Medicating Children for ADHD.

Updated on June 19, 2008
K.H. asks from Ferndale, WA
35 answers

Does anybody else get rude comments or looks from their friends and family when they choose to medicate their children for ADHD? I was paranoid about medicating my son for his ADHD when he was younger and tried all the ideas I could. We changed his diet, we tried teas, we tried natural minerals, we tried coffee, and who knows what else. When he hit fourth grade it began to really effect his school work. He couldn't get stuff done and we were failing really first. I put him on ADHD medication the summer after fourth grade. He's now in sixth grade and not doing so hot because the time in his life where he should of been learning those valuable organizational skills and such he didn't because he couldn't concentrate. I feel horrible. When my daughter was diagnosed with ADHD at age 6 I chose to put her on medication so I didn't make the same mistake twice. I have a couple family members and friends who insist that it's wrong and want to try to push other things off on me. Is it so horrible to give them what you believe is best?! What do you say to these people so that you're not being rude but letting them know it's not up for discussion and these are your children?

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So What Happened?

Thank you so much for all the help. I'd love to respond to all of you individually because each and every one of you offered some advice that I can use. I just got so many of them I don't have time to respond to all of you. I'm sorry!!! Basically I think is what we've all agreed on is that it's none of anybody's business and (as the old saying goes) Mama knows best!! LOL Thank you all for caring and helping me out. At least if nothing else I feel not so alone in my struggle. It was a hard decision to put my son on medication because my brother was put on Ritalin in the 70's, early 80's and later became a meth addict. I put two and two together and assumed it was because of his ADHD medication. I was freightened by the medicine but I am so grateful I chose to do what I am doing because my son has finally begun to truly shine as he deserves to. For those of you who commented on my recovery thank you ever so much. My kids are who I fought for every single day and will continue to fight for as I finish recovering.

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D.S.

answers from Seattle on

I had the opposite problem. We chose not to medicate and have been judged by teachers, friends and others. My son had ADD and is doing super well now that he is in middle school. All A's and B's and is a pianist as well. We chose tutoring after trying meds. The bottom line is, people should not judge until they live with the child and are their parent. You know what is best.

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A.M.

answers from Portland on

First off...WOW what a fighter you are for your recovery. You should feel proud of yourself.

Second...I think that through the 90's so many kids were misdiagnosed with ADHD and put on Riddilin that now there is a stigma against kids who really do need it. You are the parent, you know your children best - and if someone writes you that medication is wrong and you should go homeopathic has no idea what they're talking about because they don't know your situation enough.

Be strong in what's best for your kids and thank your family members for caring, but that you have your childrens best interest in mind.

Good luck, A.

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V.H.

answers from Yakima on

I am a 63 year old grandmother diagnosed with ADD when I was 57. I wish they had known about ADD in girls. Most of us girls do not have the hyperactivity which shows up easily.
If I had been diagnosed wayyyyy back then I would have been able to go on toward my nursing degree I wanted, instead of trying and failing at everything I ever tried.
My Grandson has ADHD which was never really diagnosed. He is now 22 years old and trying to find help to get his medicine and counceling now. It is very difficult for him.

Kelly you are NOT doing the wrong thing for your children. Keep it up and one day when they are old enough to appreciate it they will thank you for giving them the head start on their lives.
I do have one suggestion. These children need a councelor to understand why they do certain things and get the help to control what they do.

I know I am much older then they are, but I am just learning how to control my life by doing things my way. The quotes-unquotes (normal) way of doing things dosen't work for us. WE can do it if we do it our way. Only a councilor who understands ADHD and ADD can help us. But they sure are out there.
GOD gave Debbie ( my councilor) to me and I grow by leaps and bounds every day. She was the one to diagnose me on my second appointment with her.

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T.J.

answers from Seattle on

Use humore to deflect them..I'd come up with a witty retort that makes it clear they should shut their mouths, like "if I didn't medicate them I'd have to medicate myself" or "can I ask what medicines you take?" Or "the whiskey wasn't working to sedate them so we're trying other methods"..lol :) I use this approach when people ask if I'm pregnant again and it seems to shut them up quickly, they're left dumbfounded! You could simply also say "we're following our doctor's recommendations, would you like his/her number?" Or tell them "after trying all the recommended methods we have chosen the one that works for our family".

