Advise on ADHD and the Medications for a Five Year Old

Updated on March 14, 2008
S.F. asks from Suitland, MD
16 answers

My son Tyler was recently (last week) diagnosed by a Developmental Pediatrician as having ADHD. I will not lie, Tyler can be off the hood 24/7 and in her office he was in rare form. We made the appt with the specialist because Tyler has been prediagnosed as having what is called Sensory Processing Disorder. This is when a child has a hard time processing their sensing and become over or under reactive to their senses. AS such Tyler's motor skills are underdeveloped. Long story short, the specialist would like to prescribe him a low dose of Aderral XR - is there anyone out there with a child somewhere close to this age group who has been prescribed the medication and is taking it or maybe sought an alternative method? ANy help is welcomed.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thank you all for responding, it has been tough but my husband and I are going to do the Aderrall XR for Tyler. Receiving responses from you all has aided me tremendously in my comfort level of this decision. My husband is on his way to pick up the prescription and I guess we will find out by the end of the week how it's working. I will post on board this weekend how it is going. Thanks again and I love this group - I am recommending it to everyone. Take care! sf

Featured Answers



answers from Altoona on

My daughter has been on Adderall XR since she was 4. We would not be able to get through a day without it. I think her teachers would jump out the window, lol. Adderall XR is a great choice as it works slowly in there system and if taken in the early morning is worn off enough for them to sleep. I have tryed 2 other ADHD meds (Stratera, and the patch) and aways go back to this one.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Philadelphia on

Hi, my son has ADHD and sever! he also has tried the medication you are talking about, and i took him off of it within 1 week. My son reacted to the meds in a bad way. He became very mean, aggressive, and just not him at all. I do like the concerta though. Not as much side effects with this med. some of the medication will make them not hungry, jittery and some sleepless nights as well. I am very happy with concerta though. My son also has other problems as well with anxiety, ODD, ( oppositional defiance disorder ) plus has some learning disabilities on top of that. Right now he takes 3 different meds to help him keep things under some kind of controll plus we go to the "feelings doc" every other week to work on things as well. He is now 10 and for a while there i thought i was going to loose my mind. But when they put him on the meds, it seemed to help him a great deal. and when a child of his age comes to you and says " mommy i feel like me again" well, that is saying something. sometimes people do not like to put their child on meds and try the natural stuff. we too tried that as well. and it did not work for us.
so, long story short, i would not use aderal, i think it makes the child aggressive and very mean. i have heard from other moms that they too had the same reaction. you may not. you will not know till you try it first. but i would definately reccomend the concerta.
hope you are making out ok with the whole proccess. and dont be suprised if they change the dosage on you a few times. it does take time to get it right and the right dosage for your child.
take care

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Whatever else you do, if your son has SPD, he should be treated by a *competent* occupational therapist. Lynne Ganz's office in Reston and Good Beginnings in Vienna are a couple that are really good. You may find that the Adderall XR will help him focus on the occupational therapy, and that ultimately he may not need the Adderall XR anymore.

With kids with SPD, all sensory input comes in at the same rate, and it's hard to filter it all out.

My youngest son was on Adderall XR and clonidine for about a year starting at the age of 3 and stopping at about age 4. He doesn't need it anymore. He also had OT. He used to do things like wriggle out of his child safety seat and open the door to the car while it was in motion at 55 mph, so we did not make the decision to medicate lightly. It was a life and death thing for him.

Just as a cautionary note. All children react differently to different medications. There are lots of different kinds of medications for ADHD. What works for one child may be a disaster for another child. You may end up having to try different medications.

Another resource is CHADD. They're a support group for kids with ADHD. Folks there have a lot of good suggestions in terms of behavioral mod., etc.

Good luck.



answers from Philadelphia on

Wow, I am in aww you were able to have a 5 year old diagnosed. My 4 year old is probably just as hyper as your child and they wont diagnose her until she is at least 7. Have you researched this on the net? I have never heard of such a young child dianosed with ADHD. My child is being assesed for Autism and I believe in the future ADHD will go with her diagnosis. Good luck to you and your child.



answers from State College on


I wonder why they would want to medicate a 5 year old? I am in no way a health care professional, but to me it seems as if they may be jumping the gun a bit.

