Tag Archives: Ritalin

Question?: Adhd Test

Ken asks…

How can you tell if an autistic child is also ADHD?

I have an 8 yr old son who is autistic and ADHD also runs in my family. Basically it seems ADHD and some form of the autism spectrum does as my nieces and nephew had one or both and my daughter is ADHD with testing for aspergers goin on. How can I get my son tested for adhd since he is non-communicative?

admin answers:

ADHD is commonly misdiagnosed with people that have Asperger’s Syndrome. The theory isn’t the change of mind but the fact that an obsessive mind causes them to move onto other subjects. One thing will cause another thought and so forth. This is not ADHD but doctors are more interested in prescribing Ritalin since this is an income stream for them. I would tell your school and they can test him or I would call a psychologist that specializes in Autism Spectrum Disorders and they will diagnose.

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Question?: Adhd Diet

Sharon asks…

What are some alternatives to Ritalin and other medications, when treating ADHD in a child?

What are some alternatives to Ritalin and other medications, when treating ADHD in a child?

admin answers:

Hi January Prom Queen,

Good question. Many people do not even consider alternatives. There are many claims of alternatives, but most of them don’t have research to back them up.
1. EEG biofeedback. This is a treatment which has some research but it has been plagued by poor research design and small sample sizes. Yet, I did this approach for 2.5 years or so and it was effective with many of my clients. The major challenges are it can be lengthy, expensive and there is a lack of standardization which is frustrating. It is also not easy to find people in many areas who do EEG biofeedback. See a blog post of mine from 2007 on that topic in my first source link.
2. Pay attention to your diet. Like EEG biofeedback this area is struggling with a lack of robust and large research, same problems small sample sizes and poor research design. However, “don’t eat your fruits and vegetables you’ll get ADHD” It was a blog post about how pesticides recently in a large well-designed study found that pesticides were related to ADHD in typical American children. So, that is worth reading. With more mild cases of ADHd removing foods based upon what is suggested in that article (e.g. Eat local or organic fruits and vegetables). Yet, it is unclear how much that will help you pay attention once you have ADHD.
3. Cogmed Working Memory TrainingTM. I do this program with clients anywhere in the U. S. My son’s results have been amazing. However, I am a clinical psychologist so I was originally swayed by the very good research. Yet, my son is a freshman in high school and he is getting the best grades of his life after doing this program. Read more in my 3rd source below.

So, when looking for alternatives to ADHD medicines be sure to look for research. In my experience of over 7 years of looking for answers for my own son Cogmed Working Memory Training was the best answer I found for my son. He doesn’t take any medications.

Dr. Chaz

So, looking for

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Question?: Adhd Diet

David asks…

What are some alternatives to Ritalin and other medications, when treating ADHD in a child?

What are some alternatives to Ritalin and other medications, when treating ADHD in a child?

admin answers:

My son uses vyvance on school days only. The medicine comes with side effects, being mood, grumpy, and appetite, doesn’t like to eat, doesn’t go to sleep untill about 1030pm. We really hate the medicine, but grades have improved and teacher is happy. I feel pushed to keep my child on this… And they think it should be a miracle pill that makes you sit down and shut up. It just doesn’t work that way.Then on weekends we try controlling sugar and dye intake. People don’t realize that blue and red dye have a lot of adverse effects. So we don’t give the pill in the summer or any day he does not go to school and try diet. That helps, nice fresh foods instead of processed.

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Question?: Rett Syndrome In Boys

Carol asks…

Who here has had their families disrupted by an autistic child?

My daughter is almost 9 and we love her very much, but she has become almost too much for the family to handle. She started her 4th different medication this morning, we have tried Ritalin, Adderal, Risperdal (an anti-psychotic) and today Strattera. I am at the doctor with her every month and we still don’t even have a firm autism diagnosis (and they have been working with her for SIX YEARS). She is in special ed. classes year-round in the lowest functioning classroom, and operates at about a 12 month level…I realize as a parent you do what you have to do, but the emotional strain of having a child that does nothing but SCREAM day and night has taken its toll on all of us. I know about respite care but that scares me b/c of the chance someone could be mean to her or molest her or anything like that, and she wouldn’t be able to tell us that it happened. She is very clumsy and has hurt herslef twice this past year, and CPS just LOVES to visit my home and give me grief about it.
As I said we love her very much but the starin has become too much to handle. If anyone has similar experiences I would love to hear your story and make chat for some support…Thanks…Mommy 38 weeks with number 6

admin answers:

Hello…my daughter has an autistic spectrum disorder (Rett Syndrome) and if you haven’t had her tested for this please do! It mostly affects girls as autism mostly affects boys, and girls with it are usually misdiagnosed with autism or CP. Www.rettsyndrome.org

Yes, it is very stressful and has a huge strain on the family. But there are a lot of support groups out there. You always have to be careful about caregivers. I am lucky enough to be a stay at home mom and scared to death to EVER leave her alone with anyone. If I do use respite, I will make sure it is a female. My daughter is only 3 and will enter school soon…I will keep a very close eye on them! I will drop in whenever I can unannouced. Why does CPS visit you? I have never even talked to them. What are the meds for?

