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Deb417
09-28-2011, 11:53 PM
I thought we could avoid this by staying OUT of school, but the (seemingly) inevitable has happened. We sought the advice of a therapist for our 8 yo DD (who is driving us nearly insane on a daily basis) and she says--since we've tried just about every behavior-mod method there is, that it may be time to give meds a try.

I'm the type to be viscerally opposed to medicating my kid, but I can't lie, she can't sleep *at all* without melatonin. On the evenings we forget to give it to her (we have two other kids, things get crazy at night, my DH works late, dinner and bedtime tend to be a bit chaotic, every once in a blue moon we have one of those "I thought YOU gave it to her!" moments at midnight when we notice her light on and that she's still wide awake and buried in a book that we then have to pry forcibly from her hands in order for her to go to sleep, and she still cried pitifully and threatened to sneak downstairs to get another book so we ended up taking her into our room so we could keep her from doing that), she'll stay up all night. No joke, one night she literally didn't sleep AT ALL.

She's 100% inner-directed. If she has even the slightest inclination not to do something, it ain't happening. The reverse is also true. If she's even remotely curious or interested in something, she gets increasingly attached to the idea of doing it the more you try to redirect her to whatever it is she needs to do, is supposed to do or you want her to do. I'd say I spend 80% of my energy on her every day and only 20% on everything else combined, my other two kids and husband included.

I've been here talking about her before, and have tried so many of the suggestions, to no avail. The more calm and focused on her I am, the calmer things are, but the less we get done. And yes, it is important to get things done. i can't live life following the lead of one of my three kids when my other two need me, and I can't run a household, never mind a life (my own especially) neglecting everything but making this one person comfortable in her own private Idaho.

I don't mean to sound cold or cruel, I love her beyond all measure and would do anything to help her reach her potential. She's a brilliant and special kid! I don't want to "change" who she is, just how she relates to the outside world, which right now is dysfunctional.

Here's what we HAVE tried:
- gum chewing during work
- a strict routine
- hands-on curriculum materials (in use now for over 3 mos) with me practically holding her hand during her work
- nutritional counseling (with her, we sent her to the store with a nutritionist who counseled her on proper eating and helped her find things she'd like (allegedly) that were higher in protein (note: this was a TOTAL failure--the less she sleeps, the more she craves sugar, and so on--there is NO protein source she likes, not even dairy. I'm worried for her health! On occasion she'll eat ground meat (turkey or beef), but is UBER picky about it, and she'll eat eggs but only with cinnamon sugar all over them).
- rolling swivel chair for work at the computer (she didn't like the exercise ball, she kept falling off, her balance isn't so great)
- narration/dictation alternating with regular writing work
- rewards (tickets, stickers, privileges) when she finishes all her work within a certain amt of time
- short-burst assignments, max 30 min lessons in any one subject (btw, my other two kids HATE THIS, so do I and truth-be-told, so does my 8 yo b/c she'd like to spend HOURS on one subject at a time, but spirals all over the map if we try this, makes it hard to really "study" anything, she's like a whirling dervish OR hyperfocuses on doing one thing within the subject for hours and none of us want to do that *either*
- finger foods/snacks during work (the only ones she likes are sugary, she doesn't eat grapes or even gold fish, she'd like to eat raisinets all the time. UGH
- soft music playing
- caffeinated drinks (cocoa, she hates coffee and soda, it wasn't enough)
- vitamin regimens
- a visit to the osteopath for a special footbath to draw out toxins (allegedly, I think I got taken by a quack in my desperation to help her)
- Acupuncture (she screamed and ran from the room, wouldn't let the chiro touch her, her pain threshold is very low)
- meditation (guided with CDs, at night in a dark room) and breathing exercises

NOTHING WORKS, I mean NOTHING! I've spent more time, money and energy searching for a way to help her, I feel like we've run out of options. It's backing up on my other kids and me in a big way. My middle child is becoming anxiety-ridden and is thinking we don't care about her b/c everything is always about my eldest. She's crying a LOT lately and working overtime to "please" us thinking that will get her more attention (it's HEARTBREAKING, she is such a good little doobie :( )

I feel like I'm asking "permission" to medicate my kid, but I no longer can tell if I'm avoiding it b/c I really oppose it or b/c I'm afraid of what other people will think of me as a parent if I allow it?

So....Has anyone struggled with this? Anyone else done it? Has it helped? Am I missing something, have I not turned over just about every rock?

