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Thread: Developmental disorders in children - diagnosis, treatment?

  1. #1
    dangletsbang
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    Developmental disorders in children - diagnosis, treatment?

    I liked a page on facebook called 'uncensored mama's'..it's kind of unclassy due to all the cussing the mothers do but they post various topics and people debate, complain, post fan questions, rants, etc..

    Someone posted a few days ago about how her son has ADHD, is about to turn 8 and has been on medicaton for 5 years but cannot find a med to work anymore..that would mean he's been on meds since like what..2 1/2, 3 years old? Some moms were posting how they have their two year olds on ADHD/ADD medications..

    I'm not bashing medicating children at all, so please don't turn this into a debate..and please, no one be offended by this thread. Everyone has their opinion, all children are different, all disabilities are different, all parents are different..i'm genuinely curious how they can accurately diagnose a toddler [2/3] with things like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, attention deficit disorder, oppositional defiant disorder..? and how do they justify medicating a toddler for ADD/ADHD? Like ODD for instance - it's defined as uncooperative, defiant, hostile behaviour toward authoritive figures in one definition I found. My almost 2 year old does that sometimes but I connect it with just being a toddler..I guess I could understand if the child is angry/violet/resentful 24/7 that would be a sign of he/she having an issue.

    My personal opinion, 2/3 is a tad too young to be accurately diagnosed with certain things..they're so young and developing..finding themselves, their independence, their personalities..and medicating at that age seems like overkill, I feel medication should be a last resort unless the child is a danger to themselves or other people. If my son is ever diagnosed with something like that, medication will be a last resort. BUT keep in mind, like I said..I understand every kid is different. Disabilities and their severity will be different, medication may be vital to one kid but to another kid the mother just may be impatient or the [bad] doctor just wants to get the kid/parents out of his hair and prescribes medication.

    I can fully understand things such as autism, learning disabilities, aspergers syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder, communication disabilities, etc..being diagnosed at that age because that's something that most of the time has signs..like autism - repetitive movement [rocking, head rolling, etc], compulsive behavior, restricted behavior [being obsessed with one toy, tv show, etc], have a daily ritual, etc. I know that isn't the case in everyone..sometimes people aren't diagnosed till much later in life, sometimes people are never diagnosed beause their symptoms aren't severe or even hardly mild..

    I'm honestly [clearly] not that educated with this matter, which is a point of this thread..I have ADHD myself and take medication for it, I was diagnosed at the age of 20 and I feel the disability is really over-diagnosed in children. My parents were very against medicating me when I was younger and even refused to have me diagnosed even though I struggled very much in school with the ability to focus. My mind literally bounces all over the place, very rarely can I focus on ONE thing for a consistent period of time without my medication. I could never finish anything I started ever and I had no motivation for anything. Finally, I went to the doctor after I had my son and he prescribed me medication which has honestly been the best thing for me. I take it during the work week and it improves my ability to focus, start/finish, increases the amount of work I do and not let my mind wonder.

    I'm really interested in learning more about these things, experiences from parents with children with disabilities [ages of diagnosis, how they were diagnosed, signs before diagnosis,treatment - diet, alternative education, medication, etc], other people with disabilities like adhd, add, odd and how it affects your daily life.

  2. #2
    avman
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    I think you've hit on an extremely controversial area of disorders and there isn't really a clear winner as far as "this absolutely works". What is overkill to one parent is a miracle to another. Children react differently to different treatments. And then you have situations where professionals are enamoured by a certain disorder or treatment and diagnoses it everywhere.

    I'm inclined to agree with you that a 2-5 year old is far too young to be accurately diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. This is also merely my opinion based on what I've observed and the therapists and treatment professionals I've talked to. So many normal behaviors for a toddler get lumped into a "problem" category because parents or others feel that there must be something wrong with a toddler who is hard to manage. Yet it's normal for a toddler to be very hard to manage. It's only if something becomes very significant where you'd start looking to a mental health diagnosis.

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    dangletsbang
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    I agree on it being a controversial subject..and lot of parents will be defensive because it's a sensitive subject so I did hesitate when making this thread. I don't want anyone to feel attacked or guilty..everyone, everything, every single situation is different. Just curious. I fully agree with what you say about it being normal for toddlers being hard to manage sometimes, that's why in my eyes it seems so 'soon' I guess for a 2/3/4 year old to be diagnosed and medicated for ADD/ADHD.

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    avman
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    It's a huge controversy. Especially in the foster care world right now. There has been a big tendency to overmedicate children to make them "easier" to deal with. Now awareness is being raised that the issue isn't that the children are hard to manage, it is that they have gone through tremendous trauma in their lives. Issues of trauma and grief can manifest themselves as a whole variety of mental disorders. And naturally it's easier to take pills (or force someone to take pills) then to address the problem using lengthly and expensive therapy.

