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Old 01-22-2012, 06:00 PM   #1
herdtoDisney
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ADHD teen boy-I didn't WANT to medicate...

...but I think, it has to happen

My 15 yo DS was diagnosed with ADHD about 1.5 years ago-so it's a later diagnosis. Not for lack of trying, over the years it's been thought of as sensory issues and autistic features.

Anyhow, we did try Vyvance and then Adderall a year ago. With unacceptable side affects. At the insistance of ds's counselor (whom he saw for anxiety) we had a 'med eval' with a phychiatrist and he recommend Strattera. I was so hesitant...so we did not. Counselor was not happy with me.

However...ds has trouble controlling his impulses and seeks excitement (classic ADHD teen I know!) and got himself in trouble last week. VERY uncharastic of him! He's also still struggling terribly in school.

As part of consequences/help, he will be going on this or another med ASAP-like, next week, as soon as I get a prescription. He is required to, and has agreed to, be compliant with meds ( I required this! momrules), after last week. I think the time has come.

Those of you whom have dealt with ADHD in teens, does this sound like a plan? I am hoping the meds will help him in school and to control impulses like excitement-seeking. What do you guys think? How is Strattera? Is something else better?

BTW, I have 4 other kids who do NOT have adhd so this one throws me for a loop!
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:08 PM   #2
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When the medicine works it can do wonders in school. I teach and sometimes kids come in forgetting their meds and the well behaved child who is usually in the classroom is now unable to sit still or focus at all.
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:50 PM   #3
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Please don't feel bad about medicating. If he needs it, he needs it. It will make HIS life and yours much easier. Just think how much better he will feel being able to focus and not feel so impulsive. If he isn't on it yet, he will probably outgrow needing it. It may very well just be temporary.
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:41 PM   #4
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Every time that I try to write a long detailed response, my browser crashes and I loose everything I have written. I guess this means that I am trying to share too much information.

Medication was needed and a big success for my DD, so don't feel like you have failed in any way. As I was told when we started dealing with this - if you child had any other medical condition you would not hesitate to give him medication, so why is ADHD any different.
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:57 AM   #5
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The issue with medication is that schools look at it as a solution rather than a temporary support until EF skills can be taught.

I have seen the disaster it is when at 16 or older kids decides that the medicine does not feel right and stops taking it or when they feel so dependent on the medicine that they start to abuse it. Either way the child's future is severely at risk.
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:37 AM   #6
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My DD (now almost 19) was diagnosed at a young age (5) and was on Ritalin until she was almost 14. Because of the peaks and troughs and inconsistencies in her behaviour, her specialist suggested Strattera. It was an absolute godsend. She ws far more consistent, without being 'drugged up to the eyeballs', no extreme highs and lows like you (can) get with Ritalin. There are a couple of possible side-effects that we were warned about and she did suffer from - one is loss of appetite (for my DD that was temporary and her appetite returned within a couple of weeks, once the drug levels had stabilised) and the second is possible depression (again, my DD was a bit down in the dumps and tearful for a couple of weeks but soon recovered and was back to normal).

Strattera really did make it possible for her to concentrate her efforts on her schoolwork, which was badly needed, and allowed us to live a normal family life. I appreciate it's not for everyone and I understand your reservations but, for us, it was something which DD badly needed to allow her to function properly and enjoy a (relatively) normal life.

She is now, as I said at the start, almost 19, working full time and comletely unmedicated. She still has her 'out of control' moments but she is learning to drive (she is a remarkably good and calm driver), she is getting on well at work, has a steady boyfriend and is generally a very well-rounded and likeable young lady. She has learned, over the years, how to control various aspects of her behaviour and how to bring herself under 'control' to the point where she can cope without medication. The only real issues she has now are that her sleeping habits aren't great - but then that's probably normal teenager stuff anyway

Whatever you decide, it has to be what suits your son and your family. Hope all goes well.
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Old 01-28-2012, 06:10 AM   #7
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Thank you guys for the responses!

