medications for the little ones

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by aeditha17, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. aeditha17

    aeditha17 New Member

    After receiving Tabitha's anxiety/Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and ODD diagnosis, the first question the doctor/therapist had was medication. She was talking about an SSRI. Have any of you had little ones on medications and if so, what was your experience. We are just new to this with one so young and aren't sure what to do.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    How debilitating are your daughter's symptoms? What non-medicine interventions are you doing to address her anxiety? Can she function without medications?
  3. aeditha17

    aeditha17 New Member

    Truth be told, I guess I don't know what "normal" function is for a 5 year old! My oldest was undiagnosed with Tourettes and ADHD at that age, so he wasn't exactly average. She has trouble getting off to school due to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) things, she screams 30% of the time I leave her at kindergarten, and she is just plain exhausting to manage when she is in one of her moods. The therapist talked with us about how Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is anxiety-driven, and I hate for her to feel like that all the time. I just don't think she is old enought to grasp what anxiety is or how to try and manage. We are going for play therapy and another doctor visit on Tuesday.
    I have borrowed "The Explosive Child" from our doctor so I will work on reading thatint he meantime. Maybe with the mechanisms in the book and therapy, we will be OK with-o medications. I am also going to try the gluten free diet starting this weekend. I think all 3 of my kids and my husband would benefit.
  4. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I have found a lot of help for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) from a yahoo parents of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) children group. The website is I think there are some parents of younger children there who have done medications.

    My family and I have been on the gluten free diet for almost 2 years so if you need any help with that feel free to ask me.
  5. aeditha17

    aeditha17 New Member

    I went shopping today and i am donating all the food in my pantry that has gluten to my neighbor. It really isn't going to be as horrific a challenge as I thought. The only huge hurdle will be not having regular mac and cheese, fish sticks and the McDonald drive through (Thank God!). I am going to Whole Foods this evening for bread and pasta. We WILL survive!! :warrior:
    Man, I am paying attention to my kid's behavior after they have eaten "normally" and they were monsters this morning before we went to the store. They had those little white powdered doughnuts (I know, BAD mommy). The were NUTS :surprise:!
    I am really anxious to see what this diet does for us.

  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think I put my son on stimulants too young. It turned out he doesn't even have ADHD. It's easy to misdiagnose a very young child and I don't like how quickly they pull out the medication pad. Stims sure didn't help my son one bit.
  7. Lulu

    Lulu New Member

    B, a little off the original post question, but onto the question of food-behavior link, I find that red dye 40 and yellow 5 and/or 6 create a monster in my already impulsive/defiant 4yo. The red dye makes his scalp crawl, he says (you know, in his precocious 4yo language--"the muscles in my brain are moving around" and "it feels like bugs are running on my head and into my ears.") bleah. You'd be surprised how much of our food (and kids' vitamins and pencillins) contains those dyes. Supposedly healthy yogurts and fruit juices by reputable companies add red and yellow dye. It might be worth eliminating dyes, too, and seeing if some of the behaviors improve.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    My kids are older now, and difficult child wasn't diagnosed until he was 7, but I do think managing diet andother thinkgs before you try medications is good, esp in such a young child. BUT if the child just can't function, or the family just doesn't function, medications are worth a try. Be sure to look up withdrawal symptoms BEFORE starting a medication as you may want to try adifferent one. Docs seem to discount or play down the withdrawal.

    I whole-heartedly think working ongetting the dyes and preservatives OUT of the family is super-important. We all do much better at EVERYTHING when I am able to cook and keep these out.

    The other thing that seems to cause problems for us is lack of protein. When my kids are really crabby they often need protein.

    Good luck with your new diet!!

