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Old 03-23-2009, 06:43 AM   #1
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IkeM HB User
DS and Ritalin

My son, Isaac, is 5 years old and has articulation and other speech issues.

He also has sensory issues -- constantly putting his hands in his mouth, chewing his thumbs and fingers, etc.

Isaac's pediatrician thinks the sensory issues may actually be related to ADD and has suggested a trial of ritalin. I am reluctant to go down that road, especially since I cannot identify other symptoms of ADD in his behavior.

Does anyone have any experience with usuing ritalin to address sensory issues?

If we decide to do a trial, I have told my wife that I need to have a well-established, clear baseline to judge the efficacy of the treatment. Can anyone suggest metrics that would be useful in establishing and documenting the baseline? I am considering video but am not really sure how to go about it.

 
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Old 03-25-2009, 09:32 AM   #2
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Re: DS and Ritalin

Hello,
I have a Down Syndrome son, years back when he was 7 years old we did try Ritalin on him and instead on slowing him down and relaxing him it had a reverse reaction, he was like a crazy nut, I can remember him doing 50 summer saults in a row-(his brothers found it amusing and were counting) When I found out what was going on I stopped it, He could not sit for dinner, he would climb up on things and tried to jump off, I ended up taking him to the ER and they gave him some kind of medication to counter act it, When we were leaving they told me to keep him away from stairs and windows. Now I'm not saying this is going to happen to your son BUT if you do try it, make sure he is with a parent the first day or two just to see how he reacts.
Please note, My son always chewed on his fingers and he is not ADD. The reason we did try the ritlian was becasue he was not sitting in class and was up till wee hours of the night.
Good Luck To You
Kay

 
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Old 03-26-2009, 05:06 AM   #3
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Re: DS and Ritalin

Kay,

Thanks so much for the reply.

How did you address the hand chewing? We've tried chew tubes and oral cues and explanations, but nothing works consistently. When he gets in a groove, it's nearly impossible to stop.

Jeff

 
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:12 AM   #4
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Kay3282 HB User
Re: DS and Ritalin

Hi,
My son David always chewed on his fingers when he was around that age, We would just pull his hand out of his mouth and try to get him to focus on something else, I do admitt this went on for about 2 years until he gave it up. You have to be persistant and constantly remind him. To be honest with you-If that is the reason they want to put your child on Ritalin-I would say NO! That is not a good enough reason to do so.
Kay

 
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Old 03-26-2009, 12:47 PM   #5
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ashmegmom HB User
Re: DS and Ritalin

I don't know if your son is receiving services from an occupational therapist but they should be able to help you. My daughter also chewed on her thumbs and her sleeves when she wore long sleeves. She has sensory issues and that is the reason she does it. An OT who has experience with sensory should be able to help you work on finding ways to decrease the sensory needs which in turn helps with the chewing.

Carla

 
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:04 PM   #6
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natalieshale HB User
Re: DS and Ritalin

Hi, Kay--I'm the mom of an adult with DS; when he was 7, just like your son, we tried Ritalin for his ADHD with the same results as you saw. I am writing a book which includes the mention of his experience and others; I would like to quote your first posting about your son's reaction, in my book. Can you please respond and let me know if you give me permission? Thanks so much, Natalie

 
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