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Question?: Treatment For Autism In Adults

Sandra asks…

Does anyone agree that our culture has become overly therapeutic?

It seems like these days everyone has some disorder or another. We’ve all got depression, anxiety problems, codependency issues, ADD, half of us are bipolar/unipolar what have you…

and apparently now every child needs ritalin and a steady supply of behavioral meds for their autism.

Doesn’t anyone else see that this is all just a ploy to make the pharmaceutical companies rich and richer?

admin answers:

I would define our society as overly diagnosed. In general, the stigma is still quite in place regarding admitting to and/or seeking treatment for mental health issues. As more people in the public eye “confess” to their bouts of depression, the overall negative view of depression has become slightly improved, yet also abused. I personally believe as we get further and futher from basic values and communication, the increased levels of stress, anxiety and depression are a natural result.
I think what frightens me the most is the alarming increase in childhood “psychiatric disorders.” To a certain extent children are supposed to have a shorter attention span. That is a skill that is acquired overtime (although I know many adults who have still not mastered this developmental skill). The medical field and the pharmaceutical companies must share some of the blame. Parents must also learn to advocate for their children, provide a healthy and nurturing environment and not, as some do, look for a “medicinal” quick fix for their children’s behaviors.

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Question?: Pdd-nos Checklist

Mary asks…

Please: Any parents out their with children with adhd and autism?

I forgot to mention she is 5 yrs old in kindergarden
My sister has a child that has ADHD and symptoms of autism( the doc said she doesn’t have autism but has related symptoms) and i was wondering is there anything you did to really help out your child. My sister cries about it on a regular basis because her daughter is mean to other kids(doc said a side effect of kids with extreme adhd).

She did not want to put her on medication but it got to the point where she got kicked out of school every day. So now monday thru friday my sister puts her on meds but not on the weekends. She hates doing this and i really feel bad for her.

Please anybody out there with information to help us out it will be greatly appreciated.

admin answers:

In my experience vyvanese works the best for autistic spectrum kids who are ADD/HD as long as its not bipolar. I am wary of trying meds for my oldest, who is PDD.NOS (autistic features, atypical autism) and ADD. He is 8.5yrs.

My son is not aggressive and he is labile with an incongruent blunted mood, however, with our family history I believe him to be bipolar/PDD not ADD/PDD.

Fm hx:
my mother is bipolar and on a slew of meds
my SIL is bipolar and on a slew of meds
my MIL needs to be on meds (undx bipolar)
husband is bipolar-does not take meds. Has been dx extensively, has paradoxical effect to meds, and goes hypomanic cyclically and when he tries to take Wellbutrin (tricyclic anti-depressant) that is used to try to quit smoking.

I fear my son would go manic/psychotic on alot of the meds out there

A lot of PDD/ADD/HD kids do not fair well on stimulants do to the bipolar features and I can’t understand why so many parents allow their kids to go from 1 stimulant to another, honestly the definition of stupidity is to keep trying the same thing and expecting a different outcome. If a PDD/ADD kid goes psychotic on any one of these adderral, ritalin, concerta, dexedrine, vyvanese, then there is no point in doing a trial on all of them, move to a different class of drugs.

How much sensory integration is she getting? Could be her OT sucks.
Mom needs to carry OT strategies at home.

SPD checklist

Could be its the wrong med, could be the wrong dx.-she may be bipolar, could be the med dose is below therapeutic range.

Is she getting social skills training at school? She should, my son does. What kinds of accommodations does she have in her IEP? Does she have a break card, point card, weighted vest, pressure vest, core disc, preferential seating, a 1:1 paraprofessional to facilitate appropriate bx with peers?

Medications are totally beneficial and warranted for those that truly need them to function. Dosages are titrated up, this takes time, so they start low in order to adjust to the lowest effective dose.

What Kathy is describing is NOT ADHD, and its commonly diagnosed as ADHD especially in this population. What she describes is CAPD, and it goes hand and hand with the autistic spectrum population. Yes, my son has been diagnosed CAPD too. CAPD is central auditory processing disorder, and the problem is differentiating between foreground and background noise. CAPD is described acutely by Dr. Temple Grandin, an accomplished published entrapreneur autistic woman who has CAPD and there is auditory retraining for this. Meds should not be used for CAPD. Now yes its possible to have an overlap and have CAPD with an attention disorder, but frequently the CAPD is misdiagnosed as an attention disorder.

