Requesting Advice and Stories on ADHD

Updated on July 13, 2009
K.N. asks from Pompano Beach, FL
14 answers

Good Morning Moms,
My niece is finally in therapy for some of her behavior issues, since being abused by her biological mother! Her education level is still below what she should be able to do. Her counselor and i have been considering putting her on medication. She herself has told us both her mind just races and she is unable to concentrate. I'd love to hear what other moms say about this! I've heard some people praise the medication; and other say it is awful. Please help me decide!

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So What Happened?

Thank you All for sharing your own stories; and your opinions! We will take some time and see what her counsler and I can do to help her without the use of medication, if that does not help her, then we will use medication but for a year only! I love this site and you are the best women because what we all share it truly helpful! Thank you again!
Sincerely,
Kathy N.

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C.T.

answers from Gainesville on

Hi K.... I had/have adhd.. I was put on some type of medacation when I was younger but no matter the dose it affected me badly , I know it has worked for many also. i am not against it if it is needed . I do have to say that I made it through school off the meds . they made me extreamly sick and dizzy . So not being able to take them I had to do it on my own, with help and understanding from my family and teachers. I graduated and am a fully capeable adult.( most of the time.lol). My spelling is not great but whose is ? The thing that helped me the most was My parents were able to afford a special school where the entire school was for Learning disabled and challanged .It was the first time I was able to get "good" grades and it improved my self-esteem. I also have to say my mom has stated that while I was on the meds I was not "myself" .LOL as you can tell by this letter my mind does race back and forth but hey that what makes me , me . good luck with what ever you decide.
Thanks for careing enough for you neice's to really look in to it .
C.

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F.W.

answers from Miami on

I can give it to you from a few perspectives as I am a teacher and I have a son with ADHD. As a teacher, it is frustrating and time consuming to have to put all of my energy into working with one student. The other students end up getting short changed. They either get no attention because you are focused on the one student, or they start to copy the behaviors of the student with ADHD and the whole class goes wild. The latter experience is usually with the younger kids.
The parent perspective is slightly different. For two years my son was on a wide variety of stimulants. Each stimulant came with a different side effect and eventually they stopped working. The final straw came when at 3 in the morning he woke us up when he had hallucinations. Granted some stimulants work great with kids while others don't. My son was one where it didn't work. We tried 6 weeks without any meds and life was hell for everyone who came in contact with him. He couldn't stop bouncing around. In camp one counselor had to stay with him at all times as he was beyond impulsive. The doctor put him on Tenex. It is usually used for high blood pressure but somehow it is extremely effective with kids who have ADHD. All I know is that the difference is night and day. We forgot to give it to him one day and sure enough the camp called that he was off the wall hyper. My son came home upset that he "just couldn't control" himself. We decided to keep him on the meds for now as him being off of them was hurting him and that is something we didn't want.
You will hear all different thoughts on this issue. Only you can know what is right for your family. Your niece is the most important person in all of this. There is also a support group called CHADD (www.chadd.org). I found the meetings to be informational.

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S.C.

answers from Daytona Beach on

Hi, I have a 6 yr old son who has been diagnosed thru the school psychologist and his pediatrician as having adhd. We have speculated such for a long time. He cannot concentrate in school and has a hard time winding down to go to sleep. He is being held back in first grade but he is younger than his classmates so not too much difference in age. Everyone had yelled at me, scolded me laughed at me because medication was reccomended and I was almost embarrassed to try it but let me tell you from first hand experience-what a difference it has made in mine and my families lives. He is no longer violent and is much calmer but not zombie like as everyone thinks will happen. He takes 5mg of adderall and has no side effects not even a decreased appetite. He did have some trouble falling asleep and thru the pediatrician he takes a 1mg melatonin from the health food store that works great and is natural. I tried the red dye thing, no sugar, go green environment yadayada and nothing seemed to work. If people want to judge me then they should see how much happier and calmer my little boy is now!!! He is learning much better and his handwriting has vastly improved as now he has the attention span to sit there and actually do the work. He is used to sit there and I swear you could just see his mind going in 80 different directions. Anyways I hope this helps and I eventually had to do what is best for my son and ignore all the other stuff. Good Luck, S.

