My son Paul who is now 10 was first told he had ADHD when he was in Preschool I loved our preschool teacher and I totally trusted her so I took Paul into the Dr. and this started my YEARS of heartache and frustration..................
The ped first put Paul on Adderall, it was horrible!!! he never ate and constantly complained or tummy aches........ we took him off it and tried to see if maybe it was what he was eating......... we saw no change.......... he went back on meds........ he did pretty good in kindergarten but then when 1st grade came around all hell broke loose............ he was constantly distracted and I was always getting calls from school.......... ped put him on concerta ........ it worked pretty good for awhile then I received a call from the principle saying Paul was going to be suspended from school for bringing a "play" knife to school.......... (Paul would take things to school ALL the time when he knew he was not supposed to) I found out that Paul took the "plastic" knife to school because some kids were making fun of him and he just wanted to scare them............. he was suspended for 3 days!!! at some point I remember the ped changing his meds to strattera......... didn't really seem to make a difference............ He met a really good friend in 1st grade that was also on meds....... he lived with his great grandparents and to this day Kade and Paul are the best of friends....... but this is just about the only friend Paul has........he does not make friends very easy........ 2nd grade came around and it was pretty much the same........ problems with homework, staying focused, disruptions in class......... I was always hearing from the teacher............ 3rd grade we moved to Gresham and life really changed for us as we had to live in a VERY small apartment until we could afford a home......... Paul went to a majority Hispanic school and English was taught as a second language ( I only bring that point up because Paul was VERY bored in class all the time...... he was not being challenged at all alot of the things they went over he learned in 2nd grade)......... Paul was back on Concerta by this time and he was also taking Zoloft for depression........ about mid way thru school Paul wrote a story one morning about how he wanted to die........ I was contacted by the teacher and I contacted the ped........ Paul was admitted to the hospital psychiatric ward............. he stayed there for over a week........... the drs took him off all his meds and evaluated him........ they came to the findings that he was in-fact ADHD and he did not need to be on the Zoloft but upped his dose of concerta to 54mg.......... he came home and things seemed pretty ok for awhile.......... in March of this year we bought our home and moved to Tigard........ Paul was finally able to have his "own space" and own room.......... He started the new school with everything going ok........ I did take him to the ped a few months ago because I was starting to notice that he "picked" at things........ like he has a scab on his forehead and he CONSTANTLY picks at it to the point of it bleeding....... he has always chewed his fingernails......... he also picks at erasers, pencils, crayons....... he is not a very "neat" child, his room is always a mess with no order to it......... so..... I went in to the ped for a check up ..........she put him back on ZOLOFT!!!! I just about fell over........ did she not check her notes and remember that when he was on Zoloft before he became suicidal??? I did not give it to him.......... I am seriously wondering if he has OCD........
ok, now a few days ago I forgot to give him his pill in the morning..... it is ALWAYS very crazy around our house in the mornings (trying to get Paul up for school is a MAJOR chore) anyhow, I get a call from the school that Paul was not being "good" that morning........ now mind you it was PAUL that called me not the teacher......... I told Paul to try and get thru the rest of the day........ I went to pick them up from school that afternoon and the VERY first thing out of Paul's mouth when he got in the car was "they gave me a white pill to help me calm down"........... I LOST IT!!!!! I said what the heck are you talking about and gave him the third degree about it......... he said that the nurse gave him a white pill like his "evening" pill and told him it would help him calm down................ I picked up the phone and called the school the min I got home...... they had NO IDEA what I was talking about.......... while I was on the phone Paul fessed up and told me he made the whole thing up............. I JUST ABOUT FELL OVER............... I was so sick I ended up with a migraine..... I thought about his "punishment" for a few hours and decided to have him write sentences 100 of them "I will not lie or make up stories".......... the next day I received a call from the principle saying that Paul talked to the counselor and her and he is going to write out apology's note to everyone and she explained to him (just like I did) about what he did and why it was so wrong.
Another few things is he is consonantly hitting......... not hard but it seems like I am always saying Paul don't use your hands to hurt......... he is sneeky too........ in the middle of the night he will get up and eat things ....... (I would not mind but most of the time it is candy, ice cream, junk).........
