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Old 01-06-2004, 07:29 AM   #1
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Question 9 Year old w/ADD on Straterra?

My 9 year old step son has currently under gone the study at the school that diagnosed him with potentially having ADD, he is scheduled to go to his pediatrician to try Straterra. He is a very intelligent little boy, but he is unable to stay focused at school. He does not complete in class assignments and homework is taking hours because we have to stay on top of everythying he does. He flat out refuses to do the work at school and the teacher ends up sending the work home to be done. I am looking for any input about Straterra and it helping with focus. He has failed the first grade and may potentially fail the 3rd grade because he is constantly getting reports that he is not staying on task. We are struggling between if he is lazy or if this is ADD. He appears to be lazy and doesn't want to do the school work or anything else for that matter. Any help anyone could give would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by Jenn4USA; 01-06-2004 at 07:30 AM.

 
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Old 01-06-2004, 10:51 AM   #2
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Re: 9 Year old w/ADD on Straterra?

Wow, hold on Jen!!! Before you even consider medication your son needs to be PROPERLY TESTED! Schools are known for misdiagnosing kids ALL THE TIME!

The testing should begin with a full physical from a regular doc. It should include testing for things such as thyroid problems, and more. There should be urine tests and blood tests!

Your son should also be tested for central auditory processing disorder, learning disabitlities, and so on.

Then they need to rule out other psychological issues that can cause the symptoms. Childhood depression, and more.

ADHD is genetic (in most cases). Does anyone in his family have ADHD?
There are other causes of ADHD, which technically isn't true ADD but secondary ADD, a couple causes of this are things like a difficult birth, brain trauma, etc etc

There are many treatments for ADHD besides medication, these treatments should be tried before moving on to meds! So many children are wrongly medicated for this disorder. Please be careful!

Children should not be medicated just because they need to be drugged to complete homework or be more focused at school. If he is having a problem at school then the school should FIRST give him the extra help he needs, if that is not enough then is the time to move on to other options.

How long has this been going on (your sons symptoms)?
Any others with ADD in the family?
What are some of his other problems(besides schoolwork)?
What is he like at home?

P.S.
Whether it is ADD, or a something else that is causing your sons trouble in school I doubt it has anything to do with him being lazy.
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Last edited by * Free ~ Spirit *; 01-06-2004 at 11:18 AM.

 
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Old 01-06-2004, 11:28 AM   #3
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Re: 9 Year old w/ADD on Straterra?

I agree with freespirit that you really need to have a full evaluation done, not just for ADD, but for other learning disabilities as well. If you can afford it, one done outside of the school will most likely be more thorough and helpful.

As freespirit said, ADD usually appears to be genetic. However, many people don't recognize ADD in themselves, their spouses, or their families until after their child is diagnosed. Then, it suddenly becomes apparent why that adult who never did well in school had so much trouble.

My wise friend, who happens to be a high school counselor, says that children (especially at the elementary age) WANT to do well in school. If they aren't doing well, there is usually a reason why they can't.

This may or may not be true for your son, but when my ADD son refuses to do work, it is because he is feeling overwhelmed and inadequate. At the elementary level, his teachers had to give him just part of an assignment to begin with. When he accomplished that, he'd raise his hand and, if there was time, the teacher would give him the rest of the assignment to complete.

Between now and when you get the evaluation completed, I would ask the teacher to try this approach. I also would NOT spend hours doing the work he didn't complete in school. I'd pick which assignment (the schoolwork or the homework) that I thought would teach him the material better and I'd help him do that. Not both.

When you get an official diagnosis, you can write an IEP or 504 plan for him that includes these and other modifications for his school work.

 
Old 01-06-2004, 12:51 PM   #4
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Re: 9 Year old w/ADD on Straterra?

He had the Connor's Study at his school and the intervention assessment team at his school did the study and recommended that he be placed on Straterra. We went to a psychologist and they recommended that he go to the pediatrician. I have always been against putting kids on medication because I feel like they are to quick to do so. His mother has family history of bi-polar and she has never been diagnosed but has shown depressive behavior. I am concerned that this is childhood depression rather than ADD but I don't know much about the symptoms of ADD. The school has said that he tested above average on his testing for intelligence but it does not show in his daily activity. He is very lazy and last night indicated that he doesn't think he should have to do school work because he already knows how. And doesn't understand why he should be required to do daily work in class, he just refuses to do it with the teacher. I love him dearly but we are very frustrated as to help him. We have tried taking away the Nintendo, as punishsment for not getting the work done but nothing phases him.