Have you tried taking the kids to a chiropractor? I've worked in an office for 14 years and have seen many kids with adhd lower their dosage or stop taking medications. The premise is that the spine houses the nervous system, which controls brain function and every other system in the body. When a vertebra is misaligned it therefore almost always correlates to another area's function being decreased or stopping. Many people have successfully treated asthma, allergies, headaches, adhd, bedwetting, ear infections, and many more conditions with chiropractic adjustments!

Find someone who's comfortable working on children and give it a try, I'm sure as a mom you're willing to do whatever works. I've had my kids adjusted since day one and they both love it! He's most kids favorite doctor! He also mentioned to put the kids on an omega-3 supplement, helps with concentration and brain function.

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K.K.

answers from Portland on

I have a son going into the 4th grade that has been on the meds since 1st grade. I had to make the choice all by myself... my husband is his step dad so simply said "I'll support you in your choice" and his dad only has him on weekends for the most part so didn't see a reason why he needed them. I however, was the one dealing with school and getting him ready in the mornings and getting him to do homework in the afternoon. My final straw was walking into the school and seeing him in an emply classroom while the rest of the kids were at lunch recess and asking him why he was in there and him telling me "I stay in every day Mom, so I can finish my work." and then I would hear almost every day after school, "School wasn't good. I didn't get my work done because I'm not smart like everyone else." His self esteem was so low from not accomplishing what other kids did, that he honestly thought he was dumber than any of them. At that point, I made an apt. with the school psychologist who did an evaluation on him. The report made me cry... for days. It showed that he didn't have any friends, due to the lack of being able to focus on what other kids were doing on the playground, in the classroom, etc. He would just walk around at recess and watch everyone else play but not interact with anyone. He's not hyperactive at all... he will sit in his desk with no problems... but he gets nothing done while he's there because he can't focus on the work.
Since putting him on meds, his self esteem has come up a lot. He's almost a straight A student and this year, had all "Consistents" in things like using time wisely, completing tasks, etc.
My point is, I got dirty looks and a lot of judgement from people... including his own dad who won't give him the pills when he's with him... but I simply tell them "You don't have to hear him put himself down when he is different from the other kids". I'm not sure if your kids do that, or would... but low self esteem goes hand in hand with ADHD and also contributes to drug use later in the years. Knowing I am doing what I can to better his life was enough for me to put up with the judgement.

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C.V.

answers from Seattle on

Hi K.,

My son is almost 10 and has been on ritalin since he was 7. I was the same way, not wanting to medicate him, but eventually gave in. My Son, improved by LEAPS and BOUNDS! Tell your family and friends they themselves probably need to be medicated. People with ADD are a HUGE part of the population! They need to become informed on the subject of ADD/ADHD. In fact, educate them yourself, talk their ears off! Or better yet, refer them to my FAVORITE website, helpguide.org It is the most accurately detailed description of ADD in children and adults. I should know. Because of my Son, I was diagnosed as an adult a little over a year ago. It has CHANGED my life! In an AMAZINGLY FANTASTIC way! If I had known, or even been able to articulate what exactly I was having a problem with when I was very young, I would have! It would have made my life SO much easier! My Son made it clear one day, soon after we'd he'd started his medication. He went out with his Grandparents, and several situations made him very frustrated. He eventually had a meltdown, crying and screaming that it was all our faults. That we hadn't given him his medication, and he needed it, because it made everything easier. Let me tell you, that hit me like a ton of bricks. After that, I didn't feel guilty giving it to him, I felt good! And now I know exactly how he feels. I would NEVER want to give up my medication. Read about ADD on helpguide. Both child and adult. You'll see why. Everyone's brains are wired differently. And people with ADD are almost always of average intelligence, but a lot of times, GIFTED. You just don't get to see it, since the inability to pay attention, finish tasks, and stay motivated, get in the way of learning. Also, a lot of times, it's not just ADD. My son is also dyslexic. More often then not, are two and three issues.
Also, you don't outgrow ADD, that is a MYTH. In fact, it actually makes your life harder as you have more responsibilities, and more stress in your life. If your son and Daughter both have ADD, the chances that you or their Father have ADD is overwhelming. Just taking a shot in the dark, I'd say, you should find out, for ALL of your sakes. I am a Much better Mother, because I take medication, and have educated myself. Medication is a wonderful thing! We need to change minds and get rid of all of the myths surrounding ADD. The masses are so uninformed, I'm embarrassed for them! Keep in mind, that anyone who thinks you're a bad Mother for medicating your children for ADD is completely ignorant. ADD is a serious issue, that can wreck your life slowly, but surely. You're a GOOD Mother for doing what's best for your children. If they needed eyeglasses, and you got them, would they tell you the same thing? If someone who is opposed to medication could see and feel the difference between medicated and not medicated, they would sing the praises of stimulant medication themselves!
Anyway, I hope something I've said makes things easier in your life. If I can help with anything else, please feel free to contact me anytime, and good luck!

