20 answers

Adhd - Glenpool,OK

Hello ladies, its seems as though everything this week keeps adding up for me. I have another question. My son is 7 years old and has ADHD and every year of school the teachers are so quick to put him on medication instead of dealing with what is going on. I have went as far as to put him in IEP classes to help him with his school work and routine because with ADHD routine is not a good word. This year instead of them putting him back in his IEP classes they just call me up and tell me I might want to think about putting my child on medication. I informed his teacher that he has been on meds and I didnt like the reaction so we changed the diet instead and it has worked well so far. School is another story I cant control what happens there and she has to, but it seems to me teachers now days dont want to. No offense to anyone but just my experience these days. As mothers should we teach our children how to take a pill when it gets rough or should we teach them how to handle life as it comes and how to deal with it. I personally think that all the disorders people come up with now days are just an excuse to take a pill and act the way they do. If anyone could give me some info on how I should handle this it would be appriciated. Thanks.

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HI C., I agree that as a society, we are too quick to administer medicine. I think the teacher-student ratio is way off. As far as how to deal with the issue, basically, the school is responisble for the child when he is there, so you might to abide by their rules. You might go to school board, and ask for to be put back in IEP classes. The better informed they are, the better chance you have of getting him back into IEP classes. Good Luck

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If each year a teacher tells you that he is having difficulties at school, then he is. It may help to think of what is fair to him? And I'm sure you have his total well-being in mind. But fair compared to his non-ADHD peers, who will likely bypass him academically and maybe socially just because his brain is wired a little different.

The medication issue for kids is tough, but you may consider that you could improve his quality of life. Granted, the label ADHD gets thrown out there way too much. But true ADHD is a medical problem, just as diabetic, high blood pressure, etc. Find the right child psychiatrist who is willing to work with you to find the right medication and the right dosage - BEFORE he gets to middle school and/or high school. Its also easier for a child to learn how to modify their behavior, once they are on the medication.

Your son is so lucky to have such a great advocate!

Hi. Mom of four. son 9 daughter 6,2, 2months. I am a stay at home mom who is homeschooling for the first time this year. I would recommend this for your situation also. They tried saying the same things about my son, which is so untrue and all they do now days is medicate children so that it is easier for THEM! Let God be with you,
S.

#1 - The school cannot ignore his needs just because you don't medicate him. They are still legally required to evaluate him for special services he might require. I am just learning my way through the IEP maze, but I have figured out that much. One source to learn about the process is wrightslaw.com

#2 - My younger son has bipolar and adhd. We homeschooled for 5 years - this is the first year my kids are in public school. After we found the right med to get his mood swings and rages from the bipolar under control, they wanted me to try him on a stimulant. I was scared, because I knew it could induce mania, but we tried. He was 7 years old, doing 2nd grade level math, but kindergarten level reading and struggling with that, and had been diagnosed with dyslexia earlier in the school year. The very day he started the stimulant, he could READ. This wasn't a matter of calming him down or controlling his behavior - this was a matter of correcting the misconnect in his brain so that the words stopped jumping all over the page.

Remember - this child was homeschooled, had one-on-one tutoring from a loving parent, and still needed that help. He wasn't getting lost in a busy classroom with not enough attention from the teacher. And that was not enough to fix the problem. He still needed that med. He was so happy that day that he could read, and he realized it was the medication, and he realized he was not dumb, and it was just the spark he needed to get excited about learning.

#3 I know someone else already suggested this, but homeschooling may be just the option you need. You will be assured that he is getting one-on-one tutoring, and you can control his environment to make it easier for him to learn. It is a wonderful experience.

#4 Not all teachers are like that. I was very hesitant about using the public schools, but everyone I have dealt with has been absolutely fantastic. They have gone out of their way to help him, and to communicate with me, and to keep things consistent between home and school. They truly are partners with me in educating my son.

Having a special needs child is challenging. I wish you peace with whatever decision you make.

I can see both sides to the story but will tell you that ADHD is very certainly a chemical dysfunction and the right medication can truly make all the difference in your child. Think of when your mind is racing at night and you can't fall asleep. ADHD kiddos are like that all the time and cannot focus on anything, which can be very frustrating. I, too, am opposed to unnecessarily medicating kiddos. But if they need it, they need it. He will be happier and more well adjusted and you will feel great about that. Good luck in making your decision, I know it is truly hard as a parent to decide to medicate or not. Don't forget to schedule regular appointments with your pediatrician so that the medications can be closely monitored for effectiveness.

