I think I've accepted

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    that J is not going to go down the medication route, at least for the time being. Of course I can't know for sure until it is tried but my intuition is that the side effects, particularly inability to sleep early and diminished quality of sleep, would be worse than what we live with now. I can't drug him to make society like him and welcome him or to make my life easier and less exposed - in saying that I am really not downplaying the benefits of medications for some people and some children. We flew back from Morocco to France yesterday - it is probably folly bordering insanity that I travel as much with a hyperactive child as I do as it is like some exquisite torture form for us both with all the required standing and waiting (with which J cannot comply) - and I can see how it goes with him now, more clearly than I have... he tries hard to be good and to please but the hyperactivity/impulsivity is just too much for him and he can't reign it in.

    It seems to me that living with that and adapting to it, trying to help him learn ways to cope and compensate, is going to do him more good in the long run than putting him on medication. School may be the big problem... he is already at the limit of being able to deal with its rigid structure and need to concentrate. I play again with the idea of alternative school. I don't think the social group does him any good at all... he met a little boy in Marrakesh that he has known since babyhood and instead of talking to him or trying to play he immediately went into fighting with him and doing crazy things... the other boy, also six, didn't seem unhappy about it but the adults certainly were.

    I think I feel more of a sense of... this is J's life to lead, this is how he is and this is the hand he has been dealt. It's not an easy one but it might not be without its benefits and interest also. I think I need to help him accept his hyperactivity and live with it rather than suppress it and try to make it like it isn't there. Make any sense?
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well thats your decision. I do want to point out one of your worries doesnt have to be an issue...the sleep. My boys were extremely early to bed, early to rise. I was one of those mothers who believed in bedtimes and not allowing kids to stay up till all ours of the night. I think my kids were in Junior High before they were allowed to stay up until 9 pm on a school day. At J's age, he was in bed by 8 pm and he had just earned that privilege because he started big boy school. Before that it was 7:30. This was also on medication. It didnt keep them up at night and they didnt get anything to help them sleep.
  3. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I honestly think you were lucky, Janet. The French ADHD forum I belong to is full of tales - constant, constant - about how medications for ADHD create insomnia and suppress appetite. And these are all people who are in favour of medications. But I would indeed have to try it to be sure.
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    It really depends on what medications they're using and when they're giving them. And not all kids react the same to those medications, either. For example, my Kiddo takes Abilify, which most people take at night, because it makes them drowsy. Not my kid, it totally activates her! So to get around that, I give it to her in the morning instead.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, you know our history with medication. Nothing worked. They all made him worse. I'm not knocking anyone's decisions to medicate...I take medication myself. But, in hindsight, I would have been far more careful that the diagnosis was right and far less eager to try this medication and that medication here a medication, there a medication, everywhere a medication, medication (sang to the tune of Old McDonald had a farm...lol). He is only six and you haven't seen the full scope of his issues and I don't think it's a bad decision. He DOES seem to need interventions, especially social skills and controlling his impulses, but I don't know if that's an option where you live. Maybe you could buy books on the subject and that can help you and cute little J.
  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    And I'm not saying you should medicate him, either. I'm actually wondering what they're using on those kids that have such side effects as insomnia. Are there any strenuous activities you can channel J towards that might wear him down some and teach him some self-control? Maybe dance or martial arts? Something VERY active that takes practice that he would enjoy doing repeatedly. Sports maybe?
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My only thinking is he seems classically and simply adhd with nothing else added in. The impulse control, the hyperactivity...and the fact that he really doesnt seem to be a bad kid. He wants to do well and please. That screams ADHD to me. I dont see him as anything else. Maybe its my personal bias. I think we all come to the table with one. I would never start him off on a long acting medication. I would do a short acting, very low dose form of ritalin or one of the other stims. Very short acting and low dose. We had excellent results with ritalin. As far as appetite, well, it may have decreased their appetites slightly but they were still good eaters and considering they got one dose in the morning and another at noon, their appetites were fine at dinner. I know they ate pretty well at school too because Jamie always traded his desserts for extra veggies. LOL. Their doctor's also sent in a note to the school saying that if they asked for extra trays they were to be allowed to have them. But then my boys were very tall kids too. They were three of the tallest kids in the school.

    I have heard that supposedly stims can cause stunted growth. My kids are 6'1, 6'2, and 6'5.5". If that is stunted, well Im glad...lol.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure what he has. Attacking a kid without provocation can be a lot of things. It's hard to know what is going on without a total evaluation and I don't think they do them there. He obviously is not a nasty child, but he does some things that leave me with a lot of questions. So....I'd go slow on the medications too...or avoid them...until he was older and I was sure. Stims do come with side effects. I've taken them.
  9. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    No, he didn't attack a kid without provocation, MWM :) He started doing this play fighting with him, pretending to do karate kicks and wrestling with him on the floor that some boys do and which the other boy joined in with enthusiasm... I said to him afterwards that he could have talked to the other boy or played with him (though he had no toys there) and J said "I didn't know that"....
  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    The recurring pattern in your posts, in my humble opinion, is attempting to foresee J's future. Really I do not believe that it is possible to chart his future in black and white anymore than it was possible for you in your 20's to grasp what your life would bring as a "late-in-life" Mother. Life is fluid and each decade of development results in changes on the way to maturity.

