The new dosage of medicine (Concerta, 54mg) in the grand scheme of things was apparently a pretty high dosage. We changed doctors because of a move, and the new one said she wouldn’t prescribe that amount for a 6-year-old child, as she thinks it’s too much for his size. She suggested that since it’s summer, we try to do without medication for a few weeks, or perhaps the whole summer. I was not happy with this at first, but warmed to it after a bit of thought. If we tried a new medicine later, perhaps it would be good to compare the results to results with Concerta, and also with a non-medicated day.
So, on a Saturday morning we didn’t give him his medicine.
Following are the results, all out of character:
Day ONE off meds:
• Destroyed a leather chair by drawing in pen all over it. Poked a hole in it too.
• Shredded a magazine
• Didn’t seem under control
• Couldn’t finish ONE task, even with lots of reminders and help. E.g. Breakfast, getting dressed, putting something away, cleaning up the spilled breakfast, going into the other room, closing the door,
• He ate two lunches and 3 snacks and was hungry before dinner. (Good news – much better appetite)
• Throwing handfuls of rocks into the grass
• Smashing wadded up tin foil into our new trees
• Didn’t seem to hear when I was yelling at him to get out of the way of the door of a grocery, several times
• Nervous energy
• continuous noise / talking
• Banging on things, or things together
• Continuous movement
• Disregard for boundaries, destroying things
• Sparring for Tae Keon Do was very aggressive.
• Greater appetite
Wondering about Day 3 of medication? Ha! That wasn’t going to happen. We started on Adderall on Day 3. And that was great news as with the lowest dosage, we saw wonderful improvements, over no medication, but he said he liked the way he felt better than when he was on the other medicine. Wow, great news! He didn’t give much in the way of examples, but when I asked things like “do you feel better inside?”, and “do you like it better than the other medicine”, he said yes. I also asked if he felt better on the outside of his body but he said No. I was trying to get to the jumpy/nervous energy behavior, but I’m not sure I succeeded in communicating that.
After almost a week on that dosage, we could tell when we picked him up from camp that he wasn’t as under control as he had been previously. He agreed and we upped the dosage once per the doctor’s recommendation. So far so good… His account of the impact of the latest medication: “I try harder.” Let’s see how long this works well for him.
I wish we’d changed medication (versus continuing to increase the previous medication’s dosage) sooner, but you just can’t tell how it will work out. We try, we assess, we learn, we improve. And we are patient.