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ADHD and medication and demands of high school/longer days


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#1 QuirkyMum

Posted 08 January 2020 - 07:28 PM

Will anyone be willing to share their experience with ADHD medication while starting high school or just generally while putting more demands on their child/teenager/themselves while growing up?
My son will be turning 11 and he is on Concerta ( which thankfully lasts up to 10-11-12 hours) and on Intuniv+melatonin in the evenings.
Mornings are long, slow and ... rough, well, not fun. He is up at 7 am, it takes him an hour+ to eat, then meds at or after 8am, another hour to get dressed and stand still for sunscreen and tablets kick in by 9:15 school bell time. School is fine, sport after school is fine until 5:30-6 pm. After 6pm he is fine but concentration start to drop a bit so can't really do anything important.
I'll ask his pead next month but I'm really curious what happens when ADHD kids "need" longer days?
For example, if, let's say, a 16 year old has band practice 6:50-8:00, school from 8:00 till 3 pm. Then school sport till 5 pm. Gets home around 6 pm. Dinner, shower and it is 7 pm. Then at least a couple of hours for homework... This is a 14+ hour day when a child had to be productive!!! How?
I know that many parents give a short acting size first thing in the morning ( to get through morning) and then slow release version. How does that work? Short acting ( but full in strength) at 7 am and 3.5 hour later slow release? And it will get them through 14 hours? Or tiny short acting dose upon wake up and slow acting when they've eaten, then 10 hours later another short acting dose to get through an evening homework/activity?
Pediatrician and psychologist suggested short acting first thing in the morning and a short acting dose at 5 pm ( and we do it occasionally) when this is needed. But I was wondering if this is the norm for older kids? More demands = more meds?
Or am I being unrealistic about kids with ADHD and their abilities to achieve in a day, every day, year after year...
Thanks for reading this. Any thoughts/experiences are welcome.
I might delete some details later.

#2 FuzzyChocolateToes

Posted 08 January 2020 - 07:40 PM

Our paediatrician suggested a Ritalin (short acting) after school if required. However, we changed to Vyvanse.

#3 xxyzed

Posted 08 January 2020 - 08:34 PM

We asked my sons paediatrician the same thing. He takes vyvanse that gets him through to around 3pm. She prescribed him Ritalin to take after school to help him concentrate on homework. It doesn’t seem to stop him from getting to sleep at night.

#4 Mumsyto2

Posted 08 January 2020 - 09:51 PM

Another example of Concerta of a day topped up with Ritalin immediately once home from school once they started high school and needed to do homework. Previously we had told primary school it just wasn’t an option. They still do it for uni, still works.

#5 Prancer is coming

Posted 08 January 2020 - 09:57 PM

My kid is only 11 and on Ritalin LA at present, which gives us about 6 hours.  The paed has already mentioned once he starts high school, he may need Ritalin SA after school to help with homework.  He actively does some things after school and there are times it could be helpful now, but I only give it for something out of the ordinary - eg end of year concert.

#6 QuirkyMum

Posted 09 January 2020 - 06:34 AM

Thanks everyone!
I really appreciate your responses.

Mumsyto2, thanks for saying that kids are at uni and meds in this combination still work! So there's hope!:)

Prancer is coming, I know what you mean about short dose can be helpful in after school activities but you only give it on certain occasions.
We were in similar situation at the beginning of the year, though my son was taking concerta( which lasts much longer than LA) but it was a smaller dose for him so in the afternoon it really wasn't enough. Behaviour and generally he was alright but concentration wasn't at its best. His doctor told me to give him a short acting tablet for these afternoon tennis lessons, I was hesitant and only did it occasionally( if I do it for two tennis lessons a week and another afternoon language school, it is essentially 3 out of 5 days a much bigger dose at much later time). But jeez with those extra tablets he was hitting ALL balls at tennis... And without - none. Soon after he gained some weight and concerta dose went up and afternoons are fine now.

Thanks again everyone!

#7 MayaTheGrinch

Posted 09 January 2020 - 08:28 AM

My oldest is the same age and going into his last year of primary. We recently had a similar discussion with the pead (it’s why he moved to Concerta) and I was told we could top up in the afternoon with Ritalin SA is required. My boy is also on a small dose of Strattera for some help with anxiety and coverage for attention outside when when the Concerta is active. He does get frustrated when it’s worn off (last month he was yelling at his brain because it wasn’t cooperating and allowing him to focus on what he wanted to do). My boy take Concerta at just before 7 though and it’s usually worn off by 5ish. Thankfully we get the whole 10hours from it. LA wore off at 3 and was just making getting homework done a headache. (We live in the tropics and school is 7:45-2).

#8 Crazyhouseholdof6

Posted 09 January 2020 - 09:13 AM

My DS is starting high school in a few weeks too. He’s just switched to Concerta so he doesn’t have to go to the office and have Ritalin at lunch time like in primary school. It’s really not as effective and while he’s not violent again it really doesn’t calm him like Ritalin does, his hyperactivity, fidgety nature, concentration and lack of comprehension have all come back.
Psychiatrist says he can go back on Ritalin but while we already do top up in the afternoon once home from school we were hoping to avoid having a dose at school but don’t think we’ll have a choice. For us that seems to be the med that works well. I’m very much not looking forward to the commencement of high school for my DS.

#9 Charli73

Posted 09 January 2020 - 02:40 PM

DS is on concerta 36 and has it at 6.30am. We find the days he needs more for his social skills class at 4-6pm it has worn off already so the paed suggested a top up tablet of Ritalin SA to get him through.. it’s not very often we need to though.

#10 Winging it Mum

Posted 13 January 2020 - 09:50 AM

Our DS13 is on Vyvanse but has needed to start the day off with Dex in the morning at 6am, then Vyvanse at 8.15am. He has a top up of Dex at 2.30pm & this is going to need to continue with High School starting this year.

Otherwise from about 3pm he's just doesn't do very well at all. We find the Dex top up seems to make the comedown from Vyvanse a little easier for him. Homework is going to be an issue if there's more than an hour a night & even then that'd be pushing it as he just won't be able to do it.




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