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S.C.

answers from Boca Raton on

Hi K.,
How lucky your niece is to have you! I am not sure where you live, but I am aware of a program in Delray called The Clear Minded Children Program which is a drug free program for helping children with ADHD. My mom used to work as an assistant to the director and was amazed at how well the program worked with the children adn thier parents. It is very positive for the child from what I understand and will help her in many areas of her life; I think it includes some therapy too. I also think is has a 100% success rate. Check it out: http://clearmindedchildren.org/

FYI - I was diagnosed with ADHD and depression when I was in college and went on medication for five years. It helped initially, but eventually made me feel like I was dead inside. I did a lot of work on myself (therapy, workshops, books, etc) and weened myself off of the drug. The weening process was slow and thoughtful, but still excrutiating!! Ugh! What a terrible experince. That being said, I am so grateful that I am off of the drugs!!!Besides not putting those toxins in my body (I did a lot of research on psych drugs during this time - shocking), I feel alive again. Sure, I get depressed sometimes, and sometimes it is hard to stay focused, but I have the tools to deal with it now. (Tools I wish I had had at your niece's age). Also, I am in a healthy wonderful marriage, I have a great relationship with my 20 month old daughter and I am quite successful in my profession. This will all be possible for your niece (if she want's it of course) if she gains the skills and tools to deal with her ADHD and her pain instead of masking it with drugs.
Whew, I didn't plan on writing this much. I hope it helps. :-)

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S.S.

answers from Miami on

K.,

My son was recently diagnosed with ADHD. He went through a round of test to determine if that was definitely what it was. He was unable to concentrate on school work, he had aggressive tendancies and emotional outbursts that he cannot control. Try not to speculate on anything until you have her seen by a child psychologist and go from there.

My husband has ADHD and we were fairly certain that our son would end up with it. It is generally but not always there are exceptions to the rule, that ADD/ADHD are passed from male to male. Not to say that girls cannot be diagnosed with it. My husband has been on medication for more than 15 years for his ADD and he was completely against putting our son on medication. When I took him to the psychologist and got the diagnosis he discussed options with me. I then asked him what his recommendations were. That is the big thing, ask what the recommendations and some psychologists are not so quick to suggest medication. My sons psychologist suggested that we try neurofeedback for him. It is helping him alot. The only thing that we still have some issues on are the emotional outbursts. The nice thing about neurofeedback is they can target specific areas of the brain to retrain, (which is what the neurofeedback does) and it has done so much good for my son.

The big thing is she has been through alot and you just want to have as much patience with her as you can. What I can tell you about add/adhd is that their brains don't function like someone without ADD/ADHD. What happens is that their brain, the message center is operating on a much slower pace. So in essence what happens they start bouncing around or try to do more than one things, this is them trying to self stimulate. That is why most kids with ADD/ADHD like to watch cartoons and play video games. There is a lot of action/stimulation and they are able to absorb it all. It is quick moving and it is not something they have to actually concentrate on, like school work or various other things that require concentration.

Anyway I hope some of this information helps. This is how it was all explained to me by his psychologist and my therapist who use to work with children with ADD/ADHD.

Good luck.

S.
36 y/o SAHM of 3 boys
14, 6 (adhd) and 4

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A.F.

answers from Orlando on

I feel medication is a beginning. I have a son who finally at 13 was diagnosed with ADHD. Medication is just a way to "stop the bleeding" - after we started my son on his meds - his grades went up to A's & B's - and he received his first academic award EVER.

I am researching natural ways to deal with this - but the meds gave us all some peace we all needed.

Keep in touch and I will share with you what I find.

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G.P.

answers from Orlando on

I have a duahgter who is adhd and is now 24 almost 25 years old. Have never given her any type of medication. Just have found other ways to direct her energy. She is now attending Rollins College in Winter Park Fl, one of the best liberal arts colleges in the country. She has a great imigation and is writing with a book to soon be published. With medication this natural art would have been snufed out. Can remember the days of not sleeping much and being very tired as a mom, the days of school being such a challenge but all of it was worth it. Thanks, G.

