still not sure

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2005
still not sure
9
Tue, 08-11-2009 - 5:24pm

Hi Ladies.

So DS is 6 and going into grade 1 in September. He is ADHD combined and gifted (went through all the rigorous testing and whatnot). We started him on short acting ritalin, then tried biphentin (a long acting form of methylphenidate in Canada) but found it was out of his system in about 5 hours. We are now on 27mg of concerta.

Here is my question...

What can and can't the meds do.

For example, he went bowling today with camp. Everything was going great until the last ball when another boy went out of turn and accidentally through a ball on DS's turn. He flipped out and was screaming for about 30 minutes over this. Up until that point he was OK and then when I picked him up (the councilor didn't know what to do with him so they asked that I take him home) he was settled within 5 minutes. Is the med supposed to help these outbursts?

He technically has no problem with focus - he can read a full 40-60 page chapter book in one sitting (without meds). It's the outbursts that get him into trouble all the time. At school these outbursts have made him a regular in the office and I actually think my house is in the principals speed dial.

I don't have these outburst problems at home, but they make my life a living hell the minute DS leaves the house for school or camp.

Any suggestions? Should meds help this? How much of this is just a "learned" behaviour?

TIA

Tracy....still smiling

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Tue, 08-11-2009 - 11:44pm
Even kids with severe ADHD can focus, or HYPERFOCUS, if it is on something that interests them. The difference is, people WITHOUT ADHD can focus on ANYTHING, on demand. Concerta improves concentration and attention, even on not-so-interesting tasks. It does not improve temper, and in some cases, may make it worse. Ask your Dr. about Strattera. Strattera's anti-ADD effect is very small, but what it DOES DO, is improve temper. However not everyone can tolerate it, so ask your Pdoc if this would be a possibility.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-04-2009
Wed, 08-12-2009 - 10:10am

What are some other situations in which your son has outbursts? My son has problems with transition or any abrupt change. In the example you gave us about bowling, it seems that the abrupt change (i.e. the other kid going out fo turn)

jenn

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 08-12-2009 - 3:06pm

The way I'd put it is, the meds make my kid more able to change those behaviors. OK, with my kid, it's the "NOT FAIR" (cheating in games, appearing to be cheating--which is what happened at that bowling thing, plain perception of lack of fairness) & the rapid changes in expected routine that get him. I ditto the "what are the triggers" question.

Um, I'd also watch timing on the outbursts--clearly this won't explain them *all*, but my kid has--especially on a new med/new dosage--them when he's coming off the meds in the afternoon. Much, much worse.

Megan
Megan
Avatar for kathyjoenathan
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Wed, 08-12-2009 - 6:29pm

I agree with different points other posters have made; my DDS has outbursts when things transition to quickly for him or when he's already in a bad mood about something else, something so simple could happen and he looses it.

Kathy

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-04-2009
Thu, 08-13-2009 - 11:59am

We used to see meltdowns when meds were wearing off too... when he was on Concerta. Aftercare program used the sand

jenn

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2005
Sat, 08-15-2009 - 10:10am

Thanks for your responses.

DS does have some issues with transitions. If he's enjoying what he's doing, he needs a warning to transition and then he's usually ok. If he's not really focused on something then he can transition easier. I don't have to give him a step by step of his day. If I need to make a last minute change it has not affect on him.

He has a hard time not getting his way (but not necessarily in a bad way - does that make sense?). He needs to be the first in line, needs to be ahead of the crowd. Gets upset if he isn't selected when his hand is up. They were having a movie day at camp yesterday. He liked all the movies available but the kids had to vote and he didn't get his first choice. He melted down and after 45 minutes of screaming I had to go and pick him up. But as soon as I got there he was suddenly following directions and listening. At that point the camp had already decided he had to go - and of course, he didn't want to - so I had to grab him and carry him out under my arm (not an easy task). This was within 3 hours of taking concerta so I know it was still in his system.

I am going to see his ped on thursday to see what else can be done. Grade 1 with full days everyday is going to be a nightmare!

I am very lucky that our ped is ADHD as well so he is very passionate about helping these kids. He remembers the nightmare of being a kid with ADHD and knows the issues with schools. He is even willing to go to the school and fight with the administration to make things work.

I'm hoping we can come up with a plan. I'm also looking into yoga classes for DS that teach deep breathing, relaxation and self control. I'm desperate to try anything. It's been 3 years of out of control and we've tried behaviour modification, meds, etc. At home he works, at school he is a complete disaster.

Tracy....still smiling

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-04-2009
Sun, 08-16-2009 - 12:04pm

That's great about your ped. I konw MANY of us here wish for the same thing.


Let me know how the yoga works. I have considered it for my DS too. Our gym offers a kids' yoga class. I have also heard that Karate classes are good for these types of kids (teaches discipline) yet my DS has 1) no desire and 2) I am kind of glad b/c he doesn't know his own strength and it worries me that he would learn fighting skills, kwim?


Let us know if you get anywhere with your appt.


jenn

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2005
Sun, 08-16-2009 - 6:21pm

Hi Jenn.

DS actually does take Karate. He's been doing it for almost a year as is about 2 months away from getting his green belt. He is very focused and disciplined and has never tried to use anything that he learns at home or on anyone outside of karate. Even when they do sparring (with full protective gear) he is very gentle and listens to direction.

The dojos are very good at teaching this. I was concerned at the beginning but I now know that I have nothing to worry about.

They also don't really learn to fight. Just their katas which is a series of movements.

It's worth looking into.

Tracy....still smiling

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-04-2009
Sun, 08-16-2009 - 10:22pm

Thanks. I know this would be good for my DS.


Last year he and DD were invited to a birthday party that was held at a Karate school. They taught some basic stuff to the kids and even let them break some boards. All the kids that were invited were offered THREE FREE classes, to try it out... I thought for SURE that DS would want to do it, especially the board breaking thing...but nope. DS has major issues with follow-through. We have a hard time encouraging him to do something b/c of that. He was in flag football last year and quit when he found out he couldn't tackle. He said he'd come back when he was 7 and they allowed tackling... So that was a waste of money....Some of it is age, I am sure, but I know some of it is HIM...


anyway, good to hear that Karate is working for you. I am hoping someday we will find a sport that works for DS, too.


jenn