peer problems helped by medications?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by EB67, Jun 25, 2007.

  1. EB67

    EB67 New Member

    I'm not really sure what to do.

    I had planned to take Seb off the Daytrana for the summer. Why? because I *thought* that without the pressure of having to perform academically, he'd do better to eat and sleep well (and the medication interferes with both his appetite and sleep).

    This seemed like a no brainer until last week as some of you may recall, on Day One of the Summer Medication Holiday, Seb "accidentally" kicked a child in the balls. Since that day, Seb has been off medication on a trial basis for better or maybe for worse.

    Seb has been eating like a horse and sleeping like a baby. But he has also been very scrappy with other kids. He has shown a very low frustration threshold for other people's behaviors that are annoying to him. This is nothing new: he is easily aggitated by certain types of kids. Usually it's younger, aggressive, hands on or teas-y kids that get him going. He's been baiting other easily hands-on kids, he's been looking for physical confrontations and he's been finding them. It's been rough.

    He's been rotten with friends kids to the point that I am starting to be excluded from plans. It's not just affecting Seb, it's affecting me. It's enough to feel the stress that comes along with having a child who is judged by other parents. Now I feel that it's not just Seb who is less in demand for play, it's me. I'm feeling very sad because I feel as if my social world is collapsing as well.

    So my question is this for those of you with kids on stimulant medication for ADHD symptoms:

    Do you think that stimulant medications help with impulsive behavior related to peer issues?

    Today was the first day of Day Camp and I wasn't taking any chances: I gave Seb his Daytrana. But if the Daytrana isn't going to mitigate his scrapppy behavior, I won't bother with it.

    The other issue at hand is that his psychiatrist said that he should start Depakote if his mood regulation issues do not resolve. Would you call behavioral peer aggression a mood regulation issue??

    Thanks in advance. I'm so upset and worn down, I feel like I am going to throw up.
     
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Ella, I'm sorry. There's no right or wrong answer here. Unfortunately, medications are a trial and error process. Stimulants like Daytrana can help some kids do better with peers because they are less impulsive on medications. You're just going to have to test it in your own home laboratory and see how Seb reacts. If he does better on stimulants at camp (which you could argue requires similar but not idential skills to school), then you can choose to use them. If not, you may need to go to another medication.

    My son is neither hyperactive nor impulsive; he is simply inattentive. So we choose to use stimulants for school days only to help him focus. He's not on his Focalin XR this summer, and he's doing just fine without it. But he honestly has never had the peer issues that you describe with Seb. So it's a totally different case.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
     
  3. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    I think that the stimulant can definatley help with the impulsvity and hyperactivity related to overall functioning, peer issues and interactions. Perhaps he can take a short acting versus a long acting during the summer. I'd hate to see him suffer with his peer interactions due to lack of medication. I'd plan for a bigger breakfast and a healthy late night snack to deal with the food issues.

    Have you tried the vitamin melatonin to help with sleep? This really helped by easy child get to bed at night.
    Other then sleeping and eating (which I understand can be major issues) are there any other negative side effects? How late does he stay up at night while on stimulants?

    Let us know how he did in camp today.
     
  4. EB67

    EB67 New Member

    Thanks Jannie...

    By the way taking note of your signature I see that my 7 1/2 year old Seb has a few things in common with your 7 1/2 year old difficult child...

    Anyhoo, yes, Melatonin is a life saver. He's been on it while on stiulant medication since the fall. I worry though about long term use and so I thought that a stimulant-free summer would mean a melatonin-free summer as well. Sigh.

    Without Melatonin, Seb will stay up reading until around one or two in the morning. No joke. Seb's hyperfocus piece of the ADHD is reading: he'll lock into a book for hours. When we take away his reading material at night he finds new reading material. Before Melatonin we were considering removing all books from the second floor of the house! Which is crazy as I know we're all supposed to be overjoyed when our children love to read. With Seb it's over the top. Even during the day. Yesterday he sat on a lounge chair on the patio and read without pause for four solid hours.

    He has not had any ongoing negative side effects with the Daytrana that I can sense so far other than loss of appetite. His sleep is better with Daytrana than it was with Adderall XR. He has had some mood regulation issues but fewer again than with Adderall and he doesn't have the same horrid rebound reaction in the evening that he did with Adderall either.

    As for camp today, this is rich.

    I just picked him up-- he was unusually subdued. He said he was disapointed because the kids in his group were disruptive and seemed uninterested in learning about the animals (it is natural science day camp). He said that they weren't serious, were disrespectful and did not follow the rules.

    Whose kid was that just talking?

    Oh, it must have been Son of Daytrana.

    I wonder how the day might have gone without the big D.

    The downside is that he said he couldn't eat anything because "the thought of food made me barf". This isn't such a great thing as the kids spent the better part of this 80 degree day hiking.

    I still don't know which is worse: an unruly kid or a malnourished kid.
     
  5. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Hi Ella,

    Yes, I would definitely call peer aggression a behavioral regulation problem, but that is just my opinion. For Matt he would get along great with peers for a good chunk of time, and then his internal resources would wear thin and he would snap. Mood stabilizers helped with that somewhat - although not completely. Depakote might help Seb, and I would certainly leave it open as an option - but If the Daytrana patch helps, than I would use it for sure!!!! No questions asked!!! The emotional well being of his future depends on his success now - every peer interaction that fails will be stored away and slowly erode at his self confidence - every peer interaction that is successful will be used as building blocks towards molding his sense of his self and worth.

    As far as him eating - my son never, ever ate lunch for years. No matter what - and he was not on stimulants - it was just his metabolism. He would eat a good breakfast - and sometimes that was it....he was just not a hungry child after his day got going. I never really fought it....although it bothered me a lot, and he grew up just fine. He is 6'3 now - and healthy as a horse.

    good luck - and I am glad camp went well today!
     
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