HealthDay News — Children with specific gene variants respond better to the drug methylphenidate Ritalin, Concerta, which is widely used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD, a new study says.The finding could help improve treatment of ADHD, according to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center researchers."Physicians don’t have a good way of predicting who will experience great improvement in ADHD symptoms with a particular medication, so currently we use a trial-and-error approach. Unfortunately, as a result, finding an effective treatment can take a long time," lead investigator Dr. Tanya Froehlich, a physician in the division of developmental and behavioral pediatrics, said in a medical center news release.
Last year I was picking my son up at school. I was waiting on the bench outside his classroom with the other parents. His teacher, Mrs. D, always ran late, and our kids had just returned from the playground. They were lined up to use the water fountain. Because they line up by size, my son, the tallest, was last in line, and was helping the boy in front of him by holding down the water fountain handle. Their teacher got impatient, which was common with her. Although it didn’t look like Lawrence was goofing around (which I would definitely recognize, having seen it enough), she snapped at him, "Lawrence! Cut it out!"
My son Lawrence started kindergarten last year. It was kind of tough on him. The class was three hours long, and they only had a short, ten minute recess about halfway through. And unlike pre-school, there was a curriculum that had to be completed by the end of the year. Goodbye Show and Tell, hello learning by rote. His teacher was wonderful and very patient, but it eventually became clear that he was having trouble. Nearly every day he got a time-out for talking in class. His teacher worked with him on these issues, but after all, there were nineteen other children in the class. So she was very concerned that the first grade teachers would be less tolerant than she was, and that his self esteem would suffer from constant discipline and being made to feel like a bad kid. His grades were good, and everyone found him very personable, but he was definitely disruptive.
As I said in my previous SharePost, my son’s kindergarten teacher recommended that we have him evaluated by a pediatric psychiatrist because of what I’ll call behavioral problems, for the sake of a better term. Basically, he was having trouble sitting still and keeping quiet in class. We weren’t too surprised to hear what his teacher had to say. He runs everywhere in our house and frequently blows off steam by hurling himself on the couch or doing somersaults.
While I knew it was a good idea to get him evaluated, I had some trepidation. According to reviews on a local mailing list I belong to, the only doctor in our network tends to see Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder everywhere. If we go outside our network, diagnosis and treatment could cost thousands of dollars, which we don’t have. So I made an appointment with the doctor and hoped for the best. His office sent out a form for Lawrence’s kindergarten teacher to fill out. Bless her heart, she came over the night before the appointment, after the school year had ended, to go over it with us.
Note: I published these posts in the wrong order on the HealthCentral site. I apologize for any confusion.
So, as I said in my last SharePost, my son was recently diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. I had my doubts about the diagnosis. Lawrence’s behavior didn’t exactly fit ADHD, and the doctor also is known for diagnosing ADHD pretty frequently. But I had decided to go with it for now and give the medication, Vyvanse, a shot.
Treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is, on its surface, somewhat insane. You would think that giving someone who’s hyperactive a sedative is, to say the least, counterintuitive. But the brains of people with ADHD react in a completely opposite manner to amphetamines than people without ADHD. Amphetamines make us calmer and more focused. Strange but true.