23 answers

3 Year Old Prescribed Adderall- HELP!!!!

After the last 18 months or so we finally have some answers to our sons ourbursts and radical behavior. Our 3 year old has been diagnosed with Autism and his Dr. put him on Adderall yesterday. I am new to all of this and am having some real issues giving my child a drug of this magnitude. Our son is Only 3 years old and has had some behavioral issues for the last 18 months or so. His fits of rage even scared me at first not because he is violent but because he just gets so involved in him self and can and will not get over what ever issue is at hand.

Does anyone have any words of wisdome for me? I am really having a hard time accepting that my child was prescribed this drug. Is this right?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hello,

I do not have a child with Autism, but I have been hearing a lot about it. Actress Jennie McCarthy has a son with Autism and has pretty much learned to deal with it through diet instead of drugs.. You should look her up on the internet. She even wrote a book about it. Hope this helps.
Teresa

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Before administering any drugs to your child I would exhaust all other avenues! We have had great luck with our son on the Fiengold Program of diet. We removed wheat, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives as well as Sylicate acids and he is a whole new relaxed, well spoken, loving boy! We saw great results quickly, in 2 days he was potty trained and in 2 weeks he added 150 words plus he had emotional control! No more tearful outbursts of little things!! Please try diet adjusments before you give your child Adderall!!

You will Do what is best for your child!! Hang in there and trust your instincts!!
Momma Power to you!!,
K.

2 moms found this helpful

My 3 year old is also autistic. We have not administered any medications. We have however taken him off of dairy and we saw a huge difference in his outbursts. We took him off of all milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream, etc... It was hard for the first couple of days since he loves cheese and milk. We switched him to rice milk. A specialist was the one who suggested it. We were totally amazed at the difference. It even improved his eye contact.
Our next ste is to remove gluton. This will be harder as so many things have glutton in it.
Best of luck! We know how difficult it can be. We have known since our son was 9 months old that something was not right.

2 moms found this helpful

You need to get a second opinion. I trusted my doctor as well and now he is no longer my doctor. Any doctor that prescribes adderall to a 3 year old without having him checked out by local school assessment specialist and Childrens hospital specialist is a quack in my opinion. My son wasnt diagnosed until March of this year. He is 4 and will be 5 in January. He attends the early childhood developemental school in our school district (since Dec of 2006) and they are the ones who assessed him then I took him to the local childrens hospital and they verified and gave him his diagnosis. No where in there was there any mention for drugging up my son. There are many more ways to help your son. Feel free to message me I have a few sites that would help you with your son and they dont involve drugging him ....
M.

2 moms found this helpful

Hello,

I do not have a child with Autism, but I have been hearing a lot about it. Actress Jennie McCarthy has a son with Autism and has pretty much learned to deal with it through diet instead of drugs.. You should look her up on the internet. She even wrote a book about it. Hope this helps.
Teresa

2 moms found this helpful

Hi N.
I just want to remind you that you never have to give your child medication that makes you uncomfortable! Especially for autism. I am a pediatric nurse and my neighbors son is 6 and autistic and I have been working with him and his family with a wonderful program for autistic children that has nothing to do with medications. No two kids are alike, and medication does work for some, but it does not have to be your first choice, especially for your 3 year old. If you want to hear more about the Son-rise program that my neighbor is working on with her son please send me a message. I wish you the best for your family!
H.

1 mom found this helpful

Have you noticed any difference after giving your son this medicine?

There is no one cure all drug for the autism itself.. just to treat certain aspects of the disorder... whatever might affect your son the most, if he seems to have a problem with implusivity and focus, then maybe this is why the doctor prescribed it. I have two daugthers with ADHD (one might actually be Asperger's) and this medicine seems to help them. There are many medications out there to treat the ADHD-like symptoms.

I recommend you find out everything you can about your son's autism, join groups for support - online and locally. And get him therapy.. there are many aspects of his disorder that will need to be dealt with, he may need phsycial therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and there are a host of other things that can be done for him. They key is early intervention and to get a head start to deal with each facet of how his autism affects him. Counseling and group therapy - for the whole family - may be in order as well. Some kids even go on anti-depressants... but my tendency is to think that since your child is so young, you've got a head start to avoid the magnitude of low self-esteem that comes with having this disorder, many of these kids know they are different and it leads to depression because of their lack of verbal skills/pragmatics, they can't express it quite right.

And if you are also feeling hesitant about medicine, Seek another professional's opinion. Adderall can cause a decrease in appetite and the doctor should watch him quite closely.. now is not the time for him to be losing weight, some doctors will recommend meal supplement shakes. If your son is a typical 3 year old he is probably a picky eater.. so him not having an appetite due to the medicine is going to make getting him to eat even harder.

