ADHD Caused by Chemo
I am Still Totally ADD's wife. As he says he has ADD, not ADHD. He works very hard but he is not hyperactive, which is what the H stand for. ADD is Attention Deficit Disorder. And yes he fades in the afternoon when his ritalin begins to wear off. We have been married for almost 43 years and I can tell you that ritalin has made a definite difference in both our lives. He has remodeled at least 20 houses. He can see in his mind exactly how he wants to transform a house and then proceeds to do it. He is working on remodeling an old farmhouse we just bought. Someday (sigh) I hope not to live in a construction zone.
Thank you all for sharing your information. Every bit helps as my wife and I move forward.
The existence of ADHD is hotly debated among child psychologists. Most ARE in agreement that it cannot be "caused" by any external factor, while several are of the opinion that it doesn't exist at all and that it's merely a convenience label slapped onto children who are more rambunctious than normal and certain people (mainly teachers) simply don't have the patience to deal with them, so they pressure the parents to get their children "help" in the form of prescription medication. That medication, however, HAS been known to cause a multitude of problems.
As a child, I was placed on various meds for a number of fabricated disorders I was later proven not to have. Meds included Paxil (back before it was restricted to adults only), Mellaril, Desyrel, Cogentin, and even Haldol. Yes, they put me on Haldol at eight years old because a school counselor chalked my wild imagination up to hallucinations without even bothering to ask me whether I believed the characters I drew pictures of and told stories about were real or made up.
Nevuela, I agree that there is over-diagnosis of many illnesses but there is such a thing as ADD; depression; bi-polar behavior in children. I am an example of that.
Whether they should be medicated is a separate issue and one I don't pretend to have the answers to. It is unfortunate that a teacher's word was taken as a medical observation by the psychiatrist who treated you.
Nevuela I'm sorry to hear that happened too you. The little research I have done to this point states that roughly 20% of cases of ADHD are caused by external events. Things like ongoing chemo, physical trauma like abuse and so on.
My son has extraordinary circumstances and many side effects from the chemo treatment. He has ongoing physical therapy due to damage done to ligaments and his muscular system. Occupational therapy for the neurological damage that affects his writing ability. E.g. His 7 year old sister is more advanced in her penmanship then him by long shot and he is approaching 10.
He went through a battery of behavioral exams as did my wife, me, and his teacher to determine what is going on with him. He is also scheduled for a thorough psychological work up as he struggles with anxiety and depression. So his diagnosis was not determined flippantly.
My wife and I are in no way opposed to medication. However due to his recovering from a battery of medications we will be taking a break for a little while, and reexamine it on an ongoing basis. We are currently working up strategies to help him develop the executive functions he needs to be an independent socially adjusted responsible adult. We have also seen tremendous improvement over the last year since he has completed his chemo. As an example when he started regular school last year he was two years behind where he needed to be and was disruptive in class. Roid rage sucks. Part of his protocol was a heavy dose of steroids a week out of every month. Now within a single year he is caught up to his grade level and ahead in some areas, and does not have any behavioral issues at school.
Again thank you everyone for your insights as we will be considering and utilizing all your knowledge in one way or another to help us help him.
ADHD, anxiety, and depression are the holy trinity. Been there, done that. From what I understand meds that help with ADHD can make the anxiety worse, and vice versa. Meds for any of this are an inexact science and must be adjusted frequently. Brain chemistry changes over time, probably more so with children as they develop.
Learning mindfulness, which even a kid can do, proves helpful for many. It helps to separate one from their many thoughts and let them observe them instead of giving into all of them, as people with ADHD often struggle with impulsivity. I don't have a regular practice, but I did use the Calm app at one point and liked it. For some it is a chance to focus for a time, working out that focus muscle. Me, I am likely ADHD overfocused type, and I can hyperfocus like nobody's business if need be.
I don't want to give you or him false hope, and I also don't want to demonize ADHD, but maybe there's hope that he could come out of it as things change in his body and as he gets farther away from what I think you referred to as chemo brain, or something like that.
Oh, a good podcast that helps shine light on those with ADHD that are successful is called Faster Than Normal. It is a good listen. I just thought of that one today and thought I'd share.
ADHD is an executive function disorder. Chances are your son knows what to do or not to do but has difficulty executing it at times. Plus he's a kid. Plus he's coming off steroids. Plus the chemo meds. Plus, plus, plus, but the good news is that as time goes by he'll subtract those things. I'm just sorry that he has to go through it now. Sounds like his short life has had some really tough times. I hope he gets to just be a kid sometimes and enjoy life.
Dubstepped thank you. I will be checking out that site. Everyone keep them coming please.
Mindfulness meditation has helped my family tremendously. My kids watch a YouTube channel nightly before bed called Zen Den. It's perfect for kids. My kids love the U.K. accent.
Nice! Heck, I love a UK accent and might go watch Zen Den myself, lol.
Aha, I just remembered another site that my wife and I liked back when we really researched ADHD. It was coming out just as we were starting to move on from being so involved, but it is TotallyADD.com and it has a lot of resources. I just went there and it is still around and probably much better now. It was brand new back then, so it likely has more information available than even back then.
Just a thought...
My 15 year old grandson came to me a little while ago.
Very seriously , he said 'Nana, you know what?, I have Asperger Syndrome and ADHD . I just smiled. He said 'You must have already known'. We just laughed and I told him I have ADD. Yes I knew. We just have Interesting Brains.
It's now our private joke.
If you can, try to keep it light and relax while you are learning about this.
With my grandson , we did a heavy metal cleanse. It helped with both syndromes. It's an alternative method and may not be for everyone. I am not discounting Medication.
He has a photographic mind . Has had a few Art Shows.
He even has a girl friend...smile. They go to museums together.
I know, Nana's bragging.