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H.S.

answers from Orlando on

My steptson was on medication for 11 years and it was not good for him. I recommend to you Jim West in Metro west as he will look to balance the medication with the proper vitamins to balance the body. Also take his recommendation you niece should stop watching tv one hour before she goes to bed to relax the mind. So for the last hour before bed only read. This has worked so well for Michael as he now has a good nights sleep. Omega 3 is essential for the brain in the form of fish oil pills or chia seeds etc.

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J.S.

answers from Miami on

There are many ways to help children with ADHD balance their nervous system - the medications actually mask their issues for a short while and potentially compound the problems - the long term research shows no benefit from taking medicine. Having worked with numerous kids with ADD/ADHD I've seen the kids who get holistic therapies progress and often become free of the ADHD diagnosis while those who are treated with medication are most likely to have the problems continue through adulthood. The conventional thinking by medical professionals on ADHD is really backwards and counterproductive unless you want to make money selling people medications for a condition you're not really dealing with in a way that heals. Read my free articles and outline on ADHD at http://www.phinsights.com/adhd.html

...and you'll learn more than most doctors know about healing ADHD. Anyone seeking assistance is welcome to contact me for a free phone consult on ADHD concerns.

best wishes,
J.S.

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M.C.

answers from Miami on

I don’t have the time right now to read the other posts…BUT…I was diagnosed with ADHD my sophomore year of college. At the time I was devastated…so I put college on hold for two years and tried to get my life in some sort of order. I was diagnosed with learning disabilities as a 3rd grader. I can remember days from back then when I would stare out the window and my mind felt like it was racing 1000 miles a minute and I remember in 2nd grade when we would put our heads down in class like if we got in trouble my mind was just all over the place I was so scared to get in trouble it would ruin the rest of my day I would just tune it out and be in my own world the rest of the day. But I don’t think ADHD was a popularly diagnosed back then it was the early 80’s. For years I always loved school but I just never got it all…so that would just set me farther and farther behind in school. I was living in Il, until my 9th grade year when My parents decided to moved here. Being that our educational standards are a bit behind the rest of the country it gave me a small chance to catch up. I did so well my 12th grade year they released me from the LD program. I thought that was great! Until my sophomore year of college when I started down the path of college level classes…I failed everything. My mind was getting worse and worse...I could not pay attention to save my life. I was thinking about the silliest things when I was supposed to be learning Algebra 2. My teaching teacher pulled me to the side one day (she knew me in HS, I was in a bridge program for juniors & seniors in HS who wanted to be teachers, so she was well aware of my LD) I just told her how I was feeling I was so overwhelmed I just did not know where to start. She HELPED ME MORE THAN I EVER COULD HAVE IMAGENED!! I got re-tested and on top of my LD I was also diagnosed with ADHD and Anxiety issues and a few tendencies of OCD. Now it is VERY common as we move from a teenager to being an adult that the ADHD manifest its self in different ways. So since the OCD was at such a early stage I did some therapy (about 4 months) that kept that at bay for years now since having my son I think its starting to get worse again I am very particular about his clothes all must he washed a certain way, ironed and hung just so, his socks are way to organized and OMG his toys I spend hours a day putting all his toys and all their pieces in the storage containers they belong in…LOL. I know it sounds off the wall and typing it is really making me realize that it is probably worst than I wanted to admit it was…eeeekkk. But anyways after I took the time off from school and got everything under control I went back with all the accommodations I needed and did very well. I could only take 2 like classes per semester so it took me forever to graduate but I eventually did and with honors!!. When I was about 4 semesters away from graduation I was having a lot of problems I think the ADHD was getting worse and my focus was all over the place I was having horrible test anxiety and I was taking tests with unlimited time in the disability office with a reader. But I was a wreck I would make my self sick and it was just bad. My husband said maybe I should go see my Doctor and see if there are any other options. He knew all about all of my issues…he suggested a medication for the anxiety. I was against some of the commonly prescribed ADD & ADHD meds way to addictive and I just DID NOT want to go down that path. I cannot even begin to tell you the amount of difference this mild, very old medication has done for me. I am a totally new person I can carry on conversations for hours and totally be involved in it. As far as school went I was doing amazingly, I was taking better notes than my note taker was taking…I retained the information incredibly well. I would breeze threw tests and ace them at that. My nerves were calm and my mind was in the moment. It was a total and complete change!! I personally would say go for trying the medications...try them you never know what will and what won’t work but once the right one is found her world will be so entirely different. I wish I would have done this earlier in life. But I can honestly say I am a fully functioning adult with a very full and happy life. My husband is totally supportive, and used to go to support group meetings with me. I think if you find the right medication it is worth a shot…

