Thoughts on Strattera and Kindergartener with ADHD

Updated on September 08, 2008
J.H. asks from Spring, TX
37 answers

Moms--I need some help!!! I have been dealing with my five year old for about 3 years now with not so good behavior while in school. He started school this year and ith behaviors that were present when he was attending daycare has reared it's ugly head again. My son has ADHD and some oppitional defiance disorder. He is a GREAT kid he just has trouble focusing and floowing some of the rules at school. I want him to do well and I want him to feel better about himself. When he was in daycare we tried Focolian and then we tried Vyvanse. Both of those meds did NO work...they ahd not so good side effects. I really hate to try meds again but we are hitting a brick wall as what to do with him. We have only been in school 7 days and have seen the principal 2 times. We need to get help[ for our little guy and don't know what to do. We have been to the counselor and have been tested. Now we are just trying behavior plans ans so far....nothing....has anyone heard or have kids on Strattera? What do you think? Is this a good one to try....any help would be appreciated. Thanks!!!

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B.S.

answers from San Antonio on

You never know til you try. Strattera is the non stimulant med for adhd, so it may have better side effects for you son. Meanwhile, have you tried any type of therapy? My son did well with cognitive behavior therapy. He also did a program with his psychologist on a computer that taught the brain how to focus and reduce impulsive reactions. You could see the difference on the IVA test from before and after the program. Also, things like a good martial arts program can help him learn to focus and have more self-control.

Oh, I started my son on Omega 3 fish oil supplements for his adhd and I've liked it. However, it takes a few months to start making a difference, and it does not work for every child.

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C.A.

answers from Houston on

This is just my personal experience that I'll share with you.. When my son was first diagnosed, we put him on Adderrall.. I hated it!! Everyday, he would have a breakdown and cry uncontrollably-- it was heartbreaking. I tried to get the Dr. to try something else, and all he wanted to do was put him on Prozac (which my son did NOT need!!).. Long story short, I changed pediatricians, and the new pedi put my son on Ritalin LA -- it works great!! He's been on it about 4 years-- he's 11 now. and it still works very well for him-- I do not plan on changing medications until Ritalin doesn't work for him anymore.. but so far, he's doing excellent on it.

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D.A.

answers from San Antonio on

Hi,
Sorry for what you are going thru. I have 4 kids on ADHD meds and I was the mom who was adamant about no drugs, but like you said when you hit a brick wall....
We have 2 on ritalin and 2 on concerta and I don't know about stratera but keep trying cause something is bound to work. My kids do better in school academically and behavior wise. It is tough to have an ADHD child but definitely worth trying to find meds, so keep trying.
Blessings,
D.

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K.C.

answers from Houston on

How long was he on the meds... my son is on focilin xr and it the WONDER DRUG.. love it.. as for the side affects to me they are worth it..i think that with the right balance of Rx and consistant physical behavior modification your CAN be susseccful.. another great one is adderall xr. if you are having this many probs then you must go back to the pedi and find out what you can do. not only is he hurting himself without behaving properly but iit is hurting everone else that is in the class. good luck!!
advice from a stay at home mom of 4 (9yr old with down syndrome, 6yr old in 1st grade, and boy, girl twins that are 3)

1 mom found this helpful
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M.T.

answers from Houston on

I completely understand your frustration. My son was having problems focusing in school, we were fortunate that his behavior was not extremely bad only where he is so lovable he had a hard time not invading others space. We did the whole nine yards by getting him tested with both physcologist and physcatrist (pardon the misspelling)andonce it was confirmed he was ADHD, we finally decided to put him on Stratera because it was not a controlled substance. He was on it for several years and it truly helped. Here is the but part, at the end of summer he went to stay with a family member for a week vacation and they are really big on research and side effects and took it upon themselves to not give him the medicine while there and when we picked him back up told us he discovered. I know what you are thinking, same as I did, they had no right to make that kind of decision. Needless to say I am glad he did in this instance. My son is a little guy one of the shortest in his class. Just during the summer he gained 2 inches in height and his appetite increased so much. To think if we would have kept him on this medication and what damage it could have done even more so that stunting his growth then what it already had. It was a hard decision to put him on it but now that he is off I am also relieved. We are just working with him in realizing when he needs to slow himself down and control his thoughts. He is now 10 and mature enough to help himself. If you decide to put him on it it will most likely truly help as it did with my son but I would certainly think about taking him off the medication once he is old enough to understand and try to help himself. For now we are just keeping him off the medicine for at least the first six weeks to make sure it is not affecting his grades. Hopefully this advice/information helps ease your mind and helps make your decision either way.

