What age did you start ADHD medications?

Discussion in 'General' started by eagleswings216, Jul 16, 2015.

  1. eagleswings216

    eagleswings216 Well-Known Member

    Just curious, what age did your kids with ADHD start medication?
    I'm 100% certain my kids, age 5.5, have ADHD hyperactive and inattentive.  DH is a teacher of 16+ years, and I'm a former special ed teacher and currently a counselor who does clinical assessments and diagnosis all the time with elementary ages, and I work in an elementary school on a daily basis.  So, we know the criteria, we know kids, and we know OUR kids and that they are much more intense, impulsive, and hyperactive than other kids their age.  Their preK teacher (25 years experience) also mentioned it without us asking, and when I do a parental rating scale on them, they way more than meet the cutoff for preK ADHD.  We just had their kindergarten check up and the pediatrician kind of brushed it off, so I'm seriously thinking to call a specialist for an eval.  DH thinks they are too young for meds.  I know that many, many of the kids I work with are on meds by age 6, which is December for us. 
    Some days it's just a constant struggle to do anything.  I've been off all week and DH is working, and I'm EXHAUSTED with the constant reminders, redirections, coaching, and guiding.  They can't sit still through a meal, a TV show, nothing, and they are so defiant - you tell them to do something, and they totally ignore you or do the opposite and then have a tantrum when you discipline with time out or anything.  And they cannot keep their hands out of or off of stuff and are constantly getting into things, breaking things, making messes, etc.  There is ZERO calm time or down time with them during the day, plus they wake up early and have a hard time unwinding for bed at night.  I'm counting the days until school starts and also really worried about how they do in kindergarten.  They will do anything they see someone doing - you can talk about situations ahead of time and they KNOW what to do, but in the moment, have no impulse control or ability to stop and think before they speak or act.  They are extremely bright, big for their ages physically, and very verbal.  Most people think they are more like 7-8 based on size, intelligence, etc., so I wouldn't be concerned with dulling their appetite with meds (which is a major concern for some of the kids I work with).  They are 62 and 52 lbs and tall, so big kids!
    Anyway, I also wanted to just vent a bit.  It's been a LONG week and I'm so tired.  :lazy:  They also fight a LOT - argue, whine, hit, etc.  Thankfully they aren't usually aggressive with other kids, but when they are together at home, some days it feels like war zone!
  2. kingeomer

    kingeomer Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I don't have any experience with ADHD meds, so I hope someone who does will reply.  I just wanted to add that given you and your DH's career backgrounds w/ both of your experience on the subject, I would definitely seek out a specialist and have an evaluation done. 
    2 people like this.
  3. becasquared

    becasquared Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I think we waited too long, Alice was 7.5 when she started on them.  Major improvement in attitude and compliance especially.  I don't want her to be 100% compliant, I really just want her to know when she should follow instructions and when she should question them.  And not argue about everything. 
    Get your shoes on:
    6 months ago Alice would either dawdle, maybe make it upstairs, get distracted by a book.  "Alice are you getting your shoes?"
    Go check on her and she would get angry and defensive or she would just outright give me the stink eye and say "I don't want to go."
    Today, it's better.  She'll get distracted by her books but when called out on it, she'll only sigh and find her shoes. 
    There is one liquid Ritalin derivative, that's what Alice is taking since she's not 100% with swallowing pills.  It's called Quillivent, so if your husband says something about them not being able to swallow pills, tell him about this one.  :)
  4. eagleswings216

    eagleswings216 Well-Known Member

    Bex, that sounds SO much like my boys!  Getting shoes on is a daily battle.  It's awful!!
    Honestly, I don't know if they could swallow pills or not - we've never tried.  They don't have issues with eating or any gagging or anything like that.
  5. MrsWright

    MrsWright Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    We just started a couple weeks ago at 6.5, obviously you saw my other post and know we haven't quite figured it out but it sounds like you know your kids well;)
  6. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    I  agree with that with your background, I would pursue an evaluation ASAP.
    As you likely know, it is so hard to recover if K starts off on the wrong foot. Also, given that the behaviors & impulsivity is present in multiple settings (PreK & home, & community), I would absolutely look into some support that would or would not include medication.
    They are bigger and on the older side for K (Dec here is just past cutoff-- some kids in Nov Bdays could have gone to K at 4 turning 5) for our area so that is also a consideration.  Scores for a 4 year old and a 6 year old will be different-- much greater expectations are in place for age 6+ than 'preschool'.
    As you are aware, most of the meds are short acting, so you are very likely to know right away if something is or is not working well for you.
    It is a judgement call for sure, but trust your instincts in at least pursuing an evaluation and then take it from there.
    Were they preemie? Family history? Those both also play into the incidence of ADHD/inattentive.
  7. eagleswings216

    eagleswings216 Well-Known Member

    They were not preemie - born at 37 weeks at 5lbs 3oz and 6lbs.  They are adopted, so family history is patchy.  We don't know their birthfather at all other than to see a few pictures and what the birthmom has told us.  The birthmom definitely makes impulsive decisions, so there is possibly some genetics there, although nothing officially diagnosed as far as I know.  They have met every milestone on time or way early for physical development, but their birthmom was a smoker, so that might play into neurological issues or delays (which ADHD is). 
    People keep saying they'll grow out of it, and I've watched some of their friends at church or kids of friends of similar ages "grow out of" not being able to sit still, stop talking, keep their hands off things, etc.  As they get older, it is getting more and more obvious that they are different than other kids their age - there are kids at church that are 3-4 that can sit through a service quietly or stand up and participate in a program without touching things or getting distracted, and mine can't last 2 minutes!!
    With our backgrounds and educations, we have tried multiple things as far as behavioral interventions, and not much difference.  I really think they can't control it.  They are typically very sorry after they have done something impulsive or destructive, and they can talk about their feelings (mad, sad, jealous, etc.) at a very high level of expression and understanding.  They can talk about situations in theory and give the right answers, even role play, but in the moment, it's all gone and the impulse takes over.  None of the interventions seem to make much impact.  I'd like to try neurofeedback with them when they are older, but most doctors won't do that yet at this age.
    Today was honestly awful and I think DH is finally coming around to getting an eval and considering medication.  I'm not sure how much more insanity we can take.  I'm not at all a person who pushes meds on kids I work with, but this is exhausting!!!

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