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  • Ex started ADHD meds for son unilaterally

    In the past I posted discussing my son who was diagnosed with autism about a year ago while my ex and I went through separation and divorce.

    Since then, we have a signed SA and in fact a divorce order. I was relieved to be successful in obtaining joint custody so I could have some input into his special needs for school and medical reasons. This is all documented in our Minutes of Settlement (which form our SA).

    During the negotiation with my ex she pushed that she be allowed to make all decisions and keep me informed of the outcomes. However in order to settle, she withdrew this and agreed to joint decision making because I consented on other matters (me giving her tons of money basically).

    However despite this, my ex remains a very controlling person. She has a long history of unilateral parenting decisions regarding our son:

    -In her Answer to my court application she declared that my son also has epilepsy. I have never heard of this anywhere except this court document. Why was I not informed? Is this a fabrication or true?
    -She took my son for an MRI. I was not consulted and in fact had no idea it had occurred until 3 months later when she e-mailed me 1 sentence stating it had happened and the results were fine. I would have liked to be there for him.
    -I have sent written requests several times asking for the dates, times and places for his group therapy and treatments so that I could participate, observe and learn in order to better assist him when he is with me. I received no cooperation.
    -This morning I was "notified" that he is now on ADHD medication and sleep aids and sent instructions on administering them. This was never discussed with me either, and I do not agree with administering Melatonin as a sleeping aid to anyone, let alone our son. However I have no opinion on the ADHD drug. We'll see how it works and if the side effects are manageable. I knew right away something was VERY different when I picked him up for his visit last night. This morning I learned why, he was now medicated.

    I give full props to the children's hospital and the ottawa children's treatment centre for doing their best to keep me involved. If it weren't for them I would know absolutely nothing.

    Keep in mind I am not opposed to the treatment. Last night's visit showed me the results are encouraging. However, starting these meds with no discussion or consultation is in contempt of our SA. There is a repeated, documentable pattern of her doing this and I do not want it to continue.

    Suggestions?

  • #2
    Melatonin is a common treatment for kids with ASD, it's well known that they typically have lower than normal levels of melatonin and benefit from supplements, especially given that there are very few and very minor side effects from melatonin. ADHD meds have WAAAAAAY more side effects to be concerned about - trouble sleeping being one of them, which the melatonin can help with.

    Yes, she should have consulted with you, you should have been present or at least had the option of being present at the appointments. Perhaps consider trying one of those online family calendars? That way the info can be input directly in there from each of you and you don't actually have to speak directly to each other about it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Winterwolf:

      I would be seriously ticked off at the situation too. I don't have any suggestions of how to fix it but I did want to add that there's are additional things to be concerned about.

      Just a question, is he taking melatonin everyday...and if so, why? Has he always had issues with not being able to fall/stay asleep?

      Although melatonin is a naturally occuring hormone, I don't get why a kid would have to take it every single day? That's very odd to me. Things you should watch out for are that if he doesn't get a full 8-9 hours of sleep while taking it, he can end up very groggy the next day. In addition, in some people...its been known to cause adverse effects...in fact, the opposite of a good night's sleep...bad dreams, paranoia, agitation. I could understand if he was taking it as an occasional sleep aid...but for a child to take it everyday is really odd to me and can have seriously consquences if he's school age.

      The ADHD drugs also can have a lot of side effects...like loss of appetite, agitation, mood swings....again, he needs to be monitored while he's on the stuff.

      Its not just a matter of telling you what doses he's taking..its a matter of you understanding what to watch for while he's in your care.

      Total nonsense that she's doing that without consulting you...hope some posters have some good advice for you.

      Best wishes.

      Comment


      • #4
        Due to his autism, our son is already an extremely poor/picky eater. Most days the best you can say is that he ate enough so that he won't die today. But he generally dislikes food and eating. Sometimes nothing you give him will persuade him to eat, other days he's willing to eat some parts of a meal. It's never predictable, he may love one food one day and be utterly uninterested in it for weeks afterwards.

        His manual dexterity is well below average though at age 5 is finally starting to use utensils regularly.