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P.H.

answers from Austin on

Where does your son go to school? I know AISD has behavioral specialists available to help with plans for kids just like your son. Go to your principal and find out what steps you need to take to see this person and get them working as part of your child's educational team. My son "checks in" with the school counselor every few weeks to talk about self control issues. It's very helpful for him. I also have another child with more severe special needs, so I know you have to ask, ask, then demand to get what services your kid needs sometimes. Medication may indeed be appropriate for your son, but when you have the special services at school in place as well, you'll know how they are dealing with his behavioral issues and they will have a plan in place and can more easily be consistent with him. Way better for everyone that way!
Best wishes!
P. (mom of three boys 7,5,& almost 3)

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C.S.

answers from Austin on

J., YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!

My son, also in Kinder, shows signs of ADHD, but I have not had him tested, nor will I as I refuse to put him on medication. I'd suggest doing tons of research on ADHD - one site that has empowered me is: www.3stepsadd.com I'd highly recommend you buying the book!

We are giving my son supplements, vitamins, protein packed meals (especially breakfast), communicating daily with his teacher (who thank goodness wants to work with us) and meeting with a nutritionalist who treats ADD/ADHD from a nutritional standpoint & provides neurodevelopmental screening and nervous system strengthening activities.

Be proactive to help him succeed - this is something he will live with the rest of his life. I am by no-way an expert, this is all new to me, too, but providing him the tools to deal with this throughout his life will be much more rewarding than giving him meds.

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E.S.

answers from Houston on

I truly understand. My son is now 8. He has moderate ADHD. Preschool was a nightmare! With new stories everytime I picked him up. I am a special education teacher so I felt as though I should be able to FIX this. It took me a while to accept that I can use my knowledge to make his life easier, but this is going to be a long road.

We tried focalin. We hated the effect when he came off in the evenings he was climbing the walls. So we did no medications for 1 1/2 years.

With the help of his teacher and a really strong behavior program in the classroom we got his behavior under control in kindergarten. Cost me about $600 in toy/rewards. However looking back it was money well spent. With daily trips to Walmart if we ended the day on green. Initially this was only maybe twice a week. By the end of the school year it was 4 times a week and we trimmed back on the trips with other types of rewards (McDonalds, Movie, Videos).

So when we hit 1st grade. We no longer had behavior problems. He sat in his chair. However he did no school work. The Ped. at Texas Children said he had learned if he was quiet and did not bother anyone he stayed out of trouble.

I had a few children in school using a new drug, Daytrana, in the patch form and was truly impressed with the results.
So I begged my pediatrician. She said it had the same drugs as focalin so I would get the same results. NOT TRUE.

This has been a god send. He is so much more coopertive! Therefore more learning is taking place. The patch has caused a rash and his appetite is curbed when on. However I say it is worth the sideaffects. We may actually get out of elementary school now. (I had my doubts).

Hope this helps.

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K.D.

answers from Houston on

My sixteen year old son has ADHD (diagnosed when he was 6, but we knew when he was 2) and we tried all of the stimulant medications, all to no avail. When Strattera came out on the market, my son agreed to try it for 2 weeks (he was 12 then) and he could tell a difference in his focusing in just a day and a half. The teachers could tell a difference in his behavior in just a few days too. He has had really good success with strattera and it has been a great option for him. The medicine can really upset your stomach if you take it with little or no breakfast. You have to have a really big brealfast with plenty of protein and fat. Your doctor may tell your child to take it with peanut butter (a big spoonful), and that helps too.
Hope that this helps you,
K.