Christy
[email protected]____.com

PS Also, I would have your Son tested for learning disabilities. It is more common to have ADD AND a learning disability, than not. My son is dyslexic, and has ADD, and is a BRILLIANT, TALENTED, HAPPY, boy.

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L.R.

answers from Seattle on

It's horrible when people that you are close to can't support your decision. We all make the best choices we can with the information we have. I have one son with ADHD and autism as well and we haven't medicated him. I'm hoping we will never have to, but you really do never know.

You are doing what you feel is best for your children. Unless someone walks in your shoes I don't think they can really relate. What I've done in those times, when I have the patience, is to listen to what they have to say and thank them for their opinions. Then when I can i walk away. Sometimes I think about what they said just for a different perspective, and sometimes I totally ignore it. There are other times where I pull out the books I have and get the facts then go back and tell those who criticize why I'm doing what I am for my son. Those have helped me.

You are not alone. The best thing I've done is found people who are in the same situation that I am and can talk to them. Then I have a chance to vent in a safe place without criticism. I hope you have that, too. If not, feel free to let me be your venting person.

L. Rittierodt

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H.T.

answers from Seattle on

I know how you feel. My son was diagnosed with ADHD in 3rd grade. My parents didnt and still doesnt understand that he needs his meds daily to be able to concentrate and not bounce off the walls all day long. My son is now in 8th grade and still needs his meds daily. I keep hoping that one day he will outgrow it but until them the meds are a daily part of life. I wouldnt worry about what other people think, if the meds help your kids then that is what they need. I am sure if they spent time with your kids off there meds they would understand why they take them.

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M.M.

answers from Portland on

K.,

It sounds like you're an amazing person and an amazing mom. And congratulations on your recovery.

As you know, these illnesses are very real. It's true that children have been misdiagnosed and I'm sure there are children out there on meds who really don't need them. However, there ARE children who need them.

If your friends/family are really pushing you and not listening to your polite requests to mind their own business, I would use a more direct approach. I've had to do that with my family (although for other reasons). Tell them you love them, that you don't want to lose them over this issue, but that you have made your decision and their criticism must stop. Write this in a letter, if it's easier.

The bottom line is that you love your children. It's obvious that you do. Unless they have lived your life, they have NO idea what you are going through and they have no right to lecture you on what to do.

I wish you and your family all the best.

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M.B.

answers from Seattle on

You just keep sticking up for yourself and your kids. I know adults who can't function properly without medication for ADHD. Imagine if their parents hadn't given it a try. It sounds like you are doing all the right things and the only thing that other people need to know is that you know your children best and that no one else cares more about their well being and happiness than you. Keep being a good mom and know that you are not alone in this.

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N.Z.

answers from Portland on

My 14 year old son is ADD. He's been on meds since 3rd grade. We too have problems with being organized and getting the work done. His brain seems to "go on vacation" when he gets bored.
He's failed his 4 core classes in 8th grade but, passed the state test. He will be a freshman next year.
We are seeing a Psyciatrist this summer hopeing to get some answers and re-train his brain.
We had him organized at one point but, the school had its own version and we had to change. Their way did not work for us. Then the counselor didn't help, they gave him an assignment book to keep track of the work. Duh! If he can't get the work done in class what makes them think that he can write down the assignment, bring it to the teacher to check, then bring it home to me?!
If you want to email me, please feel free. [email protected]____.com
Good luck!

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D.T.

answers from Portland on

Like most parents you tried other options before you medicated your son and daughter. I have a son with adhd, though no one in my family disagrees with my decision to medicate, I have run into acquaitenances who do. I would just tell your family that you are doing what you feel is right for your children and thanks for their concern. My son likes his meds and how they make him feel. I can recommend a forum site for you with a bunch of parents going through the same thing. It is adhdnews.com and they have a great message board that is supportive and informational.