        His toiletting has been consistently good which is awesome and a huge relief, though the training was slower than usual.

        He has always been a great sleeper, generally sleeping 8-10 hours every night without waking since he was 2. Since starting school some days he has taken longer to fall asleep but otherwise no disruptions.

        My understanding is that the melatonin is a pre-emptive strike against the insomia effects from the ADHD medication. I am concerned that my son already eats very poorly and the ADHD medication may make that even worse.

        I am an NCP with a weekly visit for dinner and EOW.

        I could pursue a motion for contempt, requesting OurFamilyWizard be ordered, and costs. But so far my ex and I have managed without court. I will consider recommending for us.

        Comment


        • #5
          Yes the Melatonin is daily. I have read about it and several members of my family have tried it, all with disastrous results. Thus I would have requested a different sleep aid, such as Valerian Root. However I wasn't given any input.

          Should I contact my son's various doctors (assuming I can get their names) and discuss with them?

          Comment


          • #6
            Yes, definately contact your child's doctor and discuss your concerns. We've used the melatonin for years, on and off, and it's worked very well. It may be that it is a daily dose at the moment but that it will switch to an as needed basis if his schedule gets turned around or his circadian rhythm gets thrown off - often times due to weekends away, overnighters with friends, late night activities etc.
            Last edited by blinkandimgone; 05-03-2012, 12:26 PM. Reason: the voices told me to...

            Comment


            • #7
              Winterwolf:

              I'm no expert on melatonin but I've used it myself right during my in-home separation as I'll only take herbal medications and I was having issues staying asleep. I had terrible results with it because it literally did the exact opposite of what its supposed to do....gave me nightmares and very restless sleep. But I know nothing about using it for kids with ADHD...Blink sounds like she has more information.

              I know that my nephew has ADHD and has taken a couple different medications...which have helped, however, have severly lessened his appetite. He's a very thin teenager.

              Again, I don't have these types of issues with my stbx (yet) but I would imagine that if you start calling his doctors and getting different information, etc...its going to escalate the issue. Now you've got two parents basically going behind each other's backs to get information and getting differing recommendations.

              I think somehow you're going to have to come to a mutual understanding and sharing of information. I don't see how you can parent a child and monitor their health without coming to a common understanding and consensus on treatment. You may want to initially talk to his doctors just to come up to speed...but personally I can't see how this would fix the issue longterm (again, just my opinion since I have no experience in these matters).

              It really irritates the hell out of me when parents can't put the kids first and respect the other parent's right to know what's going on with their very own child....especially when it concerns their health. Absolutely ridiculous, you have my deepest sympathies.

              Comment


              • #8
                ...just to offer up another suggestion for a natural sleep aid.... I've recently started taking Skullcap in a brewed tea form.... and wow do I ever feel rested in the morning... It's only as needed - about a mug before bed.....

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by winterwolf7 View Post
                  However despite this, my ex remains a very controlling person. She has a long history of unilateral parenting decisions regarding our son:
                  You can retrieve all of your child's medical records as a custodial parent. There are a few sources of medical records you should get:

                  1. All the ministry health records. This will outline all the "encounters" the child has been with any OHIP billing clinician. You will also get the ICD-9 billing code associated with the "encounter type".

                  2. From the Ministry Health records you can then go to each clinician listed and request all the medical records for each encounter. The Ministry records will have the date of the encounter, encounter reason (i.e. Well Baby Care), and other information about the clinician (family health team, hospital the encounter happened at, info etc.) It also lists the diagnostic imaging billings and lab orders and you can then go retrieve those too.

                  3. Also request all the encounters from TeleHealth Ontario as well. TeleHealth Ontario keeps well documented encounter notes for each call they receive and instructions provided.

                  4. Mental Health records for your child are not easier to get as they are not part of the public OHIP system "always". If it is a private therapy provider and you know who it is you can go in and request the documentation. Also, the Family Practitioner should be aware of the mental health provider as a part of your child's general circle of care. The medical records from the family practitioner should include the referral (if one was made).