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J.A.

answers from Houston on

I can't say that I have had any experience with Strattera.

My 6 year old son has had similar behavioral issues. Last year in Kinder, we tried Focalin xr. It worked for a few months, then nothing. Since then, he's been on the Daytrana patch. It has been fabulous! It has consistant dosing all day, with no ups & downs. His appetite hasn't been affected too much, and he has even gained a bit of weight while on it. It does cause a daily rash on the heiny, but it goes away in a day or two. We just have to have it in a different spot each day.

Diet can make a difference, with some kids. Also, be careful with some of the OTC herbal stuff like ATTEND. We made the mistake of trying last year while trying to avoid medication. The problem is, is that during school is not the time to start something that can take 6-8 weeks to maybe start having an effect. How many times would he be in the principals office during that time?

I feel for you. It makes you feel so helpless. You aren't there with him during school. You can have all the rewards & punishments in the world. That's not what he is thinking in that moment of misbehavior. It's just pure impulse control. You can talk to him, and get him to agree to not hit, push, bite, whatever. He doesn't have the control needed to stop & think "Oh yeah, I promised Mommy not to do that."

Other that helping these kiddos to focus, the medication can help give them that extra 5-10 seconds to stop & think about what they are about to do. That's the beauty of these medications. Now, here's the kicker. If your son is going to hurt someone even with that extra time, then the medication won't help AS MUCH.

Good luck with the medication. Don't give up. Sometimes it can take months to find the right one. Sometimes you get lucky, and find it right away. No matter what, they are worth the extra effort.

One side note that has helped me mentally through all of our trials. Always remember that some of the most inovative minds in the world have ADHD. Their brains function in a way that helps them to see new solutions to problems that no else sees.

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C.P.

answers from Houston on

I taught kindergarten for 15 years, and I would fill out paperwork from the doctor daily. See if you can get this from the doctor, and if the teacher has time it can be real helpful. This way you can see what time it is actually working if at all, and if it's making them too tired to do their schoolwork. I would maybe even suggest trying it on the weekends for a couple of weeks so that you can take notes yourself and weigh the good and bad and decide if you want your child to continue taking it. I'll be honest, as a teacher sometimes it is hard to pay close attention to one child when there's 20 other kids in the room. The information you get from the teacher may not be all you need. I hope I helped.

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L.M.

answers from Houston on

When my 5yo at the time son was diagnosed with ADHD my husband and I were not ready to put him on narcotics such as ritalin or adderall. Instead, we went to the Peak Nutrition (health food store) and chose ATTEND to try. It is a homeopathic pill. He had done very well as a baby with the homeopathic teething tablets and tummy tablets, that we decided to give ATTEND a try.

Th first couple of weeks in Kinder were good, like his child psychologist had predicted. But, once the newness wore off and he became comfortable at school, his behavior went downhill.

We first started him on one pill as the bottle said. After a few weeks with no real change we upped it to two pills, as the bottle suggested. Immediately, we saw a difference. His behaior changed dramatically at school. We still had/have to watch for little outbursts of him acting out before thinking. Before he could not stand to sit still and color, he would just scribble in one color all over the page. Now he will sit for an hour and work on one page meticulously.

This summer we took him off of it because he wasn't where he had to sit still so much. I noticed he would get cranky from being tired in the afternoon so I started giving him a caffeine drink at lunch. The caffeine upped his brain enough that it didn't have to fight to stay awake and he would do better in the afternoon.

Now that we're back in school, 1st grade, he's back on the ATTEND and doing well.

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C.P.

answers from Houston on

It is very hard dealing with a child with ADHD in the public schools. I know a lot of mothers don't like medicating thier children, adn all I can say is that theire kids must not have had it very bad, because medication was a blessing for us. It is very difficult getting the right balance, but after that, tweaking it is a lot easier.

