NEW ORLEANS — There used to be a day when homework time at the Aucoin's was difficult.
"It's constantly like, 'Let's go. Let's go.' You know, and five minutes of homework would take 30 minutes," Susan Aucoin said.
Mornings were difficult too.
"Dragging them out of bed, telling them to brush their teeth five or ten times, telling them to get your breakfast, get dressed, brush your hair," she said about the routine that led to arguments because tasks were not followed.
Two of Susan's three children have ADHD, a brain connection and chemical disorder that causes lack of focus in all areas of life, school, relationships, mood and functioning.
More than six million children in the U.S. are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
"We know that ADHD is a genetic disorder that tends to run in families," explained General, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Dr. Mark Sands, Director of the Mercy Family Center.
Dr. Sands has not treated the Aucoin children, but says medication works.
"It helps them succeed in school, but more importantly it helps them succeeded in other areas of life," he said.
And now there is a new ADHD medication on the market called JORNAY PM. It's the first to be taken at night, but does not disrupt sleep. Then it kicks in when the child wakes up, lasting throughout the day. Current stimulant medications taken in the morning, can take up to two hours or so before they help.
"ADHD, if you have it, is a 24-hour a day problem, 7-day a week problem," Dr. Sands said.
Susan noticed a difference in her son Henry when he switched to JORNAY PM.
"Gets up. Gets dressed. Sometimes he makes his own breakfast. No more arguing in the morning. He is much happier. He is much more his natural self," Aucoin said.
And Dr. Sands says with the new medication's time release, that keeps children from having a negative and anxious start to every day, before their meds kick in.
Dr. Sands says right now the new medication is mostly being used for children when other medications are not working, but it may become one that is used as a first choice.