Hi all, this is long, sorry.
I joined in the ADHD thread a few months ago wondering (well, just needing confirmation from other mums) whether my son does indeed have ADHD. In June he was diagnosed formally by a truly lovely child psychiatrist and started on dexamphetamine 10mg a day.
The results have been extraordinary but it certainly has not been an easy road and there have been side effects etc. We have had to increase his dose a couple of times as he has grown and put on weight etc, and he was doing well on 7.5mg in the morning and 5mg at lunch time.
But during the second week of the holidays his behaviour started to worsen, initially during swimming lessons (which he loves and usually is fabulous at) so I decided to put up his dose to 10mg in the morning.
The result was so dramatic that I didn't give him his lunch time dose at all and he didn't need it, either. For a couple of weeks we had him on only 10mg a day in the morning and nothing else. He seemed much less up-and-down and it was working beautifully. His paediatrician had been considering Vyvanse but told us that he was on such a small dose of dexamphetamine that we probably shouldn't increase it more if it was working having it all in the morning (the smallest dose of Vyvanse is 15mg) so we've kept him on that.
Back at school (which he really still doesn't like despite having good friends now and supportive teachers) he has been having an extra half tablet after lunch, just to keep him settled during the afternoon when he starts to get bored and tired. That seems to be ok.
There have been a couple of problems (right from the start) with giving him the 10mg in the morning in that he has become more introspective and withdrawn, doesn't want to go outside and play, seems flat. BUT at school he is doing so, so much better and it's really doing wonders for his self-esteem. I doubt that he even needs the 1/2 tablet at lunch time as just 10mg in the morning during the holidays was plenty.
We've introduced an iron supplement now and DH took him out this morning before school for a walk and to kick the ball etc, which went really well. He has resisted going outside so much lately and seems almost `weakened', if that makes sense.
The other issue is that giving him 10mg in the morning kills his appetite and he has lost weight, which also isn't helping his energy levels. He is now just sitting on the 50th percentile for weight and he is in the 90th for height. Plus, at lunch time he is too busy wanting to play to eat as well.
At breakfast and dinner, though, he eats like a horse - the problem being that he has a big dinner, and then is hungry again an hour later before bed, which makes his bedtime later and he still wakes early, hungry.
Lastly, the whole dose in the morning seems to be making him much more obsessional, he said to me last night, `Oh my blasted brain' because at the moment he is fixated on this one thing and he keeps saying `I know there is something wrong with me' - not because of the ADHD (we've never even used that name with him - he wouldn't have a clue what it is. He just knows that his tablets help him at school and is perfectly happy with that). But he is more obsessional and harder to budge from a task or anything else he is very interested in and he thinks THAT is `bad, bad, bad'. We've never come close ever to saying any such thing to him, nor has anyone else. But he does have quite pronounced anxiety and this seems to have worsened.
I'm not exactly sure why this is happening as his daily dose has not changed at all. I will speak to his paed about it but beforehand we want to try some different approaches.
If he doesn't pick up a bit we will definitely reduce his morning dose back to 1.5 tablets and perhaps 1 tablet at lunch time. We are reluctant to make too much of a change, though, because school is torture for him if he can't control his concentration and fidgeting, so we don't want to set him back.
I think that if we can get his weight up and get him outside and running around more the effects of this different distribution of his dosage will lessen.
So, after all that, the point of this post is to ask if anyone else here has had similar issues and, if so, what do you feed your little one to help maintain the weight at an acceptable level, if their appetite suppression has become very problematic?
We already do protein smoothies etc but he's not really a big fan, and he is not a fan of bread or other carbs much, either, so that is very limiting.
Thanks for reading if you've got this far.