At Colin’s school, they give you a daily conduct report by way of a color scale – green is best, then yellow, orange and finally red.
Monday, Colin had a red day.
Tuesday, Colin had an orange day.
Wednesday, Colin had a yellow day… but he lied to his dad and told him he had a green day, so we recorded it (I have an incentive chart at home) as red (lying is not tolerated).
Today, he was already at “orange” by lunch time when Rick went to give him his afternoon pill. He hit another student. He hasn’t hit in a very long time. He also misspelled every single word on his spelling test. He’s having control issues.
Yesterday, I called Dr. L for advice on what to do. I had to leave a message and wait for his call back. During that time, I did some online research. I was aware that Adderall is considered a more potent drug than Ritalin, but I wasn’t sure what the dosage comparisons were. I found a study online that shed some light. It seems the general consensus is that Adderall is approximately twice as potent as Ritalin.
Colin was on a hefty dose of Ritalin. As I read more yesterday, I came to realize just how hefty. I read that the maximum recommended dose of Ritalin is 60mg/day.
Colin was taking 80mg in the AM and another 20mg at noon.
He’s now on 10mg of Adderall in the AM and 10mg at noon. If you do the math based on the 1:2 assumption of potency, that means he’s currently on about 40% of the stimulant he’s been on for the past year. Our hope (and our doctor’s hope) is that the Adderall will prove to be more effective as well as more potent. Time and trial will tell.
The upside to less stimulant is his appetite has increased. He’s become a bottomless pit! He eats dinner – possibly seconds – maybe dessert after…and then asks for a snack. Of course, we don’t just allow free range feeding at our house, so he understands that meals are at certain times and I try to offer healthy options. He can definitely stand to gain a few pounds, but I won’t impair his health by giving in to his carb cravings 24/7!
When Dr. L called me back yesterday, we had a good talk. First, he said that Adderall can cause insomnia, but that would affect him falling asleep, not waking up. He falls asleep fine (thanks to the clonidine) but has been waking up entirely too early. He also confirmed that – for Colin – 10mg twice/day is a fairly low dose. He suggested that we try 15mg twice/day if we don’t see an improvement. He also reminded me that we’re using the IR (instant release) medication to determine dosage and once he can be put on the XR (extended release) form, we will see less ups and downs in his mood/behavior/etc. We have a follow-up appointment with him a week from tomorrow, so we can talk about the next steps then. He told me to give him a call in a few days with an update and we’ll see how things go.
Rick and I have both been doing a lot of reading and wonder if adding Intuniv along with the Adderall might help. My worry about Intuniv alone was that it can lower blood pressure. However, stimulants raise the blood pressure, so the result may be the drugs counteracting each other in that department.
Of course, the idea of adding another pill makes me a bit ill. But it doesn’t seem 100% stimulant is the way to go if he was able to take 100mg of Ritalin/day and still manage to be more hyperactive than just about any child I’ve ever encountered.
On a happier note… Colin has a birthday coming up. I can’t believe he will be 8! He’s changed his mind a million times as to what he wants, but I believe he’s settled on a Wii Just Dance game (he loves this game). I’m also thinking about making him a fuzzy blanket. He loves smooshing his face on the dogs and rubbing on them at all the wrong times/places. A friend suggested a furry blanket that he could use as a release for that impulse. Nothing too big, but something that’s just his that he can run his fingers through and rub his face on, etc.
And of course, there will be a mad dash through Chuck E Cheese. All in the name of getting that glorious 10 seconds inside the infamous ticket blaster!
We discovered last year that you can have a birthday party of as little as 4 children at CEC. We have 3, so we just booked the 4 kid party and called it good – Rick and I shared the 4th kid’s pizza slices and soda and we gave the extra tokens to the kids!
This year, I’m going to invite a new friend I made recently. We met at the park and her son is also a spectrum kiddo – he has Aspergers. Hopefully they can come and he can be our 4th!