I highly recommend getting "The Out-of-Sync Child" and the companion book "The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun" book - it is an easy read and you will get your own ideas on how to deal with sensory issues your son may deal with. Many ideas for calming - aromatherapy, joint compression, gentle massages - all of these have worked for my 4 year old son.

You have a big challenge set before you, but there is lots of help and support out there, there are many options for services out there, privately and through the school district, that are available to help your son adjust and to gain the skills he needs to go to school and fit in as best as he is able. You are very blessed to recognize his challenges NOW so you can get a head start on helping him. Call your local school district to see what programs he may qualify for. Where I live they have an Early Intervention Program for 3-5 year olds, you'll have to have him evaluated with them to qualify, bring all your doctor's paperwork, he may qualify for special preschool programs in the school for kids like him. Check out and ask everywhere what is available.

Best wishes...

1 mom found this helpful

Fits are a common Autistic trait. You are his mother, if you don't feel he should be on drugs you do not have to give them to him. If he is not endanger of hurting himself or others then all the drugs are going to do is make him easier for you to manage. And that is not something to be taken lightly that is for sure. But this is a choice you get to make, not the doctors. If it is only Autism then him not having the drugs are not going to hurt him.

Luck and Joy,
S.

1 mom found this helpful

there are other natural ways to calm your son. My friend's mom is an herbalist and they have delt with autism and have been able to help children with autism. We are in Gresham, not sure where you are. I'd love to give you her number. there is also help for you that is free for children with disablities they give you one on one create a educational plan for him and give assistance in preschool for him as well.
it's called Early intervention. They should help you soo much more than the doctors. they specialize in helping families like yours.

1 mom found this helpful

I would talk with naturopath Ed Hofmann-Smith ###-###-#### and see what he says. If he can't help directly he can refer you.

1 mom found this helpful

First of all, I agree that you should definately get a second opinion to be sure that it is autism. If indeed it is autism, then you should try some home remedies as well. Have you heard of Jenny Mccarthy's book "Louder than Words: A mother's Journey in Healing Autism"? You should check it out if you haven't already. Her son was diagnosed with autism, and she did things like change his diet, and video modeling and play therapy, which helped her son tremendously. If I were you, I'd be open to try anything. Because you never know, it may work for your child, and that would be a blessing so you wouldn't have to give him those meds. Good luck and God bless.

1 mom found this helpful

I have a neice who is autistic, it took a long time to diagnose her, and I would definetly suggest getting atleast a second opinion...Just be as sure as you can be that the diagnosis is correct and that you are comfortable with the prescription. A second physician may agree, or maybe not...but do whatever you need to do as a mom to feel comfortable with this...Good luck! If this is autism you have some rough times ahead...If you need any information on it let me know and I'll see if I can get some links for you from my sister-in-law. She is very involved with my neice, who is now 11 years old...She is a stay at home mom and stays very up to date on anything having to do with autism

1 mom found this helpful

First, scanning through the other responses, Jewel gives good advice. My son was on Adderall XR for ADHD at 5 years old and it helped him TONS. He was having social, emotional and academic issues that were due to his ADHD. He is a great kid that really can't control certain things and it was soooo distressing as a parent that he was getting labeled the "bad kid" by his peers the first few weeks of kindergarten because of his behavior/impulsiveness. Adderall made a huge difference. His PE teacher said that she had never seen such a huge difference before in a child starting medication. AND he was on the lowest dose. Ultimately, it helped him be more of himself. How could I deny him that?

If you can find something else that will be as effective with less side-effects, go for it but don't dismiss medication if it is needed/helpful to getting your child happier and well-adjusted. Would you deny an epileptic epilepsy medication because it is "heavy-duty'? If it is what is needed, try not to put a stigma on it. Ultimately, you will know what is best for him but get all the facts and your pediatrician is a great one to start with all the questions.

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi N.,
I work in a very large school and have experienced quite a bit in the behaviors of Autistic children. I was, too, not one to jump right in when the word "drug" is mentioned for behaviorial issues, but in the past 10 years I have turned my opinion around. What I have observed as a layman is that children given a drug to assist them in controling their uncontrollable urges is helpful, not cruel. Adderall is an amazing drug for Autism and other behaviorial issues. It assists children in managing their impulsive behavior and gives them a chance to learn and thrive. I understand your reluctance to administer this drug to your child. My advise is to give it a try for at least 6 months. Work with your child while he is taking the drug and help him learn to redirect the behaviors causing distress. Also, find a group of other parents with autistic children. You will find a wellsping of comfort and help.
I must tell you that after 10 years of working with school age autistic children I have seen amazing progress and development. You have a dear little person who simply came into the world with a completely different view of reality.
I know how hard it is for you to focus on one child while caring for another. This is why I have suggested finding others to help you. You might look into pre-school for your boy. You'll get a break and he will learn valuable lessons in socialization and be assisted with a trained teacher who focuses upon issues of autism.
We have found ways to make these wonderful children feel one with everyone.
My best to you.
J. S