I feel like I'm spending my 40s just trying to keep my head above water, just getting through each day. I'm missing my 3 year-old's last bits of babyhood, and my five-year old feels invisible. My husband and I are fighting all the time over disciplining this poor kid, and near as I can tell, she seems unfazed. The therapist says--oddly enough--her symptoms of anxiety are no more pronounced than the avg. 8 yo (but based on my anecdotes about my middle child, she said SHE is at-risk of major anxiety issues).

Something has GOT TO GIVE!

Could medication be helpful??

MrsLOLcat
09-29-2011, 12:26 AM
In my experience, medication CAN be helpful. You mentioned anxiety; my son has HORRIBLE anxiety when he is unmedicated because he knows what is and isn't appropriate behavior but simply cannot control the overwhelming impulses that come over him, so he freaks out and tenses up and overreacts to everything.

I have done both medicating and not medicating. I medicated at first because he was in school and I hadn't taken control of his education yet. When he came home, we stopped the medication to see how things would change. We lasted two years, almost exactly, before the situation became as you describe and was simply intolerable. There's only so much redirection and encouragement you can do, KWIM?? Anyway, as soon as I put DS back on the medication, I kicked myself for having waited so long when it had been clear that he was miserable and needed a little bit of help from something so he could use the tools that he'd been taught in therapy over the years.

In my experience, you are darned if you do and darned if you don't. There are parents who will ask how come you didn't medicate as soon as you had a diagnosis. There are parents who will ask how on earth you could possibly medicate your kid. There are people who don't "believe" in ADHD (gosh, that must be nice!) and people who will say the meds don't work because they tried it with their "ADHD" kid who is actually fine and doesn't need meds in the first place! In the end, you have to be secure in the knowledge that what you're doing is the best you can, you're doing ALL you can, and your ultimate goal is exactly what you stated: to bring out the best in your kid and help her succeed.

If you do head down the medication route (disclaimer: I will encourage you whichever way you go), bear in mind that the first medication you try may be horrid. It took us three tries to find the right fit, and I know of people for whom the search took longer. The long and short of it, though, was that they all worked, but some worked better than others. Once we got the right medication and dosage, the transition was - IS - amazing. The boy who couldn't retain a math lesson at all blew through the next few lessons, the boy who couldn't walk past his sister without putting his hands on her walked away from temptation, and the boy who was constantly worked up and angry about something because he was constantly being monitored and/or in trouble spends hours in the garage unsupervised while he builds 'chairs' and 'tables' out of spare pieces of wood. He's still bright, but now he's cheerful to go with it, and I really enjoy his company!

We still have to give him melatonin at night, because the medication has worn off by then, and if we forget it's definitely ugly (he loves to sneak out of his room and down the hall and sit and watch TV until someone catches him), but the pros of having him on medications WAY outweigh the cons.

I also hope you're able to help her find some other things that she'll eat! That's gotta be extremely scary as a mom.

Sending lots of (((HUGS))) your way!

Deb417
09-29-2011, 01:02 AM
Thank you so much for your feedback. The whole process scares me. I want to find the right med and dose. But I want to find the right *doctor* first. The ped. we go to has an ADHD son, so I like to think he's more tuned in to all this than the average bear. BUT, I'm told that peds. often overgeneralize kids and don't look at individuals quite as well as psychopharmacologists. I don't want my kid to be a guinea pig. I was once put on anti-depressants after my step-mom died of cancer, and the internist put me on so many different things, it was a miserable three months (during which I almost lost my job and fell asleep at the wheel driving and ran off the road, thank God I wasn't hurt) trying to find a med that didn't have side-effects worse than the depression!

You struck a chord with me when you mentioned how your son couldn't walk past your daughter without putting hands on her. My dd is the same way with her sisters and with our cats. She simply MUST be doing at least two things at the same time, at all times. If she's "sitting still" some part of her is moving and moving fast--feet rubbing together, lip-biting, doodling, leg-shaking, foot tapping, etc....Did you see that movie Despicable Me? Well we all burst out laughing when Steve Carrell's character says "No annoying noises" b/c my girl specializes in those. She sucks her fingers when she eats--loudly. Scrapes her plate with her fork, taps on the table with her pencil. I swear, there are times I want to scream "STOP MOVING!! PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, JUST BE STILL!!!"

