Hello- I am new to this group and I am wondering if you guys could give me some advice. I will try not to jump all over the place so I don't confuse you. :)

My son- a twin, he is 10 was diagnosed with ADHD in 1st grade. He is a very loving, caring kid. He is sensative and he loves to cuddle. 2nd Grade (so 3 years ago) was a tough year, I almost pulled him out of school. His case manager was very insensitive but at the same time like to enable my kiddo. "Oh he doesn't know how to that"- she would always say that to me, him and his para's. We worked through it and i thought we had made progress to get past that. Since 1st Grade he has been on Adderall- He has been on many different does. Long acting didn't work- it made him nuts (he would hit his head and was just agitated all the time) Then we did short acting which seemed to work great for awhile. Then he started having more attention issues and "anxiety" symptoms. I kept telling his doctor but no one would believe me that my 8 year old had anxiety, they all thought I was nuts. :)
Ok- then we tried concerta. That was a nightmare, he slept for like 5 hours but then was up the rest of the day! I took him off of that without hesitation. He is a kid that needs his sleep.

So now in 5th grade. ah- sorry a lot of information. My husband I decided to take him off his medications this summer and in August we started him on a vitamin regimen his pediatrician suggested. (fish oil, Vitamin D and Vitamin B12)- this helped with anxiety symptoms but no this adhd issues. We took him off his medications partly because we wanted to cleanse his system, to see how he behaved but mainly because he is so small and didn't eat a lot. Throughout the summer he gained 8 pounds. SO then we decided to try something else. We put him on Ritalin in September- 5mg. (he is now on 10) and his psychiatrist finally listened and put him on an anti-anxiety medication. (Zoloft 25 mg)

He is being defiant the last couple days (not all day mostly in the afternoon at school). Just little thing but still that isn't my kid. Saturday he will get an afternoon dose of his medications, just 5mg to start so we will see how that goes.

SO my questions are....

1. Have you noticed this with Ritalin in your kiddos?
2. Could it be the mix of Zoloft and Ritalin?
3. Are they on a special diet
4. HELP! :)

what types of consequences do you use when they come home and have a bad day?

Wiped Out

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Staff member
First off, welcome to our small corner of the world! My son was very defiant (as well as violent) on any stimulants (which Ritalin is) but that is because he is also Bipolar (we also found out he couldn't take any anti-depressants because of his Bipolar as well).

I'm sure it could be the Ritalin or a the Zoloft or the combination. What does the doctor say? I would be sure to let him know you are seeing this defiance.

My son is not on a special diet (fighting over food when he was young was not wise as it was always a trigger for him), however, I do believe certain food plans can be a good idea for kiddos with ADHD. I would definitely check with a specialist on that though.

As far as consequences for a bad day at school, we would process with him but if had a consequence at school we didn't also give him one at home except in the case of suspension-then I made him do school and housework the length of the school day.

Has your child ever seen a neuro-psychologist? They can be very helpful in determine what is going on along with seeing a child psychiatrist and a therapist.

Stick around, you will find much support!


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Acting out after a bad day? We put our efforts into helping the kid communicate so we could get to the bottom of the triggers... half of which were insensitive (or worse) teachers. (side note: not ALL teachers, but enough to be a problem). Next major chunk was bullying by peers. Punish for that? not a hope. No really good ideas that worked other than providing de-stressing activities - which vary considerably depending on the kid.


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Grandma to a boy (4th grade), defiant, ADHD, anxiety. His divorced mom works a lot, so my husband and I do lots of the care taking. It's been a journey of ups and downs and "what the hecks" for us. We did the "medication wash" thing over the summer and saw amazing weight and height gains, better sleeping and eating. But, there were no demands being made like in school, and focus wasn't an issue (we know he can focus for hours on his iPad). The anxiety piece was causing the most meltdowns, causing the social isolation as a result of the meltdowns. He's a loving, smart, wonderful kid, but school is kind of awful for him because of the sort of underground bullying.

After 4 years, his doctors decided that stimulants weren't helping him (and we tried so many). He's doing better now, kind of, on non-stimulant therapy (guanfacine and Strattera), although is focus at school is problematical because he wants to do what he wants to do, period. He's not getting much work done at all and his academics, which was always an area of strength for him are starting to suffer. He reads at a high school level and can spell better than most adults, but math reduces him to tears and shredding the papers up almost instantly. He has never been on any anti-anxiety medication (although the guanfacine has been suggested to help with this). And he's never been on a special diet. We do limit sodas, food dyes, and excessive sugar (this kid LOVES carbs). He's such a finicky eater that we had to let some of that go. We're happy if we can get him to eat much of anything healthy at all. He would live on corn dogs and pizza if we served it every day.

As for consequences, he gets suspended at school frequently (another long story) and we found that consequences at home too, his safe place, just put him over the top. We wait until a good time, when he seems calm and more likely to be communicative, to talk things over and offer alternatives to the way he handled things, etc. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. But, stuff does go in and stick, even when we can't see evidence of it at the time, so we keep gently trying.

Our kids' journeys are all so individual, as I'm sure you know. You will get lots of support and good ideas here. It's a great bunch of people.


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He is being defiant the last couple days (not all day mostly in the afternoon at school).
How about a different perspective? Are you SURE it's ADHD you're dealing with? The reason I ask is that this whole "coming home from school totally worn out" can be caused by a raft of things - from being bullied, to learning disabilities not severe enough to hit the radar at school, to struggling to follow what is going on in the classroom (and playground).

Auditory processing disorders, in particular "auditory figure ground" where the person hears "too much" and cannot filter out the background noise, and another (forget the exact term) where they hear but not accurately, often make a kid in school look like they are not paying attention, when in reality, they are not ABLE to follow what is going on.

What is he like being worked with at school one-on-one in a really quiet environment? If he does well there but poorly in class, I'd be pushing really hard for extensive auditory processing disorders testing. The basic standard tests do NOT cover things like auditory figure ground. We had to struggle to find right person to do the first round of testing (after that, we had no problem getting medical referral to medical audiologist (i.e. MD with PhD in audiology). There are technological aids that can make a huge difference for these kids, but even just common interventions and some understanding on the part of the teacher can go a long way. Some accommodations include use of a note-taker (so the kid can just listen in class, not be writing notes, and then can read notes to catch what was missed), ALL instructions presented in written form - on paper or on the board, If assigned to group work this student's group will work in a quiet atmosphere away from the classroom, etc.