At what point did you decide to medicate

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-14-2002
At what point did you decide to medicate
11
Tue, 04-20-2010 - 12:31am

I've posted here before, and then drifted away - but now I'm back again. :)

My 8 year old, Brayden, did the worksheet/survey with his teacher and my DH and I. The pediatrician scored all of the answers. His results were that he was in the ADD/ADHD and ODD range. She could have prescribed medication if we wanted it, but since we were taking him out of school she said really it was just up to us.

His struggles with school is a whole 'nother post. I think I've posted some about it here a few months ago. So we started homeschooling in January. It's been SUCH a huge weight off our shoulders (the stress of him constantly getting into trouble at school) and far better for Brayden. Homeschooling has been great, but somedays his behavior is just too much. It seems we fight him more to do school work then it takes to just do the work in the first place. Yet other days he gets it done in an hour!
For example, in math we were doing some mental math problems that he had really struggled on the previous week. I had to walk him through all the problems, and when I'd try to get him to do one on his own he'd cry and say he couldn't.
THEN - today I told him that I wanted to see if he could do the problems on his own - using the math manipulatives (like 100's, 10's, and 1's blocks). He didn't even NEED them. He seriously knocked out the whole page in less then 5 min. I couldn't even look up the answers fast enough to see if he was right, and he was right, on all of them. He mentally subtracted problems like 125-30, 57-25, and so on.
Yet after that page was finished he was done. That was all the concentration he could manage. I tried helping him with some word problems next and he couldn't even tell me what 9-8 was. He began to get frustrated and "shut down" on me again.

Are those classic ADD/ADHD signs? My DH is started to see it too and has made a giant leap to discuss medication with a doctor and see if maybe it could help Brayden. We have been a bit unsure, on the fence, about medication *unless its needed* however I'm starting to see signs that maybe Brayden would benefit greatly from it.

Thoughts? Should we schedule a neuro-psych consult? Or can we handle it all through his pediatrician?


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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 04-20-2010 - 9:20am

Sure, maybe--and yes, I'd go to someone who does a whole bunch more than just the survey forms before they give you meds. Our ped did much more than that, but my understanding is they don't all do more. Has he had any testing through the school system? Because there are a whole bunch of things that can cause the same symptoms as ADHD & it's a really good idea to eliminate at least some of them before you start down the meds route!

I would certainly get this kid an eval.

OK, I decided to medicate when it was really the only thing left. We'd had his eval via the school system, eliminated the LD side (well, OK, longer story than that!). We had his tonsils & adenoids removed to fix the sleep apnea, but that didn't fix the ADHD. I was really worried about meds; what helped me be willing to start them was that we could always STOP if things went wrong. Well, they didn't, and I can't imagine not medicating my kid now, it helps SO much. It makes him so much more himself, if that makes any sense.

Megan
Megan
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Tue, 04-20-2010 - 9:27am

HI, and welcome back!
We decided to medicate when DD was really struggling to concentrate, and her grades dropped. Meds are a very personal decision and there is no right time for everyone.


I would absolutely not let the Ped handle meds. I would seek a Neuropsych to evaluate and get a solid diagnosis before medicating. A checklist/worksheet is not a diagnosis, and he may not even have ADHD. It may be one of the many things that can Mimic ADHD. A neuropsych wil do testing and observations, and give you a diagnosis you can be sure of. A Psychiattrist should be prescribing meds, especially until you find the one that works.

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: 08-10-2006
Tue, 04-20-2010 - 10:22am

Hi!


Nick was dx'd ADHD just before his 5th birthday, he also has a dx of Asperger's, social anxiety and mild OCD.

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Christine

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-14-2002
Tue, 04-20-2010 - 11:40am

Thanks everyone. :)
To answer some questions, no the school didn't evaluate him. That school he was in was not serving his needs at all, and even laughed and denied my request for an IEP.

So I guess the next step would be to call his pediatrician and ask for a referral to a neuropsych? I checked our Children's Hospital (which is about 3 hrs away) and there appears to be a neuropsych dept...so that's good! What about insurance...should insurance cover it and medication? My son is on the state low-income medical insurance.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Tue, 04-20-2010 - 12:28pm
Depending on your state it should be covered, I know

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

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 04-20-2010 - 1:18pm

Check your insurance carefully, I know mine is *weird*. Covers the meds just fine (if you've got normal prescription coverage, I'd think this stuff is fairly standard!), but a very interesting approach to anything they feel is either "mental" or "the school systems's problem". Plenty of people end up paying out of pocket, so be sure what you are getting into before you go that route!

They denied the eval for the IEP? That sucks!

Megan
Megan
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-14-2002
Tue, 04-20-2010 - 2:25pm

Oh yeah, this school system was a pain in our side for the last few years. I'm so glad to be finally rid of it!
During a conference with the principal and teacher (one of many) I asked about an IEP and if that's something we could do to help my 8 yr old. The Principal sort of laughed, and rolled his eyes, and said that was something Dr's like to toss around but it really doesn't do anything special and having meetings and discussing a plan with the teacher and him like we were doing was basically just what an IEP was.

That was our last meeting.
Two weeks later I pulled him out to homeschool. haha


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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2003
Tue, 04-20-2010 - 3:54pm

Did you ever ask for a 504 evaluation? It's like the first step in getting an IEP.

Under federal law the school (assuming they receive some sort of government assistance) is required to preform a 504 if you request it.

http://specialchildren.about.com/od/504s/f/504faq1.htm

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-14-2002
Tue, 04-20-2010 - 5:30pm
I didn't ask for a 504 evaluation, but when I asked about the IEP - that's when the Principal basically shot down that idea. I suppose I could have pushed and said that I insisted they do an evaluation and write up an IEP for him. But I had struggled with that school for 5 years with my other son as well. I was sooo beyond done with them.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Tue, 04-20-2010 - 6:29pm

You are aware that the School/Principle violated Federal law by not doing an eval when it was requested? Although I DO think since it was not in writing they would say it was never requested.


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

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