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L.M.

answers from Yakima on

Oh, we have been there...we have a grandson that is 16 that we have had since he was 3 mos old. He suffers from severe ADHD/Bi-Polar Disorder/Anxiety and Depression....we tried everything for him...every natural route there was. We finally took him to a behavioral counselor/psychiatrist and with some luck have medicated him and got the medication combination right which is hard when their hormones are fluctuating all over the place.
I come from a family that they are all on the Vegan diet and they take certain supplement programs. Mac is like your son and during the formative years was not on mdication and especially the fourth grade missed out on alot of things that he needed to learn.
Mac has a very hard time in school and this last tri-mester was the worst he has ever had.Infact he is taking summer school because of it.
What is your son taking? Mac takes Zoloft and Concerta in the morning for depression and his ADHD, then he takes Abilify at night to sleep and it is a mood stabilizer for his bi-polar tendencies...mood swings and whatever comes along with possibly being bi-polar.
You know what is best with your son and daughter and you are the ones that have to deal with it on a daily basis. I say do what I have done and when I find something that is good to read on the disorders...I email them and send it to them...I also have recommended that they all go to the ThinkKids.org website......this is such a good website and they also have the book that these men have written called....The Explosive child. The psychiatrists actually use this book and website in their learning to deal with these children.
If you have not read the book or looked at the website I really recommend it to you...www.ThinkKids.org....
I love how they explain that cause and effect does not work with these kids. Nor does the attitude..I am going to show you who is boss...they are not manipulative or spoiled....they do not even have the reasoning power ororganization thought process to be that way. Do not let them bother you..you have alot of support in what you are doing with people that are in the same boat. They do not understand when you try to explain...they do not realize that the issues that they deal with their kids sound like what we deal with but ours is tenfold. Hugs L.

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A.D.

answers from Portland on

My mom does that to me all the time. She just doesn't get it. I just tell her that she can think whatever she wants, but the decision is up to my husband and I. We have tried it without medication and we are not the only ones that notice a difference. He learns sooooo much more on the medication. Do I like hime being on it? No. But the alternative is much worse. He gets in trouble all the time and he doesn't learn anything. Just ask them if they would rather the kids be labled as bad and stupid, or take medication and live up to their potential. As for your other question it is hard to deal with all that. Whenever I am consistant though it gets better. It is when I am not consistant that my 2 fight like crazy. They need to make decisions. Be good and good things will happen, or be bad and bad things will happen.

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A.C.

answers from Eugene on

Im not a real big supporter of medicating children, unless its absolutly necessary, however, I dont force my opinions on anyone else. Simply explain to people that, while you appreciate thier help and advice, these are your children and you are going to do what you think is best. Sometimes being nice isnt possible, and people simply dont get the hint. If they dont simply ask them to keep thier opinions to themselves, or they will not be welcome at your house any longer. ADHD is one of those things that children need the help the medication gives. I had it growing up and I struggled throughout school because when I was growing up they just didnt care. They simply passed me on to get me out of the system. My son is having some of the same problems I was having and I am fighting to get my son the help he needs. If your children need the medication, then dont let other people sway you or tell you what to do, You do what you need to do to help your children. Good Luck

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A.H.

answers from Seattle on

Hi K., You nailed it right on the head. What you belive is best. I don't have any children that have ADHD, I am a mother of a 2yr old boy and an 8 year old step daughter. However, You have to do what you belive is best for your family. Don't let anyone tell you different, if you feel in your heart you are doing your best, then tell people, I am doing what I belive is best for my children and our family. And leave it at that. If they continue to bug you, say to them, you don't want to hurt their feelings, but I really wish you would stop trying to push your ideas on to me. Thank you.

Good luck. God Bless.

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A.D.

answers from Portland on

Don't feel bad for using meds! My god, these same people who give you flack for using ADHD meds wouldn't blink an eye if say, your child broke his arm and needed medical attention for that, now would they? It's not like you took this decision lightly--it really sounds like you took time to decide if it was the last and best choice. You have enough on your plate as a mom of four and a cancer survivor. I say cut yourself a break--you deserve it!

