We went to the doctor and he took us very seriously. He said Nathan's a child in crisis and we're a family in crisis. As the father of a child with ADHD, he felt strongly that Nathan has ADHD. He put him on 10 mg of Ritalin twice a day. It's the generic of course and for the first few days I'm not sure Nathan was getting the full dosage because we were crushing it up and hiding it. Finally Tuesday morning I showed him the size of the pill I take and I showed him his pill and asked which one would be easier for him. He chose his and after a few tries, he was able to down it no problem.
Tuesday was his first full day on 10 mg twice a day and he had a pretty good day. Since he hadn't been given his full dose most likely, when I gave my feedback to the doctor on Tuesday, he wanted to start Nathan on 15 mg on Wed. I did it. I shouldn't have because he really hadn't had the full dosage prior to that. I gave him the 15 mg and for an hour or so it was okay, but add that his sister is home for summer break and she's got her own issues: it turned into hell. He had worse impulse control than he had had prior to taking the Ritalin. It turned into a very violent night and a long night. Thursday I gave him a 10 mg pill and still by the early afternoon he was out of control, and his sister was feeding off his anger so it was a very angry night at our house.
Today is Friday and I've not given him anything. It's still been a horrible day. His sister isn't helping much with her attitude which I can't seem to get to the bottom of but then his lack of impulse control added into that mix has just made for another exhausting and heartbreaking day.
So now we have a choice, after talking to the doctor:
1) We can bump up his Ritalin again
2) We can switch him to Adderall
3) We can forget medication and get him to see a pyschiartrist.
I'm not looking for a fast fix, but since he can't get in to University of Iowa for extensive testing until Sept 23rd, we have to find something. Max isn't sure he wants to deal with Nathan on 20 mg and I can understand that because it would be just him dealing as I work all day tomorrow and Sunday. It could work but it could go horribly wrong and be a day of Nathan on speed. One thing when I did have him on the 15 mg, he talked nonstop for over an hour. It's like he talked his thoughts.
I've tried to "research" my options on the net but there are so many scary stories out there about Ritalin (even the generic) that it's hard to wade through the rhetoric, scare tactics, and the life experiences. It's hard enough that my 5 year old son is on a behavior drug like this but I'm having a hell of a time find any real experiences that aren't completely jaded and one sided.
All I know is we have to do something. I'm signing up for a parenting class and meet with them on Tuesday. We're working on a reward system for good behavior and house rules. We're reading books out the ying yang. Somewhere, something's gotta give, and hopefully it will happen soon before someone (Me most likely) really gets hurt. He may be 5 but he's damn strong.