  9. aeditha17

    aeditha17 New Member

    Thanks for the encouragement. We started the diet and even husband has bought in! HE went to Subway and instead of cheating (which he is prone to do), he went the salad oil/vinegar route! Yeah!
    We will sit back and see what happens.....
    In another story... HORRIBLE morning with Tab. SHe refused to go to school. I got her out the door so we could at least get big brother there on time, and had her go into the office with me. Her teacher just left on maternity leave, so I know that is upsetting her. She cried and clung to me. I asked for the counselor to come help because her teacher was gone, there was a sub and I didn't want to leave her screaming with someone she didn't know.
    Basically, the counselor made me feel like dirt. She's like, "It's best if you just insist that she stay here and then leave." When I explained that her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety-related issue, and I wasn't comfortable just doing that she treated me like a weak mother who couldn't say no to her child. then she was like "Well, what do you think makes her anxious?" I was like, oh, I dont know - LIFE, the size of the neck hole in her shirt?, the fact that we uesd corn torillas instead of flour for our BREAKFAST TACOS?!?!?!?!?!!
    She really has no idea what to do with this. She is treating her like a spoiled little girl who just wants her mommy. Tab has been going without major incident for a couple of months now until just after Christmas break. She was out a couple of extra days with Strep, and now it's like she's totally regressed. We are going to both her doctor and her therapist tomorrow morning, so we will see what they say. She's still so young - we are considering pulling her out and waiting for her to start kinder next school year with her little brother.
    I haven't cried all the way home in a long time, but I am a wreck today. I feel like no one cares or listens at this school and I don't think I can handle 5 more years of this!

  10. Lulu

    Lulu New Member

    (((HUGS))) I hated to read about that woman's attitude with you. And for your little girl to be there and your knowing she could hear your interchange must've made it even more troubling. :frown: I hope that you can find a solution for your girl.
  11. aeditha17

    aeditha17 New Member

    Thanks - i needed that hug!
    I got a call from the counselor. She was saying "I took Tab to the library and we read a book and the principal's secretary came to talk to her and then she settled down. We talked about her fishing trip and the book some more and then she went to class - no problem!" (Butterflys rainbows and bluebirds) Excuse me - NO PROBLEM?
    I am sorry, but an hour and a half circus to get her to go to class without having an aneurysm is a problem - call me crazy! Clearly, there is an issue. Why can't they acknowledge it? Is is because it spells more work? Is is because they all got the super parent of the world award so they now know exactly what is appropriate for my daughter and I obviously don't? My 5th grader is even penalized because all these lovely exercises make him late as well. His teacher counts him tardy if he walks in 5 seconds after the bell. She knows what is going on at home, we have meet in his ARDs and discussed it, but sorry charlie - too bad so sad.
    My littlest has had separation anxiety since he was very small. He had an osteomyelitis when he was 13 months old and spent weeks in and out of the hospital with picture lines and central lines, etc... lots'o trauma. I get where his anxiety is rooted. I trust his preschool and feel OK leaving him even when he is crying becuase they are tuned in and they give a flip about him and how we handle the separation situation. I don't have the same warm fuzzies at the elementary school. We've entered the student mill there and if one of the kids deviates or messes up the line of productivity - the hive's working order is disrupted and they don't know what to do. It reminds me of the opening scene in Bug's Life where the leaf falls in the middel of their line - PANIC! She's a child. She's a beautiful thinking creature that is much like a scared little stray dog. She needs to know she can trust these people and throwing her out the door of the van at drop off, screeching off while she is hyterically wailing is really not the way I think to establish that trust, do you?
    Sorry - i am rambling. It's gonna make one heck of a movie one day, doncha think? <sigh>
    Hmmm I think this mommy needs to chill.......I am really taking this way too hard. What is wrong with me?

  12. Lulu

    Lulu New Member

    Absolutely nothing is wrong with you. (((MORE HUGS))) I am dreading this fall when I will send N to kindergarten. Unlike at preschool this year, I will no longer have the daily face-to-face contact with his teachers, can't watch him in the classroom with the other kids as I drop off and pick up, can't walk the halls absorbing the daily vibes. I don't blame you one bit for being concerned.
  13. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    aeditha, my child had severe school anxiety in first grade and it was one of the worst experiences of my life--unless it's addressed the child very often goes into a fast downward spiral and recovery is slow going. It really needs to be addressed through an IEP so if she doesn't have one in place you need to get on that and make a formal request and in the mean time meet with the principal to see what supports could be put into place for her during the interim. If her school anxiety is this serious, it should help a lot to have a diagnosis of anxiety disorder to help with school side of things. Be sure and take a good hard look at what's going on when she enters school. When I did that I discovered difficult child was met with a sensory assault upon getting in line and that when he entered the classrooms he had to unload about 9 things from his backpack due to this teacher's organizational system and he was totally overwhelmed doing it while trying to transition to school.

