ADHD medications for a four year old?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by army wife, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. army wife

    army wife New Member

    :mornincoffee: Hi, I have a four year old difficult child whoms only diagnosis so far is a global developmental delay and while he has not been diagnosed with ADHD, his pshycologist and I beleive he may have it as well. We are afraid that his learning is being greatly affected by this. However, he does not seem to be extreamly hyper the whole time he is awake he is hyper tho about 90% of the time. My 19 month old DS has a much better attention span than he does and can sit still and do legos and even scribble in a coloring book, stack blocks, all those that my difficult child cannot do because he cannot sit still long enough. He can't even be potty trained, he goes potty in the potty alot but only because I make him sit on it and he continues to stand up and I continue to sit him back down. I wouldn't even make him sit on the potty if it wasn't for hte fact that he takes off his diaper anyway when he needs to go no matter what I do and if I am not right there he will poop and pee all over the walls, floor, everywhere! So I feel like I have to sit him on the potty until he goes he doesn't get upset and even finally shows that he is happy and awards himself with applaud every time he uses the potty he just cannot quit standing up so often cause he forgets he is using the potty.(even while he is in the process he will stand up and begin to run off as if forgetting he is in middle of peeing or having a bm).

    My first thought was yes he has ADHD I do, my father does so of course that's what it is but now he is starting to whine ALL the time and SCREAM scream, why does he scream all the time, and hit himself in the face. Now I don't want him on ADHD medications cause it could be something more than ADHD affecting his learning in that case there may be no reason to medicate him if it's not going to have much asffect on his behavior, right? what do I do? The child pshycologist wants to put him on Tenex which it was my idea as much as it was his but I don't know if I want to anymore. He whines for ppl all the time. He is an army brat so yes he's had a rough time, daddy has been deployed for a year, in training for months at a time before, the army stationed us far from family so we don't even see family very often but we have been associated with the military for 3 years and have been away for 2 years but why does he still scream for his aunt? he screams for everyone, grandma when she lives with us! grandpa, and even the boy next door he has only met once and for a minumum of 3 minutes! He screams a bloody scream when daddy leaves to work each day, when he comes home and his brother is napping.

    I really would like to know if anyone thinks that I should continue to put him on this medication. even with all these other symptoms and of course the fact that he is barley 4 years old. Also does anyone else have to deal with any of this?? there's no way I'm the only one with this issue, I can't take him out in public that often and if so we leave I overreacting is this 'normal'? help!
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Hi there - welcome! I am glad you found us, but sorry you had to.

    I will say this - I don't know enough (yet) about your situation, but I used to be totally anti-medication for kids. Well... That was before I inherited a bipolar daughter. Anyway... Has he been in for neuropsychologist testing? I ask this because the screaming and the hitting himself in the face aren't exactly what I would term "normal", even if you're looking at a possible ADHD diagnosis.

    Most pediatricians are general practitioners. You really need to have him see someone who specializes in childhood neurological issues. The psychologist is a good step, but a psychiatrist could also be necessary, especially when you're looking at medication.

    Others will be along soon to ask more questions... Others who know more than I do (and can remember it - I'm a little brain fried myself this morning!).
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Welcome to the board. You have come to the right place. These parents are awesome.

    Personally, it sounds like the screaming for people could be a part of his impulsiveness. They pop into his head and he "needs" them. Personally, I would try medications (my son was 4 when we started him on them). In our case, it calmed my son's mind down enough so he could think "rationally". He didn't have so many things running through his head at such a fast pace that he couldn't decipher them. My son became easier to teach. He might also be suffering from a type of "abandonment" issue. What do you do when he says he needs someone that isn't there?

    {{{{HUGS}}}} to you. Other parents who are far wiser than me will be along to offer more advice. The rule here is: Take what works and ignore what doesn't. I would, however, keep an open mind because you might be surprised at what actually works.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hi, and welcome.
    Sounds like you came to the right place... sorry you needed to find us!

    This is the easiest question to answer.
    1) you are NOT overreacting
    2) this is NOT normal

    You already know that - but we understand how much it means to hear it from someone else!

    ADHD vs. whatever else... is tricky. ADHD can co-exist with a raft of other conditions. BUT, ADHD symptoms can also be symptoms of other problems... and which is which? More obvious at 7 or 9, but... you definitely have a problem.

    Has he ever had a comprehensive evaluation? Something that would screen for developmental issues, learning problems, etc? Who did the ADHD diagnosis, and how long ago? What kinds of medical evaluations have been done - for example, the toileting issues?

    medications are tricky. Now, I for one am NOT anti-medications. When they work, its like a miracle. But - you have to start with the right diagnosis(ex), then find the right medication, the right timing, the right dose... and THEN... the kid gets to the next stage of development and you start over. So... to start with medications, when you're not sure what all is going on... hmmm...

    And yet - the situation is actually quite severe. And IF most of the problem really is the inability to "attend" (pay attention), then... medications might make a huge difference.

    Meanwhile - have you ever seen the book The Explosive Child? If not, you might want to look into it. It gives a different perspective on these kids, and for many of us, has become a valued resource. But - nothing works for every child, so try things and take what works.