Also this is a little of the topic…but I have read with all my research that red dye #40 and yellow #5 are not good for people with ADHD, ADD, and autism. It is a toxin to people like us and our bodies just can’t handle it which could be a reason for the behavioral issues. I notice if I eat anything with it almost immediately I am so moody and the effects last about 24 hoursish…I KNOW it is super hard to avoid it because the red #40 is in so much but it might be worth a shot. This site www.red40.com has a pretty decent list of the foods, and meds that have it in it.

If you have any questions PLEASE feel free to contact me, I am an open book on this topic…lol…and I’m willing to help you in any way I can.

Have a great night!

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V.

answers from Melbourne on

When it comes to ADD/ADHD, Autism or any disorders like that you will get every opinion on the face of the earth. Pro meds, anti meds, alternative meds, diet, diet restriction, detox, ABA/Behavior Modification, discipline, chemical reaction, food sensitivity, calm them down, keep them busy, organization, environment, vaccine, anti vaccine, and the list goes on.

Who really knows what's best for her situation. The best you can do is listen to her, listen to yourself (instincts), listen to your family, listen to the dr's and teachers, and do lots of homework. There is a huge amount of information about these disorders on the internet, at the library, and in the community. Read up as much as you can, watch videos, or whatever you can find for ADD/ADHD, but I wouldn't buy everything you see on blogs, messengers, etc. at least until you research these ideas yourself. Try to make good educated decisions, with your family, and start out little buy little trying what you think may work well, pay attention to what happens, and respond accordingly. Whatever you do can be a long process to find what works just right for the situation. If it is meds, alternatives, diet, supplements, environment, structure or most likely some combination, it is likely to be a long slow steady process before you find the best options for her and your family.

There are also support groups for parents in some communities, workshops are sometimes free for the community, and some colleges present events about a variety of topics, all of these things can be very informative, and very helpful. Look into what is available in your area and surrounding areas. The more you know the better off you'll be.

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L.C.

answers from Melbourne on

sorry cut myself off again. He probably wouldn't sleep much at all if it weren't for the meds. Also, remember she thinks different from you so her way of getting things done may be different. A good way for anyone to understand what they go through is if you put on a headset and cranked the music loud then tried to read the paper. Or work at your job. The med does calm they down. I'm not a big just give'em meds mom. But I don't know what I would've done if I didn't have it. Good luck and write me if you have anymore questions about it. [email protected]____.com

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C.C.

answers from Orlando on

My daughter was not diagnosed with ADD until she was in middle school. We did put her on meds (Ritalin) and it did help her immensely. She, however, was old enough to be fully aware of the changes in her body on the meds and never liked taking them. Her grades and attitude did improve. Follow the behaviour modification plan, that is where I failed. I thought the grades were more important than a clean room and learning organization skills. She was always below grade level, but did graduate from private schools. After 7 years of working in day care she went back to Valencia and did graduate with an AA degree. She now has a new baby herself and has not continued with school, although it is in her plans. The earlier you can utilize the meds, I think is better, before they are old enough to analyze the effects. Follow the Dr. plans, they seem to know whats best and hang in there. It will never be easy, but you have to be her advocate to see that she gets all the help she needs. For us, our daughter did not fit into the criteria of LD so she was not given that option. We finally moved her to private schools, who had smaller classes and also paid for outside tutoring. But she got a lot more individualized attention in the smaller classes than she did in Orange Cty classrooms of 25+ children. Good luck, and stick to the plans. Cheri Chambers

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S.W.

answers from Miami on

How old is the niece? Been on any meds until now? Want to know the root cause? Have her hormones checked.
Get on a nutritious program of diet, exercise and spiritual evolution. Medicating only masks the issues ready to be resolved. Call/email me for the contact info for a wonderful medical intuitive.
Blessings, S.

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