Our Update ... LONG, sorry!

Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Our Update ... LONG, sorry!
Sun, 09-07-2003 - 7:16am
Well, I've not been posting regularly ... as with most people, summer is just such a crazy time ... different schedules, vacations, etc. Hopefully, part of the back-to-school routine will allow me more computer time on all the boards I try to frequent. (Problem is, sometimes, there are too many.)

Anyway, Kevin is 11 1/2, and started middle school this year. (I figure that when he's in high school, I'll be able to say 'middle school' without flinching. Yikes!) He has ADHD (the impulsivity kind,) ODD (in a big way,) Auditory Processing problems (mild,) and is gifted. Lots on his plate. He's been on meds for ADHD since Dec. 2001, Concerta, with much success. As of the beginning of the year, things weren't 'great.' Again, Kevin is NOT hyper ... it's impulsivity that's his problem ... and when the Concerta was effective, it worked on the ODD behaviors as well as the ADHD stuff. When it stopped working, those were the behaviors most prevalent.

That's when the med-roller coaster began. They weaned him off Concerta and put him on Strattera ... upped that dose until he was on 40 mg., without luck. Added a small dose of Concerta, changed that to Ritalin LA, took him off the Strattera and kept him on Ritalin LA alone, then added a small dose of Focalin. CALGON ... TAKE ME AWAY! Nothing worked. After a particularly HORRIBLE weekend, I said "ENOUGH!" That's it ... no more meds. Period. Planned on weaning him off ... but plans fell through and he went off cold turkey. (Ironically, during this time, Kevin was saying to us "I don't need meds ... I'm fine ... you people are the ones with the problem." Sigh!)

Well, he did GREAT! From day 1 of off-meds, Kevin was 'different' ... and in a good way. He was happy, he was laughing again. He was cooperative. I have to say that in the 8-9 weeks of summer off meds, we had maybe 2-3 'bad' days, but I can't say that was Kevin. It may have been ME just PMSing or something! We knew the 'key' would be the back-to-school ...

So, we're 2 weeks into that, and things are questionable, but not bad. He's started middle school, and with that comes all sorts of transitions (and ODD kids particularly don't transition well.) He's had to get used to 6 different teachers and teaching styles, with each requiring different things (books, composition notebooks, 3-ring binders, duotangs, etc.) so it's a matter of being ultra-organized (not one of his qualities.) Plus, dressing out for PE ... remembering locker combination and locker assignments ... Band has a locker but that one has a key and not a combination ... and he's riding his bike to school, so he has to remember his lock and key for that, too.

Yesterday morning wasn't good ... His baseball game (fortunately) was rained out, and Kevin seemed completely incapable of functioning. We suggested he use this extra time to do his homework and chores, so that he'll have the afternoon and all day Sunday as free time. But, he couldn't pull it together. He was totally obnoxious, totally non-compliant, would lie in the fetal position, would talk like a baby, wouldn't get up when asked, etc. It was really annoying ... and scary, too. Days like this when I feel like I'm totally unqualified to deal with this child.

Now, DH and I have different 'takes' on this. Me? I took it as a set back ... He's got so much on his plate, so much change in his life, so much more responsibility, so much less 'free time / unstructured time' and he just needed to regress a bit. DH, of course, is like "he has a problem and needs to be on meds." Sort of ironic since from the beginning, DH was anti-meds (as was I initially) and didn't want him on meds any longer than was necessary, if at all.

SO, now I'm not sure what to do, but I do think it's too early to actually 'do' anything. He's been med-free now for 10-12 weeks, successfully. Should 1 bad morning cause us to 'react' and change that? I don't necessarily think so. I will start monitoring things again ... his diet vs. his behavior ... to see if there's any 'trigger.' Kevin does better with 'structure' ... he's done o.k. so far getting up and ready for school, and for baseball practice and karate classes. It's almost like because he didn't have to be anywhere that he couldn't function.

Anyway ... that's where things are with us right now. Med-free, enjoying it, but watching things carefully to see if we need to make some further adjustments to this ...



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Avatar for kathy_in_ga
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 09-07-2003 - 11:25am
We have tried the no med also. It worked for about 2 months. Then all he!! broke loose & we have to start over again. I think with these kids, the ones with other DX's, any med change can help for a awhile. This is why when you change a med & they do so good for a while, then the old behaviors show up. This is how Joiner responded to meds for 2 years. It took some time, but we have found the right combo for him (I hope). All last year it was trial & error, nothing really worked & he was having huge problems with anxiety. The only thing we are doing different than we did last part of last school year is give one med at 3:30 instead of the two pills at night. This seems to help.

Keep a eye on your son. I know you will do the best thing for him. We deal with lots of oppositional behaviors too, it's hard to deal with sometimes. Pluse you are dealing with the pre-teen age, which I head can be obnoxious in it's self.

Good Luck,