One thing that really helped, besides medications and regular therapy appointments, is getting a diagnosis the school can't ignore. They have to provide services to your child if you give them a diagnosis from a doctor. They don't want to do this, as it costs them money. They would rather treat your child as a bad kid who doesn't know how to behave. When my son FINALLY got put in a "Social Development" class in special ed, life got better for all concerned. The teachers have special training on how to deal with children with physiological problems like ADHD, and they have fewer distractions so they can concentrate on their work.

As far as specific medications, I cna only recommend trying what your physhiatrisc recommends, as everyone reacts differently, and everyone's disorder is a little different. One medication that DID NOT work a few years ago, now helps him.

Good luck.

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A.E.

answers from Houston on

J.,

Check his sleeping pattern during the night. Children who don't sleep well during the night, sometimes have behavioral
challenges.

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S.A.

answers from Austin on

Hi there,
Well I can relate to your frustration, I have a son that is now 12 with ADHD. We started him on meds in kindergarden as well. The first med that we used for almost 8 years was Adderall XR. It worked great for my son. He was able to focus, and stay out of trouble. I have never used Strattera so I can't really tell you how that works, and I have never heard of the other meds you have tried. But I know that for my son the Adderall worked great, and for the last year he used Concerta. Now that he has started 6th grade this year, so far he has not had to take anymore meds.And things have been great. Well I hope this helps alittle bit, and best of luck

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S.B.

answers from Killeen on

Strattera takes a few weeks to build up in the system to work. My son was on Ritalin for about 5 months and he learned so much during that time it was amazing. All his bad behaviors he could finally unlearn because he could listen! He used new words, started doing puzzles(which he had never been able to do before), and being able to sit through a 30 minute tv show. It was absolutely amazing. I finally felt like a mother when he was learning all this new stuff..without being in trouble all the time. All the ADHD meds do have side effects but when your child can't listen to learn something's gotta be done

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K.Z.

answers from Houston on

Hang in there. I'm a Mom of a Bipolar/Asberger teenager but have been dealing with since he was 4. He has been on numerous meds, some work better than others. He is EXTREMELY ADHD, but cannot take the meds that are stimulants as that can set him into "cycles". I do believe that Strattera is not as strong of a stimulant and does have mood control to it.(His Dad takes it and it seems to work for him)
Do you have a good Dr? I ask this because, my son's second Dr was a med pusher. He would just add one and/or up one. After his second break,it took months to clean his system and start over. His Dr now has been an Angel. Be on the same page with the Dr and Counselour. Diagnosing right and good documentation has been the best start. No one med works the same on every child as every brain is different (I wish they had known all this when my son was 5). So it takes some observation. I found writing it down like a diary was very helpful: when he was & was not focused, what & when triggered "bad behaviors".
I did have to fight the school to get him in his "least restrictive environment"; That means what environment will best promote learning. It may be in a specialized classroom and as a witness, and a former K teacher, sometimes that is the least restrictive environment. My son is on no ADHD meds
as they FINALLY created the least restrictive environment. Last year he gained almost 2 years back!
My daughter, who is just extremely ADHD, does very well on Metadate CD. It is still consider a stimulant, but that is not an issue for her.
You are your childs best advocate. You will notice and sense what is working and what is not.
I apologize if I have scared you or overstepped. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time with what I know now!!
Bless you, and keep on it. He will do Great!!

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L.D.

answers from San Antonio on

Hi J., I am not familiar with Strattera but as a child I also had ADHD and was prescribed ritalin. I can tell you that what worked best for me was a combination of drugs and therapy. My ADHD was found when I was in middle school so I was able to go to therapy. I am not sure what is out there for your son at 6, but I would look into having him see someone on a regular basis. ADHD is about so much more than a short attention span. He needs to learn tools to handle his frustrations and methods to calm himself down. The ritalin just opened the door for me to take a step back and focus. As an adult I still use the tools my therapist taught me. I hope this helps.

