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5 Year Old Daughter with ADHD/ODD

I have a 5 yr. old daughter that has ADHD/ODD and has been diaganosed with it since she was three years old. She has been on medication for it since the age of four. She has been on adderal, stratera and focalin. She also has trouble sleeping and has been on numerous sleep medicine. She now takes melatonin and that helps a great deal. The major problem I having right now is medication. Nothing seems to work. The last thing she tried was focalin, which was supposed to be some new wonder drug but made her more irratable, and jumpy. She started kindergarden this year and has started peeing her pants in school. She is getting into trouble in school with her behavior and not being able to pay attention. I am at the end of my rope. She sees a pyschiatrist and a therapist. If anyone knows of anything else that could help let me know, please.

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I have a 14 yr old son who was diagnosed at age 5 as adhd and oddd......................put him on adderall and he ended up spending 2 weeks in the psych ward b/c they misdiagnosed him and he was really bipolar and the addderrall sent him into mania!! Wellbutrin which is really for depression is often used in kids to help them pay attention...................especially in bipolars b/c ritalin and adderrall set them off into mania!! Sometimes the roller coaster ride of meds gets really old...................you have to keep trying to find the right ones and the right doses!

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I can relate to your frustration! I,too, have a child with ADHD. Through my experiences (he was diagnosed in kindergarten, and is now in second grade), I have learned the following:

1)Contact your psychiatrist about your daughter's behavior. If you're not satisfied, get a SECOND OPINION. Not necessarily from a psychiatrist, but a NEUROLOGIST, preferably a pediatric neurologist. My son's pediatrician could not increase his dose of Straterra because of his wt. But, his neurologist increased it, saying it is a safe medication and we can go as high as we need to go, unlike other medications. (We tried stimulants and he developed severe motor and verbal tics, which he still has two years after being off of them!!)

2) Medications may help, but our children may suffer side effects from them, either now, or later. I learned that the hard way. And, medication isn't a cure-all. It should be used as one method to help our children, but not the main method! We should be helping our children learn to cope with their disability so that when they are adults, they will have these needed skills. We got our son involved in Martial Arts (recommended by a friend's Dr.), and believe it or not, within a month we began to notice a difference in his school performance! It has helped to build up his self-esteem and helps with focus and discipline. He loves it, and its not only for boys. The class is divided, half girls and half boys.

3) Get her teacher involved. We have a wonderful teacher who unbelievably, has ADD! Its great because she understands the challenges. She is very open to letting Joseph do things that others consider taboo. To help with his talking in class, she lets him chew gum. Believe it or not, it really helps. She lets him get up and move around, as long as it does not distract others. When he's having a reading lesson, she lets him go where he feels he'll be less distracted, either in a corner, or even under a table. And because she has been so supportive, my child is enjoying school! He used to say he hated school last year. But these simple little tricks have turned his attitude around, because he's experiencing success. ADHD kids experience so much frustration because they experience great challenges, and more failure; what's easy for one child is hard for them. No wonder they are so frustrated and angry!

4) Ask for testing by the school, to see if your daughter needs extra help in certain areas, such as my son needs extra help in reading. Its not that he isn't bright (in fact, he scored high academically in other areas; a child with ADHD can have intelligence as any other child, from high to low), he just has a hard time focusing long enough to want to read. Perhaps she's frustrated like my son was, and can continue to be.

5) Do you like to read? When I found out Joseph was diagnosed with ADHD, I wanted to learn as much about it as possible! His pediatrician recommended a fantastic book, with information for parents, information for Dr's, and information for teachers. Its called," ADD/ADHD Behavior-Change Resource Kit" by Grad L. Flick, Ph.D.The teacher's info is great for classroom support, and I even copied portions of the teacher's info for his first grade teacher. Just because she's a teacher does not mean she has specific training for children with ADHD. Remember, most teachers have to buy alot of their own supplies and books. This may help her to understand your child better without having to purchase information out of her own pocket. It is the most resourceful book I have, with information about medications, activities to help behavior, etc. I love it!
Also, I am in the process of reading a book, The ADD Answer, by Dr.Frank Lawlis. This book is recommended by Dr.Phil. Some portions are a little strange, but it does have some good tips. It tells about detoxifying them from lead, etc. I am not sure about those areas, but I am keeping an open mind!!

S., I hope this helps. I know its a struggle, and there's no quick solution. But there is support, and feel free to email me anytime. The best advise in the second book, is to remember that our children are children first, NOT ADD FIRST. Don't look at them as a diagnosis, but as a child. They need us to help them, and to love them, and provide positive encouragements. For every negative comment, be sure to make three positive comments, because its the negative that they remember the most.

