16 answers

Not Sure What to Do - Hazel Green, AL

I have a 7 year old son that has ADHD. He was diagnosed 2 years ago and his doctor put him on Concerta. Well recently his insurance decided they would no longer cover it and switched him to a different kind. I made them take him off of that because he became very violent and was more hyper and unattentive than ever. They just started him on Focalin which is ok but just doesn't seem to be working like the Concerta. I'm not sure if it is the change in his medicine that has him acting this way or if there is something else going on. He is a very sweet and smart little boy. But lately he has been giving me more problems than usual and i am just at a lost as to what to do. When they took him off the Concerta his grades started to drop a little and just seems to lose his temper quite frequently. One minute he will be in a great mood and the next he hates everything. I seem to hear "I hate you!" alot lately.He really gives his 2 little brothers a hard time. Just does everything in his power to aggrivate them. I try to give him as much attention as possible but it's hard to divide my attention equally between the 3 of them. His dad thinks that I should let my son come live with him for a little while because he thinks maybe he needs the one on one attention right now that i just can't give him. I feel like i am failing this child as a parent.Somebody please give me some advice. I have tried everything from spankings to taking stuff away. Nothing seems to work. I want to help him, I just don't know how. Please help

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I have a 4yr and was going threw some "temper" problems with her not listening and giveing me a harder time then normal. Her pedatricition recommmend her to a consular to talk to, and that seems to be helping some. You might give that a thought. If you have his dad come stay that might give him the wrong idea too.

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Hi W., I'm S., my daughter who is 8 was diagnosed with ADD, the inattentive type about a year ago. We've tried several different medications but we've found that Adderrall XR works the best. I'm reading a book currently on how to make her life better. She gets through school fine but after the meds wear off its like she's in the twilight zone. I feel awful having to keep her medicated all the time. I'd love to chat with another parent who is going through this similar situation. There is also a ADD/ADHD parent support group in the local area, let me know if you are interested. Hope to talk to you soon.

My daughter is 4 and a doctor said she could have mild autism or ADHD, since she was so young they really couldn't tell me. She was overly hyper and wouldn't sit down for a second it was so hard to take her anywhere. She also didn't know everything she should have. Anyway, the doctor put her on all kinds of medications and they all made her upset. She would have terrible mood swings and she would get upset and cry and yell and at one point didn't want to take her shoes off. I took her off the medicine and put her in preschool and she is more than fine now. But in your case since he's already in school, all I can say is you might have to metion to the doctor to lower is dosage and if it's as low as it will go he might need to prescribe a different medication. One medication might work for awhile but then the childs body gets used to it so the dosage might need to be uped or lowered or he may need a different kind. I only know this because of my pharmacy I go to a great one.

I have a 4yr and was going threw some "temper" problems with her not listening and giveing me a harder time then normal. Her pedatricition recommmend her to a consular to talk to, and that seems to be helping some. You might give that a thought. If you have his dad come stay that might give him the wrong idea too.

In my opinion, giving him negative attention is not working. So try going in the opposite direction and reward good behavior and if you can, ignore the negative behavior. I grew up with ADHD. My parents were also divorced, so that may have an impact on him. He might feel a lot more of the effects of divorce that you may not understand.
Also, one on one time is hard, but making him feel special in other ways may be a way that you might want to approach him.
Also, when he comes home from school or whatever, try to light up your smile and greet him nicely. He may be stuck in a routine of frowns so he just expects it all the time. I hope it works out for you. Take care, and make sure that you don't give up!

I am a parent of two ADHD children and an ADHD husband. Yes, that is what I said, I live with three of them. They have all been on medication, but my husband refuses to take his. My daughter was diagnosed when she was in third grade and my son was in first grade. My husband finally listened to me and went to the psychiatrists and got diagnosed two years ago and they put him on medication (Focalin LA). It helped him a lot, but he don't want to take it, so he doesn't and we just have to deal with him. As for my children. I put them both on medication during thier school years. Both were put on Ritalin and it worked well. I think it is the best medication. However, each child is different and you have to determine what works best for your child. My children, over the years have been put on all of the medications because as they got older, and we moved arouind and switched doctors; they would want to switch and try the new drugs. I can honestly say that Ritalin was the best one for both my children. However, they now have my 17 y/o son on Aderall SR and it works ok. Neither of my children did good on Concerta. It made my daughter very moody and cry all the time. The last one my 18 y/o daughter was on was the Focalin LA and she is actually going back to the doctor this week to get them to put her back on it. I have done a lot of the changing foods, parenting methods, and all, but my children still needed the medication. They are both very bright students and did well in school. ADHD children need STRICT parents (which I wasn't) and you must stay on top of things and remind them constantly in a way that they don't know you are reminding them.

Dear W.,

some medications work better than others. Sorry about the whole insurance stuff-it is terrible what these big companies can do.
My suggestions is go natural- get all smelly cleaning products, perfumes, candles etc., etc. out of the the house. The air we breath- especially your children who breath faster than we do- are inhaling a tremendous amount of toxins. There is lots of evidence now that shows our indoor air pollutions are more toxic than outdoor. It is not necessarily one product- but the accumulation of many together that are affecting brain and nervous system development- even in utero. There are many healthier alternatives including some awesome vitamins that work at the cell level. www.totalfamilywellness.com has some good information. You can also try making your own soaps with liquid castile soap. but get the smelly stuff out of your house, out of your air and off your childrens clothes and skin.
L. M