                  5. Alternative practice... Depending on the child's age there could be a drug to drug interaction of the melatonin with other medications being taken. (Known as a contraindication -- contraindication - definition of contraindication in the Medical dictionary - by the Free Online Medical Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.) As melatonin is a non-prescription drug it may have been self administered (through "internet advice") or a natriopathic doctor. Again, it is hard to tell what ND the child would have been taken so asking the FP or parent may help find the records.

                  You are a joint custodial parent and don't rely on the other parent to provide information. Go get the information about your chlidren's health and well being yourself.

                  Originally posted by winterwolf7 View Post
                  I give full props to the children's hospital and the ottawa children's treatment centre for doing their best to keep me involved. If it weren't for them I would know absolutely nothing.

                  Keep in mind I am not opposed to the treatment. Last night's visit showed me the results are encouraging. However, starting these meds with no discussion or consultation is in contempt of our SA. There is a repeated, documentable pattern of her doing this and I do not want it to continue.

                  Suggestions?
                  Get all the information regarding your chlid's health care. Read it all and then work with the clinicians yourself and get involved. Don't rely on the other parent to dictate things to you when you are a joint custodial parent.

                  Good Luck!
                  Tayken

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You have joint custody, you are in exactly the same position as the ex. So why don't you just take your child to the doctor yourself, have the child checked out, find out what meds might be prescribed and why? Your ex is doing this without consulting you, there is no reason why you should have to ask your ex.

                    I have sympathy but you are being completely passive in this. The child needs to go to the doctor, even if only for occasional checkups. So just take them. You don't need permission.

                    Your ex doesn't need permission to take the child to the doctor. My ex and I share these duties but we do it when necessary, not when we "both agree." If I think one of the kids has strep, I take them in for a swab and notify my ex of the results later.

                    Your ex should be notifying you, yes, but you should also be equally involved, and you shouldn't be asking, you should just be doing. If your ex dropped dead tomorrow you would have to take the initiative and arrange the doctor and dentist visits regularly. So take the initiative now, and arrange for half of them. Without asking.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      A caution, though, in doing that: OHIP will only cover a certain amount of visits for a specific purpose, per year. IE: Physicals/checkups will only be covered every 12 months.

                      When booking the appointments, make sure to ask if it is covered by OHIP.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        That's never been an issue with us, we have a Family Health Team contract and get as many visits as we need. The doctor's get a flat rate from OHIP.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Visits yes, however OHIP won't cover repeats of certain things, such as an annual physical. And the bill isn't cheap!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by blinkandimgone View Post
                            A caution, though, in doing that: OHIP will only cover a certain amount of visits for a specific purpose, per year. IE: Physicals/checkups will only be covered every 12 months.

                            When booking the appointments, make sure to ask if it is covered by OHIP.
                            Actually, what happens is that most clinicians do not know the limits. (Well Baby Care consults have a cap.) They will bill OHIP plan directly and OHIP will reverse the charge. So you will still see the clinical encounter most times on the OHIP record and the reversal.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mess View Post
                              That's never been an issue with us, we have a Family Health Team contract and get as many visits as we need. The doctor's get a flat rate from OHIP.
                              Generally the number of encounters for "Well Baby Care" (ICD9 V20.2) I believe has a cap of 10 clinical encounters for the child being insured by OHIP. (I could be wrong it could be 5 in the year.)

                              What can happen is if a parent takes a child to a walk in clinic and the clinican bills the encounter as V20.2 it burns down the allowable limit. So if the parent in question is going to clinics for advice (doctor shopping) they can burn down the allowable limit. As this count is managed at billing the primary care clinician wouldn't know and would bill OHIP. The reversal comes generally in a a future billing cycle. Most primary care clinicians won't charge their client though as it is quite petty.

                              What should happen though is the primary care clinician should be investigating why the child is in-and-out of the clinical settings. Parental anxiety? Factitious beliefs about the child's health? A real problem that hasn't been properly diagnosed?

                              If the child has been diagnosed with autism there is a whole different billing pattern for the clinical encounters and usually a specialist involved as well billing against OHIP. The encounter allowance should be at different thresholds that are higher.

                              Good Luck!
                              Tayken

                              Comment

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