1 mom found this helpful

This has been in the news a lot because there seems to be an epedemic and even the pediatricians don't know enough about it. But I assure you experts seem to admit they don't know and books are being written by women who have dealt with this and solved their child's problem with diet. My daughter went through a similar thing with her son and he was diagnosed by a naturalpath with allergy problems. Granted most naturalpaths are not covered by insurance. But as you have a computor, get on the internet under health and you will be surprised what is out there now. I am 71 years old, and can't believe what you young mothers are going through. But I just learned that mercury is in all medicines including childrens vaccines, is now in the flu vaccine. Well I'm not going to have a flu vaccine at my age now. No way do I need more mercury in my diet. By daughter discovered even yellow and red dyes were affecting her son's behavior. And they are in everything. They are now going to test all babies before the age of two to see if they can discover why this happening. So get on it quick. M.

1 mom found this helpful

Hey N. - it is very difficult to absorb information about your child having delays/difficulties of ANY kind. It will take some time for you all to adjust. As for the meds - I have seen first hand how they can be helpful... but it may take a little trial/error to find out what works best. It is disappointing/frustrating to think he will have to be on meds - but can you imagine if his behavior continues this way until school age??? You may be wise to get ahold of any information you can on Autism and ADHD - as well as the medication. ALSO, a family therapist/behavior specialist can REALLY help too - they see kids like this all the time.
Good luck and take care!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi N.,

You have gotten some very good advice! I have to agree with diet changes. We have radically changed our diet and my husband no longer has cancer signs and we no longer take medicine for add or adhd. As for adderall, i have taken it and though it can be helpful, it can also be harmful if taken long term. I dealt with major issues that were similar to autism as a kid, but it was not discussed as much when I was a child. Our daughter has a very different diet now just because we changed ours. She is flourishing and happy. However, we discuss with the naturopath things that must stay in her diet and ours as well. It was hard for me to realize that medicine is a band aid on the problem. It does not treat the source, just the symptoms. That is a huge problem with modern medicine today, and a big reason natural medicine is becoming so popular. You will make the right choice. Just believe in your ability as a mom. I personally prayed a lot about using the medicine, and we feel that it isn't right for us. But, as many have said only you can choose. Being a parent is a big responsibilty for me. I definitely did not realize just how much work it was. :) But, as I am sure you feel this way; would not change it for the world. :) Definitely getting a second opinion would be helpful as well. I would consider discussing things with a pediatric naturopath. Ours was very knowledgeable and assisted us greatly. Blessings to you and your family.

Katherine

I'm sorry to hear of your struggles N.! I, too, have an autistic child who is now 12. He had immunization seizures that are commonly diagnosed as colic, but occurred every evening from 5-9PM. I didn't find out until later. We have never medicated him with dangerous pharmaceuticals and never would. We have made diet changes and tried natural remedies that help. It can be very stressful, but we do our best to be creative and deal with what comes on a day to day basis. I am looking into a safe mercury detox for him. I recommend seeing a naturopath to see what options you have that are not so damaging to his little body. Ask them about getting in touch with other Moms who are trying natural remedies first because you need to have some support from someone who understands what you are going through. Please feel free to email me and I will do what I can to help. You have to have support of some kind.

I don't agree with the mentality that only the perfect child doesn't need a prescription. There are lots of other choices besides drugging him, especially at such a young age. I think the only time I would ever consider medicating, is if he was harming himself or a danger to others. Emotional outbursts/defiance are as bad as it gets in my house. ;-)

Kerry
____@____.com

Have you gotten a 2nd opinion yet? My son has multiple mental health issues and it took years for anybody to even agree with me that he had a problem....I finally found a wonderful Psychiatrist that is working with us for the last couple years trying to find meds that are usefull and the least invasive. Adderall is just one of MANY that does the same job, the biggest thing I have found with all of this is that meds are trial and error!!! The chances that the 1st thing you try is gonna be the miracle are slim to none! I hate giving my son meds, hate it hate it!! But he functions poorly without them. Also, growth spurts will affect the meds. I wouldn't be comfortable without having gotten 3 opinions that all had the same answer - mental health in children is just too easily left open to interpretation - they can't answer questions reliably, or know when meds are making them feel wrong. I would suggest getting 2nd opinions and researching the Adderall and asking as many questions as you can. Also, diet has been known to cause endless problems - Red dye is a huge problem for some kids - so you might want to try looking into some different diets....i know it sounds dumb to say that food might make your guy act like he does, but I've seen diet change kids!! Good luck! Don't forget to reach out to local resources like Oregon Parent Training & Info Center - they are AWESOME!!!

