How to know ADHD med's are working? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 07-25-2015, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How to know ADHD med's are working?

Just curious.

How did you know that your child was on the right med/right dose?

How big of a change did you see?

Thanks so much,
~C~
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#2 of 12 Old 07-25-2015, 01:03 PM
 
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For some kids it's really clear, and for some kids, especially those prone to side effects and therefore on very minimal doses, it can be harder to tell.


Ideally, the medication will help the child be more successful with activities including behavior, academics, and social interactions. Some kids with ADHD will still have struggles in these areas, but are significantly more successful on medication than off. It can also be helpful to communicate with others adults in your child's life (teacher, day care provider, etc) to find out what they are seeing with different meds/doses. It does, however, work better when the adults all expect the child to still have some challenges.


Do you feel comfortable going into be more detail about what is going on with your child?

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#3 of 12 Old 07-26-2015, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Linda,

Thanks for your reply!

We just started Vyvanse about a month ago. DS is only taking half of what the doctor prescribed, since the full amount makes him feel angry most of the time. On half I see subtle changes, more socially or maybe that he's able to communicate easier. Also, I think it takes an edge off the sensory issues. But I don't think it's helping with the "attention" so much. (if that makes sense)

I'm just wondering if one day I'll just "know", like mothers intuition, that he's on the right med/dose or is there a check off list of what benefits to look for, LOL.

Or maybe I'm expecting too much? (looking for academic changes)
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#4 of 12 Old 07-26-2015, 05:33 PM
 
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Our pediatrician prescribes our daughter's extended-release methylphenidate. What she told us to expect - if that particular medication was working - was our experience: a dramatic difference fairly quickly. With the stimulants, it doesn't make sense that it would take a lot of time (weeks) to work, like an antidepressant might work for depression.The first day she took it, our daughter was cranky and out of sorts, but the second she was much more able to focus. She was about 7 when she started taking it, and she could feel a difference too. We can see that she follows directions more easily, can complete a task she doesn't much like more easily, and does not have as much socially inappropriate motor behavior.

Linda is right on about not expecting all the challenges to evaporate. Her teacher (great one this year) kept us updated and we both were happy if she was able to get up out of her seat and do some exercises in a controlled way, then sit back down again. That kind of thing.

Figuring out the dose has been much harder. For my daughter, it's a fine line to walk between doing better during the day and not being able to sleep at night. She's never been particularly interested in eating, so that's harder to tell - I don't know if some of her problems now are medication-related or just where she would naturally be anyway. When she's tired, we often have to spoon feed her or she'd just never finish a meal.
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#5 of 12 Old 07-26-2015, 06:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chalex View Post
We just started Vyvanse about a month ago. DS is only taking half of what the doctor prescribed, since the full amount makes him feel angry most of the time.


Have you talked to the doctor about the anger, the dosage, and the lack of improvement in academics?

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#6 of 12 Old 07-26-2015, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm waiting to hear from the doctor who prescribed the meds ...they just got back from out of the country. I've been keeping a journal about all the ups and downs.
Unfortunately, our pediatrician couldn't answer any questions for me. sigh.

Thanks for the reply Letitia--it is good to hear other parents experiences. I'm really hoping for a good teacher this coming year. It does make a big difference.
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#7 of 12 Old 07-27-2015, 12:43 AM
 
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Does your son have an IEP or a 504 plan? Either way, he should be assigned a special education teacher to be his advocate at school. The amount of education that general education teachers receive about different challenges is very small, and the special education teacher can help with ideas, problem solving, communication and advocating for your son at school. This is true even if he isn't receiving any pull out services. ADHD is classified as "other health impairment."


(BTW, part of my job is advocating for special needs students who are in general education).

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#8 of 12 Old 07-27-2015, 04:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yup, DS has a IEP.

As for someone advocating for him, well, I don't see that as much as I'd like. They have good intentions but the follow through has been lacking. LOL
(oh, the things I could write...but I don't want to put too much online)

We do see someone outside of school now that may be a good advocate this coming year. (they came in once and met everyone to see what was going on) Thanks for reminding me about that! I am so dreading school starting!
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#9 of 12 Old 07-27-2015, 10:20 AM
 
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This is just a thought. What is the cut-off age for starting K where you are? If he is only 4 now, he would be at the very youngest of his class where we are.

I often wish we had had the opportunity to "red shirt" my daughter a year to let her get some maturity, but that would have been really awkward because it would have put her in her brother's class. He would have gone nuts waiting an extra year, and we don't have the resources to get them to different schools in the morning or homeschool.
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#10 of 12 Old 07-27-2015, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Letitia--My DS is 10 years old now and going into grade 6 in September. I did keep him out of Junior Kindergarten because he wasn't ready. But that just meant that he skipped that year and went directly into Senior Kindergarten. I actually would (kinda) have liked for him to have failed a year a some point....just so he could be with kids less mature... But that might hurt his ego and they don't fail any kids anymore. (nor do they have separate special education classes)
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#11 of 12 Old 07-29-2015, 07:10 AM
 
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Chalex, I got something screwed up when I posted that. I think I thought I was replying to a different post? Sorry.
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#12 of 12 Old 08-05-2015, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I now know how to tell if the ADHD med's are working....take the child off the med's and watch the impulse control go out the window! LOL
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