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T.C.

answers from Austin on

Just a few thoughts from recent experiences with kiddos with extra challenges (I'm a teacher). Explore food allergies--while they don't manifest like hayfever/cedarfever, they are very real and can cause numerous side affects/behavioral issues in kids. It's almost like being on a drug for them. Not always a solution, but certainly worth eliminating!! You might also look into sensory integration or occupational therapy. If his body isn't quite in line or he is over sensitive to certain stimuli, it could also cause ADHD like symptoms/behaviors.
Good Luck!

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A.P.

answers from Austin on

I wanted to tell you about a doctor in Austin who could help you alot.
His name is John Breeding and You can check out his website at wildestcolts.com or email him at [email protected]____.com

R.D.

answers from College Station on

There is a wonderful book out...here's a link: http://www.amazon.com/review/RQ4D70GGHNJB3

I hope you find some real answers.

-R.

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K.M.

answers from Beaumont on

My daughter is 7 years old and just started the 2nd grade. We found out in the middle of 1st grade that she had ADHD. We had her tested by a Psychologist and her doctor put her on Vyvanse. It worked wonders. Her problems are primarily an inability to concentrate. Although admittedly the meds helped with her talking and some of the misbehavior at home. Strattera is a Non-stimulant drug so your son may response better to it with little or no side effects. We have been blessed, the first medicine we tried, worked. We did think that we would have to change at one point because we thought she was developing a tick, but she just stopped doing it. I hope it works out for you and your son. I know that the medication made a difference that even my daughter notices.

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R.W.

answers from Austin on

I am a teacher and from a teacher's point of view it is amazing the difference between a child that needs meds and is medicated and a child that needs meds and is not medicated. I have taught several kids with ADHD and they have taken Adarol (spelling). Academically and socially it will help your child to be medicated if he needs to be. You don't want him to not like school. Good luck

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K.H.

answers from Houston on

Hi there,

My son has been on Strattera since kindergarten and he is now in third grade. He was born with mild cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus - two conditions that affect the brain. So we weren't suprised when in preschool he started having problems in daycare with behavior. But at that point he was still handleable. He was in a special ed pre-K and didn't seem to need medication, only behavior modifications. Then the summer before kinder, he developed epilepsy and it all went downhill after that.

By the spring of his kinder year, he was out of control and we sought out a psychiatrist because we just didn't know what to do. She put him on Prozac and in just a few days he went from just out of control to being in orbit around the sun. It was awful and scary.

So then he was put on Strattera. Unfortunately, my son has oral sensory issues and a feeding disorder. Since Strattera only comes in a pill, we could sort of hide the small doses in chocolate milk and were starting to see a difference. Then when the dose was upped over time, the bigger pills were so bitter we not only couldn't get them into him, but no food as well becuase he was suspicious of all foods because we tricked him.

I desperately surfed the Internet looking for alternatives and found a compounding pharmacy in our area who could put the Strattera medication into a transdermal gel. The doctor said it would take around 7-8 weeks for us to see the full effect if it was going to work on him. She also prescribed a mood stabilizer as well because even though Strattera helps with ADHD, it can cause agitation in some people.

So sure enough by the seventh week, Caleb calmed down and paid attention in class. We didn't tell the teacher what we were doing and she wanted to know why our son suddenly was much better at joining the class, paying attention and following directions. Then we told her about his meds.

However because of his feeding problems, we eventually couldn't get the mood stablizer in him in any food or drink. Again the compounding pharmacy helped us out. Couldn't do it in a transdermal gel, but could do it in a suppository. Not the most appealing way to get a daily med into your kid, but it took it out of the feeding arena and now he gets the full dose most of the time. (Occasionally he poops it out if he hasn't had a good BM prior to receiving it.)

Many doctors who aren't familiar with other delivery medication delivery methods, were skeptical about the dosage and affects of my son getting his meds this way. Well after experimenting with the timing of the meds, I can tell you he does get it into his system.

He currently gets his Strattera dose split between morning and night. We discovered through trial and error to do it this way. Typically Strattera is given in the morning. If we gave it all at night, then there wasn't enough of the fresh dose in his system for ADHD control during the day. If we gave in the morning, then he would sleep through most of the classes.

