Life with Fast Boy

The Challenges of Raising Our ADHD Son

The ADHD Medication Debate

Posted by One Tired Mama on September 4, 2007

I don’t need a formal ADHD medication debate.  The debate exists enough right here in my own head.  My son went to school today on Concerta.  I hate it!  I absolutely hate it!

When Fast Boy was three years old, I asked the doctor to prescribe something for him.  Either he was going on medication… or I was.  The doctor argued, but I insisted.  (Things have changed since then.)  After the worst rages I’ve ever seen from a child that size, he was taken off of Adderral two weeks later.  No one should be afraid of their three year old.

It was a good two years later that we tried again.  He was in Kindergarten and disrupting the entire class.  We started him on Ritalin.   It helped.  Some.   Eventually we switched to Concerta with a Ritalin “chaser” to try and keep him calm after the school bus dropped him off in the afternoon. 

Sometime last year, we decided to decrease his meds and gradually take him off.  There are so many reasons why.  He wasn’t growing like we thought he should.  He wasn’t eating like we thought he should.  He had a hard time sleeping at night.  He was still getting into trouble any way.  At one point he actually told me that he had “people dancing in his head”.   (They danced “quieter” when his medication was decreased.)  The co-payments were more than we could afford.  The trips back and forth to the doctor’s office every month to pick up the script for his “controlled substance” were getting old at a fast pace.  Add to that my own personal issues, side effects and withdrawal problems from my former anti-depressant days and I just didn’t think the medication was worth it.  We were also having some success with chiropractic treatment (more on that in another post) and I was feeling confident we could do this on our own.   

On the last day of school last June, we took Fast Boy completely off his medication.   You’ve read how well that turned out.  Okay, honestly, you’ve read the bad parts of how that turned out.  What I haven’t told you yet is that I actually got to see MY son this summer.  The good, the bad and the ugly maybe, but the good was there.  He was more affectionate that he has been in years.  I missed that little boy despite all the bad behavior that came with him.

Two days into school… Two… the notes started coming home.  The services we got “help” from over the summer didn’t give us the skills we had hoped for in coping with Fast Boy’s issues.  They certainly weren’t going to help the school.  

I felt like I had no choice.   No matter how much we want him off medication, none of us can function without it.  At least not with some help from something else.  So, $55 out of pocket and a few pills later, Fast Boy is back on Concerta.  I am hopeful that the new therapist I found will be able to help with some behavior modification and we can take him off the drugs again soon.  Our first appointment is this week.  Maybe I have only lost this battle.  Maybe I can still win the war.

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3 Responses to “The ADHD Medication Debate”

  1. AngelNicki said

    That sucks that it seems like there is no other option right now! I hope your new therapist will be able to help you figure out something that will make all of you happy!

  2. Shane said

    Dear One Tired Mama,

    I too am the mother of an ADHD son. Mine is ten years old. He also has 3 learning disabilities. I have really enjoyed looking around your blog and reading your posts. I can totally understand so many of the things you’ve been through. I have bookmarked you and will return often. I also plan to put a link to your blog on my blogroll at http://www.shaneshares.blogspot.com. I also have another blog entitled “ADHD & LD Resource Blog.” I’d love for you to stop by sometime and let me know what you think. Best wishes!

    -Shane
    http://www.adhdguide.blogspot.com

  3. Heather said

    One tired Mama,

    I feel for you. I to am the mother of not one but two boys with these same issues. Your “Fast Boy” is in between my two. My oldest is 12, 4’7.5″ 78 lbs. The Dr.’s have labeled him as ADHD/ Bi Polar, with additional issues resulting from Lead Poisoning. And my other boy is soon 7, 4’6.5″ 89lbs. To which drives his older brother crazy. And the Dr.’s have labeled him as having ADHD/ODD. I read alot of what you have written and let me tell you, with my oldest(Hype), that is his nickname, they are a lot alike. We have been to so many Dr.’s, starting with GP’s to Peds. Neuros. And more meds. that I can count on fingers and toes. Meds. for me to are a major concern, not just side effects. With Hype they keep mixing different meds. together. And a real problem with these types of meds. is the loss of appetite or the other excessive weight gain. The other problem is one month(s) the meds. he’s on will work for him and then in the blink of an eye they don’t. That’s when real problems start. Our current problem with Hype is the puberty thing, body changes are wreaking havoc with his meds. Currently, He is taking Concerta 54 & 18 and a Risperidone chaser. Without this medication this child will not sleep. When he was five the Dr.’s had me kind of do a test over summer, and let me tell you it was rough, They had me see how long he would stay wake before going to sleep on his own. 2.5 days! Normal days as possible. That is when the long line of Dr.’s And meds. started for us. Now days, we(Hype & Me)look at it as challenge that we find balance. Where he can find the calm that he needs to get through the school days. The school knows about him and his problems and mood changes and they do a great job with him( I swear they are psychic.) They like myself can see problems coming before they surface in him. His teachers are awesome(for a reg, ed. school.) I need to sleep it is really late here. I hope to come to this site more often now that I have found it.
    All the best to you and yours,
    Heather

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