Any help would be great !

 
Old 01-06-2004, 07:17 PM   #5
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Re: 9 Year old w/ADD on Straterra?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenn4USA
He had the Connor's Study at his school and the intervention assessment team at his school did the study and recommended that he be placed on Straterra.
Jenn, the Connors Study IS NOT a proper evaluation! All it is pretty much is a checklist of symptoms. MANY THINGS besides ADD can cause these symptoms, so it is not proof of ADD. Nor does it rule out the other issues that should be ruled out before medicating for ADD!

Childhood depression can cause ADD symptoms!!! So can bipolar disorder! Please be careful! If his current doctor wont do proper testing then get a new doctor that will!

Another thing that causes ADD symptoms is giftedness. If he is not doing the work because it is boring because he already knows how then he should be given more challenging/interesting work. See if that changes anything.

Also... for some kids when something is completely taken away it becomes no big thing. It's almost like they never even had it to begin with, therefor it is not missed. Try limiting use of the nintendo rather than taking it away. For every complete homework assignment, or every 15minutes spent on studying allow a certain amount of time on the nintendo, tv, etc etc (positive reinforcement rather than punishment)
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Last edited by * Free ~ Spirit *; 01-07-2004 at 12:02 AM.

 
Old 01-07-2004, 06:58 AM   #6
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Re: 9 Year old w/ADD on Straterra?

The situation with your son is exactly what I fear is happening way to often to our children and has happened to my daughter. Children are being diagnosed with ADHD by a simple filling out of forms, the doctor reviews and if the appropriate number of responses are checked then bam, your child has ADHD and is put on powerful medications. No blood tests, no check on thyroid, etc. You would think with taking a stimulant that blood pressure would be checked periodically but that has never been suggested. We live in a house that is nearly 100 years old and I suggested to her peditrician about lead poisoning but he didn't really seem concerned and didn't request a blood test. We as a society have been raised to have faith in the school systems and the medical community but that is no longer always the case. I've come to realize as the parent of a special needs child, I have to be her advocate and fight to find answers and not take what the doctors and schools say as the final word.

After 2 years of living with medication and ADHD diagnosis for my daughter, I have been researching all the other possiblities for her problems at school. She sounds very much like your son. Highly intelligent but would rather lay in front of the TV or computer all day, balks at any kind of work and has a low attention span for anything she's not interested in. Have you read any books on dyslexia? A reading disability can effect the whole picture and dyslexics are usually very bright and gifted people. I'm really beginning to believe that is my daughter's disability.

We tried Straterra for about 3 months and initially it seemed to be helping in the areas of motivation and interest - not really with the attention issues. However, she begin to show signs of elevated blood pressure such as pounding headaches, hot flashes and flushing red. Straterra works on the neurotransmitter that regulates blood pressure and elevated blood pressure is one of the side-effects. So be very aware of this dangerous side-effect. I know one child that is on Straterra and in the words of her mother, it has been a miracle for them. But what is interesting is that this child suffered from low blood pressure and fainting spells and after taking Straterra this has gone away. This child also has dyslexia.

 
Old 01-07-2004, 02:40 PM   #7
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Re: 9 Year old w/ADD on Straterra?

ADHD medications can improve behavior and attention spans even in children who do not have ADHD.

A common belief is that if ADHD medication works then the person taking it is for sure ADHD. This is just not true. Children with or without ADHD can show great improvement in behavior, attention span, and other ADD like symptoms.

Raes*Mom - Many children with ADD are very bright as are many with dyslexia. I have read a few interesting articles suggesting that most people who have very high IQ's have traits that would be considered ADHD symptoms.

I hope that you can find out what is really going on with your daughter and find the healthiest possible way to help her.
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Old 01-11-2004, 05:06 AM   #8
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Re: 9 Year old w/ADD on Straterra?