I'm almost her polar opposite. Sure, I multi-task, but it's with intention, it's not absentminded in the least, and otherwise I am a person who craves calm, peace, quiet, order, it's almost cruel that this poor kid got stuck with me as a parent :( I keep wondering what karmic lesson I'm being taught here, yk? ;)

I just hope we can get a grip on this soon. She's got so much to offer, and in spite of her domination of the agenda, is so beloved by her other sisters (and to be clear, the middle child is more anxious than the ADHD one, largely b/c she's worried about her sister, her mom and dad and herself b/c she feels even more invisible than the avg. middle child. My middle child is an empath and it's very hard for her to watch all this chaos swirl around her. Best decision I ever made? Sending my three year-old to preschool this year for three days a week. OMG, BEST MOVE EVER! She is thriving away from all this madness, and it's made my middle one ask if she can go there too (she can't, they only do preschool) so she can get away from all the "fighting" :(

Busygoddess
09-29-2011, 01:24 AM
I have ADHD which was not officially diagnosed until adulthood (my parents refused to consider it) and both my kids have ADHD. So, pretty much everything you listed sounds familiar. My daughter is currently medicated, but my son is not. We tried everything with dd before medication. I know medication can be helpful, but I also know that it is not always needed. I want to make sure my kid needs it before I consider it. We are still trying things with my ds, which is why he isn't on meds.

If you've tried everything else, try meds. It is much better to have to medicate your child than to make everyone needlessly struggle. When you find a medication that helps, you can then help her learn those skills that people with ADHD need help with. You can help her learn to focus, lengthen her attention span, and improve time management/organizational skills.

Dd's psychiatrist is working toward the same goal we are, to have dd's ADHD meds be a temporary thing. We want to get her to the point of not needing them any more, but she needs to be on them to learn what she needs to not need them. She may never be completely med free, she also has Bipolar, but we'd love to get beyond the ADHD meds.

You're never going to please everyone. You need to just say 'screw what everyone else thinks' and do what you feel is best for your child. As Sarah said, you're damned if you do, damned if you don't. Personally, I'm to the point of wanting to punch people who spew ignorant assertions about how ADHD is not real or how it can be *cured* with dietary changes or disciplinary changes. No, it can't, because the brain with ADHD is wired differently than one without it. You can not change that by cutting out red food dye or using strict punishments.

Sorry, bit of a digression there. It sounds like meds might be worth a try. You can always stop them if you don't feel they are worth it or she has side-effects.

MarkInMD
09-29-2011, 05:20 AM
We've struggled with this idea ourselves. Our boys' issues are a bit different than your daughter's in some ways but similar in others. Hurricane is more ADD than with the added H, and I think we're moving beyond the need to have him on meds, which we've never tried. His problems seem to be going away somewhat with more maturity. Tornado, however, is a bit of a tougher nut to crack. Our main concern with him is the out-and-out anger that he displays when even minor things don't go right. Say "no" to him and expect a total breakdown of the space-time continuum. So it's not so much that we can't deal with his inattentiveness (although it's certainly no picnic), we're just concerned that his rage will get him into a serious situation one day. For that reason alone, meds are a possibility for us. We still haven't taken the plunge yet, although I wouldn't be surprised if in the future we do. The main thing holding us back is that he's only this way with us. Never with grandparents, cousins, friends. Just mom and me. So it's hard to say if he's just a real authority challenger or if there's something less in his control here. I'd hate to medicate if it's just him trying to outboss the bosses.

That being said, I totally understand why you'd want to do meds for her. It's worth a serious conversation with a pediatrician and a child psychologist to get at least two opinions on the matter. Best of luck. It ain't easy.

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
09-29-2011, 08:10 AM
I don't have anything to add to Sarah's and Brandi's excellent advice. I just wanted to give you support for whatever you decide to do. My son has ADHD and we medicate him for his karate class (he was totally overstimulated by all the kids and the games and couldn't not stay in control, but he loves the class and didn't want to give it up). We're managing at home, but still struggle some days with the impulsive behavior and difficulty focusing on school work. I know what you mean about the karmic lesson... let's hope we're building up seriously good karma for the next life!

skrink
09-29-2011, 08:41 AM
You're never going to please everyone. You need to just say 'screw what everyone else thinks' and do what you feel is best for your child. As Sarah said, you're damned if you do, damned if you don't. Personally, I'm to the point of wanting to punch people who spew ignorant assertions about how ADHD is not real or how it can be *cured* with dietary changes or disciplinary changes. No, it can't, because the brain with ADHD is wired differently than one without it. You can not change that by cutting out red food dye or using strict punishments.

