My plea for help

Folks, I’m hoping someone smart can help me out here.  My 8-year-old son has ADHD, pretty much just like I do, only his is much closer to incapacitating.  We’ve cycled through a number of medicines.  He has a problem taking pills, but the liquid ADD medications wear off in just a coupe of hours – we end up on three doses a day, and they don’t last long enough for him to function well to the next dosing time.  We’ve done a patch, but it irritates his skin so badly that he can’t stop itching it.  We’ve used Concerta, which works, but only for 3-4 hours.  We’re on a new medication (forget the name, and can’t grab the bottle right now to check it).  It’s a larger capsule than the Concerta, so he has even more trouble swallowing it.

If we don’t figure some way to get his focus problems under control, he’s going to be kicked out of his current school.  It is a very good school, and his teachers have been great since we’ve been there.  I know the counselor at his current school thinks he’s just not that bright, but I know that isn’t the problem – she wants him evaluated for a learning disability.  I don’t know if it is boredom (which was my problem with school), or if he is setting himself up to fail intentionally because his handwriting isn’t good and he thinks he can deflect from that problem by making it appear to be another problem.  He has an absurdly sharp memory, so anything that gets through to him sticks.  It’s a matter of getting his attention and getting the information into his head.

I need some advice on how to help him take his medication, so we can make it a less stressful event and make sure it happens every day.  I am hoping for some advice as well on how to help him focus better.  I’ve never gotten my ADD under control except through medication, but mine isn’t as severe as his and I can function fairly well even when I’m having troubles focusing.  I don’t know how to help him get better, and I don’t know what information on the web is actually worth consuming.

Please.  Anyone?

Thanks.

[tags]ADD, ADHD, Help[/tags]

8 Replies to “My plea for help”

  1. When you say “He has a problem taking pills,” what do you mean? Does he just hate the feeling or the taste and refuses? Is it a physical problem? (I know some people have real trouble swallowing.)

    One thought comes to mind, but you probably thought it already: Grind the pill and mix it with something. Fudge comes to mind because A) it tastes great, and B) you don’t have to cook it.

    You might also consider calling the company that makes it and asking whether it would work if baked into a cookie. Many chemicals maintain their properties even after baking.

    Of course, you can always offer him the suppository alternative. 🙂

  2. He *can* take pills, but doesn’t like the experience. He is resistant to taking them, and makes it much harder than it needs to be. I understand – he’s not quite 8 yet. Just wish he’d be less resistant, because he is totally capable if he just does it.

  3. First talk to Jerry. There use to be a pharmacy in the area that could make anything taste good. Perhaps there is some way to do something in this area.

    Now the touchier subject… and I am going to be a bit of a devil’s advocate here.

    > I know the counselor at his current school thinks he’s just not
    > that bright, but I know that isn’t the problem – she wants him
    > evaluated for a learning disability.

    Is he really? Or is that the parents of the son talking? You’re a bright guy, and I really listen to what you have to say. However, I take a big old grain of salt to any parent for what they have to say about their offspring.

    Two words: Mr. Wilton.

    ‘nuff said.

    My advice. Get him tested. If not through that school because you want this private for now, then fork about the dead presidents and get him tested elsewhere. It is the only way to know. Hell, it could be some beatable obstacle as a learning issue that is simply adding heavily to the ADHD.

    /tg

  4. Is he really? Or is that the parents of the son talking? You’re a bright guy, and I really listen to what you have to say. However, I take a big old grain of salt to any parent for what they have to say about their offspring.

    Of course you should question my statement since I’m talking about my own son. When I first told his doctor this, he response was approximately “That’s absurd. It’s easy to see how bright he is.”

    I could be way off, but pretty much everyone outside the school counselor thinks he’s a smart kid, so I think it’s probably an accurate claim on my part. Even his previous teacher said it’s obvious he knows all the things they are going over in class. She specifically said the issue he has is writing things down (he hates writing) or even getting him to sit still and focus long enough to answer questions for someone else to write (which she did sometimes for him).

    We do plan on having him tested, but I prefer to go with someone my doctor recommends just because I already have an established relationship with my doctor and trust his recommendations based on previous good results. Of course, that leads us to the problem of getting the counselor to accept an unknown-to-her party, but we’ll deal with that problem later. I expect to her from our doctor Monday or Tuesday with a referral.

  5. Could be that he has a mild form of dyslexia, not AD(H)D. My brother was diagnosed as ADD, and always had trouble in school. He was always criticized for just being “not that bright”, but in the end he finally was properly diagnosed as dyslexic. From what you describe with your sons issues with writing it could be that this is the case here. BTW, my brother went from a D student to a A/B student after he was properly diagnosed. Just a thought anyway.

  6. I have not voiced that concern before other than to my mother, but I seriously believe that he may have a bit of dyslexia. It’s hard for me to get a feel (and of course, testing is really the only way to really know), because he is a decent/good reader, but he does stumble on words he knows sometimes.

  7. Jeez. I must be getting really soft or something. Normally what I pose a question worth thinking about, or offer mild criticism it sends people into a rage, their head splits open lava gushes forth, their eyes turn to twin abyss pools and sharks with laser beams come out their ass. Damn, I really am loosing my touch. 😉

    Anyway, I was thinking the same thing Adam said about a mild case of dyslexia. Add to that the apple not falling far from the tree, bright, board and ADD.

    /tg

  8. Having a learning disability doesn’t always mean someone is not bright, sometimes they just learn differently than their peers. Like Dyslexia – once a child retrains his brain to learn a new way he does well. Get the test and the sooner the better. I always just beat my kids till their learning disability is gone. 🙂 JUST KIDDING!!!

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