I have a 5 year old boy also, whom I fear may have some developmental problems, very similar to your son's. We had him evaluated by a psycholgist during the summer, because we were concerned about him starting school in the fall. I discussed my feelings about ADD, and ADHD with her and after his evaluation she told me that she felt that he was immature for his age, and that it was just too soon to tell for sure what he might grow out of and what problems may not go away with time.

I don't know your son's medical history, but since he is only 5, perhaps some of this will work itself out without medication. If, in fact the Dr. feels that the medication is nessesary, I would ask him and also reasearch myself for any information about side effects, or dependence that this medication causes. I do know is some cases, as was the case with my niece, the medication perscribed for a similar problem caused more problems than the condition itself.

I do hope everything works out for the best for Tyler, and you too, because I know how frustrating it can feel to go through this type of thing.



answers from Pittsburgh on


I have a son Joseph who is 9 years old. He was diagnosed with ADD when he was 7. We have been on several medicines for ADD. We started with Adderal, then went to concerta and neither medicine helped him. My son's whole problem is staying focused and on task at school. He is not hyper, he just can't pay attention. All I can say is you have to have patience, which I know can be hard at times...My son has been lucky as far as the last few years having really good teachers who really work hard in helping Joseph try and stay on task. It is not your sons fault he is having trouble in school, sometimes it just takes time in finding the right medicine to help. My son is currently on metadate. I am hoping this one will be the one:)He has been in some special classes since the first grade. He is now in fourth grade and still is on a first grade level. He has a very difficult time learning to read and has trouble in most of his subjects because of this. I have no had luck with the Adderal, but it doesn't mean that you won't. Just research the medicine and know the warning signs of side effects, that's very important. Good luck and I hope I helped in some small way:)



answers from Dover on

My daughter was diagnosed with adhd when she was 6 years old and is 8 now. She was first on a med called focalin but recently changed her to adderal xr and so far we are seeing a good effect. Not sure yet if there are going to be any side affects being it hasnt been long enough but it sure has calmed her down and is helping her focus more.



answers from Philadelphia on

I have two children, son 12 is ADD and daughter 11 is AD/HD. Both were diagnosed at around 4 or 5. We have been down a long raod of trying this med and that med. Ritalin and Concerta did not work, made them zombies. They have been on Adderall XR 20mg for going on 6 years now. I do skip the weekends but when in school they do great with it.

Like others have said all these meds have there set backs. (ie moods,appatite and zombiness) I had a probablem with my son gaining weight for a long time. He is doing very well in the weight area now.

What it comes down to is your feelings as the mom and how much trust you put into the Dr.



answers from Philadelphia on

Hi there!

I do not have a child (that we know if yet) that has been diagnosed with ADHD - But I myself was diagnosed with ADHD just a little over 1 month ago. I take Aderall XR 20 mg. I was a tad nervous to start but my Dr. told my something that made me feel better and she was right. This medication with either work or not work and you know right away. Meaning 60 minutes of taking the medication. I felt so much better within 40 minutes. And it was not like a "high" or being drugged, It was like all the buzzieness in my head stopped. I was able to focus - slow down - think things through and not be so "all over the place"

I know that giving these meds to kids is scary but I would be willing to try for at least a day or two. I would imagin e that you would see it either working or not very quickly.

I have a dear friend whose daughter is on Ritalin. (She was in a very back traffic accident and suffered a brain injury)
But when she in on the meds it is very apparent as when they wear off. Again it is not like a drugged state - just a she can sit and focus on a book or craft or something like that.

I wish you the best! Keep me posted and if you have any other questions please feel free!