    Others will be along with their questions and ideas, too.
  5. army wife

    army wife New Member

    Thank you all for your replies it is nice to hear from someone else. i have no friends wiht children with 'problems' and all they do is criticize, "I can't beleive you can't figure out how to potty train him", " you must not punish him enough", and more I am glad to hear what you all had to say :) The person he has seen is titled 'developmental-behavioural pediatrician chief'. He sees him through the EFMP (exceptional family member program). I will need to get a refferal before I send him to anyone else but I am sure I can do that, his pediatrician may be able to refer him to another professional. I have not read that book yet but I look forward to it. The testing he has done is developmetnal screening and blood test which ruled out a few common types of MR such as fragile x syndrome. And we have pretty much ruled out artisum. He also has an IEP as he is in a special preschool right now which Early Intervention passed him on to shorty after he turned 3. I will ask about neuropsychologist testing although I have heard of it I did not know they could do that with children under 5 and he just turned 4 a week ago but I will see, thank you all so much. I will also see about the comprehensive evaluation. Thanks. Like I said none of my aquaintences understand what I am going through and I cannot talk about any of this so this really helps. :)
  6. army wife

    army wife New Member

    He is also enrolled in speech therapy I forgot to add since he cannot communicate very well
  7. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    You might be surprised how many of those people with "perfect" children have their own issues... LOL!

    Sounds like you're off to a good start... Out of curiosity, why/how was autism ruled out? Autism is a spectrum - you have everything from Dustin Hoffman's Rain Man to Temple Grandin and people you might never know were autistic at all. It's possible, though not necessarily the right diagnosis. Just a thought.

    As for punishment - discipline is good, but in my opinion punishing a kid MORE doesn't usually help much. With PCs, it works a bit better.
  8. keista

    keista New Member

    Welcome to the board!

    My first piece of advice; stop talking to and therefore listening to these ppl. If they can't be supportive, you can find other things to talk about, or other ppl to talk to. You now have US, as in this whole board.

    Global developmental delay is an identifiable start, and it sounds like the doctors are continuing to try and figure out the cause. You are on the right track.

    I am a firm believer in medicine. HOWEVER I am acutely aware that the WRONG medicine can do more harm than good. Having said that, you need to decide if you are willing to try it. It may do wonders! It may do nothing, or it may make things worse. All you can do is try - nothing ventured nothing gained. If you are not comfortable even trying medications at this age, then hold off.

    Again, welcome to the board!:notalone:
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I don't have time to read all the other responses, but this is mine.
    You have no real diagnosis for your child. It sounds to be with "global developmental delays" that he is likely on the autism spectrum (there is no way for anyone to rule that out at such a young age) and somewhere with that often comes ADHD symptoms that often do not do better because of medication. If this were my child, looking back in time and seeing what we did and what I *wish* we had done, I would try to improve things with early childhood interventions, not medication. I have been repeatedly told that these stimulants do not work well in kids under six anyway, and my experience makes me believe it is best to wait.

    My son was extremely hyper at your son's age. We used to say he hangs from the chandeliers. He is eighteen now and a couch potato. He isn't hyper in the least. We are certain he is on the high functioning end of the autism spectrum (his first diagnosis. was ADHD/they ruled out Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) with him, WRONG!!!!) and a very low dose of stimulants helps him now, but he did even worse on stimulants when he was young than he did when he didn't take them. They made him aggressive and mean, and he isn't like that. in my opinion there are probably many reasons your son has trouble in school, not just his attention span. Make sure his school district tests him so that he can qualify for extra help and intervention. You may want to take him to a neuropsychologist too. They are good at diagnosing problems and pinpointing strengths and weaknesses. Pediatricians aren't very good at childhood disorders.

    Hugs and keep us posted, regardless of what you decide to do.

    PS--Your "friends" have no idea what they are talking about. I'd ignore them or nicely tell them that the topic is closed.
  10. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! Welcome - and no, you're not alone! MidwestMom said it all for me! Testing would be the first course of action - that poor kid has to be going bonkers (you must be too!)! You might also want to get an Occupational Therapist to take a look and do an evaluation - he could have sensory issues that might be part of the outbursts.

    We're here for you - lots of strong shoulders and tons of experience here!

  11. DS3

    DS3 New Member

    Hi! I noticed that your an army wife too. So first off... Thank you to you and your husband for serving. Secondly... I know how hard it is to have a difficult child and be thousands of miles away from anyone that could help (friends, family, et cetera).

    I'm glad to see that you already have him in EFMP. Make sure you keep the records updated, otherwise they will take him out of the system and then you have to re-enroll (that's my issue right now). Do you have a case manager? If not, I would ask for one. You can call tri-care and request one. This makes it easier on you because you won't have to take him to the doctors every time you need a referral. Is difficult child on the ECHO program? I don't understand fully what this is, but it is offered through EFMP, and I'm new to it. They're sending me out information this week. It allows for more services to be recieved that aren't normally covered under normal tri-care.

    My son has an array of problems, and he's 4 too. I would definately recommend The Explosive Child, as it helped to give me back some hope that seemed to have died a while ago. I would also recommend Driven to Distraction. The new version just came out this month and it has helped me to understand aspects of my son and to see things a bit more clearly. (He's ADHD, I'm ADHD, and his younger brother may be as well.).

    That being said, do I medicate my son? Bet your booty I do. It helps him a lot. My best advice is if you're concerned that not everything will be 'caught' because he is on his medication, don't give it to him that day when you have the appointment. It is ok to miss a dose every now and again, or to give it to him late. While a consistent schedule is recommended to make the drugs more effective, one day missed, or one late dose isn't going to hurt anything. It's actually something that I ask the doctor when I make the appointment. Should he be medicated or not? Some say yes, and some say no. Take it into consideration.

    While the medication may help with some of his problems, it probably won't help them all. I would recommend a neruo-psychological test be done. It really helped me be able to help my son.

    All that being said, welcome to the forums. :) The people here are really nice and great for some advice or a shoulder to cry on. You're not alone.

  12. army wife

    army wife New Member

    Thank you. And yes ppl wiht easy child have no idea I hate it when they ask me to do stuff I don't have time for. irritating. And they act like I'm ingoring their friendship. I'm glad I have you guys now wish I would have found you a year and a half ago! lol