I have contacted a counseling group that he will start in Jan (our insurance is changing so can't get him in till then)
Thank you all for letting me tell my story and vent a little
How difficult this must all be for you, and for your son. It's good that you are taking your son in for therapy...there appear to be many reasons why he needs professional help, as do you, to be able to manage his symptoms and chart a new course for his future. If you are NOT going to be part of this therapy, perhaps there is a therapist that you could speak to as well?
Having gone thru years of behavioral therapy with Z, we found that it reduced his conflicts and issues significantly. We ALL had therapy to learn to best deal with his ADD/ADHD issues, and our own responses to the behaviors his disease cause, as well as the depression issues.
While he IS now on meds, it's a support or tool, rather than the solution. The long-term "solution" seems to be the things he learned in therapy and the constant practice of those routines & processes to keep our whole family healthy.
I wish you luck. Welcome. There IS light at the end of the tunnel, somewhere, and you will get there.
Di, first welcome to the board and <<<hugs>>> to you. I'd like to second the suggestions that you continue with the counseling, have Paul evaluated for learning disabilities, and maybe think about a smaller school.
I've got to tell you, Di, that I found your post very disturbing. I read it last night and it has haunted me. Granted none of us can *really* understand what is going on with a child solely from a description on the internet and I may, therefore, be jumping to erroneous conclusions. If so, please forgive me.
If you've read many of my posts, you know that I am one of the more "pro-med", "pro-doctor" posters on these boards. HOWEVER, when I read your post, I see everything that is wrong with our school systems and with psychiatry today. Everyone has been *so* quick to label and medicate your child when alot of the behavior you describe is not that abnormal.
Okay, I get that Paul is very impulsive, is distractable, and has attention issues. I get that. But suspension for 3 days because he brought a TOY knife to school? Puh-lease. I don't see a troubled or delinquent child in that action. I see impulsive, childish behavior. The same with the medication incident. He did something wrong and he needs to be taught why it was wrong, but everyone acting like this is a criminal offense is a bit extreme. Did he steal your medication and try to sell it at school? Did he bring his medication to school and dare the other kids to try it? No! He made up a story that was guaranteed to get him some attention. He shouldn't have done it, but come on, all he did was make up a story.
A child can pick at scabs and fingernails and not be OCD. I did it as a kid and I wasn't OCD, I was bored. Is he a compulsive handwasher? Does he have a consuming worry about germs? Do things have to be organized "just right" or he freaks? If the answer to these questions is "no", then I would hesitate to allow him to be labeled OCD.
A child can say he wants to die and not be suicidal. Granted, those threats need to be seriously evaluated, but *sometimes* kids say those things to get attention. Did he otherwise seem depressed? Was he withdrawing from activities that he used to enjoy? How was his appetite? His sleep? Why was he labeled "depressed" in the first place?
Most children have messy rooms. Many children sneak sweets. Many 10-year-olds haven't learned yet not to hit. These actions, in and of themselves, do not mean he needs to be medicated.
Is he cruel to animals and young children? Does he set fires? Does he feel no guilt for things he has done wrong? If you answered "yes" to these questions, then perhaps you have a seriously troubled child. If not, my personal opinion (for what it's worth) is that everyone needs to back off.
He sounds like an ADD child who needs some guidance. Counseling is a great idea. Perhaps he needs medication for his ADD. BUT, from what you've described, he is NOT a seriously disturbed child who needs to be medicated for every psych condition in the book. I'd be a little more hesitant in bringing up his short-comings to physicians. When you do, they are going to assume that you think he needs to be medicated and they are probably going to give you what they think you want.
I'm really sorry if I've offended you, but I couldn't rest until I offered my 2 cents worth...
I just had to say that first........... I think alot of what I wrote was in frustration at the moment........I have to say tho that yes, he has set fires (right before he went to the hospital) but he says he did it for attention. I think alot of what he does is for attention........ he has to be the center of attention (you see he has an older half brother that is 15 and 2 younger brothers ages 6 and almost 3)
I am thankful that I can come here and get HONEST opinions from people, much better then having the dr tell me oh here give him this it will work........ BULL!!! I am so sick of giving him DRUGS!!! mind you I know he needs the concerta for the adhd but no way in hell I am giving him anything else unless the drs can prove to me that he actually needs them!! He will start counseling in January (I will be also!!!) I think right now that is the best for him as he is going to have two drs looking after him.