    You don't need to screech the van to a halt and drop off a screaming child. It's true that they do need the parent to leave the child at school and turn them over to the school staff, but there are ways to ease that which can be written into an IEP. I would bring him late (actually not by choice, due to his refusal) but that helped because he wasn't immediately confronted with the crowds. An aide would meet us in the front entry way and walk him into class and help him get situated. He had supports in place to help ease the anxiety through the school day: classroom breaks twice a day with an aide where they played, had a juice, went to the Occupational Therapist (OT) room, etc. He had a menu of cards to choose from to give to the teacher: I need a break, juice, exercise, and for worst case a call home card with my phone number on it.

    You can put some supports in from the home side of things. A laminated card with a schedule for the morning and/or a list of where to put items. A note in the backpack or lunch bag reminding them her that you will be waiting for her in front of the school at 3pm. A note telling her what you will be doing that day so she doesn't feel so far away. One that really worked well here was for difficult child to pick out two of his little stuffed animals--one he gave me and one he hung on his backpack. When the day was over I would tell him what his animal and I had done together (I literally carried it with me). It made a very tangible connection for him between me at home and him at school. Trial some things and keep what helps.

    Later as anxiety improved I would walk him to class at the beginning of the school year until he told me to get lost. It was a happy day this year when he didn't want his mom anywhere near him when he went into school. I've never been so happy to not be needed in my life!

    As for the medications, this is a personal decision for every parent. When my difficult child hit the anxiety was seriously impacting functioning point we did trial medications--worked well at first then side effects set in. The second time was during the first grade situation and he had a serious rxn which made a bad situation worse. But I will say that I have heard from many parents that have reported great results--they were just luckier than us that the first medication trials were a good match for the child. Honestly during that bad year when he was in so much pain from something that came easy to other kids I would have been thrilled to have had a medication that worked simply to relieve his suffering. But we weren't willing to risk another bad reaction.

    I would encourage you to check out the forum that fairlyoddparent gave you for parents with young Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) kids. I'm not one to jump on the medication ship quickly, but My gut level is that most kids with severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) will eventually need medications to function unless some other interventions are found, but I could be way off on that.
  14. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Everyone has given you very good advice. One other thought: There is a syndrome called PANDAS, which is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) brought on by a strep infection. Tab's recent bout with strep may be why you're seeing an increase in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) behavior and separation anxiety, which can go hand-in-hand. Check out this link for more information:
  15. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Smallworld, my nephew had a HUGE increase in Tourette's symptoms immediately following a strep infection. At first they thought it was wholly PANDAS but in tracing it back they realized the symptoms were always present but in much milder form.
  16. aeditha17

    aeditha17 New Member

    Y'know, I was familiar with PANDAS because my oldest has Tourette's. Both he and my daughter had strep at the same time and they have both seemingly regressed now that we are back to school. Hmmm....
  17. bzymomto4

    bzymomto4 New Member

    medications were sugested for my first grader with general anxiety disorder. We opted to try play therapy and hold off on medication expossure (as my bipolar was brought out after taking an ssri for ppd). It was a huge success. By the end of a year of therapy she was participateing in activities she would never have done before, school was going better, and the next school year started out without all of the drauma we had experienced in the past. Not only that, but she loved going to her psychologist. 2yrs later she is more outgoing than ever. Her anxiety can still hit her when she's off her busy schedule ( like this past christmas vacation - that was something). But overall I am happy with the way therapy worked out. The dr. suggested she would be well for a while, but will probably need to resume therapy when she begins puberty.