Hello out there,
I have a 6 y.o. son who is ADHD and also has a minor form of epilepsy. We are currently medicating the ADHD with AdderallXR. He has been on this med for about 13 months now, though he started at 5mg, and is now on 30mg. As a matter of fact, we just upped him to the 30mg about 1 1/2 months ago, but now at the school, they are having more trouble with him than ever. He started 1st grade this year. On Monday -during a test, no less- he jumped out of his chair and running back and forth in the room started announcing he had to tee-tee and poo-poo. That is only one of many things he did on that day. The teachers at school and my husband and I at home have tried just about everything to encourage good behavior such as time out, taking away privelages, promising rewards for good behavior(and following through when it works), at home I find myself having to yell at him to get his attention, and sometimes I even have to spank him when he does something he KNOWS hes not supposed to do. I am soooo frustrated, because nothing seems to work! I can tell him to stop doing something or else I will take away a favorite toy, and he'll do it anyway. So I take the toy away, and at first he'll beg for it back, but then its like he doesn't care, and goes back to doing what I told him not to do. I know his teachers are going through the same thing at school. And I know there is only so much they will take. Fortunately we hhave an appt with his doc in less than 2 weeks, but how do I survive until then? Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a bunch!!
Isn't the AdderallXR a time release medication. It sounds like the medicine is not kicking in when you need it to work. I stuck with Ritalin 10mg tablets because within 20 minutes of taking the meds .....they started to work.....lasted for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. My son was and still is on the maximum strength taking 2 10mgs tablets three times a day. I think if you would switch him to a medicine that is not time released you might have a better response from the child. My son also is taking Depakote too which is also a anti seizure medication but it is also used for Bi Polar too.
You said your son started first grade this year, did he go to all-day kindergarten last year or just half a day? He is only 6 years old, a whole day of school is probably hard for him to get through. You also said that he jumped out of his chair during a test. What time of day did this happen? Was it near the end of the day when he was probably already tired? Then the added pressure of a test-to a 6 yo-he may have just felt over whelmed.
I am not trying to say the behavior is excusable-I too have a son (now 15) who is ADHD and epileptic, and we still have horrendous problems with him at school, on the bus, and every where else-but there may have been other factors that contributed to your son's behavior that day, not just the ADHD.
You might want to explore the epilepsy a bit more. While my son's epilepsy did not become glaringly evident until a couple of years ago, we think that some of the instances when he would appear to be daydreaming or just not paying attention were what are called "absence seizures". These are small seizures in which the person appears to be looking off into space or daydreaming and they can be over in seconds, but they may happen frequently during the day.
Maybe you could see if you can get into the doctor sooner than the two weeks. I know you worry about his behavior at school and how they are going to react to it, but usually if the school knows you are addressing the problem and you are willing to work with them they are more lenient. Does your son receive any special services at school? Does he have an IEP-individualized education program? This would enable him to get more one on one attention, more time to complete school work and tests, less strigent guidelines as to what a complete assignment was, among other 'helps'.
I know that this is something you do not want to hear, but things may get worse before they get better. Just hang in there......
Dylan did go to an all day kindergarten last year, so that shouldn't be an issue. I believe the test was in the middle of the day.... not the begining where he wasn't settled in, or the end where he was ready to go home.
Dylan's seizures are the absance kind, he's only ever had 1 Grand-mal, and that was years ago. I made his teacher aware of the epilepsy at the beginning of the year, and she has been keeping an eye on him. So far, she hasn't noticed any 'staring' spells. The episode I mentioned in my last post is just 1 example of his behavior. I would be here for a week if I described it all.
He has also had an IEP at the school, because he is speech delayed due to the epilepsy. He has been in speech therapy since he was about 4 1/2 years old at the school. At the end of school last year, we renewed the IEP, and added a plan of action for when he starts misbehaving, and that really didn't seem to make an impact. The school has an aide that works with him in the beginning of the day "to get him setteled". At first she was staying with him for about 30 minutes with the plan to wean him off, but now, it is necessary for her to stay with him for an hour. It is the belief of his teacher, and I now agree that he needs a one on one aide to stay with him all day long. That is one of the main topics I plan to address when we see the doc.
I am just getting so frustrated, because he KNOWS when he is doing something wrong, because he tries to hide it when I come into the room. If he had no concept of wrong, he wouldn't find the need to hide what he is doing.
As far as the meds go, my pediatrition says that ridalin (sp) has a higher side effect of seizures than the Adderall, but I also have him on a long acting med because I have a nephew that was over-dosed in day care when he was given his meds twice, when he should have only had them once. He had to spend time in the Hospital, have his stomach pumped, they had to find a new med for him (they say that because of the OD he can't have that one any longer) , and that doesn't begin to touch the emotional ramifications. Ever since I have said that unless absolutely necessary, only myself, my husband, or my mother will medicate him. I just couldn't handle it if my little boy had to go through something like that.
Well, I hope to hear from you again!!! Thanks for your suggestions.
I'm going to throw my two cents worth in here. First, I don't know know how you relate to your son, that makes this speculation difficult. But, let me tell you a secret.... He does need one on one help all day, that is how children with ADD learn. Second, you are wasting your time and emotional energy when you use punishment, especially that like striking him. I can't speak on the epilepsy part of this, but I have raised many children with ADD, and a sense of humor and relaxation go a long way. You didn't say but is his doctor one that specializes in children with ADD , or a general practitioner? I know when my son was younger, he would do anything for the opportunity of going for a walk with me each day. Surely there is something your son really wants to do, and would put forth the effort to get that reward.
And, I will also add, I don't think his medication is meeting his particular needs, nor his IEP. He might need time to walk around the room each day.
I find public school a poor educational tool for these children. A private tutor, a parent willing to put forth effort to home school can usually be the salvation for them, just a thought.