What helps:
preferential seating, a corral around the desk, an FM system (son uses this too), headphones, testing done with breaks and individually (not just state testing, all testing).

Tomatis training for CAPD


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Question?: Adhd Lyrics

Michael asks…

Straight edge lifestyle and prescription drugs?

So I know the lyrics “I don’t drink, I don’t smoke,I don’t fuck”
but how do people of the straightedge lifestyle feel about prescription drugs, like lithium for manic depressant disorder, ritalin for ADHD, or even SSRIs for major depression and anxiety disorder, understandable these can be abused (notably the amphetamines) but these can all be genetic disorders that some have no control over.

admin answers:

I dint know the song, but u could say u am straight edge. I dint have a problem with those drugs but u do think they r over prescribed.

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Question?: Adhd Medications

Linda asks…

What is the best adult ADHD medication?

I have been taking Vyvance 40mg twice a day and it only works 3 hours at the most per 40mg. I know everybody reacts differently to different types of medication but what seems to be, in general, the most effective ADHD medication?

admin answers:

First, some corrections to this statement:

“If you’re not sensitive to amphetimes (Adderol, Ritalin) then those are the most effective. However, Straterra and Concerta are non-amphetimes.”

1. There is no “most effective” medication for ADHD. Individual neurochemistry is the biggest factor, and no one can predict which medication will work best for an individual.

2. Ritalin is not an amphetamine. It is methylphenidate, which is milder than an amphetamine class medication.

The methlphenidate class medications for ADHD are Ritalin, Concerta, Focalin, and the Daytrana patch. These are all, essentially, the same medication but in very different delivery systems. The choice of delivery system can make a huge difference.

Adderall is a mixed-amphetamine salt and is in the amphetamine class that includes Dexedrine and Vyvanse.

The general rule is that for about 40 percent of the population, one class works better than the other.

In general, the newer formulations are designed to produce a smoother delivery, eliminating the problematic “roller coaster” effect of the quick-release medications that can start abruptly and end abruptly (Ritalin, Adderall, Dexedrine, etc.)

3. Strattera is a norepinephrine-reuptake inhibitor. Anecdotally, many people with ADHD and their physicians find it less effective for ADHD symptoms than the methylphenidate or amphetamine class medications (considered the first-line treatment), though it does help some people with mood.

As to the original question, you need to define the term “works.” If you are going solely by how “buzzy” you feel, that’s not a good indicator. You need to be using objective measures and rating scales. If your physician is not using rating scales to measure progress, ask him/her to start doing so. Your treatment should have been initiated on the basis of targeted behavior, such as challenges with reading, driving, temper, listening, etc. In other words, proper medication treatment does not consist of the doc asking, “How are you doing?”

If you are doing all that and still find Vyvanse works for only 3 hours, you might be a fast metabolizer. This is typically related to a genetic mutation. But there can be other factors.

Good luck,
Gina Pera, author
Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.?


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Question?: Adhd Symptoms In Adults

Michael asks…

How to live “functioning well” and think study organize plan, get anything on earth done with ADHD, no meds?

I am “planning” to get info on neurotherapy, brain map, vitamin B’s, etc
soon, but for “now”, the next few days/couple weeks, how I and my son should survive and “do our stuff”, before we adjust in new life without meds for treat adhd?
I am think its time for us quitting tomorrow cold turkey for good, unless someone now say no! We seriously “need” our meds, and I have try two time before atleast, unsuccess to stay off mine, and son is wild donkey basket case-and-a-half without his, and 6th grade, what about school? How he do anything? But we “need” stop our meds, it has give us both
recent heart problems, mine permanent and his, too new to know; I get atrial fib, he get 10% in day his ventricles adding extra beats. I know this from our meds directly; my daughter doesn’t have adhd – no meds – no heart problem. Oh my land, I am not looking forward to coming days after
med-free, I’ll have buzzing head and ringing my ears! This happen before,
ok but I am worry how I spend all life.

admin answers:

First and foremost have you spoke with the doctor who prescribes your son’s and your ADHD meds about your concerns and heart issues? There are many new medications for both adult and youth who have ADHD. I would most definitely start by setting up appointments and discussing possible alternative medications.

Next, the best you can do for your son and yourself should you truly drop all medications….not that I recommend it, though. Get rid of any gaming devices (game boy, play station, etc…), eat three nutritionally balanced meals a day. Drink 3-5 servings of a caffeinated beverage daily…spread out over the course of the day. (This will conteract the ADHD like Ritalin might….but, may not be as good and higher amounts of caffiene may worsen the ADHD symptoms.) Set up and stick to a very predictable daily schedule for both of you. This schedule should allow for some flexibility but should also be very simple and precise. For your son’s homework and any diligent chores or work you do, ensure that you work in an area that is free of any possible distractions. For example, your son should be given an area free of tv, radio and other noises as well as people doing other things….to put him on the living room floor while you walk through to do housework is not gonna work. Neither is having a radio on in a room adjacent to where he is working.

