Monday, August 25, 2014

The Big Fat ADHD Adderall Post

It has been 8 months since we first started Ellie on Adderall.  If you are new to this blog, please read here and here to get the full background as to how Andrew and I came to this decision.

After trial an error, we finally found the right dosage in February.  As in the first two doses did nothing.  Nada. Zip.  It was like giving her a sugar pill.  So girlfriend is a bit tolerant.  Eh, no surprise.

Anyway, AMAZING things have happened since then.  It is as though a cloud has unblocked the sun and my Bear is thriving.  To think that we were so scared to take that step and now I wonder why we didn't start as soon as she turned 4 years-old?

For starters, this happened!

This would be before she decided to practice her artistic skills on our living room chair.

Because she is able to sit still without eating the writing implements, we have seen great progress in her fine motor skills. She can actually grasp a crayon or marker perfectly.  She is still scribbling, but we are starting to see some purposeful horizontal and vertical lines.  At the end of the school year, if her OT placed her hand on top of Ellie's, she was able to write her name!  Now, coloring is a favorite activity of hers.  No paper or writing utensil is safe from her little hands!

Another major advancement is her communication!  Because Ellie now has the ability to attend for short periods of time, she is able to learn signs and tries to string them together.  She is now able to watch our mouths and try to imitate sounds.  It is all very garbled and her "hi" still sounds like a scream, but she tries to say bus [*ss], juice, cracker, car, ball, baby, bye, dada, mama, cat [ack], mouse, Mickey [icky], and yes.  Oh and the all important "cookie".  The word "open" still sounds like "a-baby" which I still don't understand why, but at least we know what it is.

As the school year drew to a close, Ellie was starting to progress cognitively.  This is because the main goals in school were no longer to stop her incessant, purposeless climbing or to get her to sit for 5 seconds in group.  With the Adderall, she could attend and therefore absorb her surroundings and learn during circle time.

Doesn't everyone keep flashcards in their backpack?

A big concern for many parents is "will this make my kid a zombie?" or "will this change her pseronality?"  For Ellie, the answer is no.  Girlfriend is still very sassy, spunky and quite ornery.  She loves to get into trouble.  She practices her selective hearing when she doesn't want to do something.

That would be our electric bill

We still see this, but it is purposeful and without a possessed look about her.

The main side effect that we have seen is decreased appetite.  She did lose 1.5 lb initially, but was stable up until a month ago.  Her most recent weight loss is related to her GI issues.  Pre-GI, she wouldn't eat until the afternoon when her medication would wear off.  She would eat a large afternoon snack, a large dinner, and a large bedtime snack!

We have tried drug holidays on the weekend and it was disastrous.  For her (and for us).  She would be outside and want to play in the sandbox, but she just couldn't.  She had to run, climb, and spin around.  She would keep returning to the sandbox and then frustrated because her mind would tell her otherwise.  It was devastating to watch.  It was as though she finally knew what she was missing.

The school year will start in just a few days.  With her late September birthday, she will have another year of Pre-K.  I am really excited to see what this year brings!


  1. I am glad you found something that helps Ellie focus her attention on the good things. It's wonderful to hear that she is progressing with her speech, OT, and cognition! Don't beat yourself up about starting her on the medication sooner........that's a hard road to go down and I know that you and Andrew thought about it for a long time. No one wants to put their kiddo on medication if they can help it. But she is doing wonderfully and I hope that continues for all of you!

  2. Actually, we keep flashcards in our diaper bag. lol. It's been a great distraction tool and something fun for my older daughters to do in a short amount of time with Teagan. :) I'm so glad you found something and have been able to see how much she has grown. I can't wait to follow her for the next year and see how much she continues to grow.

    1. The $1 bin at Target! That is where I stock up on flashcards

  3. Oh, YAY!! I'm so thrilled this is working for her! I remember the angst going in and am just *delighted* it's worked out. Whoot!


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