This. I have been overly upset by the tone on another recent thread from the "I don't label my child and I would NEVER medicate" conversation. Unless you have dealt with some of these very real issues, you don't know what the hell you're talking about. Speaking up simply to pass judgement on other people's choices shows your true colors. I feel done with wanting to share anything substantive here. :(

To the OP, you do what you need to do for your DD and for your entire family. It's YOUR choice, and it's a damned hard one, and I hope you find the support you need in whatever you decide.

Eileen
09-29-2011, 08:53 AM
This. I have been overly upset by the tone on another recent thread from the "I don't label my child and I would NEVER medicate" conversation. Unless you have dealt with some of these very real issues, you don't know what the hell you're talking about. Speaking up simply to pass judgement on other people's choices shows your true colors. I feel done with wanting to share anything substantive here. :(

To the OP, you do what you need to do for your DD and for your entire family. It's YOUR choice, and it's a damned hard one, and I hope you find the support you need in whatever you decide.

I totally agree. I wasn't overly upset, but it does irritate me. Not just on behalf of my daughter, but also myself. I know how frustrating it can be to deal with a mind that works like that, always feeling like I was unable to stay organized and on task, never able to remember stuff. It's very disheartening to know that you're smart, and to be able to understand stuff so easily, but not be able to remember what you were supposed to do for homework, or where you put your folder, or whatever.

Lak001
09-29-2011, 10:07 AM
This. I have been overly upset by the tone on another recent thread from the "I don't label my child and I would NEVER medicate" conversation. Unless you have dealt with some of these very real issues, you don't know what the hell you're talking about. Speaking up simply to pass judgement on other people's choices shows your true colors. I feel done with wanting to share anything substantive here. :(

To the OP, you do what you need to do for your DD and for your entire family. It's YOUR choice, and it's a damned hard one, and I hope you find the support you need in whatever you decide.

I really, sincerely and truly did not mean to upset anyone by my stance. You really don't have to take it personally. That's just my opinion. Do what is best for your child. You are the parent. I honestly did not mean to be judgemental.
Please don't stop sharing your views just because something here upsets you. Everybody has an equal right to voice their opinions, and you have yours'. So please. And I'm sorry if my POV hurt you. I really am.

ETA : believe me or not, I have told my husband that if I end up with cancer, i don't want chemotherapy. I'm that much against medications. That's my belief. You would not have to agree with my choices.

MrsLOLcat
09-29-2011, 10:09 AM
BUT, I'm told that peds. often overgeneralize kids and don't look at individuals quite as well as psychopharmacologists. I don't want my kid to be a guinea pig.
...

You struck a chord with me when you mentioned how your son couldn't walk past your daughter without putting hands on her. My dd is the same way with her sisters and with our cats. She simply MUST be doing at least two things at the same time, at all times. If she's "sitting still" some part of her is moving and moving fast--feet rubbing together, lip-biting, doodling, leg-shaking, foot tapping, etc....Did you see that movie Despicable Me? Well we all burst out laughing when Steve Carrell's character says "No annoying noises" b/c my girl specializes in those. She sucks her fingers when she eats--loudly. Scrapes her plate with her fork, taps on the table with her pencil. I swear, there are times I want to scream "STOP MOVING!! PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, JUST BE STILL!!!"

I'm almost her polar opposite. Sure, I multi-task, but it's with intention, it's not absentminded in the least, and otherwise I am a person who craves calm, peace, quiet, order, it's almost cruel that this poor kid got stuck with me as a parent :( I keep wondering what karmic lesson I'm being taught here, yk? ;)

I'm a Type A multi-tasker, too. I hope that someday my son will be able to do two things at once, even if it's just listening to music while working on math! He's a terrible fidget. He has to be messing with SOMETHING, even on the meds, though his tics are worse when the medication has worn off. His favorite plaything? HIS FEET. It makes me want to carry hand sanitizer around with me at all times. He also still mouths things, though that may be more sensory/Asperger's-related than ADHD-related. It drives me batty.

As for the doctor, we use our pediatrician for DS' medications. If DD winds up needing medication for her issues, then we'll use our psychiatrist because our ped told me point-blank that she won't do it. But she studies pediatric mental health issues as a side hobby/specialty, so I'm comfortable talking with her. When we decided to go the medication route, we had to go in for an hour-long evaluation and records review before she'd prescribe anything, and I was happy to do that because it meant she could look at the nuances of his symptoms and see what might work and ask what WE wanted to try first. No matter where you go, make sure there's an after-hours number in case one of the medications clearly and utterly fails (one of the ones we tried caused DS to have horrible rages when it wore off) and you want to stop it ASAP. Ask about side effects, too. One of the primary side effects of many stimulants is loss of appetite/weight loss. I imagine your daughter's already thin, so this might be a concern.

Sorry I messed up which girl had the anxiety. I'm amazed that what I typed was coherent at all... I think my brain went to sleep without me!

Lak001
09-29-2011, 10:13 AM
This. I have been overly upset by the tone on another recent thread from the "I don't label my child and I would NEVER medicate" conversation. Unless you have dealt with some of these very real issues, you don't know what the hell you're talking about. Speaking up simply to pass judgement on other people's choices shows your true colors. I feel done with wanting to share anything substantive here. :(

To the OP, you do what you need to do for your DD and for your entire family. It's YOUR choice, and it's a damned hard one, and I hope you find the support you need in whatever you decide.

I really, sincerely and truly did not mean to upset anyone by my stance. You really don't have to take it personally. That's just my opinion. Do what is best for your child. You are the parent. I honestly did not mean to be judgemental.
Please don't stop sharing your views just because something here upsets you. Everybody has an equal right to voice their opinions, and you have yours'. So please. And I'm sorry if my POV hurt you. I really am.

ETA : believe me or not, I have told my husband that if I end up with cancer, i don't want chemotherapy. I'm that much against medications. That's my belief. You would not have to agree with my choices. In the culture where I come from, diseases, death, and physical conditions are part of life and accepted in a way western culture would be horrified to even fathom. I have seen people not wanting chemo after they have been diagnosed with cancer. They opt for alternatives, and if that doesn't work, they just accept it. I was taught to accept life that way.
Now, god forbids if anything ever happens to my dd, i think i would do my best to make her alright again. I would not shy away from any kind of medication out there to make her feel alright. So, yes, I'm not judging you for medicating your child for ADHD. Its just that I will not consider medicating my child for ADD/ADHD. Because i think its one of those conditions that I just have to deal with without medications. Probably its how I grew up which influences me to make these kind of decisions.

gidamom
09-29-2011, 10:35 AM
This thread really strikes a chord with me. I have written about my doubts/concerns/issues with my ds before, and I still haven't figured it out.

Having him be gifted, plus a musician at heart, he has alwyas thought out of the box, and it has been hard to identify where his behaviors are coming from and why. As he is about to turn 13, our thought that as he "matured" it would get better is slowly dying :(

I am at a loss about what to do with him. I too have felt truly opposed to meds, but also wonder if they may become necessary at some point...

You all mention exhausting all the options before trying meds...what ARE those options?? I don't feel like I even know what to try. Ds is not diagnosed...we just know.

I sympathize with you, because I KNOW what you are going through, and I send you positive vibes so you will be able and comfortable to mae the decision that is best for your dd, regardless of what anyone thinks.

Lak001
09-29-2011, 10:49 AM
When I voice my opinions against medications for ADD?ADHD please keep in mind I'm not trying to judge anybody. I think my dd has ADHD, not diagnosed, but I know. So, I have been through all those behaviors, and I know excatly how hard and challenging it is to deal with kids with ADD/ADHD. But to not medicate her is my choice. I'm not asking anyone here, or advising anyone here to do so. You do what is best for your child.
I want to clarify that I come from a culture where medicating children for anything is a big NO-NO. Unless if they have life threatening illnesses. So, I may be conditioned in a way western culture cannot understand. So, pls don't take my POV personally. I'm sorry if my stance on this has hurt anybody's feelings out there.

Elphie
09-29-2011, 10:53 AM
Medicating my son was truly the most difficult decision I have ever had to make. I did a lot of research on the different meds online and I saw all of the very SCARY "possible" side effects. I thought to myself, "what kind of parent would take that chance with their own child?" I watched my son's life become over run by anxiety because he felt like he could do nothing right. He was angry and he threw tantrums that would rival a 2 year old's at age 12 when he did not get his way. Our house felt like it was over run with stress. We tried all sorts of behavior mods over the years but it was not enough. I used to lock myself in my bathroom and just cry because I did not know how to help him and I was so afraid of who he was becoming. I finally stopped and asked myself...if it were ME that was feeling the way he feels and doing the things he does...would I medicate myself? Yes, I would. It is much harder to make that decision for your child because you are so afraid of screwing up. If I do medicate him will he be worse? Well...at that point I didn't see how it could be "worse" than it already was. So we gave it a try.

It is helping him. His anxiety is significantly less. His anger is nearly non existant. It did not change the wonderful person he has always been. The meds help him slow down and think. It helps him to "tune out" the rest of the world so he can enjoy one thing at a time. (ADHD is not the inability to pay attention, but rather inability to stop paying attention to everything every where all at once.) He smiles again, jokes again, is more patient with his friends, leaves his brothers alone. Our house has peace again (as much peace as a household with 3 boys will ever have anyway, lol). I haven't locked myself away to cry in months. My own anxiety attacks have stopped. Did the meds "cure" him? No...he still taps his pencil or drums his fingers or taps his foot when he is working "quietyly". But he IS working. That is a huge improvement to me. I don't expect him to be perfect. I try to let the small stuff go. He is still the creative kid he always was...in fact I believe he is able to be more creative because he has the ability to focus on one problem at a time. (he has always "hyperfocused" on certain things but now he can actually think about things other than his favorite video game or a book he is reading for fun).

Making decisions like this for your child is HARD. Think about your own situation and do what is best for your family. Do what you feel you need to do. I am not "pro" medication or "anti" medication...I believe that each child is completely different with different needs. My situation is not the same as another's situation. I would never look down on any one for trying to do what is best for their child, no matter what the decision might be. It is hard enough being a parent without every one else coming down on you for not doing what they believe is "right". Good luck with what ever you decide to do. :)

speech mom
09-29-2011, 12:11 PM
We are here too.
I have an appointment with the psych to go in and speak with him without my son there. Then we will look at what types of assessments he will do. After he sees the boy, we will meet again and go over our options. It has taken me a long time getting here.
I don't know if we will choose medication.

I was thinking that I could find something besides medicine that would work for him. I was thinking that I am his mom and should be able to tolerate his behavior no matter how hard it is. But it isn't about me. It is about my son and my family. My son is not happy. He struggles with eating, gets frustrated with school, doesn't understand why things are they way they are for him, basically isn't able to do all he is capable of. My daughters are stressed out. They can't work with all his motion and tics and outbursts and all the time he needs from me.

When he was younger, we let him have a glass of pop on Sundays to help him get through our big extended family dinners. Tried that today and he is zombie like barely able to stay awake.

Good luck.

jess
09-29-2011, 12:37 PM
I'm not meaning these suggestions as anti-medication. If you want to try medication first, I have no argument with that. However, since it sounds like you'd rather try other things before medication, here are my thoughts. With both of these, you've explored the idea a bit, but haven't really given them a real chance.

It sounds like she has some serious sugar issues, and that can definitely contribute to ADHD and anxiety symptoms. Sugar (and dairy and gluten for many people) has addictive qualities. If you have a kid with sugar issues, you can't just inform them about good dietary choices and expect it to be effective. You have to enforce the changes if the kid is unable to make good decisions on their own. One thing to try would be real, take-control, dietary modification. Go on a serious elimination/anti-inflammatory diet (GAPS is one), and preferably get the whole family on board and everything not allowed out of the house so that she's not feeling singled out, and is less likely to be tempted/sneaky. Don't worry about what she does or doesn't like currently - tastes can change. Unless she is already underweight or otherwise at nutritional risk, don't worry about her starving herself. Most kids (this includes many horribly picky kids on the autism spectrum) WILL eat what is offered when they are hungry. Go into it with the assumption that she will eat when she is hungry rather than the assumption she'll starve herself. If she truly won't eat, cross that bridge if you come to it. By that point she may be amenable to a less-harmful, if not truly ideal, choice.

i apologize if that sounds harsh. It's just something I've seen make a difference in a number of kids, as well as myself, but it's something where you really have to be the grown-up and enforce it, at least at first. Even with many adults I've seen, they'll say something like "Dietary change might help, but I'd rather live in crippling pain the rest of my life than try giving up bread/sugar". That's serious addiction talking, and it takes either desire and willpower or outside enforcement to get over the hump.

If you'd like more information about my own experiences with this (for me and what I've observed with several kids), I'd be happy to tell you more.

Another thing you could try is caffeine pills. Cocoa is too low in caffeine to really get a good idea of how caffeine works for her - 1tbsp of cocoa powder has about 8mg of caffeine, while your typical cup of coffee is going to have somewhere around 100mg. Also, the sugar in the cocoa and possibly the milk is going to have a confounding effect (same with coffee or tea if you add anything to make it more palatable).

Batgirl
09-29-2011, 01:02 PM
Without reading the other replies, my advice is to try it. You can always take her off of it if it doesn't work. Last May, we started my son on Intuniv because I was at my wits end and it has been wonderful. No side effects but fatigue, which wore off in a week. He can now focus reasonably well and can actually absorb verbal instructions, school work, etc. His impulse control also improved dramatically, with a corresponding decrease in violent outbursts and meltdowns. His teacher, therapists and our extended family noticed a difference right away. I am so glad we did it. His disruptive behaviour was a huge strain on our family.

(Btw, I want to add that he is taking a subclinical dose for his weight--1 mg/day. He is 7 years old and weighs 60 lbs.)

I also agree with what Jess says about the diet. I still need to "woman up" and make those changes around our house, but it won't be easy. My older son is addicted to simple carbs and getting him to try anything else is a real bear. We'll get there. Now that my dh is getting on board with the idea, things should be easier to implement.

dbmamaz
09-29-2011, 01:33 PM
Ditto here. . . . We went w meds (not ADHD, tho, my kid had anxiety and was suicidal and even paranoid). But food issues are serious of their own right. If she only eats sugar, you need to remove most sugar from the house . . .no sweet treats at all, no sweet cereal, nothing. I second the dairy and gluten, and also artificial everything, this made a huge difference for my younger, emotionally, and for both of them on physical symptoms. We aren't sugar free, tho as it wasn't an issue for them, but my older is significantly limited for chocolate. I had hoped the food changes and homeschooling could lower my sons dosage, but it couldn't. For him they were two separate issues.

jess
09-29-2011, 01:51 PM
I also agree with what Jess says about the diet. I still need to "woman up" and make those changes around our house, but it won't be easy. My older son is addicted to simple carbs and getting him to try anything else is a real bear. We'll get there. Now that my dh is getting on board with the idea, things should be easier to implement.

It's definitely not easy as a parent. I still really resist the idea of needing to restrict sugars in DD1's diet, even though I can see that even seemingly innocuous things (potatoes, for example) tend to lead to crazy screaming, yelling, hitting and kicking the floor fits.

I think she would definitely be considered a candidate for medication if we took her to a doctor under the influence of sugar.


I had hoped the food changes and homeschooling could lower my sons dosage, but it couldn't. For him they were two separate issues.
Similarly, my housemate's daughter is autistic. Restricting her diet hasn't cured her of autism, but it has a definite positive effect on her behavior and overall physical health.

farrarwilliams
09-29-2011, 03:18 PM
Just another voice giving you permission to go with your gut and try it. I worked with a lot of kids who had a variety of issues in my career - some on meds and some not - some before and after meds, some coming off meds. It's really my experience that some kids need meds. Period. We are obviously over-proscribing them, but some kids really benefit.

urayoan2011
09-29-2011, 04:02 PM
I think leaving adhd untreated is the real danger. Medications is one approach. You won't know if it is the right one until you try it. Best wishes for you and your family.

skrink
09-29-2011, 05:41 PM
Yes, urayoan2011, I agree. Not treating can lead to heartache, for the families and for the individual with the problem. We have tried behavior mod with my dd, we have done the dietary restrictions, we have tried every non chemical intervention that we can think of, and still, here we are. It's more than her not focusing on her schoolwork and dawdling when it's time to get ready to go somewhere (frustrating as those things can be). She rages. She bites. She says terrible, terrible things to whomever happens to be in the line of fire at the moment - adults, kids, friends, strangers. And she feels crushingly guilty afterward, talks about how she's stupid and awful and that she wishes she could die. :( If meds can tame her impulsiveness and help her put into practice some of the techniques she's learning to deal with frustration & anger, maybe we can get off this unhappy path we're on right now. I fear for her future, plain and simple.

And Lak, I wasn't singling you out for a scolding. Yes, some of your comments rubbed me the wrong way, but yours weren't the posts that really got to me. Generally I'm a lot thicker skinned - I'm a secular humanist hs'ing in Bible Town, USA, after all! - but this is a raw spot at the moment. I just think it's important everyone understands that topics like these can be sensitive, and making "I always" or "I would never" statements isn't helpful. I'm not even going to touch the "I don't believe it exists" stuff. Bah.

bcnlvr
09-30-2011, 09:02 AM
BTDT with circular "should I or shouldn't I" thinking (I come from a NO med family as I was just like my son and my parents NEVER helped me....so some resentment there). Our approach to our gifted/adhd/proto-aspie ds9 has been a long journey. I even gave up a career to address my son's problems and change our way of life so that he could be happy and healthy (which he was not at a public school and a daycare/sitter). Diet, behavior mod, therapy, medication, skill building. All of it. At 9, he is really starting to come around and he has come incredibly far. He could almost pass for "normal" these days when even a few short years ago, he would burn the house down and torture animals. Not kidding. Children are individuals and I truly believe in meeting them where they are. I also believe in a multi-pronged approach. Many, many parents just medicate and call it a day. But there are so many other things that can be done concurrently to really get these kids on track, learning, and developing living skills. We still use medication today (not 3, like a few years ago....just one now). We also still use behavior mod, skill building (for honing executive skills), and diet to a large extent.