I am at




answers from Washington DC on

There are Occupational Therapist (OT) trained in Sensory Integration (SI) techniques. I'd ask your ped if you could get a referl to one to help with the sensory processing issues.



answers from Washington DC on

My son was doagnosed as ADHD when he was 6. The drs started him out on Aderall but we found the medication was not for him. He was not himself and I didnt want him to be on something where he was not himself. We switched him to Concerta and he has been on it for 3 years now at different dosing. It all depends on the child which medications can work best. If you do a search for ADHD there are many sites on here with great info about it and alternatives if you seek that. Wish I had more info for you but like I said it greatly depends on the child as to how the meds will affect him. Good luck!!



answers from Philadelphia on

My son is 5 1/2 and is also diagnosed with both AD/HD (combined type) as well as SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder). Diagnosed with SPD at around 2 1/2 and AD/HD at just before 4. Please feel free to email to discuss further if you would like information from a mom "whose been there..." (my email is Oh, BTW, my son is currently on a low dosage of Dexidrine Spansules (very similar to Adderall XR) and he's much less impulsive on then off. And, when I say impulsive, I mean like running into crowded streets, running out of classrooms, etc. Good luck and please stay in touch :)

Jen M.



answers from Philadelphia on

I am Medical Massage Therapist and single parent of 3 children 19, 16,13.
My advise is start massaging your son. This may help with his sensory preception. It will also help with his ADHD. Please feel free to contact me. You can bring in your son to my school and I can show certain techniques that you can do that may help relieve some of his symptoms.

Best of luck and dont hesitate to contact me.



answers from Harrisburg on

My son was Mis-diagnosed with ADHD for years, just like thousands of others in this country!! Please make sure for a fact that's what he has. Also stimulants are the worst thing you can do for your son. They started my son with stimulants, he was on and off different ones for years. He was even on Adderall XR before. It was the worst thing next to the other that they gave him. Stimulants can make your child more irritable, nasty, mean, not sleep, not eat and can make them feel like they are going nuts. On the other hand it can also make them "zombie" like and they can just sit there and stare into no where. My son is now 13 and after years of fighting with Dr. after Dr. and the whole mental health field, I have found out my son doesn't have ADHD. He has Asperger's with a few components of ADHD. My son has not been on stimulants for the past 4-5 years. I refused to let them give stimulants to my son anymore. He has been doing wonderful ever since. They know not to even bother asking about stimulants with me, I will not allow it & if they want to force it, I'll find another Dr. Stimulants can also destroy their organs after prolonged use, they need to have regular blood tests to check liver function. My son is on meds, he just doesn't take stimulants. He is on Strattera which is alot better that the stimulants, he acctualy sleeps, eats and concentrates a whole lot better than he used to and he is no longer irritable and nasty. Anyway, I strongly suggest you really be cautious with your descision, STIMULANTS are not good, seriously. Trust me, my son has been on just about every kind, I have been dealing with this since my son was 5 & he is now 13. It will be a long road ahead and a struggle, it will never be easy & any drug that risks the health of your son isn't worth it. Hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck!!!



answers from Washington DC on

My son Tyler was put on Aderral this past year he was 4 1/2 at the time. He was only on it for two weeks. His teachers and his aunt who watches him alot said to get him off of it cause he was a complete zombie on it. My son doesn't have learning problems but I noticed that he has a problem paying attention. He knows everything he needs to know and also knows what is going on around him. I found that is he has inherited this ability from his father. So a five year old that seems to be hyper and really active is just a five year old. I took Tyler off the medicine and I found ways to get my to pay attention and that he needed more activities in his life. I recommend not putting your child on medicine at five years old. I found that doctors can't diagnose a five year being hyper when most children are just active with lots of energy. Just put the child inlot of sports. As far as the sensor learning just get a specialist to help him.



answers from Washington DC on

My son is also 5 and he just started this medication. The whole process with medication has been it works and then a few months later we need to switch to another type of medicine. Although we have deal with that (about twice a year so far) the medicine has help my son soo much with home and school. He will listen to the teacher and follow directions. Give it a try and see if you like it, if you don't there is a website:

I have found this website full of information. Hope this helps.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches