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ADHD -- I'd love any/all input (Read 907 times)


Needs more cowbell!

    Thanks! Thus far (granted, it's only the first day, but generally it's supposed to work fast) we aren't really seeing any change. I'm guessing it will be at least a few weeks before we find the right doseage. His ped wanted to start him as low as possible, then increase gradually if neccessary. The dose he is on is about 1/6 the maximum recommended. k

    I shoot pretty things! ~

    '14 Goals:

    • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

    • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

    vicentefrijole


      Disclaimer: This is a really complicated subject (as is quite obvious by everyone's stories so far) and I don't know very much about it at all. So I'm really hesitant to speak up at all! (A first, as my wife would tell you) Blush That said, I did attend a seminar about sleep apnea once. The MD giving the talk said that, in children, sleep apnea may cause very different effects than in adults. Unlike adults (who feel sleepy all day) some kids will actually have symptoms of ADHD (among other symptoms). I guess there's some debate whether the sleep apnea causes the ADHD or the ADHD causes the sleep apnea (can mess up sleep patterns I guess?), but this MD said that they can sometimes "solve" their ADHD symptoms through removal of tonsils or treatment for allergies (the biggest causes of sleep apnea in kids). Anyways, I'm really not saying this is the case for your son. Just thought I'd throw it out there so you (and others) can keep it in the back of your mind... if you noticed any of the other symptoms of sleep apnea in your child, it might be worth asking a doctor about. Here's a science-type review article I found on PubMed: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20040301/1147.html And here's a handout associated with that article that is a little easier to read: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20040301/1159ph.html Best wishes!


      Needs more cowbell!

        I'm going to read those articles when I have more time, but that is a very interesting angle on things. While my son does not appear to have any allergy issues and he seems to sleep exceptionally well for a kid his age (we could count all of his nightmares and middle-of-the-night waking episodes on one hand), I know that apnea is one of those things that goes undetected for a lot of folks. What made you attend that seminar? Do you suffer from sleep apnea? That's got to be such a miserable thing to live with. Sleep quality is definitely the #1 factor on my running, so something like that would certainly put a real damper on things for me. k

        I shoot pretty things! ~

        '14 Goals:

        • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

        • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

        vicentefrijole


          What made you attend that seminar? Do you suffer from sleep apnea? That's got to be such a miserable thing to live with.
          No, thank goodness, no sleep apnea here (a little insomnia at times, but that's another story. Tongue ). I'm a grad student in a medical field, so I attend all sorts of wacky seminars. I'm not a doctor, though, and definitely not qualified to diagnose your son or anyone else (over the internet or otherwise) so I say you should talk to your son's doctor some more if you have questions about this stuff (maybe make a list and bring it in? that's what I do). Is that enough of a disclaimer? I just get concerned about spewing 'medical misinformation' all over the internet. As they say, just a little information can be a very dangerous thing (when misinterpreted). Wink


          Needs more cowbell!

            Yeah...insomnia is no fun. I'm so jealous of folks like my hubby who seem to sleep well under almost all circumstances. It's pretty rare that he gets insomnia and when he does it's rare the "I can's shut my brain off" variety that I often get. I agree that too much information can be overwhelming. Last night I was looking online a bit and there's a ton of info...I think my best resources will be from books and his ped. (as well as communicating with other parents who have ADHD kids...there's a sizeable support group organization about an hour away that we may try to connect with). k

            I shoot pretty things! ~

            '14 Goals:

            • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

            • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


            Needs more cowbell!

              Wow...this AM my son was like a new kid! He got dressed without my having to nag him, ate without any issue, got his boots and coat on, and went out the door--we were actually EARLY for school! And once we got to school he was calm, hung up his coat and took off his boots, told his little buddy at school that he was ignoring him and DID (most mornings the two of them see each other and get really silly, run around, wrestle, etc.)...then he went right into his classroom and calmly kissed and hugged me goodbye. I am stunned. As a little guy he was the most compliant, easy baby and toddler (just ask backroadrunner...she always told me to quit having kids while I was ahead, LOL)...happy, easy-going, quiet, social, relaxed. At about 2.5 he became a handful. But my mom said that all 3 of us were difficult at 3, so I figured he was just one of those kids who go through the "terrible 3s." Only he never grew out of it in 3.5 years. The little boy this AM was like an older version of that sweet little baby! Big grin I really think this is going to make a HUGE difference in his success in school! Smile k

              I shoot pretty things! ~

              '14 Goals:

              • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

              • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

              Scout7


              CPT Curmudgeon

                K, That's awesome. A word of caution, so to speak, though: One day is just one day. Give it some more time, make sure that it's going to be consistent. Not that every day will be perfect, anyway, but hopefully there is overall improvement. From having dealt with this sort of thing, it's amazing how doing well in school can really improve a kid's outlook on everything. Hope the good stuff keeps up, for both of you.


                Needs more cowbell!

                  Thanks, Tim! Yeah, we're not going to get *too* excited, yet, but my hubby pointed out something from yesterday afternoon that I didn't catch. Dane was cutting little stickers into even smaller parts and putting them on his little cars. In the past using a scissors would often cause him fits and he would get very impatient and frustrated. Yesterday he seemed much more patient and careful and his small motor skills were more "on" than they have ever been. I won't be around this weekend, but I think I am going to suggest that DH have him do some tasks that require more fine motor skill work (aside from LEGO, which he has always had the patience for), just to see if yesterday was a fluke. k

                  I shoot pretty things! ~

                  '14 Goals:

                  • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                  • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                    Hi Kristen, So it sounds like there is quite a crowd of runners with ADHD! I wonder if that is self-selection or just a few who flock to this thread! I had a few weeks of adolescent\teen psych in the fall (so you all know how qualified that makes me on ADHD! Just to ensure no one is confused: not at all!!!), but I had a few observations to throw in. As always, YMMV and this may have nothing to do with you and Dane! A lot of kids really benefitted from meds - no doubt about that! But they also really, really benefitted from good parenting. Now, if only kids came with instructions on how to parent we would have far fewer problems. Tongue Kids tend to live up to what is expected of them. If you expect Dane to go to school and talk with his friend all morning and loose his homework and run around the classroom, he will. Of course, if he does this everyday, why would you expect tomorrow to be different? So you need to somehow convet to him that you expect him to be well-behaved and successful and all that. And then do not tollerate poor behavior. Bribery: this is actually often recommended! Of course, it is called "positive reinforcement," (sticker charts, for example) but we all know it is bribery. Wink Just make sure you dont bribe him when he misbehaves as that rewards the bad behavior. (ie you only offer him a toy car when he doesnt do something so he will do it - he learns he can get a toy car out of you.) Give him options: He can do his math homework or his reading homework first. He still does both, but he feels like he is in control. Make sure he has a quiet time and place to do homework. This may be more relevant when he gets older, and it sounds obvious, but you would be amazed how many high-schoolers are "expected" to study in the family room or kitchen table with TV on, sibs running around, any time they feel like it, etc. Give them a desk (with good light, pens, pencils, paper, etc) designate an hour before\after dinner for studying and their grades "magically" go up. Bed time is super hard for kids with ADHD (or ADHD tendencies). Going to sleep actually involves a fair amount of discipline and concentration. Getting kids to sleep after ritalin wears off can make it even tougher! Routines are great. I know its been used for years, but bath and reading often works. (At least after a few nights trying.) Often ADHD goes hand-in-hand with learning disabilities. It may be worth considering a full evaluation. Yes, it is expensive and extremely time consuming. But I had a couple friends who got to 5th grade having "tricked" their teachers that they could read, only to discover they could no longer fake-it and they couldnt. Oh yeah, a couple of them subsequently did extremely well at Ivy League colleges! But they said it was really frustrating to just not be able to learn how to read and to fail 5th grade. (I dont know why that is the year that they all started to struggle in different schools and cities!) There are lots of extremely successful, talented people with ADHD. If you do a google search for famous people, you will be shocked! (I am not sure how they came up with these lists, but that is another story!) Ansel Adams (1902-1984) — Photographer Alexander Graham Bell — (1862-1939) — Telephone Inventor Hans Christian Anderson — (1805-1875) — Author Beethoven — (1770-1827) — Composer Andrew Carnegie - (1835-1919) Industialist Jim Carrey — (1962-present) — Comedian Lewis Carroll — (1832-1898) — Author (Alice in Wonderland) Prince Charles — (1948-present) — Future King of England Cher (1946-present)— Actress/Singer Agatha Christie — (1890-1976) — Author Winston Churchill — (1874-1965) — Statesman (Failed the sixth grade) Bill Cosby — (1937-present) — Actor Tom Cruise — (1962-present) — Actor Harvey Cushing M.D. — (1869-1939) Greatest Neurosurgeon of the 20th Century Salvador Dali — (1904-1989) —Artist Leonardo da Vinci — (1452-1519) — Inventor, Artist Walt Disney — (1901-1971) (A newspaper editor fired him because he had "No good ideas".) Thomas Edison — (1847-1931) — Inventor (His teachers told him he was too stupid to learn anything) Albert Einstein — (1879-1955) — Physicist (Einstein was four years old before he could speak, and seven before he could read) Dwight D. Eisenhower — (1890-1969) — U. S. President, Military General F. Scott Fitzgerald — (1896-1940) — Author Malcolm Forbes — (1919-1990) — Forbes Magazine Founder & Publisher Henry Ford — (1863-1947) — Automobile Innovator Benjamin Franklin — (1706 - 1790) — Politician, Elder Statesman Whoopi Goldberg — (1955-present) — Actress Georg Frideric Handel — (1685-1759) — Composer Ernest Hemingway — (1899-1961) — Author Dustin Hoffman — (1937-present) — Actor "Magic" Johnson — (1959-present) — Basketball Player Michael Jordan — (1963-present) — Basketball Player John F. Kennedy — (1917-1963) — U. S. President Robert F. Kennedy — (1925-1968) — U.S. Attorney General John Lennon — (1940-1980) — Musician Abraham Lincoln — (1809-1865) — U.S. President James Clerk Maxwell — (1831-1879) — British Physicist Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart — (1756-1791) — Composer Napoleon Bonaparte — (1769-1873) — Emperor Sir Issac Newton —(1642-1727) — Scientist, Mathematician (Did poorly in grade school) Ozzy Osbourne — (1948-present) — said he was ADHD on TV Louis Pasteur — (1822-1895) — Scientist (Rated as mediocre in chemistry when he attended the Royal College!!!) Pablo Picasso — (1882-1973) — Artist Edgar Allan Poe — (1809-1849) — Author, Poet Rachmaninov — (1873-1943) — Composer John D. Rockefeller — (1839-1937) Founder, Standard Oil Company Nelson Rockefeller — (1908-1979) — U.S. Vice President August Rodin — (1840-1917) — Artist, Sculptor Babe Ruth — (1895-1948) — Baseball Legend Muhammad Anwar al-Sadat — (1918-1981) — Egyptian President. Nobel Peace Prize Winner in 1976 George Bernard Shaw — (1856-1950)—Author Will Smith — Actor, Rapper, Entertainer Steven Spielberg — (1946-present) — Filmmaker Sylvester Stallone — (1946-present) — Actor Henry David Thoreau — (1817-1862) — Author (Lev Nikolayevich) Leo Tolstoy — (1828-1910) — Russian Author (Flunked out of college) Alberto Tomba — (1966-present) — Italian Alpine Ski Champion Vincent van Gogh — (1853-1890) — Artist Jules Verne — (1828-1905) — Author Robin Williams — (1952-present) — Comedian Stevie Wonder — (1950-present ) — Musician F. W. Woolworth — (1852-1919) — Department Store Innovator Frank Lloyd Wright — (1867-1959) — Architect Wilber and Orville Wright — (1871-1948) — Airplane Developer William Wrigley, Jr. — (1933-1999) — Chewing Gum Maker William Butler Yeats — (1865-1939) Irish Author
                      I just want to add that that post was way longer than I meant it to be! I guess I am great at rambling! Big grin
                      Paula Stitt


                        Kirsten, I have a two year old son (Declan) who is amazing in every way. Recently, I have been frustrated trying to discipline and play with Declan. The owner and teacher of the Montessori "Mommy and Me" class that we attend twice per week suggested that I read the book entitled "the indigo Children...The New Kids Have Arrived" by Lee Carroll and Jan Tober. She said that she has always noticed something very different and very special about my son and thought this book may provide insight for me. Although Declan does not have ADD or ADHD - it is a wealth of information regarding children with ADHD and a must read before putting your child on any medication. Now, I have to tell you that this book is in the New Age department in the bookstores. So, when reading it you may want to gloss over the parts that do not fit your philosophy. It just speaks to the child and parent of normal, bright, and intelligent children who have been boxed into this ADHD world for no reason. I almost want to beg you to read it and see if the child that they describe fits your child. Although Declan does not have ADHD, I have changed my appraoch to how I interact with him and it has made a huge difference. The two year old temper tantrums have decreased to almost none and we are having fun - we are learning and have respect for each other - all due to this book. He listens to me and we no longer have daily battles over how to get him to function along with me. Please let me know if you decide to read this bok and your insights (whether good or bad) - Paula


                        Needs more cowbell!

                          Paula, that book sounds wonderful...I'm going to look for that once I have finished the 2 I recently purchased. BTW, I used to play Soccer during the Summers with an Irish kid named Declan. It's a super cool name (most D names area, LOL)! Big grin Abby, that sleep thing is interesting--if there is one area that Dane has always been a dream (get it...dream, hah hah) in it's sleep. He rarely fights us and once in bed, stays in bed, doesn't wake at night, and has had maybe a half-dozen nightmares in his entire existence. One more way he's like a mini version of my brother--he also has been a great sleeper since he was an infant. As for the rewards, he doesn't get his little car or Lego set if he's not good--and, boy, does that ever tick him off! But it was often not enough to make him behave, unfortunately. He would simply cry and whine about it for hours. I've seen a lot of the names on that list. It's really reassuring to see that so many super-smart and highly successful people have learned how to turn a disorder into a strength. I'm hoping this will work for Dane in such a fashion, too. I even remember hearing years ago that Tom Cruise is dyslexic. He's certainly not my favorite person, but to have beat that double-whammy is pretty impressive. Oh, and DH got a chance to talk to Dane's teacher at the end of the day on Friday (after he had been on the low-dose Ritalin for 2 half days and a full day of school) and they could definitely all see a substantial difference in his ability to stay calm and focus on tasks. His teacher also said she could tell when his meds started to wear off later in the afternoon on Friday, as he started to get a bit more keyed-up, rambunctious, and unable to stay on task. I'm really looking forward to what this week will bring. Big grin k

                          I shoot pretty things! ~

                          '14 Goals:

                          • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                          • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                            Kirsten, I was thumbing through a magazine the other day and ran across the info below. I immediately thought of you. I'm only supplying the info as I myself thought it was interesting. Obviously, I have absolutely no idea as to its validity and I don't agree/ disagree l...just sharing! (Excuse any typos...typing fast!) Smile Is it really ADHD? (from a mag called First dated 11-20-06, pg. 98 No mom can help but cringe when she hears that her little angel has turned into a major terror int the classroom. It's a scenario that more and more mothers can relate to, which is why diagnoses of ADHD are soaring. "But up to 70 percent of children with hyperactivity and learning problems don't have ADHD," says Fernette Eide, M.D., coauthor of The Mislabeled Child (Hyperion, 2006). "In fact, simply taking steps to improve sleep quality or making minor nutritional adjustments can eliminate the need for medical treatments." Here the most common ADHD impostors- and the smart solutions that help kids succeed. Omega-3 Deficiency "Many 'ADHD' children w/ memory & behavioral problems- including aggression & temper tantrums- see symptoms disappear in just weeks when they start consuming more omeg-3 fatty acids," explains Alex Richardson, Ph.D., of the U of Oxford in the UK. "That's because these healthy fats are the building blocks of the brain chemicals dopamine & serotonin, which regulate learning, memory, attention & mood." Richardson recommends a kid-formulated liquid supplement (which can be poured into cereal or yogurt) since food sources may not provide enough of these essential fatty acids in reliable amounts. One to try: ChildLife Essentials Essential Fatty Acids in butterscotch flavor ($10 for 8 oz., at VitaminLife.com or at health food stores). Artificial Sweeteners Regular consumption of foods containing artificial sweeteners and dyes has been linked to disruptive behavior, according to research at the UK's U of Liverpool. The reason: These chemicals impair brain-cell function & have an excitatory effect on young nervous systems, triggering inattentiveness, headaches and bed-wetting. Check labels of anything your child consumes (including medications) to limit intake of the artificial sweeteners aspartame, sucralose & acesulfame-K, as well as the dyes D&C Blue, D&C Yellow and D&C Red. Enlarged Tonsils 50% of kids w/ ADHD symptoms no longer meet the criteria for this condition after having enlarged tonsils removed. "Enlarged tonsils can temporarily stop breathing, causing a child to wake up durin the night," explains Ron Chevin, M.D., director of the U of M Sleep Disorders Center in Ann Arbor. "And this insufficient sleep causes poor memory & hyperactivity." A sign of enlarged tonsils: loud snorting. If your child's doctor confirms this diagnosis, she'll most likely recommend a tonsillectomy.


                            Needs more cowbell!

                              Ahhh...interesting! I have read quite a bit re: the artificial sweeteners and dyes, and for the most part he doesn't ingest too much of either (we avoid most processed foods, mostly because they are $$ and don't have much nutritional value, anyhow). Omega 3 should be OK, since we eat a fair amt. of fish and he loves walnuts. The tonsil thing is interesting. I don't think his are enlarged (he's never been a snorer), but when he is tired his behavior is definitely worse, as well as his ability to concentrate--but that could be said of most people, I think. Big grin So far we are still thrilled with the effect his low-dose meds have had. The only negative really is the tendency towards increased emotional outbursts as the meds wear off, but it's not even a daily occurrance and he has always been a pretty emotional kid, so it's not proving to be too problematic. His teacher is utterly astounded by the difference. She expects that he will be doing some real reading by Spring and we have all noticed his vastly improved ability to focus, not run around as if he's powered by a motor, and his fine motor skills have progressed immensely. Before we started the meds he couldn't really sit and put together even the simplest of LEGO sets--now he is doing these large-scale kits designed for ages 6-12 in the course of a day. His penmanship is also significantly better. It's really amazing and I wouldn't have believed a simple med could work so well if I weren't witnessing it firsthand. k

                              I shoot pretty things! ~

                              '14 Goals:

                              • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                              • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


                              madness baby

                                Bribery: this is actually often recommended! Of course, it is called "positive reinforcement," (sticker charts, for example) but we all know it is bribery. Wink Just make sure you dont bribe him when he misbehaves as that rewards the bad behavior. (ie you only offer him a toy car when he doesnt do something so he will do it - he learns he can get a toy car out of you.)
                                I think you're right, self-selection maybe! If by bribery, however, you mean that it works to change a child's behavior, then no, it is not all bribery. There are some very important distinctions between bribery (bad) and reinforcement (good). The article I've posted below actually does a nice job explaining it. In short, bribery benefits two people and the consequences are not consequences that naturally follow from the child's behavior. I always tell parents I work with that the easy way out is usually bribery. You offer a lollipop, child stops problem behavior. You're both happy. At the moment. It works here and now and doesn't teach the child a thing. In fact, it teaches the child to act up and, if the child is really smart, to consider "hey, I might get offered a better deal if I act up more". I've seen it hundreds of times. Oh, it hurts to watch!! And I'm sure none of us are doing this, but it's just something to consider and as you can tell, I think it's some important terminology. Positive reinforcement, on the other hand, is good, and is a technique for fostering long-term behavior change. And positive reinforcement often doesn't involve artificial reinforcers (lollipops, etc); instead, natural reinforcers such as positive praise and time with mom are preferred, and these can be incredibly potent reinforcers for children. This is specially true when the reinforcer (praise, doing activities together) comes from or involves a parent. However, in establishing routines and setting those expectations at the onset, many children benefit from a visual system such as tokens and charts. Anyhow, I'm off my soapbox. Just wanted to clarify! Here's the article. Smile http://www.asi.calpoly.edu/children/parent_info/parenting/bribery.php
                                deb
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