2 moms found this helpful

What response has your pyschiatrist and therapist given for the wetting? Do look into the side effects of both medications that your daughter is taking which very well could be causing her to wet her pants. Any behavior modification techniques installed at home?

Hi S.!

My husband is an adult w/ ADD and my 8 yo niece had been on medication for ADD for many years. Both went through exactly what you describe. We investigated the medications extensively and any alternative therapies. My husband read a book, also, that was a holistic approach to managing and growing through ADD - I will get you the title, if you are interested.

In the end, what has worked for both my husband and my niece has been to wean off the medications (esp. since they weren't really helping) and to make corrections to their diet - no additives and artificial colorings, etc. Both see psychotherapists for behavior modification, which has helped tremendously.

For your daughter, I recommend Dr. Sears Book on ADHD, which you can find on his website:


Lastly, don't be afraid to shop around for other care providers. If what you are doing isn't working and they don't have any suggestions, you may need a fresh pair of eyes on the scene.




This is the most shocking thing I have ever read. All 4 and 5 year olds are strange sometimes. They are sad, happy, hyper, have trouble concentrating, and act different than every other kid. ALL KIDS HAVE THOSE SYMPTOMS.

Here is a thought. Accept your daughter EXACTLY the way that she is. I feel so sorry for her. How can someone diagnose a three year old with ADHD/ODD. There is a tremendous amount of development going on. You have no idea what the child is going to be like later when they are three years old. Many extremely gifted children act very crazy at that age.

I am a mother of four and actaully have 6 children in the house all ages varying from 4 to 11 years of age. There are two boys in the house with ADHD. My 11 year old nephew and my 7 year old son. It was hard for me to except that medication was needed to calm them down. And yes after a while on one medication there bodies do become immune to the drug. Jacob my nephew takes 57 miligrams of concerta and it does wonders on him, James my sone was on metade for a long time and did great then for a couple of months it was a living hell keeping up with him, i mean litterally climbing the walls. We have now switched him to adderall and it has helped alot. The age of your daughter is a very critical age though to diagnose. I also have an 8 year old son that was treated for nearly two years for ADHD and id cry many times trying to figure out why nothing we did or game him worked it was a god awful mess. We now know that he is bi-polar. Very hard to diagnose in a child and drugs for ADHD will make a bi-polar child worse than they already are. This is something you may want to bring to your doctors attention. Good luck hun and congratulations on the new grandbaby

My oldest D. is 12, and has been suffering from ADHD for a while. Nothing worked for him either. We have settled currently with Concerta, though I feel it does not help as much as it should. My suggestion to you is to contact an organization called Blue Ridge Behavioral Health. These individuals promote wellness and focus WITHOUT medicine. Your daughter may be just like my 6 year old son---bored to tears with school and just trying to occupy herself during the time she is there. Many times teachers(from my experience) tend to push medication when it is not neccessarily needed.

Here is a link...I do believe this organization can help.


My son was diagnosed with ADHD after several tests at MUSC. He was also given a full pysical to rule out any medical reasoning for his behavior. After 2 years on Adderall XR, he started to behave as though we were giving him candy instead of meds. After a few discussions with his doctor, we switched him to Concerta. Wow,what a difference! He doesnt act zoned out, or any other strange behavior. He just acts like a child in control of his behavior. Also, it doesnt stop his appetite, or cause him to lose sleep like the Adderall did. The best part is that it is long lasting, and it doesnt cause him to have that "crash" when the meds wear off. I dont know if it will work for your daughter, but it is worth a shot. I dont know where she goes to school, but Charleston County has a program that keeps a counsellor from Charleston County Mental Health on site in several of its schools. They will work with your child at the school, and will be there to help her if she needs help controlling herself at school. Your insurance pays for it, including Medicaid. Very much worth looking into. Hope this helps!

When my oldest was three(he is now six) he was very active and my mother-in-law suggested that he may have ADHD and being a first time mom I talked to his doctor, who then told me that they do not usually diagnose children that young they usually wait until the age of six because it is normal for a three year old to be active and have a short attention span he said that when they are six and still showing those symptoms that is when they are concerned. He is now six and does not have ADHD he grew older calmed down and is a great kid in fact his conduct grade is always an A. Maybe you should find a new ped I believe that these disorders are greatly misdiagnosed and meds are not always needed. Do you really want your child on these meds? My youngest brother-in-law was diagnosed with ADHD and he took ritalin I can tell you that it did more damage than good.


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