Hello N.,
I do not have an autistic child, but I have heard that changing their diet can make a big difference, specifically changing the diet to a gluten free one. This might seem overwhelming at first, as gluten is in just about everything, but it is not that hard once you figure out what meal/items work for your family. You might look into this. Also, genetically modified foods have been linked to behavioral problems. The biggest GMO crops are corn, soy, cotton (in food it is cottonseed oil), and canola. I suggest an organic diet, which would eliminate GMOs, as they cannot be in certified organic food. For more information on this subject, check out www.seedsofdeception.com - they have great DVD resources on genetically engineered foods. Good luck!

PLEASE DO NOT PUT YOUR 3 YEAR OLD ON ADDERAL. I don't care what your doctor says putting your child on adderal will cause your child to go more crazy in the head. I have heard great things about "The Listening Program" - please look into it. You can find more information at http://www.rmlearning.com/auditoryprocessing.htm . I found it to be very helpful with my sons ADD. Also I have heard that it has helped improved the lives of many children with Autism and children with learning problems. I know form experience and I really hope that you will listen to me when I say: ADDERAL IS THE WRONG ANSWER.

My grandson was put on Adderall when he was about the same age and then later on two meds. He is ADD and Asbergers'. The meds seemed to work well for him although he still had his outbursts because he just couldn't calm himself enough to even talk. This would last maybe 10min. and he would snap out of it. My daughter took him off of both pills when he was 8 with Pediatricians permission. However he did say that he may need them again. He did well, yes he had his ups and downs but not so bad. Then came the hormone change around 10. When he lost it, he really lost it. The words that came out of his mouth, the strength that he had was just unreal. He is a big boy. Anyways he is now back on the Adderall, doing better, but as I said before, when for whatever reason he loses it, it doesn't matter who or what is in his way. He was so bad at school last wk. I really don't know what happened but a police cruiser brought him home and he was suspended. When he gets like this regardless of his meds nobody can do anything. If you try and corner him it just makes it worse. My advice to you, yes you will find your son easier to handle but he is going to have his bouts, that goes without saying. Meds' can only control for so long. Now that my grandson is 11, my daughter is moving away and I myself feel so sorry for him because he is already labelled. We live in Ont,Canada and things like this go into his school itinerary. When he goes to his new school for grade 7 my daughter wants him to go to Catholic School. I haven't said much to her but I just can't see this school putting up with his behavior when he fly's off the handle. The language, hitting, throwing stuff. It seems funny because when he's here I don't have a real problem with him. Then again there are no other siblings around him either, its just grandma and him which he loves.
Adderall is a good med, better than Prozac, just keep in mind that when your son has a fit of rage just leave him be. Don't try and get close to him, just make sure he is safe from any harm until he gets over it. Then you can maybe ask him why he acted the way he did. If you approach him prior the screaming etc. will only worsen. I wish you good luck, and pls. have patience with him, he didn't ask for this and he needs yours and your husbands love. Try not to criticize him. When symtoms seem like they are getting worse make sure to let the doctor know, he may have to up the dosage at some point. So be sure to tell him everything. Again Adderall is not a bad medication when prescribed properly and the right dosage.

One of the mother's suggested pre-school. There is a federal law requiring every school district to diagnose and treat pre-schoolers who may have a learning disability that will impact negatively on future school success. This assessment and treatment is free and administered by your school district.

My 4 yo grandson goes to a therapeutic preschool in Portland. He has difficulty with speech and acts out in rage.

We are all very pleased with his treatment. Another benefit is that the program provides support for the parents.

Hello N.. I am not too familiar with Autism, but I do strongly believe most cases are linked to the MMR vaccine. Even Jenny McCarthy believes that. I don't know if you've vaccinated your son, but the MMR is usually given around 15-18 months. You said that he started acting differently around 18 months? I'm curious if other mom's would say the same thing...that their child's disposition changed around the time of the vaccine. My son is 15 months and my husband and I have chosen not to give him the MMR. Boys are more prone to autism than girls. He's had other vaccinations...just not that particular one. We're not willing to take that chance. I do believe that a change in diet can help. Many of the foods we eat have so many additives, preservatives, etc. It makes sense that food could possibly contribute in a negative way. I would research all options before resorting to drugs! Good Luck!

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.