The first half of second grade, his grades began to fall because of his excess sleeping. So in December, we switched it back to night. By January of this year, we once again had a frustrated, out of control and aggressive child! He was suspended almost 10 times in a month! The school even threatened to call the police!!

His psychiatrist said he shouldn't be sleepy after being on it for several years, but I am here to tell you it does on him. He quit sleeping in class when he did not get the dose in the morning. But there wasn't enough fresh dose in his system to control his symptoms either.

Plus he had grown and his mood stabilizer was too low as well as his epilepsy drug needed upping because he was having more and more breakthough seizures.

So we had to add Risperdal to his medication schedule. (We get that compounded too.) So by mid February, the Risperdal had kicked in, but were still having bad days. So I decided on my own to try and split the dose. We found that sleeping was still almost eliminated in class, but good ADHD control was achieved. Along with the Risperdal, he was able to calm down and finish second grade on a good note. We tried wean him off Risperdal this summer during YMCA Day Camp, but the couselors were calling us at work becuase he was having emotional meltdowns. So we put him back on it.

The reason I am telling you much our dealings with all the meds is that if I had just tried the Strattera as the doctor and pharmaceutical company said it had to be given, we probably would stil be at square one. Strattera has worked for my son, but we have had much trial and error as to how to get it into him and how much and what times of the day works best with his current combination of medications.

Strattera is different as it takes along time to build up to the therapeutic dose and in that time, some early side effects can happen and/or enough time hasn't happened for a good trial run.

I understand that Strattera doesn't work for everyone. We like it that we can keep a constant amount in his system and we don't have daily medication rebound like the short acting ADHD drugs. As far as side affects, the weight gain is the only one I have seen. But then again all four of his meds have weight gain as a side affect.

And the times that he has missed doses or had to step it down becuase of surgical procedures, boy we could tell he was missing it. It isn't pretty!

We also have a typically developing younger son who is active, but it in no way resemble the older ones attention problems. The younger one responds well to standard behaviour modifications used on kids his age.

Anyway, good luck with whichever route you choose with your son. I know from experience the stress from daily phone calls from school and daycare. In fact, it got so bad that my son was eventually kicked out of daycare and now I am working part time so he doesn't have to be in daycare.

Kim Howell

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M.V.

answers from Houston on

Have you considered homeschooling? Maybe he is an active little boy who has difficulty with the school environment. I only say this because I was a third grade teacher and saw many boys labeled ADHD who to me, just were more active and wiggly than others. They just needed to move more in order to learn, but I wouldn't say they needed to be medicated. It is hard to sit in a desk, stand in line, be quiet, etc. It would be hard for anyone... I don't know what your son's K classroom is like.. I have two boys and plan on homeschooling.

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M.C.

answers from Houston on

When was your child diagnosed with ADHD?

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K.M.

answers from Houston on

J., I have two boys with ADHD...a 10 yr old and a 7 yr old. My 10 yr old has been on meds (first Metidate, and now Focalin) since he was in kindergarten. The behavioral specialist said he had never seen a child with such a high rating for ADHD before.... My 7 yr old, just went on meds last year. He has a much milder case than his brother and the doctor suggested Concerta. He takes a very low dose, and it works wonders. The pills are very tiny so they are easy to swallow, and he has had no problems since they started him on Concerta. Neither of my boys takes any medication on the weekends or during the summer, only during the school year. I am also a stay at home mom and if you need any help, please feel free to contact me. Support can be a lifesaver!

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J.L.

answers from Austin on

I have an ADD kid in 6th grade. We had tried the meds too, and hated them. They did nothing for him. I then went looking for good vitamins. I am a believer in vitamins, although, you have to have good ones processed for maximum absorption or else you are just peeing money down the drain. What I found was Melaleuca, Inc. (www.melaleuca.com) and have had my son on them for three years now. What a difference!! Melaleuca has a patented process in manufacturing their vitamins and they have just come out with new science and improvements. You can only get these from Melaleuca. I don't know what to tell you on the oppositional defiant disorder, as my son doesn't have that diagnosis, sorry. Vitamins alone may not be able to solve that problem, however, getting the optimum nutrition is very important and most Americans don't get what they need on a daily basis and need supplements.