I really don't have much experience with ADHD but my husband is your child as is his father...I don't know if you are interested but another form of help is natural remedies. My father in law has started taking Omega 3 Fatty acids and they have helped him tremedously. He is able to focus more at work and has suggested that my husband try it. You can buy it at any health food store. Its just a thought. My husband was on medications when he was younger but as a young adult decided not to take them on his own. He looks as ADHD as a benefit they only thing is he had to teach himself how to to use it as a benefit. Good luck

Hi C.! I totally agree with your concerns and I am a mom that always explores other options. I am also a chiropractic student...but I'm not going to try to convince you to see a chiropractor. I just wanted to provide you with the following links about ADHD and let you decide what would help for you. I truly wish the best for you and your sons.
www.erinelster.com/Articles/add_articles_main.html

hi ,i also have a son who is 8 that was on medication because his teachers didnt want to deal with him ,well now he is on herbal medication called focus and brightspark and is doing soooo well and is able to actually go to a regular class instead of a special needs program that he was attending ,the makers of these products is native remidies

There are a lot of kids put on medicine today that don't need to be. That being said, if you child truly has ADHD then he truly needs medicine. I teach special ed. and just putting him in a class like mine won't solve problems. He still won't be able to focus on his work. And sometimes the special ed class is more loud and chaotic because you have a whole class of kids that maybe can't stay focused or can't handle noise, etc. if your child is having a hard time focusing that has to be really hard for him. Think how much less stressful it would be if he was on medicine so he could listen to the instructions!
Good luck!

I have a daughter who has ADHD. We have had to chnge her meds a few times to find the right one. School is a very important part of your sons life. If he cannot focus at school he will fall behind and you will get calls from the school about disruptife behavior.

I have also worked with children who have ADHD for 7 years. I understand your concern about the meds. I was completly againts them until I saw a child not on them and then was put on them and within a month this childs grade imporved and was able to conctrate at school.

It takes time to find the right meds but they do have lots of options. Like non-stimulates and they now have a patche that you apply once a day.

HI C., I agree that as a society, we are too quick to administer medicine. I think the teacher-student ratio is way off. As far as how to deal with the issue, basically, the school is responisble for the child when he is there, so you might to abide by their rules. You might go to school board, and ask for to be put back in IEP classes. The better informed they are, the better chance you have of getting him back into IEP classes. Good Luck

Dear C.,
I went through this same problem with my daughter. It wasn't easy then, and I'm sure by now it is worse. The school pulled the same thing with us. They insisted we medicate our daughter. I have so much I could share, but it may not all fit in this email. So I'll just give you this advice. Get a ADD/ADHD advocate to assist you. If for any reason you would like anymore advice or would like to hear my experiences, please feel free to write me at ____@____.com. I will be more then glad to talk with you.
D.

honestly now days teachers are not paid well enough to handle certin children and they have a lot of other children to teach all this stuff to and really don't have a lot of time to do it in.......... if you put your self in their shoes you'd understand more.........if you really want to see your kids behavior in class sit in class with them a couple of times a month........its really hard to teach a student when they can't sit still or is disrupting the class........your child is not the only child that teacher has to deal with. teachers lives are a hole lot different than most of ours.......

i help out my childrens teachers and let me tell you its one of the hardest jobs i can imagine! so don't take it out on the school or the teacher.......instead work with them to solve this problem........and don't be so much in a hurry to put the blame on them....... you are a parent, don't let your child see you or hear you trashing people who will work for little money and put up with other peoples kids for hours a day to teach them what they need to know to get along in life......its not easy........ but it will be easier if you can get along and work something out.

Hi - my son is also 7, along with a 4 and 1 year old. I have some of the same issues as you. After observing him in class, I chose to do the medication. We do a low dose of Adderall - I don't know if you have tried it but it has done wonders for my son. He was at the bottom of his class in K and part of 1st grade, then went up to the 97% of the class. He actually reminds me to give him his pill in the morning because he is having trouble staying focused. Socially, he has also grown since we started meds. He now has friends that he plays with instead of hitting and yelling at.

My husband and I were totally anti-meds but we were most definitely wrong. We tried the IEP class also in K and the first 1/2 of 1st grade and he was really held back on learning because other kids in the class had a lot of issues.

Talk to your doctor - there are low dosages of meds available and the Adderall is also in XR so they get a little bit all day long through the school day.

H. this helps!

H. Chubb

Why don't you look into home schooling? It sounds like you might like that better. I'll keep thinking. Good Luck and God Bless.

