Post # 1
I have an appointment for my 7 year old daughter next week because we’ve had behavior problems for the last year and a half and it’s only getting worse. If you have a child with diagnosed ADD/ADHD, what was their behavior like prior to being diagnosed and what treatment option did you go with after being diagnosed?
Post # 2
My boyfriend was diagnosed with ADHD when he was around that age. He was disruptive in class and had a lot of energy but his grades were good. His parents chose to put him on a medication (he thinks it was Ritalin). He is 32 now and wishes he hadn’t been put on medication. The drug affected his appetite, made it so he didn’t learn how to cope with his hyperactivity until he stopped taking it years later, made him feel socially awkward bc he didn’t interact with other kids while on the drug, made him totally insane once it wore off and he’d need another dose.
Post # 3
- Wedding: August 2019 - City, State
So I don’t have a child with ADD/ADHD, but I work in the special education field so I work with a lot of students that have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. Without treatment, much of their behavior is disrupting the class, not completing work, acting out (because they cannot control their impulses) and overall a lot of issues with their executive skills (time management, task initiation, etc).
For many kids who do go on medication, it works phenomenally. It is like night and day with their behavior and ability to complete work in the classroom. It may take a while to find a medication that is a good fit for your daughter (side effects can be quite noticeable), but in the end it very well could be worth it. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor for various treatments until you find one that you think would be the best for her (while weighing the result on her behavior vs the side effects).
Post # 4
ADD is entirely different than ADHD. My child has ADD. Quiet. But as the dx suggests, she has attention deficit. She doesn’t do well with in class projects as too much noise or activity makes it even harder to concentrate. She’s the type you ask to do something and she goes off to do it, only finding out 15 minutes later that she forgot to do it. She didn’t like the meds so we quit after a couple weeks. Learned ways to cope.
Post # 5
I’m a clinical psychologist who specializes in assessment and treatment of ADHD across the lifespan. As luck would have it, my younger son (now 9) was diagnosed with ADHD Combined Type when he was 7. So, I have experience on both sides of the table.
There are three types of ADHD (and yes, it’s all ADHD – ADD has not been an official diagnosis since the DSM-III revision was released in 1987.) There’s inattentive type, hyperactive/impulsive type, and combined type.
Treatment depends on severity of symptoms. Longitudinal studies have show the mild ADHD responds best to behavioral intervention, while moderate to severe responds best to behavioral intervention and medication.
My son has moderate to severe ADHD. He could not focus properly – he was easily distracted, couldn’t complete tasks, lost everything except his head, was disruptive (which affected him socially), extremely disorganized, time meant absolutely nothing to him. He takes methylphenidate XR and has been in therapy. He has a behavior plan through an IEP (most kids with ADHD qualify for a section 504 plan to give accommodations; my son also has speech articulation and a writing disability, so he has an IEP) to help at school. Things are better, but not perfect. I need to provide far more structure for him than I did for his older brother at the same age. But he’s doing better socially and academically. I don’t give him his meds on weekends or holidays unless he has an activity that he needs to be able to focus for.
Obviously, I’m biased, but I’m a proponent of complete psychological testing for diagnostic purposes, not simply filling out Vanderbilt rating scales at the pediatrician’s. Symptoms alone do not point to etiology. I’ve tested kids who show symptoms but don’t have ADHD – there may be a learning disorder, autism,cognitive issue, anxiety, or depression causing the symptoms.
I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.
Post # 6
School psychologist here, and I have a 12 year old son who has ADHD_ inattentive type.
We tried several things over the course of time, but it has been Aderral which has made a big difference for my son. He started out with a 504 plan, but is now on an IEP for writing. He has great ideas but it’s hard for him to organize his thoughts on paper and get out what he wants to.
He is not the squirrelly, overactive type of kid, but it had been hard for him to focus and attend in the classroom. He ended up missing instructions and his grades were suffering. Things are much better now! He earned a 3.6 GPA this past semester. I also don’t medicate on weekends, breaks, etc.
Post # 7
jeepher : My cousin’s daughter has ADHD and Epilepsy (apparently it is common to be diagnosed with both). To deal with the seizures her family put her on a very high-fat diet as recommended by doctors. She hasn’t had a seizure in like 3 years which is great but the diet has also done wonders for her concentration. She went from being a C student to B+/A student. The ADHD isn’t gone but it is being managed just like her epilepsy is. She is still on epilepsy meds but her family has taken her off of ADHD medication altogether. It’s worth doing a little research on.
Post # 8
- Wedding: June 2007 - City, State
jeepher : my 10 year old has ADHD. Her symptoms are well controlled through diet. Problems in school did not show up until this year and she went from all Bs and having trouble focusing to straight As and doing wonderful. Low sugar, gluten free (she is Celiac but I recommend this anyway), low dairy, and absolutely no chemicals…no artificial dyes, flavors, or preservatives. I also give her glutathione as needed, which is just an antioxidant that is very important for liver health. Sometimes she gets benadryl at night as well. Diet is a huge factor in behavior whether you have ADHD or not, but if you want to start somewhere, eliminate food dyes and preservatives, especially red 40.
Post # 9
- Wedding: June 2007 - City, State
rainbowduckie : this doesn’t surprise me. The brain is 60 percent fat. Your brain cannot operate correctly without adequate fat, especially good saturated fats. That’s a good doctor. I only feed my kids full fat dairy.
Post # 10
Thank you all so much. I have done some research myself and my gut feeling is that we are dealing with a combined type ADHD. Her symptoms are almost dead on to what I have read. I was just curious to hear experiences with it from people who have been there. I know that my daughter gets frustrated. When I ask her why shes not listening to my boyfriend or myself, she says she doesnt know. I truly believe that there is something going on and she really doesn’t know why she does what she does and cant seem to control it. I truly appreciate the input from all of you Bees and it definitely has made me think about things that I havent thought of up until this point. I’ve been worried about medicating her, and the side effects of it, but at this point I’d do whatever it takes to make her have some relief of what shes experiencing (if it is ADHD) and hopefully have things a little less stressful around our house for everyone.
Post # 11
Post # 12
I grew up with ADHD. My parents medicated me as was in vogue in those days. Ritalin gave me seizures (had my first in a swimming pool, thankfully I was being watched otherwise..) Zoloft made me feel like a zombie, Adderall kept me up for days at a time and I eventually had to be put on sleeping pills to sleep at all. It also caused me to lose a ton of weight.
I personally won’t ever medicate my kid for ADHD if she has it.
Post # 13
- Wedding: May 2019 - City, State
jeepher : In the US, a 504 plan is essentially a classroom accomodation plan for disabilities or differences your child may have. Here is a infographic on 504 plans vs. IEPs:
Post # 15
jeepher : my child was diagnosed with ADD but not ADHD. He has thehypoactive version, so I don’t know how much help I would be with your issues. Just chiming in with jannigirl to raise awareness. There is the “quiet” version of ADD and it too can be really hard on kids(and parents.)
We had a very intense evalution (three appointments with specialists which were each quite long and then a parents meeting and wrap up session)
Also @ jeepher : I often regret not medicating, (it was the reccomendation to us after diagnosis and the specialist were incredibly thoughful clinicians) but we will never know really. Great kid, just finishing his last exams, but attention still a very very hard topic for him. I feel like we should have done more, but I think this happens a lot with Hypo-kids since they are not distruptive. (this is refering to your comment: “I’ve been worried about medicating her, and the side effects of it, but at this point I’d do whatever it takes to make her have some relief of what shes experiencing (if it is ADHD) ” Which is exactly what the clinicians reccommended for exactly those reasons.) Wish you and your daughter the best!