If you want more information on manufacturing process just go to the website. There is a visitor's section on the home page and you can actually browse through the product store. Try going into the product descriptions for each product and sometimes you can find PDF files and tons of information to answer all your questions.

If you want to talk with me, just contact me at [email protected]____.com luck,
J.
www.livetotalwellness.com/janislanz

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R.P.

answers from Houston on

get him OFF that strattera as soon as you can! my oldest son wanted to go back on ritalin because he knew it helped him study better in school, so our doctor talked us into trying strattera. my son took it for only about 10 days before he started having suicide ideation thoughts. i had read about the increased suicidal tendencies in the patient information sheet that comes with the medicine but thought we would go ahead and give it a shot. one afternoon, my son came in from school and promptly dumped the rest of the strattera down the sink (thankfully, it was only samples the doctor had given us). i asked him why and he told me that while on it, he started seriously thinking about death and suicide. scared him to the bone.

as a person who has also grown up with adhd (i never outgrew the hyper part), i can tell you that it's going to be a long hard battle. i too chose to use self control rather than drugs. when i find that i need to study or focus on a task, i listen to music. it helps distract the runaway train of thoughts in my head and allows me to focus on the task at hand, be it studying or simply folding laundry.

there are several other things that can be done, such as getting him involved in sports and stuff - give him ways to positively channel that extra energy instead of pilling it away. adhd can be seen as a gift rather than a disability, and when treated as such, is much easier to manage.

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S.T.

answers from Houston on

Sensory issues may come into play. Read The Out Of Sync Child (library may have it) and see if you think your child might have sensory problems. They also have a sequel that has fun activities to do with him to help regulate his sensory system and your school district may also offer sensory therapy (some do) if his sensory issues negatively impact his schoolwork (sounds like it does.)

Sugar, artificial sweeteners and colors, especially red, and even apples are common allergens causing behavioral problems. Read "The Kid Friendly ADHD Autism Cookbook" it will give you a direction nutritionally as well as lots of recipes.

I was considering meds for my 5 YO and decided to TRY the gluten free diet first. It has worked wonderfully! The behavior issues are greatly diminished in my 5 YO and the attention problems my 4 YO was having (she didn't even respond to her name or notice when her sisters were clamoring for cookies- very severe) has nearly gone away as well.

Now, it took about two months of having NO GLUTEN (wheat, wheat starch, modified food starch, oats, other gluten containing grains) to notice a difference in my child with difficulty paying attention. But in the behavioral issues of my oldest, it was noticeable a lot sooner. You just have to make sure you take it out completely, not even 'just a little bit' is allowed or it will skew the results. After a month or so of not having ANY gluten then you can add it back in and see if there's a noticeable negative change. Within 24-48 hours my daughter was HORRIBLE HORRIBLE. I think what happened was that her body had grown a certain tolerance to gluten and so when she didn't have it for a month and then got it again, there was a clear and obvious reaction.

So, we are on the diet now and it's so worth it to not use meds. Meds are good if you have no other choice but try diet first! Make sure the teachers know to keep an eye on him to not eat other childrens' food. I homeschool so I don't have to worry about it.

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C.B.

answers from Waco on

Hi J., I have 2 children and they both have ADHD. My son is now 12 and he has been on medicine since Kindergarden as well. The very first one he was on was Addrell XR and it worked very well for him for a few years. As he has gotten older he has had to change medicine due to the fact I think he gets immune to one type and alot of the other ones have had side effects for him. He is on the Vyvanse right now and it is the best one that has worked for him with no side effects. My daughter who is 9 just got started taking Vyvanse but has been on meds since 2nd grade. She started out on Addrell XR as well and has tried focalin. We tried Strattera for about 6 months but it did not work with her. I couldn't even tell a difference with her. I think each child is different. Neither one of my kids are bad they just have a problem with focusing on school work. I wish you the best of luck and hopefully you will be able to find one that works for him. I know how frustrating it can get.

