOMEWORK + 3 small chores. (Nothing that's getting a lot of work done around the house ... just enough to show him that being part of a family means that everyone needs to pitch in ... so he might have to feed the dog, set the table, empty the garbage cans, bring the recycling bins in/out, etc.) IF he completes all, he can watch TV, ride his bike, play with friends, use the computer, etc. IF he doesn't, nothing happens ... literally, he gets to do nothing! (I won't even give him a ride to baseball practice ... that, too, is a privilege.) It's very simple ... you earn your privilege by complying and following rules. We have very little arguments or battles. AND, because it's posted in writing, I don't have to nag all the time ... simply "check the chart" ... lets me save my words and energy for happier times. I'm much less stressed.

My suggestion, then, would be to insist that homework get done right after school unless there's a reason why that can't happen. And, if that's the case, call the doc. He may need a med change, or tweaking of the dose. Strattera is supposed to have an almost-24 hour effect. (I don't see that, yet.) But, perhaps a low dose of Adderall or Ritalin after school might be needed to get him through the rest of the day ... ?

Nancy

Nancy 

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Avatar for kathy_in_ga
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: lynn1513
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 8:41pm
I have the exact same problem! My son had reduced homework. I told the teacher that it took 2 hours for him to write 7 words once, she agreed that wasn't what homework was supposed to be. I also let my son orally spell his words while in the bathtub. He gets a bath, is in one place, and we are studying.

I plan on asking ny sond doc for a homework dose of 5 mil adderall. He currently takes 20 mil in AM at 7:30. I will have to give him the extra dose at 3:15 when he gets home from school.

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