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Son diagnosed with ADHD, need help with treatment issues
starshiner posted:
History - I had made an appointment with a behavioral specialist. It took 6 months to see her. We gathered all of my sons tests and resources his school provided to access him. Myself and the school filled out a Connors questioner and the Vanderbilt scales. The specialist determined he was ADHD. She also does not prescribe meds.

Can anyone give your experience with medicating a young child? Is one medication better? How do you recognize bad side effects from meds and what to look for? Do the meds change the child's personality?

We also are using trial and error to find the best system to keep him focused with his daily tasks and homework.

My son leans more towards short attention span and a slight case of hyperactivity. He also has sleep apnea that also displayed similar behaviors like ADHD. After all the facts were given, he indeed was ADHD

I tried to include as much info as I know.
busyIndianamom responded:
My son started medication at age 4, very young, he takes Metadate. He has impulsive ADHD and is now 10. He did much better on medication, the one side effect was weight loss due to appetite loss. He was a little chubby so a couple pound loss was not much but now the appetite loss is not much, he eats quite a bit. We have a check up every three months and he is above average for height and weight.
A routine is best and we have found doing a sport or some sort of physical activity is also good, it wears him out and deals woth the hyperactivity.
Good luck, this is a frustrating condition but we will survive.
Patricia Quinn, MD responded:
Dear Starshiner

Deciding to medicate your child for his ADHD is probably one of the most difficult decisions a parent has to make. Most parents only want what is best for their child. Remember, you are not making a decision to put him on for the rest of his life, only to see what works now and how it can help him. That being said, it is important to have realistic expectations for the medication and to get as much information as possible so that you will know what to look for. Be sure you discuss all of this with the physician who will be prescribing the medication. Stimulants are the treatment of choice to start and work equally well in most cases. There will be some trial and error to find the best medication and the correct dose for your child. You shoudl work with your physician to target symptoms (you can use those scales you filled out) and then see how the medication improves these symptoms. MEDICATION SHOULD NEVER CHANGE A CHILD'S PERSONALITY, just decrease hyperactiving and improve attention span. The main side effects are appetite decrease and stomachaches in children. Hope this helps! Remember ask lots of questions and get as much information about ADHD and medication as you can. Also be sure you speak with your son. There are books out there for him as well. My book, Putting on the Brakes, is coming out with a new edition this Spring. Look for it!

Pat Quinn, MD

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