I understand your fear of pills, cause I have been there too. I tried other options, but it wasn't until I took my seven year old to a neurologist that he got medications that helped. I don't think medication is the answer, but I began to realize that my son was suffering because he couldn't control himself. He has been "diagnosed" as bipolar and ADHD (I am not sure I agree), but just keep in mind that this is not a labeling game or an attempt to take the easy way out; the search is really for a way to make our children learn fundamental skills like reading, writing, social and physical development. From my own personal experience, all attempts I made before finding the correct medicine failed. It wasn't until we finally got it right that my son learned to read, write, and talk to peers without scaring them. He still has a long ways to go. I know that doctors tend to put a label on kids and I really had to personally weed through the labels.
As far as teachers, I would say that the school is at it's wits end. Your child probably feels overwhelmed and proud that he got his teachers into this much of a hissy fit :-)
It is really sad that teachers do not involve parents more. Maybe an option would be for you to sit in class and show them how you handle situations so they could model your behavior and actions. Maybe your son would see that you were united with his teachers and it was a win-win situation. Some teachers clash with students and really there is no other option than to ask for a different placement. A suggestion is love and logic for children with ADHD. It is really a great series by Jim and Charles Fay. It has suggestions for teachers to, so maybe you could pass it along.

C.,
Do you ever take pills/medication? For anything....headache, birth control, depression?
In an ideal world, with ideally healthy children, yes we should teach them to deal with life as it comes. HOWEVER, children with a biophysical anomaly as ADHD need help every step of the way AND should never be denied this right.
You would not expect a diabetic to "just deal with unstable bloodsugar and get over it".... they need medication in order to survive. Kids with other chemical imbalances require the same treatment.
I have four children, 1 has ADHD, another has ADD.
My first question is who diagnosed your child with ADHD? He MUST be evaluated by a psychologist/psychiatrist that specialized in ADD/ADHD. This eliminates any other disorders that can mimic ADHD and run the risk with improper diagnosis and lost time. The child should be first and foremost in your mind. Put yourself in his shoes, just try to imagine what he is going through; it can be very devastating for a child ...psychoemotionally, socially and academically. His entire academic experience now and in the future is at risk.
Initially, I also fought the medication routine, however, the child psychologist told me that trying other treatments is a good idea, however, if medicasl treatment is delayed and/or never initiated you run the risk of damage to self esteem and academic success which then has different and/or more severe ramifications.
ADHD is a chemical imbalance of certain neurotransmitters. It can impact every single aspect of one's life, especially if proper treatment is not implemented early. Medication can allow your child the balance needed for academic learning, feel the rewards and acceptance of peers and teaching staff.
Most kids with ADHD are a handful. These kids need medication every day, 365 days a year. Medication is required in order for the kids to function normally. This has huge impact on how the kids and their behavior is perceived by others.

It is not the teachers. They cannot prescribe treatment and they are already overworked and under-paid and cannot feasibly work with children on a one to one basis. That is what the IEP classes and medication if for. There are so many meds out there, if one doesn't work well for your child, then try another. Do this until you find one that works. Whether it works for you is not important, if it works for your child then it's great.

Children should never have to suffer damage due to an adult's ignorance and/or misinformation. YOU have taken the first step to avoid this by asking for help. Good for you!

Good Luck, let me know how things go.

D. B.

I am speaking from second-hand experience here... I have family members who are teachers and family members with children that have ADHD. I am not fond of medicating children for every little thing, either. HOWEVER, as far as the teachers are concerned... not all are mean or uncooperative as some situations have indicated. I do have to say that we shouldn't be so quick to blame the teachers for having a hard time dealing with children who are slightly more "difficult" than others. Lest we forget the teacher to student ratio, as one other said. These teachers are required to put up with more than I think ANY of us could possibly understand. If your child is actually diagnosed with ADHD, it's up to you as the parent to find out what works for your child. Don't be so quick to dismiss what the teacher says. If the classes and not medicating him at school really doesn't work for her then it's up to you to find out what does work. Your child isn't the only one in the class that the teacher has to deal with. If she is having to spend more time focused on your child and it takes her attention away from teaching and the other students, that's not very fair to the other kids. It is also not healthy for your child to put him on meds, then take him off, then put him back on, then take him off. That is far worse for his system than I think anyone realizes.

Good luck. And remember, most teachers are there to help your children grow and learn. They only need our cooperation and support!!!

Let me share my ADHD story with my 8 year old...