Again, I must assert that I truly believe that you and your son would be better of talking with your doctor(s) about alternative medications first.

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Question?: Autism Symptoms In Adults Checklist

Betty asks…

How can you tell if you have autism?

Are there any online tests that I can take before I try and talk to a doctor about it?
I’m not looking to self diagnose, I am just looking for answers. I’ve known something was wrong with me since I was little, I just dont know what.
1574 – That describes me almost perfectly. I never look anyone in the eyes, I dont know why it just feels wierd.

I dont talk that much if at all, people make fun of me because of that all the time. I simply say – I have nothing to say, I dont see a reason to talk, and I dont want to.

And it is extremely hard for me to socialize. I dont understand how other people do it, I dont totally understand the point of it, most of it seems fake to me.

And I definatley do things on a sceduel, any deviating off this sceduel will really upset me.
I never really had the option of getting it diagnosed as a child.

In second grade they did try to put me into a remedial class. They made me take an IQ test which I ended up scoring a 135 on blowing that idea of theirs out of the water.

They ended up saying I have ADHD and made me take Ritalin every day…

admin answers:

Do you find yourself confused in social situations?

Are you passionately interested in a single topic?

Is it tough for you to make and maintain eye contact?

Then you, like many talented and intelligent adults, may be diagnosable with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Asperger Syndrome is different from other disorders on the autism spectrum, in part, because it is often diagnosed in older children and adults as opposed to very young children. That’s because Asperger Syndrome is a relatively mild form of ASD which does not include problems with basic language skills. Many people with Asperger Syndrome are very bright and capable. The issues that emerge for people diagnosed with Aspergers are related specifically to social and communication skills — skills that only become signficant as people get older and need to negotiate complex social situations.

The History of Asperger Syndrome
Hans Asperger was a Viennese child psychologist who worked with a group of boys all of whom had similar developmental differences. While they were all intelligent, and had normal language skills, they also had a set of autism-like symptoms. He came up with a description and diagnostic criteria for a syndrome, which he named for himself.

As a result of the second world war, Asperger’s work disappeared for a number of years. When it reappeared in the late 1980’s, it garnered a good deal of interest. Today, Asperger’s Syndrome is in the news virtually every day.

What does it mean to have Asperger’s Syndrome?
Clearly, since so many successful people seem to have the diagnosis (Dan Ackroyd, for one, announced his diagnosis on the air — and rumor has it that Bill Gates may also have Asperger’s) it is not a disability in the classic sense. In fact, some historians suggest that Einstein, Mozart, and Alan Turing (the inventor of the first electronic computer) may all have been diagnosable with Asperger’s.

What people with Asperger’s Syndrome do have in common is a set of characteristics that may make social interaction particularly difficult. Many “aspies” (a term that teens and adults with Asperger’s Syndrome sometimes use to refer to themselves) have been bullied or teased as children. They may be awkward with the opposite sex. And they may have a tough time maneuvering through complex social cues at school, at work, or elsewhere.

The Cambridge Lifespan Asperger Syndrome Service(CLASS), an organization in the United Kingdom that works with adults with Asperger’s has developed a simple ten question checklist to help with a preliminary self-diagnosis. If you answered “yes” to some or most of these questions, you may decide to find out more.

1.) I find social situations confusing.

2.) I find it hard to make small talk.

3.) I did not enjoy imaginative story-writing at school.

4.) I am good at picking up details and facts.

5.) I find it hard to work out what other people are thinking and feeling.

6.) I can focus on certain things for very long periods.

7.) People often say I was rude even when this was not intended.

8.) I have unusually strong, narrow interests.

9.) I do certain things in an inflexible, repetitive way.

10.) I have always had difficulty making friends.

If you do answer “yes” to many of these questions relative to yourself or a loved one, you may have uncovered an undiagnosed case of Asperger’s Syndrome.

For some teens and adults, this is a tremendous relief: it puts a name on a set of issues that has troubled them throughout their lives. And it also opens the door to support, treatment, and community.
But there is no obligation to do anything at all about Asperger’s Syndrome. In fact, many adults feel that being an “aspie” is a point of pride. They are unique, often successful individuals who are simply … themselves!

Check out this link, at the bottom of the page there are several related articles you might be interested in:


I hope this info helps! I have a relative that has this & he had almost the exact same experience you did in elementary school.

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