He had a terrible first day on Strattera-I gave it to him wrong (BEFORE breakfast, when I should have given it AFTER he had a good meal ) and on Friday-he refused to take it Flat out refusal and to make it worse, my dh backed him IN FRONT OF ME so now of course ds won't take the meds which have been recommended by our family doctor, therapist and pyschiacrist! It's not like I ran out and got meds the first day he had ADHD, we tried many other stratagies first, and all the professionals are in unison that it is clearly now needed.

I'm just very discouraged right now. I'm the one who gets the phone calls, emails from school, sets up and finds doctors and whatever ds needs-and dh, who is an untreated adult ADHD btw! undermined it all in one fell swoop. Sorry for venting...I'm so upset. I told dh I am stepping back and HE can deal with him. Dh thinks like DS, that same mindset-uncontrolled ADHD.

I"m glad it's the weekend-at least I won't be getting any phone calls from school We are leaving for Disney in 2 weeks and I want to leave DH and that DS behind-I won't but I WANT to
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Old 01-28-2012, 08:58 AM   #8
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This is not an easy decision for any parent. At 15 he as long as he is making an informed rational decision then I am not sure if there is anything ethically to do other than continue to inform him and to put your efforts into what the school is required to do to support him unmediated.
Also at his age make sure he is part of developing the supports so you have "buy in". I am assuming that he has an IDEA IEP, so call a meeting , take all the emails and notes you have about what the school has contacted you about and ask what they are planning to do to accommodate, modify and support your son.
The most critical item is that they have an executive function curriculum as part of the functional curriculum portion of his IEP to support the ADD portion of his disability. Also adapting the curriculum for a more image based format the is "faster moving" can help
Has the school done a full sensory profile, since many times the hyperactivity portion is related to sensory needs triggers that are not being met.
With an IEP if the school councilor "promoted" the use of medicines then that is likely a violation of the federal IDEA regulations.
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:57 PM   #9
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I can understand your dilemma and your frustration. My oldest, ds 14 has ADHD. He struggles to get things accomplished. He has the attention span of a flea and it show in his school work. He spends forever doing homework, work that he didn't manage to complete at school because he just cannot focus. His term for it is that he "zones out".

He was diagnosed at a relatively young age, around 6 or 7. He has been on a few different medications, none of which gave a huge difference in his school work and all dramatically affected his appetite. One of them, I can't remember which turned him into a very moody nasty person (worse than the hormone riddled moody teen he is now! ) The last medication he was on was when he was 12 or 13. He came to me, very reasonably told me he didn't want to take it because it made him not want to eat. He said "Mom, I like to eat, I want to eat". He said it just made the thought of eating repulsive to him. He's not a big guy, just under 6 feet and at the time weighed around 130pounds. Not much room for losing weight. Since he came to me and talked to me in a reasonable manner, given his age and the fact that it really didn't have a huge benefit in his school work, I chose to let him discontinue.

His father of course thinks medications are the root of all evil, we are drugging our kids and that the school and doctors are all pill pushers. (I must say that the school and doctors do come across as pill pushers sometimes) He is against it and although he doesn't stand in my way, he doesn't make it easy and I feel he plants negative ideas in my son's head about medications. He goes to the doctors appointments and school meetings but sits there and says nothing but complains later. The last doctor's appointment he told the doctor he was just there as the driver when she asked his opinion.

The bottom line is that in a perfect world, i would much prefer that my children not be on any medications such as this. I admit, I do have worries but I feel the benefits will outweigh any possible negative problems.

We have an appt. with the pediatrician to start him on Strattera. He has never taken this. She gave us the choice of trying this or Vyvanse (sp?) I chose the Strattera because my younger son, who has Aspergers with ADHD symptoms take this. We have had no negative side effects and it hasn't seemed to effect his appetite at all. I can't remember what it was but there was something about the side effects to the Vyvanse that concerned me and since I already had experience with Strattera, that was my choice.

I know he doesn't want to take it and has told me so but I want him to give it a chance. I think it will make his school work so much less stressful for him. It's not like he is the type of kid who is saying school is stupid and that he doesn't want to do the work. He want's good marks and he makes the effort (somewhat somedays). He goes into his room to do his homework. He tells his buddies that he can't go out with them because he has homework, so it's not like he doesn't care. Half his homework is stuff he didn't manage to do in school. I do admit, when he uses the computer to work, he gets sidetracked on facebook and youtube and with his ipod, but if he needs the internet, how do I stop this.

