what do you know abouat focalin?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by muttmeister, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    They prescribed it for my 5 year old grandson.
    When I looked it up it sounds like it is just another form of ritalin; it did say not to give it to kids under 6.

    I'm not sure the kid's problem is ADHD; he does have a problem, but it could just be immaturity coupled with a low IQ and a dose of naughty behavior thrown in for good measure. My personal feeling is that doctors are too quick to medicate kids, but I'm old so maybe I'm out of touch.

    Anybody have any experiences with this?
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It is in the ritalin family but face it, he has genetics on his side so chances are, there is some difficult child material floating around.
  3. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    That's something I've worried about.

    Mother is severely bipolar; father is borderline. Father was ADHD, difficult child and who knows what. It's a wonder these kids can function at all. Their older daughter caught a break; she is very bright and they put her in the gifted classs as soon as she hit kindergarten. Has some of her Grandma's stubbornness but that's not all bad. Their youngest appears to be doing OK too. But this kid has had problems from the get-go. Didn't talk for a long time; still doesn't talk plain. Does occupational therapy as he is a little "clumsy." Mom had problems during the pregnancy (bleeding, bed rest, hospitalization, etc.). I was in the delivery room when this one was born and the doctor looked at my daughter in law and said, "Here's our miracle baby." I think maybe they thought she'd never carry him to term. So I'm thinking there could be some birth defect, brain damage, etc. He is a cute kid and I think he will get by but I'm sure school is going to be hard for him no matter what. I just wonder if this kind of medication is something he needs, or if it is just a stab in the dark. I guess as long as there are no strong drug reactions, maybe it is worth a try.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Before I'd give him an Focalin, Ritalin or anything else, I'd have a neuropsychologist test him for autistic spectrum. He sure has a lot of symptoms and you don't need medications for that, just interventions.

    I agree with you that they medicate young kids too soon in some cases. After what I've been through with my son, I would be very careful before giving any medication to another child, if I had a say so in it. I'd want to make sure he'd seen a neuropsychologist first. Genetics are NOT his friend, but he's still a little guy and they really don't know what is wrong with him yet...

    Let us know what happens.
  5. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Focalin is just a refined form of ritalin. I think it is supposed to last longer than most ritalin.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    That string alone screams "comprehensive evaluation".

    The "clumsy" part... could be Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), which often goes with ADHD (half the kids with ADHD are also Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)).
    BUT... if it was that combo, then you would NOT have the speech issues...

    So... given that the following are going on for a minimum
    - motor skills issues
    - speech issues
    - some form of behavior issues
    - a "difficult" pregnancy
    ... its time to get to the bottom of it, and find out where this kid is really at - where are his strengths as well as his weaknesses. Auditory issues? Autism spectrum? Learning disabilities? You need to get it all out on the table.
    THEN, and only then, will it be possible to plan the interventions and accomodations - and if necessary medications.

    ADHD medications at age 5? I had to fight tooth-and-nail to get them - but this was for a kid who was "totally classic" ADD-inattentive type - absolutely no other issues . So... sometimes it actually does make sense. Too often - the ones who need it don't get it and the ones who get it shouldn't have it. (my pet peeve)
  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    FWIW, we started both difficult children at age 5 on a stimulant for ADHD -- it was the spring/summer before kindergarten. And they were DEFINITELY symptomatic starting around age 3.5. It helped them both quite a bit. I don't know if we could have gotten through the early elementary years without a lot more drama without it.

    Now, my difficult child 2 went on to develop BiPolar (BP). But the stimulant did help him a lot for several years, and in hindsight, I don't know that I would do anything differently. Once the BiPolar (BP) symptoms began to appear, the stimulant stopped working. With respect to that situation, knowing what I know now, I would have pushed for a reassessment at that time, rather than believing it was just the medication that had pooped out. There was a REASON it had stopped working, and we just weren't quick enough to realize it.

    If there are other issues, especially those that you point out, it makes more sense to get a thorough evaluation before starting to throw medications at the problem.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Personally, I would give him the folcalin, let him keep on the speech and Occupational Therapist (OT). Tons of kids have speech issues do to who knows how many different reasons. Both Jamie and Cory were in speech for a while, Cory much longer. People now still cant half understand him if you arent from here because of the dialect we have here. Just ask Flutter! If he is clumsy, Occupational Therapist (OT) will probably help.

    I would give him the medication because it is fast acting in and out and you will be able to tell very quickly if it is helping him. You dont want him to get the label of the bad little boy if he cant help it. This is a rather mild medication considering what some of the kids are on. One in the ritalin family is something I would really feel good about.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    To build on Janet's comment - the advantage of the Ritalin family is that it doesn't hang around in your body. So, if it doesn't work - its out of your system completely in less than a day. As you'd be starting on a low dose anyway, its really easy to stop it on a dime if you need to. Some medications take weeks to build up in your system, and weeks to get rid of... a whole different scenario.