Last year he was in the 1st grade. His teacher had to have been a long distance relative to Hitler. She was rough and mean. She would call me on a daily basis and tell me this and that my child did. On the first parent-teacher conference she was very quick to lay blame on me for my childs actions. She said it was my fault that I let my child be the only child for so long (I also just found out I was pregnant a few days before this meeting so my emotions were already going crazy). I was single most of my son's life, I wasn't about to go just sleep with someone just so he could have a sibling!!! Then she told me that she had some parents threaten a lawsuit against me because my child was too wild and if he hurt their child they would sue me. OK-I may be mistaken here but when he's at school, the teacher is responsible for his actions, not me. I can't parent shadow my child 24/7 I do have to work and provide for him.

I have taken my child to a psychiatrist/psychologist and a counselor. I had a great facility in Tulsa, OK I took my child too, but after I married, I moved near Oklahoma City and had a hard time finding a good provider. I finally found one in Norman that prescribed Concerta 36 mg. My son has been on them since and his grades have improved, his behavior is better, his overall character is more mature. Now, when he doesn't take the medicine, I can't hardly deal with him because he does not think logically. Before the medicine, I would cringe if I would have to take him in public only because his hyperactivity would kick in and he would be out of line. Now, I get compliments all the time on how well he is behaved and how such a young man has great manners.

My advice is to try the meds, find one that works. We tried 3 different kinds before one finally worked for him. It's worth a shot, especially for his education.

Good luck to you!

Hi C. and congrats for standing up for your son! My son was "labeled"adhd in kindergarten and they forced me to put him on meds which had the opposite of thje desired effect he went mega hyper! So o too took him off all meds and altered his diet, he did help him a great deal at home but he was still having some difficulty at school but I did a little experimenting with my son (no not with meds) I discovered that if my son was really interested in something it held his attention longer (his was science and history) so I had a talk with his teacher and together we came up with the idea of mixing his studies into his likes such as with math we didn't use apples or such we used science terms like if we had 9 planets to warm and only had 6 blankets how many more would we need and that helped him thru quite a bit. You have to find a teacher willing to work with you and as u learned most don't want to. We also did further testing on my son and found out he wasn't adhd he had aspergers syndrome which is often mis diagnosed as adhd, it a high functioning form of autism. So I get to coninously fight with his school for that. Here is prayers that you find something that works for him because drugs aren't always the answer!

Hi C. ... I feel for you. My oldest son was diagnosed with ADD and I fought and fought with the schools and medicating him. I got calls from the school DAILY and often times more than once a day. I tried changing diet, I tried just about everything anyone suggested short of medicating him. I finally gave in. I put him on Ritalin, however, he was on the lowest dosage possible. If I remember right (this was 9 years ago) he took 5 mg in the AM and 5 mg at Noon, that was when he was in 2nd, 3rd, & 4th grades. When he got up to 5th grade we upped it to 10 mg in the AM and 5 mg at Noon (or maybe was the other way, can't remember exactly). Anyhow it gave him just enough of a handle that he could hold on to, to help himself. He is no longer taking Ritalin, he decided on his own (with Mom's encouragement) to quit the medication and try doing it on his own (he stopped when he started HS). He is in IEP and he is allowed extra help and perks (he is learning how to work the system, the benefits).
One other thing .... this whole time I have NEVER allowed him to use his ADD as an excuse!! He has had teachers and Tae Kwon Do instructor tell him his behavior was "okay" cause he had ADD. I told him no and used this analogy. In life there is a brick wall you have to go through to get to the other side. This brick wall has a door that everyone can use, except for him (and others with ADD/ADHD). You (my son) have to find another way around that brick wall. I also told him it wasn't fair but then there were alot of things in life that wasn't fair and everyone had something in life they have to deal with. And I told him that I would always be here for him, to help him, be on his side, but I expected him to try his hardest. He is doing well now. Last year he had a tough here but my belief is that it was more the dreaded disease called TEENAGITIUS than anything else. He has a car now (he's 17) and has assured me he is really going to try this year and get good grades (he says he has too much to lose. IF he doesn't keep his grades up, he has to quit his job and he loses his vehicle).
In regards to the teachers. I understand all to well your frustration!!! Try to keep in mind though that now a days teachers really have it rough. "We" took the power to discipline our children away from them and alot of times "our" children can do no wrong, it's the teacher's fault. My children know that while I support them and will back them (when necessary), while they are in school they had best mind and respect their teachers or else there will be consequences when they get home. Anyhow I'll get off my soap box now. I wish you Peace and luck in however you decide to proceed.

Jacque (one other thing, when my son was on Ritalin, we only had him taking it on school days, he never took it on week-ends or vacations or during the summer)

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