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DS7 dx with ADHD
what now?

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#1 cherub28

Posted 03 April 2012 - 05:35 PM

Well it comes as no surprise. We had him at the pediatrician when he was 3 and it was discussed but we were told he was too young to diagnose. Here we are 3.5 years later and nothing has improved so I took him back to the pediatrician and what do you know? ADHD it is.
Currently I am going through the feelings of guilt, shame, feeling like a crap parent etc. Doing the "where did i go wrong" thing, which is silly because it is very prevelant through out DH's family.
I have been given a list of food additives to avoid, in particular salycilates, and then I have to take him back in a month after I have decided if I want him medicated or not.
I really have no idea! I was always no no no to drugging kids, but now I'm in the middle of it I find myself thinking maybe I'm being unfair to DS by saying no, maybe he would benefit from trying it?
Can anyone share with me their experiences of children with ADHD, with or without meds?
How have you dealt with your child's school about it? Have they made allowances and been helpful or have they been dismissive of it?
Any info would be greatly  appreciated please

#2 L&E

Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:06 PM

Hi. My DS was diagnosed with ADHD late last year, just before he turned 10. I completely identify with your post, so thought I'd share where we are a little further down the road.

I came to an epiphany one night just after his diagnosis, after years and years of questioning myself and blaming myself. I realized that DS didn't have ADHD because of me or something I'd done, but rather that he had coped with it for as long as he had, and as well as he had, because of us. I looked at all his achievements he'd made in spite of his ADHD...excellent naplan and academic results, a marked decrease in public meltdowns, a good social circle and the ability to persevere. That lightbulb moment was very important and I haven't had the guilty feelings or questions since.

I had always been anti-medication, and struggled with the decision as to whether to medicate DS. His paed asked me to think about what we had tried before arriving at this point - diet, behaviour modification plans, behavioral psychs, and so on. She reminded me we had exhausted so many options, with some limited progress in some areas but an obvious escalation of his inability to cope with frustrations and control impulses, as we were having increasingly frequent meltdowns at home (3-4 a week) which were becoming violent. DS was working so hard to keep it together at school and socially that he was unleashing at home. I also, at this point, had to consider my younger DS who found his meltdowns confusing and upsetting. DS's grades were also slipping, while still passing everything he was increasingly unable to concentrate on tasks long enough to show his real ability, and I understood this would become harder as he entered upper primary.

My mother and DH asked me, what it this medication works for DS? For some kids it can be like a light switch, calming the mind and slowing down thoughts enough for them to THINK before acting. What if this was what it would be like for DS? Could I deny him that because of my moral opposition? Would I deny medication that could improve his quality of life if it were a medical issue, rather than a behavioral one?

So we started medication in November of last year, he slowly worked up to 2x Ritalin tablets each day (breakfast and lunch).  

It flicked a switch for him. He is looking at a B for behaviour at school this term, a far change from his history of D's. His tantrums have lessened in frequency and intensity. He no longer makes annoying noises without realizing. I know when he hasn't had a tablet because I see it in his body movements, he becomes jerky and unsettled.

His appetite has lessened so we stocked up on sustagen which he sometimes has in place of lunch. He struggled with taking the tablets, and was very secretive about it. Finding out another classmate also takes them, and finding the courage to tell his best friend, has helped him overcome this.

Anyway, that's our story so far. I'm not sure if any of it is helpful, but hope knowing I felt just like you helps in some way. Best of luck.

#3 cherub28

Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:24 PM

Thankyou, that's very comforting to hear.
Can I ask what the process was that gave the diagnosis? How he was assessed etc?
I kept waiting for it to become very formal but it was just fill out this questionaire, ask a few questions, compare behaviour to our last visit when he was 3, and there it is, your son has adhd.

#4 L&E

Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:41 PM

His behavioural psychologist had first broached his potential diagnosis, and his paed spent a 90minute consult with him, him and me, and me alone, as well as observations and teacher observations. She confirmed her suspicion would be ADHD. My husband and I, his teacher and even DS himself then completed the Conners survey of behaviours, and after the paed analysed these she saw clear indications of an inattentive form of ADHD and diagnosed him as such. He started meds immediately as we had discussed it at our initial consult, due to the pretty obvious signs that his dx would be a given.

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