Ok, now that I have rambled too much. My point is that i know it is hard and when our child gets to the age that they have a right to have a say in the medical treatment it puts us in an even bigger predicament.

Hang in there and I hope that your son gets by the first little while and that tomorrow is a better day.
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Old 01-28-2012, 08:31 PM   #10
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At 15 you can't force him to take the medicine, but what about if you talk with him and make a contract of sorts. Explain how you gave it to him wrong and then see if he will agree to try it for a short time such as two weeks so that you can both see if it will have any positive effects. If you have to, I would even let him earn some reward for following through with it for the set time period.
Once he has tried it for a while, then you can both make informed decisions.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:20 AM   #11
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One of the best things to do if you are going to have an informed discussion it to require that your physician copy and give you the full drug information from the PDR (physicians' desk reference).
Many Drs do not like giving this our but if requested they have massive liability if they do not. Do not accept the package labeling sheet, tell them you want the same information that they are making their recommendation from.
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clm10308 View Post
At 15 you can't force him to take the medicine, but what about if you talk with him and make a contract of sorts. Explain how you gave it to him wrong and then see if he will agree to try it for a short time such as two weeks so that you can both see if it will have any positive effects. If you have to, I would even let him earn some reward for following through with it for the set time period.
Once he has tried it for a while, then you can both make informed decisions.
Yes, at 5ft 8, I can't make him take it. What you posted above, was what dh and I were 'supposedly' doing, DS was going to earn back some priviledges he had lost (due to impulsive actions) for being compliant with trying the med. His therapist explained it all to him too (we were all there for that). BUT, dh undermined it all Friday morning. I was so angry, I took away ds' beloved guitar and xbox and I won't give them back to him or dh. To be honest, I'm equally furious at BOTH of them

The school has never actually suggested to medicate him, I think it's against the law here to suggest it. Acutally, they have been rather completely unhelpful as far as helping with the ADHD. We don't have an IEP and were recently denied a 504 plan-although they are informally doing the accomodations I requested, and are pretty good about maintiaining contact with me.

I'm not sure what to do. At the moment, I am not speaking to dh or ds. I have four other kids who aren't like this, and this one kid is sucking up all my energy not to mention DH who is ADHD too and, like ds, thinks it's not really a problem!

I appreciate being able to vent here, you guys are great
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:36 PM   #13
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As an add adult, it looks to me like your DH is one of us, too. He didn't do you OR his son any service with his attitude. Being properly medicated brought great blessing to my life - it helped me see what it 'felt' like to be 'normal'. My life would have been so much different had I been diagnosed and treated before the age of 50!

My prayer for your family is that your husband and son get themselves educated, attitude adjusted, and medical treatment. Life and work get SO much easier with proper treatment.

For YOU, I can only say - take good care of yourself! (Nurture yourself, eat healthy, exercise, drink your water and try to detach a little) If you can, when the calls come, refer them to your husband. let him deal with it for a while. You sound like you could use a break, and I hope you can get one.
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:52 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by LindaBabe View Post
As an add adult, it looks to me like your DH is one of us, too. He didn't do you OR his son any service with his attitude. Being properly medicated brought great blessing to my life - it helped me see what it 'felt' like to be 'normal'. My life would have been so much different had I been diagnosed and treated before the age of 50!

My prayer for your family is that your husband and son get themselves educated, attitude adjusted, and medical treatment. Life and work get SO much easier with proper treatment.

For YOU, I can only say - take good care of yourself! (Nurture yourself, eat healthy, exercise, drink your water and try to detach a little) If you can, when the calls come, refer them to your husband. let him deal with it for a while. You sound like you could use a break, and I hope you can get one.
Thank you I'm trying to take a step back. We leave for Disney next week and ds has another med eval when we get back. I was able to get off work for it so I'm going to it-dh went to the others due to the dr.s' limited schedule.

I actually picked up a book about adhd for teens-written to and for teens with adhd-from the library, hoping ds will read it on the trip. Maybe I should encourage DH to read it LOL
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