God Bless!!!
C.

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S.B.

answers from Houston on

A friend's son has the same issues-ADHD and ODD. She put him on Straterra and said it has been beneficial for him. He can go to sleep at night, most importantly. Oh, and it's also non-narcotic. Also, the whole family is in counseling.

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C.B.

answers from Houston on

I have 4 adopted children,2 are add and my youngest is adhd.I tried strattera and my kids were like zombies.They are now on Concerta.It has been a good medicine for my kids,the only bad effect is it takes away the appetite.It is a 12 hour medicine,I do not give it to them on holidays,summertime or on the weekend.I hope you find a good one to help.

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A.G.

answers from Houston on

Every child responds differently to ADHD medicine. My son became very argumentative on strattera. He is on concerta and does very well on it. Sometimes it takes a while to get the dosage correct on the medication. Talk to your doctor to get some help.
Hope this helps,
A.

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L.J.

answers from Houston on

My son's cousin, Lukas, (5 yrs old) tried all of the meds you have and they turned him into a monster. She just recently switched to Adderol (2.5 mg / half a tablet). He is just doing wonderful. Talk to your pedi regarding that med. Good Luck!

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I.M.

answers from Houston on

Hi J.,
My son has autism/adhd and what has worked best for him is the daytrana patch. First since 4 yrs old he was on ritalin and it worked wonders, we were so relieved as my husband and i were both ready to jump off a cliff. But once it was time for kindergarten, he was working up a tolerance and was out of control by the time 5pm hit. And also, at the time he couldn't swallow pills so the nurse was crushing his second doseage in his juice at lunchtime. Well sometimes he wouldn't drink it all. Anyway, we then switched to the daytrana patch which lasts about 11 hours. It worked really well, and i also didn't have to involve the nurse at school. He is now in first grade. Sometimes with the stimulants like ritalin and daytrana, the kids work up a tolerance to it and you have to adjust the doseage. Now my son can swallow pills but after trying several other drugs, which caused some horrible mood swings, and rages... we are back to daytrana which has been the best and doesn't 'mess' with his head. He's just his normal (not so normal, haha) self, just able to be in control better and not act like a wild animal. The only problem with my son is he doesn't like to eat, and only chooses a couple of different foods to eat, period. Then the stimulants suppress your appetite, so basically my son only wants to eat in the morning and later at night, basically when the medicine is not in affect. That part is somewhat stressful, but that's mostly because of how much he doesn't like or has fear of like almost every food, which also leaves me not being able to try other remedies, which i'm working on taking him to a nutritionist... a whole other story. I just know for my son, he does not like feeling 'sedated' so it would actually have a reverse affect for behavior, he fought against the fatigue i think, and made his behavior horrible. So the stimulant based ones work best for him. It's been a long road and i'm still seeking help for SO much stuff... but just wanted to share that i would try plain ol ritalin first, crush it up (a tablet) in his juice, unless he swallows pills. We noticed a HUGE difference when we first got started. Good luck to you!

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C.S.

answers from Houston on

Hi J.,

My oldest son (14 years) has been on Strattera for years. I want to say it's been at least 6 years. We tried Ritalin and some other stimulant based medicine tha thad terrible side effects. He started having ticks and all kinds of bad things when on those other meds. Strattera was a relatively new drug when he started it and he has done wonderfully with it. I like it because there is no loss of appetite and it isn't stimulant based. Our son is a great kid with a big heart and wants to do the right thing, so he was thankful that this medicine was available. He is a mostly A student. I think he made 2 B's and 1 C the whole time he was in middle school in upper level classes. He's now in high school and playing football and still making great grades. I would give it a try. Be sure that your doctor does a blood test once a year to check the liver function. We have done it every year and it's been fine, but that's the only side effect I worry about.

Good luck and tell your son that right now he can't focus, but one day his ADHD will become a gift. It will allow him to multi-task and be a great asset in this world.

Peace,
C.

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