messy. crazy. amazing. joyful.

We're not all officially ADHD. Dad's unofficial. Our ten-year-old twins have ADHD. Our seven-year old wants to have it because everyone is always talking about it. Our three year old has ADHD--just because she's three. And me, Mom, I think it's contagious. Who can remain untouched in a house where shoes seem to be lost every morning, instructions are routinely thrown aside, and fights erupt over which continent capybaras come from?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Farewell to Focalin

Hiking at Zion's National Park

We gave up on Focalin. In my opinion, it is either making things worse or it is not making a significant difference in them. To me, it is not worth it to treat my children with drugs if the benefits are negligible. And I feel like I gave it the old college try. We had them on 5 mg for one week and that was not fun. Then I moved them up to 10 mg and that was no better. They started waking up in the middle of the night. And for them, it seems like lack of sleep compounds horrible behavior exponentially.

But we kept on keeping on, and I gave them 10 mg of Focalin in the morning and 3 mg of melatonin at night hoping that it would help them sleep. They didn’t wake at night, but they didn’t seem to sleep deeply. I would check on them before I went to bed, and when I would brush hair off Izzy’s face or straighten Luke’s blanket, they would wake up and grumble, maybe sit up or open their eyes or roll over. Usually, they sleep soundly, even when I re-tuck them in or check on them. Usually there’s nothing but sweet, sleepy breathing.

So we went back down to 5 mg for another week, and I gave them melatonin at night. Still no noticeable improvements. So, we’re done. I have kept them on Intuniv the whole time, and that has made me wonder if perhaps the Intuniv is no longer working. Or maybe the Intuniv doesn’t work well with the stimulants? I don’t know. One thing that doesn’t really add up is that the Intuniv is supposed to control their emotional difficulties/outbursts, but that is the biggest problem they seem to have. I think the emotional outbursts are toned down by the Intuniv, but definitely not completely controlled. They are still a big problem—our biggest problem (and our even-keeled Wyatt seems be adopting their behaviors and crying and yelling more often). Added to that, the uncontrolled emotions seem to get worse when they are taking stimulants.  At this point, I hardly care that they forget their flip flops at the swimming pool. I can deal with that. It’s the screaming, complaining, lack of compliance, fighting, crying, and tantrums that are overrunning our lives. I just hope for some peace and serenity for them and our family. Serenity now!!
            One good thing. They like the job chart. (myjobchart.com) They are getting chores done and getting ready without too much hand holding, and they are very excited to choose their rewards. So it is working for specific tasks. But they can also earn points for behavior—not yelling, not teasing, etc. They have yet to earn points for good behavior, so once again, we will have to modify that and emphasize the importance of good behavior. 

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