Experiences re: medication for ADHD and ODD

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by sweetgem, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. sweetgem

    sweetgem New Member

    Hi All,
    I'm very new to this site and have sought it out probably like most of you as a means to get some fresh ideas on how to deal with my 8 year old son's behaviours. My boy was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD at 2 and re diagnosed last year with the same combo. I'm a fairly strong minded person and despite being told he should be medicated by every paed I saw, I toughed it out.

    At home, my boy is quite well behaved... a little on the annoying side at times, but otherwise under control and pretty good. At school... different story!!! He explodes at other kids, gets physical and even back chats teachers from time to time (only when he's having an outburst).

    I'm at a loss as to what to do. Counselling, consequences (many many consequences), diet changes and redirection all work for a short period of time, but I end up back at square one.

    I'm starting to think medication may be the only option. I'm interested in other's experiences with medicating their children for similar disorders... thankyou :)
  2. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome. Sorry, I am not the kind of person you wanted to hear from as I am fairly determined not to put my son on medication unless I am really convinced that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages (side effects and the lasting consequences for a developing brain) but I have been curious to know how ADHD children fare when they do not take medication.
    A few questions: does the school feel the situation with your son is unmanageable or just you? How do they deal with these incidents? What is he exploding about with the other children> When you say he gets "physical", what does that involve?
  3. cassiemoun

    cassiemoun New Member

    If you do want to give medications a try, you could ask your psychiatrist about Intuniv. It's a nonstimulant medication recently approved for use with ADHD. It also helps with aggression and angry outbursts.
    For us, it doesn't have the terrible side effects that the stimulants had. It's only side effect (that we noticed) is sleepiness, but that gets better after about 2 weeks.

    My son is pretty much the opposite....good at school and VERY challenging at home.
  4. Jena

    Jena New Member


    welcome, probably never said that lol :)

    sorry he's a handful in school, over stimulation could also be the problem. home environment's different a bit calmer normally. has the school tried any type of behavioral mod approaches to his behavior? incentives to keep it on the positive if he behaves himself, a daily sheet to go home sort of thing?? get the school pysch and social worker involved. we did that with my daughter, she isnt' adhd yet its worth a try before you begin the medication game
  5. sweetgem

    sweetgem New Member

    Hi Malika, my son's outbursts at school generally happen on the playground. What I've found happens at school, is he gravitates towards other children with similar temperaments (eg: very boisterous, strong minded kids). What seems to happen is when they play, and he doesnt like something for whatever reason, he lashes out physically. He pushes, punches, throws kids into objects like poles, walls etc. Obviously, this causes great consternation at school and has been the subject of other parents being quite angry that their child is being "bullied" by my son... understandably. what I find is that he just does not "get it" socially. He wants everything his own way, everything is everyone else's fault and in his words the other kids are "mean because they dont want to be my friend"... well, who wants to be friends with someone who always wants their own way and hurts them when he doesnt get it??!! Like you, I'm really not happy with the idea of medicating my boy. Everyone's circumstances are different of course and I dont judge those who have gone down that path. Up till this point, I have resisted purely because I am concerned about what long term effects medication may have on my boy. I am just at a loss at the moment as to how to get him to toe the line at school... he is at risk of being suspended and even expelled if this behaviour doesnt stop...
  6. sweetgem

    sweetgem New Member

    Thanks Jena,
    I'm meeting with the school (again) later this week to discuss some options... they are looking at engaging counsellors and learning support for him (although his school work is fine they are looking at ways to help him socialise appropriately) in the mean time, I'm going to take him to a private psychologist too. We have tried many programs - one that worked very well for about a year was the "stop think do" program. We stopped that because the person running it tragically passed away. I am very resistant to medication and want to exhaust everything before I consider that as an option.
  7. sweetgem

    sweetgem New Member

    Thanks for your input... I am lead to believe most kids do that... are good at one place and awful at another... seems like our sons are just in reverse!
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    ADHD isn't a situational diagnosis. If he is fine with you and has issues at the school, I would focus more on finding out why. Has he been screened for Aspergers? Often the inability to read the social cues can lead to the behavior that you describe.

    One thing that helped my son was to not have him go to recess with all of the kids in his grade level. He did a 'special recess', first with just one hand picked peer, then with a few different peers (1 at a time on different days) and then with 2 kids, then 3, etc. until he was out there with one class and then with everyone. An aide was assigned to him at recess and she stayed within 3 feet of him so she could redirect quickly if necessary (key was getting her to understand that she couldn't hang out with the recess monitors but had to actively follow him around).

    I am a big believer that many of our kids need medications and I would no more refuse to medicate my child for his ADHD than I would refuse to medicate him for his epilepsy. But, with his behavior being fine except for school, I would try the above changes to see if that helped.
  9. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    This sounds so much like my son used to be. He was also diagnosed with ADHD and ODD. I agree with JJJ, I would seriously have him evaluated for Asperger's. Their struggles, among others, are exactly what you just stated, "doesn't get it socially" and "everything is everyone else's fault" and "wants their own way". It turned out that my son's ODD never was ODD at all. I was recently told it has been Asperger's Disorder all along and we didn't know it because no one screened him for that. It wasn't until I really dug for the WHY of his behavior that I realized it was something else and asked for more thorough evaluations. He had very real (though distorted) ideas about other people's reasons for their actions. I would at least look into it. Many of us here believe that ODD is more of a symptom of something else. Keep an open mind and keep digging.
  10. tiredmamax3

    tiredmamax3 Hopeful Momma

    I am right there with you... It took many, many years and when my difficult child finally had a major meltdown and was admitted into hospital that the docs hit the nail on the head. All along they said ADHD, when in fact he is on the spectrum with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified,ODD,ADHD , possible bi-polar. Its the most frustrating bc difficult child does not "get it" He sees nothing wrong with his behavior and thinks its everyone else that has a problem. If he gets everything his way , he is good, but when he doesnt its unbelievable the amount of rage he has! I sympathize greatly and am going through quite a ordeal now with him and will continue until he gets the help he needs..
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im a big believer in better living through pharmacology. If something can help the brain chemistry work better and give kids a leg up so they dont have to fight as hard, I dont see what the problem is. 2 of my boys were on medication for most of their lives and it hasnt hurt them any. As far as stunting growth or interfering with the intelligence of my son who took ADHD stims, well, he is 6'5.5" tall so I would hate to think how tall he would have been! He graduated HS, went into the military, has worked for the last 4 years for the sheriff's dept as an animal control officer and is now in the police academy. He is married, has two kids and his buying his own home. I think he is pretty successful.
  12. sweetgem

    sweetgem New Member

    Thats comforting to hear. Thanks Janet. So often you only hear stories from parents whose children are a similar age to your own. That has been the biggest draw back for me - the fear of the later effects of medication. I had to laugh when I hear your son is military/ policing focussed. I too am a police officer and have had a very successful career and yet I too am ADHD!! I often think my quick thinking brain, huge energy levels and my ability to "multi task" has gotten me to where I am today. I was never medicated, but I was more the "withdrawn" type as a kid. My son is quite out there and therefore his behaviours are more problematic at school. I appreciate your candour. Thanks very much again :D