From Concerta via Ritalin to Elvanse & Strattera, a month’s journey in meds

UnknownI wonder how families who have only the NHS to fare cope when it comes to “Child and Adolescent Mental Health“?  Our initial meeting with the NHS pyschiatrist left me holding some Concerta 12-hour stimulant medication – and a date for a follow up meeting IN A MONTH. A Month was too long, too long by 28 days almost, as the daily rollercoaster of keeping our son on track began. Continue reading “From Concerta via Ritalin to Elvanse & Strattera, a month’s journey in meds”

Countdown to Meds for my 12 year old ADDer

IMG_0671On Tuesday, we give up with the year’s experiment of keeping our ADHD  son unmedicated, and head for the pharmacy. Despite the promises of the NHS with their NICE guidelines suggesting Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Social Skills training, group and individual therapy and parenting classes – it’s clear that NONE of it is available. There is only medication on the NHS, and the rest is down to you the parents to sort. Mental health is appalling in the UK, we just don’t get it.

Of course medication is no silver bullet, I have read too many chat room posts and message boards where adult ADDers talk Ritalin, Strattera, Concerta, Medikenet, dosages, availability – like drug addicts swapping tips. It may or may not work, but the alternative (nothing) doesn’t work either. Continue reading “Countdown to Meds for my 12 year old ADDer”

ADD kids are hunters, the rest are farmers

Childrearing in traditional societies – a lesson for ADD parents

For a year since my 12 year old son was diagnosed with ADHD, I’ve been trying to get hold of the Hunter school in Massachussetts. Recommended by a friend in the States, it’s known for its alternative ways of schooling children with ADD, I have a hunch it might help me find some behavioural strategies that just aren’t available here in the UK. It’s so called, because it believes ADD kids are genetic throwbacks to a time when we were “hunters”, alert to all sounds in the jungle (have I lost you already?), as opposed to our so-called civilised society where we have become “farmers”, able to tend to our corner of the world by sitting still and waiting for the crops to grow. This link to a Radio 4 programme today looks at childrearing strategies in “Hunter” tribes in Papua New Guinea, as opposed to childrearing strategies in the Western world. The programme speaks to parents of ADHD children. Click the letter “C” in the title to listen to the clip.