I am also a proponent of "titrate to effect". My ds9 has responded to medication in his own way, often at very low doses. Even now the doc says "he needs 4 mg for his size". Nope....he only takes 1.5 mg and that's what he needs. It took us a long time to figure this out.

Just my 0.02, but I didn't want to not respond when I have been there.....

bcn :)

urayoan2011
09-30-2011, 10:36 AM
Lak 001; I disagree with some of your views, but I am very glad they are represented in the forum.
Shrink; I am very sorry to hear about the pain your daughter and all your family are going through. We medicated our dd for three months . We didnít see any improvement, didnít like the changes on her behavior and didnít feel comfortable increasing the dosage, so we stopped. Our days are intense but for now we can manage. But if the circumstances change I wonít hesitate to give the meds another try. We read this book to our daughter when we started her on the medication; Adventures of Phoebe Flower: Stories of a Girl with ADHD by Barbara Roberts. It is sweet but real and I love the fact that her mom had untreated ADHD.

Eileen
09-30-2011, 10:57 AM
Lak 001; I disagree with some of your views, but I am very glad they are represented in the forum.
Shrink; I am very sorry to hear about the pain your daughter and all your family are going through. We medicated our dd for three months . We didn’t see any improvement, didn’t like the changes on her behavior and didn’t feel comfortable increasing the dosage, so we stopped. Our days are intense but for now we can manage. But if the circumstances change I won’t hesitate to give the meds another try. We read this book to our daughter when we started her on the medication; Adventures of Phoebe Flower: Stories of a Girl with ADHD by Barbara Roberts. It is sweet but real and I love the fact that her mom had untreated ADHD.

I'm going to look for that book, thanks!

Lak001
09-30-2011, 11:59 AM
Lak 001; I disagree with some of your views, but I am very glad they are represented in the forum.

urayoan, you are more than welcome to disagree with me.
I realized that the views we hold are very culture specific. There may be kids with ADD/ADHD all over the world from all different cultures. But the way you cope with it is very culture specific. I'm from the eastern part of the world, and we have different ways of coping with mental illnesses. I'm not saying our's is better than the western way. Its just we are culturally very different people. And the way we deal with many aspects of life is also very different. So, with all respect, I will stick to my views and have to say I disagree with your views as well. And since I'm a minority here, perhaps the only one on this forum with such views, i really do think defending myself will be hard. So, I'm going to stop at this and not further indulge myself in any conversations regarding this topic henceforth.

Busygoddess
09-30-2011, 12:49 PM
Wow, I missed something. My issues with people's opinions about ADHD - whether or not it exists, if you should medicate or not, etc - are just a big pet peeve of mine. If someone doesn't want to medicate their child, that's fine. I respect their right to make that decision for their kid. However, I've had many people give me their unsolicited opinion about me putting my kid on meds. That is not ok with me. As for the people who don't believe ADHD exists, they need to learn to STFU around people who have it. The last thing I want is to hear some ignorant jerk telling me that a condition that I have and that my kids have, a condition which I know exists, a condition that I have researched for years, a condition that I have more experience with than many of the so-called experts, doesn't exist, especially when they have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to back up their claim. If your entire argument against its existence is that you & your kids don't have it or that your kid was misdiagnosed with it, you have no argument & need to go away with your ignorant BS.

It seems, based on some of the responses here, that there was a conversation (I'd say pretty recent, too) where someone spewed forth the kind of garbage that I would get very, shall we say irritated, about. I missed that conversation. My comment was not influenced by anything I've recently read on here, and I was not trying to take the conversation off track (though it seems my comment may have spurred that).

Just thought I'd clarify that.

dbmamaz
09-30-2011, 12:53 PM
I love to point out that several teachers at my son's last school seemed to think that harsh punishment would cure his bipolar. Pretty impressive that a couple of teachers could figure out more about mental health than the dozen mental health proffesionals who had worked with him over the years. (oh, was that sarcasm? Um, yeah).

urayoan2011
09-30-2011, 08:15 PM
You're welcome, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Have a great weekend:-)