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    allielynn
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    I am on the fence about this. My 3 year old son has ADHD as a secondary disability, as well as apraxia and SI disorder...stemming from fragile x syndrome.

    He very obviously has ADHD. Now....there is NOTHIGN wrong with diagnosing a 3 year old with a specific disorder. ESPECIALLY if it is impacting their regular learning...for example, my son was cognitively delayed partially because he could not pay attention in 1 on 1 therapy.

    What I DON'T agree with is overmedicating.

    Theres NO reason that a 3 year old should be on medication. My sons neurologist wanted to put him on an antipsychotic drug. NO WAY.

    Instead, I opted for more therapy. Changing his diet, and helping him learn to COPE with his disability. Medicating is not coping. Medicating is compensating. What about when my child is 30, and does not know how to live a normal life because he spent his entire life on medication to fix the problem ?

    My son is 3. On top of PSD, speech, occupational therapy, and PT.....he sees a psychologist 2x a week. We impliment the same strategies at home. We help him learn to live with the fact that his brain works differently and responds to different stimulation. He is aware that when he feels overstimulated he can relax in a small quiet space. He's aware that if he is having trouble coping, I let him take small sips of soda (Caffeine is actually a stimulant as well, although not NEARLY as strong as the medication kind.) These are things you DON'T lean on medication for

    All medication does is treat the symptoms. Then again, so would sticking your kid in front of a TV all day because it helps keep him calm-- or letting them run wild and just keeping them in your house.

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    dangletsbang
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    Quote Originally Posted by allielynn [Register to see the link]
    My son is 3. On top of PSD, speech, occupational therapy, and PT.....he sees a psychologist 2x a week. We impliment the same strategies at home. We help him learn to live with the fact that his brain works differently and responds to different stimulation. He is aware that when he feels overstimulated he can relax in a small quiet space. He's aware that if he is having trouble coping, I let him take small sips of soda (Caffeine is actually a stimulant as well, although not NEARLY as strong as the medication kind.) These are things you DON'T lean on medication for

    All medication does is treat the symptoms. Then again, so would sticking your kid in front of a TV all day because it helps keep him calm-- or letting them run wild and just keeping them in your house.
    It's interesting that you mentioned caffeine as way of helping him. On the page I mentioned in the first post, a few mother's posted that they 'medicate' by giving their children coffee. One mom said she gives her 8 year old two cups of coffee before school, one at lunch and one after school for his ADHD symptoms. Funny how caffeine can disrupt a certain person's thinking pattern and then make another person focus better at the same time.

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    allielynn
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    I would NEVER give him tat much caffeine. That's basically self medicating!!!! It's like giving a person with a mental disorder a couple beers to hep them relax.

    Sometimes he CAN'T cope, and during those times I let him have a few sips of soda...or a dark-chocolate candy bar. Yesterday, he was off the wall INSANE. He couldn't calm down, and I could tell he was really suffering. I knew he wasn't going to make any progress in that state of mind. Our coping techniques were not helping, and he was starting to shut down.

    So after he ate his lunch, I gave him half of a dark chocolate candy bar...Just to stimulate him enough to take the edge off so that he could have a progressive day

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    allielynn
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    Eventually he will need medication...but I'm hoping to have a strong foundation BEFORE that becomes a requirement.

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    Butterfly~Wrists
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    From a psychological perspective, many doctors OVER prescribe treatments as it is easier to deal with. Many of these children do not actually have ADHD etc and are given medication rather than try and disern the actual problem. There are many cases where children do have such issues, which in my opinion are better of using therapy over medication, unless the child needs stabalising before being able to fully interact in a theraputic situation. I feel sorry for kids who are put on drugs at a young age.
    When I was a toddler I was diagnosed with ADHD and something along the autistic spectrum as I was constantly hyper and would not communicate, later they found out that I wouldn't communicate because I couldn't hear, but it was easier to say it's a mental disorder, just because I was developmentally behind. My mum refused medication for me, which is a good thing, as over the long term, medication can change the young brain synaptic connections and neurons etc. (I think I have the right words...).. Why is none of this related to my revision? haha... Procrastination for the win..

    Dang, next time, ask about something I can revise with

    Also, if you think your little one has ADHD or is showing symptoms, try not to over stimulate him, try to keep his sugar intake down (including natural sugars) other than in the mornings. From some studies that has been found to help.

  10. #10
    Butterfly~Wrists
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    Quote Originally Posted by allielynn [Register to see the link]
    Eventually he will need medication...but I'm hoping to have a strong foundation BEFORE that becomes a requirement.
    Sorry to hear about your son. Try and keep him med free until he's between 7-9+ if possible. I'm glad theres a parent like you who is against medicating young children.

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