Hi W.,

First let me say that I feel your frustration. My seven year old boy has also been diagnosed with ADHD. Everyday is a challenge but also an opportunity to learn something about my boy. It is very hard to divide your time evenly when one is so demanding. I also have a fourteen year old who has been every parent's dream child and I know that he does not get as much from me as he should because he doesn't demand it. Anyway, definitely reevaluate his meds because as they grow the the doses must be adjusted. However, I have discovered that when my son starts acting more emotional and becomes more of a challenge, there is usually some sort of frustration going on in his life that I was not aware of, and a lot of times it is at school. It may be an issue with a subject, a teacher, another student or just boredom. He doesn't always have the ability to pin point the problem well enough to tell me about it, so I find that a conference with the teacher is helpful. My little guy has sensory issues and some OCD as well. I found out last year that his school supplies kept in his desk were causing him great distress because of the need to have them in a certain order at all times. He just could not focus unless he knew they were stored in what he felt was the proper manner. His teacher mentioned to me that he was "playing" with his school supplies all the time instead of focusing on his work. Because I knew of his tendencies, we decided to move his school supplies to his teachers desk and she kept them there for him to access. It worked like a charm basically out of sight out of mind. Kids like ours are so much extra effort but the hugs they give are so worth it aren't they? Mine can be so sullen sometimes, but I live for the smile and the hugs. Good luck and let me know if I can help.

I have an overly hyper 10 year old, he was diagnosed with ADHD at 7, I refused meds and instead took away all sugar and caffein, you even have to watch the juice! I also put him on a strict schedule for eating and bedtime. He is 10 now and is doing alot better and is used to sugar free and diet caffein free drinks.

you may want to check what meds he is on...i am a therapist and work with small children and often times the meds for adhd can cause increased aggression/agitation in boys, particulary meds like ritalin and adderrall.

Have your son evaluated for the possibility of a mood disorder, such as childhood-onset bipolar disorder. Stimulants, such as medications for ADHD, can cause a mood disorder to get worse and the child to become out of control.

Check out http://www.bpkids.org and http://www.jbrf.org, and see if any of the symptoms match what you are seeing in your son. My son was diagnosed with bipolar when he was 10 (he is 15 now), and the situation continued to get worse until we finally got the diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Hey W., it can be hard to deal with medication and adhd. my advice would be to try natural supplements and natural vitamins. Every person has a certain balance that it needs or else we start seenig all kinds of symptoms, so i would try it, have many great testimonials to the company that i use. What do you have to lose? let me know if youd like to know more!
good luck

Oh my goodness I so know what you are going thru! I went through that with my son a year ago. my son was on adderall and it was horible!!! I switched my son to 36 mil of concerta and have not had a problem since. He sees a wonderful psychiatrist in durham who used to be a pharmasist and knows his medicnes quite well. I also have a 2yr old and thought mabe it was because he wasn't getting enough attention but it wasn't it was the medcine. Sometimes children with adhd like our children reach a plato with medcines and they need to be changed. since my son has been on concerta he has been wonderful! Please if you have anymore questions please don't hesatate to email me my address is ____@____.com.I hope that I have been helpful.

Hi W.,

I had an insurance issue with a different medicine, but thought I may be able to offer some insight; depending on your insurance company. The medicine was not on the approved list, so my doctor wrote the insurance company a letter stating that no other medicine would benefit my daughter. The insurance company, in turn, approved the prescription. So, find out from the insurance company who your doctor needs to contact and team up with your doctor to override their decision.

On the other hand, I have been reading about natural remedies because my daughter has two friends with ADHD. Having lavender air freshner was one suggestion; I bought one that goes in the return for the air conditioner that goes throughout the whole house (Home Depot and Walmart near air filters); VERY effective, I could barely keep my eyes open I was SO relaxed! Don't know how calming it will be for ADHD, but worked on me!! I also read about Attentive Child from GNC and Omega 3 as well as morning cup of flavored coffee with a powder protein supplement. I have suggested these things to one parent, but they haven't tried it yet.

Best of Luck! ;0)


My 11 year old daughter has ADHD. If concerta worked, I would think Focalin would because they are both made with riddalin. However- none of these meds did ANYTHING for my daughter!! now she is on Adderal and it is a miracle! She is doing SO much better. She still mouthes off and has quite the attitude, but as far as controlling herself and school work she has really improved. I think she may just act like a normal, hormonal 11 yr old now! LOL!

you are NOT failing your child. I know how you feel- it is HARD having a child with ADHD. My daughter went through the "I hate you" phase. Everything with her is the most horrible thing- I ask her to clean her room and you would think I just asked her to scrub the bathroom with a toothbrush! But really- maybe ask your Doctor if you could try adderal.

Good luck!

I would get him to a naturopathic doctor who can help pinpoint what is wrong. I don't believe all children diagnosis'd with ADHD actually have it, in fact most children have food allergies and their doctors end up putting them on medication and that is not the issue and it really doesn't truly correct the problem. Anything from sugar to dyed foods can cause problems and you might not even know it. Red food dye seems to be a big problem with a lot of kids, as does lactose products. I would have this checked out, he might not be able to help his attitude it might just be coming out and he is not sure why. If nothing is wrong then you can work strickly on the attitude but it is worth a shot.

I have a niece who has the same issue. She had to go through 3 different medicines before they found one that worked for her. Then, about 8 months later, on the one that worked for her, it stopped working so well and she was starting with the mood swings and the tempertantrums and such. We (my sister and I) took her back to the dr. to have her re-evalutated. Seems that she became tolerant to it. Between taking it all the time and her body chemistry growing and changing, she became tolerant to it and so they had to give her a new medicine, even trying the ones in the past that didnt work.. and of them actually did. This was due to body chemistry changing and tolerance. You may want to check into something like this, dont know how long he has been on the same meds or what, but this is the only advice I can give. I am not sure what else but to check with your dr and explain whats been happening and how it is gradually getting worse.

Good Luck

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