    Compare the specific input given on the French Board that is causing you concern. Figure out which medications the children are taking, what doses seem to be the norm there, what the goal of the stimulant medication is (getting thru the school day is the most common goal in the USA). With close to fifty year experience with medications I have only met a handful of parents who had consistent problems with medication...and some of those were giving medications at the wrong time or in a much higher dose than necessary.

    You've exploring this topic for well over a year and I think that a fresh look at all the issues "might" lead you to try the "quick in quick out" help that so many of our children have benefitted from. I do not personally believe that it is possible for a little boy to have the strength to go against the pattern of the society and retain personal self worth. J vs. the world is a heavy burden and will lead to lack of self confidence. It's your choice, of course, but I don't see why you are leading to white vs. black. Most of us live in the grey anyway. Hugs DDD
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The interesting thing with stims is, the older the child, the fewer the side-effects. In adults, stims at the dosage required as an ADHD medication (fairly low...) often don't impact sleep at all. Seems like there is no particular advantage to starting early - and possibly some advantage to delay.
  12. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    You make an interesting point, DDD. The issue has to be a black and white one in the sense that one can only either take medications or not take them (though I have regularly fantasised about an occasional pill that I could give to J for certain occasions, lol). Despite all my rational exploring of things I actually take many/most of my decisions on a kind of intuitive basis.... I cannot explain this and it would not stand up in court :) My strong intuition is just that medications would be more harmful than beneficial to J. I would be curious to try the experiment of seeing, I suppose. Of course, yes, one little boy against the world... to a degree, though, we do choose our world. There are different worlds to inhabit (eg alternative school rather than conventional one would be a big part of that).
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Malika...I was 17 when I was put on Ritalin, which is fairly mild, and it made me so hyper I couldn't sit still and it scared me. When I crashed, I was depressed for weeks. You have to know FOR A FACT that J has ADHD and nothing else and even then medications are no guarantee. But I do agree that he needs some intervention.
  14. bby31288

    bby31288 Active Member

    I'm going to tell you my story. difficult child is now 20. She started medications at 8. She was on 36 mg concerta then moved to 54 as she got older. She could take her medications and nap if she wanted to. It was a wonder drug for us. I know you get scared what you read. But you have no idea how it will work on your son. My opinion is most ADHD medications are fast in fast out. Trying it won't preclude the rest of his life.
  15. Angela41

    Angela41 New Member

    Hi- I don't know if this helps at all, but my husband and I observe that if our six year old son is not focused, he's unfocused. Basically, he's often inattentive to simple verbal instructions, can be highly impulsive (this has improved)but can spend hours on things that are mentally challenging and focusing. Activities like swimming and martial arts, reading and free form Lego building, not only hold his attention, but they settle him down. I always carry crayons, paper, books, and i buy small games that are challenging, if I expect my son too sit long. Unless the weather is unbearable, we spend time outside everyday riding bikes, going to the park. I sit with him each week while he writes a weekly schedule. It helps him accept transitions and structure time. We suspect mild attention issues.
  16. KateM

    KateM Member

    Concerta has also been a "wonder drug" for my difficult child. He has ADHD and Aspergers. This medication has helped with increased focus and decreased impulsivity since age 7. He is 25 now and it continues to benefit him every day! One morning last month, he forgot to take it; his day at work was very rough.

    I agree with DDD's post and insights. The best thing about trialing this medication is that it is quick in/ quick out. While this medication did initially decrease his appetite, it had no effect on his sleep.

    Good luck with your decision.
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Angela... that may not be "inattention" at all... it could be Auditory Processing Disorders (APD). Or, of course, it could be classical ADHD-style attention issues. But... inattention to verbal instruction isn't necessarily inattention. Just sayin...
  18. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    That's amazing... almost every child I hear of on Concerta/Ritalin/Quasym (the three variants available in France) has sleep problems. I wonder what makes the difference?

    I don't know why I have such a strong feeling/intuition that medications would not be good for J. In one way it would be SO tempting, I agree. And there's nothing to stop us trying it if things get more difficult than they are at school, etc. But I do think we should trust our intuitions, actually, because they come from a deeper intelligence than the one we normally rely on. Just my view :)
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, ok. That's my little love (J!). He's a very good boy. It's just too bad you have to do everything yourself there. I think he would make tremendous progress with just a little help. I have to agree with Janet about 80%. He does seem almost straight ADHD.

    An interesting bit of trivia that I almost forgot about. The first time I took Ritalin, my heart was banging and my adrenalin was pumping and I felt like I could fly. But I also had a short trial in my 20's too (I forget this often). I was working at a desk answering phones and, quite the contrary to feeling souped up, this time I couldn't keep my eyes open. I kept falling asleep at the desk until I was asked to go home :) I may have been on other medications at the time. I don't remember. But I do remember trying to force my eyes to stay open (and alas failing!) :)
  20. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Malika, this is just my opinion, but... ADHD and sleep problems? I am well aware of sleep problems but not as a result of the stims. (appetite is a different problem, definitely a known side-effect).

    There are so many other things that often go with ADHD. And THOSE things can cause all sorts of sleep problems. And perhaps some kids also have other conditions where stims would be contra-indicated (MI, for example). But... stims causing sleep problems? Hmmm... could be that the french gene pool has a sensitivity to stims?

    Because J already has trouble getting enough to eat... the stims and their appetite suppression would likely be a major challenge. That plus your gut feel? Definitely hold off. There has to be more to gain from medications, than the risks and side-effects. You're not there yet.