My nefew(misspelled?)had severe problems at school up untill he entered junoir high unable to read thet was when they realized he had fluid behind his ears and was only hearing 40 to 50 % of what he should
once they put tubes in his ears.he was teachable and productive another possability is vision if you cant recieve all the info being given to you you cant really do the work on your own.it is only a thought.good luck

 
Old 01-11-2004, 02:30 PM   #9
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Re: 9 Year old w/ADD on Straterra?

I have a 12 year old with ADHD, that I refused to allow the school to diagnosis in 2nd grade. It is a doctor's job, not an teachers job to decide such a diagnosis.
In fifth grade, I had to agree that it was no longer just little boy with lots of energy being cooped up in a dull classroom all day..it had started to interfere with much activity. So, we tried Concerta without telling the teacher, and we were impressed with the changes. After a month, we did ask the teachers if they had noticed a change. It is an interesting approach, so there can be no placebo effect on the faculty.
We grew tired of having a wild monkey boy all evening long, and we were told Staterra is a new drug that is likely to last 12-18 hours and nonaddictive. However, right off the bat we noticed negative changes, and after 1.5 months our son was constantly grouchy and physically aggressive. So we went back to Concerta and he is "fine" again. SO, watch your child and go with your instincts. I realize ADHD kids can exhaust and confuse you, but still, if you feel your kid is better on a med or better not on a particular med believe yourself. You are acting out of love and struggling to find what makes life work so your kid will be happy too. Good luck?! AND watch if you feed you son artificial red food dye #40 = does he go beserk? Mine does. And I have read several posts from other folks who feel wild after eating artificial red.

 
Old 01-11-2004, 08:46 PM   #10
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Exclamation Re: 9 Year old w/ADD on Straterra?

I have severe ADHD and work with kids who also deal with ADHD and related issues(or have just been misdiagnosed with). Trying medication first is not a wise choice. First of, many of the kids diagnosed with ADHD don't even have it. This "disorder" is very over-diagnosed. Many of these children are suffering from mis-diagnosed physical or psychological issues.

Some of these children have rare learning styles or personality types. As we know most of the world is left brained, if you do some research you will find that the people who are "right-brained" are, by this societys standards ADHD. Meaning, the traits of the right brained learner are seen as "symptoms" of ADHD. However being right brained is different from the majority it is not a disorder. Many tactile learners are also labeld as ADHD. Of course this is not a true disorder either, just a different way of taking in the world.

These medications are very powerful and can have awful psychological and physical effects on a child. I have seen it happen way too many times! Medicating is not something that should be taken lightly.

You say that the future for unmedicated ADHD children is very "grim" You are VERY WRONG. Although ADDers or those who have the traits of ADD may have a harder time doing things that every "normal" person does or doing things how every normal person does they are very good at many other things. Many of the greatest inventors, actors, singers, artists, have had ADHD.

There are many treatment plans other than medication. Many would work just as good or even better if people would try them. And they would be much safer. Maybe the outlook for those who have ADD that they dont know about and live everyday feeling like a failure and being told that by family would have a grim outlook, they may become very depressed, think they are stupid, etc etc but the ADHD alone does not determine how successful a person will be in life!! If a child knows they are different and is able to recieve other types of help they can become just as, or even more successful than they would have had they been medicated.
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Last edited by moderator2; 03-08-2004 at 06:41 PM.

 
Old 01-12-2004, 06:54 AM   #11
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Re: 9 Year old w/ADD on Straterra?

Quote:
Originally Posted by * Free ~ Spirit *
Maybe the outlook for those who have ADD that they dont know about and live everyday feeling like a failure and being told that by family would have a grim outlook, they may become very depressed, think they are stupid, etc etc but the ADHD alone does not determine how successful a person will be in life!!

It is true that a number of famous people have been diagnosed (many in retrospect) with ADD. What makes these individuals noteworthy is that they beat the odds. Statistically, Mr. Shafer is correct. Untreated ADD dramatically increases the risk of problems later in life. Blaming their families is unjustified.

It has been my experience that parents of ADD children seldom take the decision to medicate their children lightly.

Regards,
John

 
Old 01-12-2004, 10:56 AM   #12
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Re: 9 Year old w/ADD on Straterra?

He did not say untreated he said untreated with medication..in other words UNMEDICATED.... and as I said this is just NOT TRUE. There are many other treatments other than medication!!!
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Last edited by * Free ~ Spirit *; 01-13-2004 at 11:08 AM.

 
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