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A.H.

answers from Portland on

Dear K.,
first a little bit about me.... im a single mom or a soon to be 4th grader who is ADD(miss diagnosed while we were in TX as ADHD and a mood disorder that was caused from the meds)....my son had struggled for 2 yrs before we(the doctor and i) decided it was time for the medication...codie was having trouble focussing and concentrating in school and was having trouble following teachers directions.... it took an in school suspension before i realized my son needed help....i took him to our family doc here(that has been his doc since he was born) and he rediagnosed him with ADD and said that the docs in TX were crazy... we started him on Strattera for the ADD and hes done a complete turn around... his grades improved as well as his attitude.... see i fought for 2 yrs to not put him on the meds until the suspension in 3rd grade and the doc and i talked and agreed that if was finally time..... i wish you the best of luck.... and if you feel better with your child on the meds for the ADHD dont let your family change your mind cause if your child or children are doing better then that is great.... but your family arent around them 24-7 im assuming therefore they arent dealing with them on a full time basis and see what you go thru....
good luck
A.

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D.D.

answers from Seattle on

Sometimes medications are the only way to go. I've tried healing myself with alternative medicine without a naturopath and with a naturopath. A naturopath can help in so many ways, that if you haven't tried that route, try it. This medicine is so complex, that we can't figure it out on our own. It's actually cheaper to go to a naturopath, because then you're not shooting in the dark about what's wrong, or what you should do or not do.

I have a friend who had to medicate her children (they all had ADHD - severely) and so you have to remember that you know best, because you know your children best, regardless of what others say.

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R.M.

answers from Portland on

Do other folk care if you medicate your children? Do you really care if they take heart or cholesterol medication? Prescriptive meds can be very helpful, they can keep you alive and stop your pain. If another person comments about your decision as the parent to medicate your kids, tell them it really is none of their business and what ever other explanitive seems to work for you. "They" feel free to state their opinion, as should you. Medication is not a decision parents take lightly and your pediatrician has all the information to make the joint decision on what is best for your child.

If you still get disparaging remarks by those who fell it is their place to tell you what to do, let them know how you feel and for sure, it is not open for comments.

R. L. Ac.

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J.W.

answers from Seattle on

K.,
First and foremost, congratulations on being on the road to recovery with your brain cancer. You have climbed a tall mountain, reached the summit and now it's time to enjoy the view. You know how important it is to take your medications, what a difference it has made in your own life, so it is with your kids. There are times when it's best to not to tell friends and family all the particulars of your or the kids' medical conditions as it will and does overwhelm those who don't experience your day to day lives. They want to fix it, make it all better and they can't, but they love to tell you what you need to do. Follow your pediatrician's advice. With regard to your son beng behind, if at all possible, get him some help, establish a 'learning' routine over the summer. These gaps are like falling back 10 yards and punting in a football game, you might get ahead, but only in very small increments if you don't keep the routine going. If your doctor's office has information on support groups for parents of ADHD children, try attending. No one knows the angst, the joys that you encounter better than someone else who is traveling that journey. Also keep in mind that because of your own health problems that your kids were focused on you and not school. I'm the host of a brain tumor as well, and my youngest was 10 when I was diagnosed and had surgery followed by gamma knife. He and the older two (13 and 15 at the time) were more concerned about me than any big project or daily homework their teachers could provide. I had told their teachers in advance what was going on and to pull them out of class and let them talk when needed. We kept them accountable, but recognized what they could and couldn't do at the time. It's not easy being a child of a sick parent. Add this stressor to the ADHD and your son had a very full plate, with more than his young and overly active mind could handle effectively. Your husband was overwhelmed as well. Go to the Lance Armstrong Foundation's website, www.laf.org. There are resources there to help with survivorship, and LAF says that all our family members are survivors. They have a publication that deals with children. They also have a patient care coordinator (free) that can help find the resources (many free or low cost) needed for your survivorship, and I'll bet they can find a summer program for your kids, to help them cope and stay on track so you can continue to heal. There is strength in unity, knowledge is power and attitude is everything. LiveSTRONG, K.!!

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M.B.

answers from Seattle on

Tell people when the critize you about medicating your children, that it allows them to be who they really are, it help to clear their heads and allows them to function. I have an austic daughter who is six and after months of putting it and trying different things we've finally decided try medication. Stand by your decision you know what is best for your children and your family.

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B.D.

answers from Seattle on

My son doesn't have ADHD, but does have Sensory Integration Disorder. I understand how you feel though. When we first were trying to get my son diagnosed, we thought it to be ADHD. I was worried that I would have to medicate, but told myself that if it came down to it, I would do it to help my son. If you have done all that you can, you are entitled to help your son the best you can...even if that means to medicate. No one should put you down for doing what you feel might be best for your child. *hug*

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S.W.

answers from Seattle on

K.,

I can understand both sides of the argument. But you are the parent, and you are going to parent according to your convictions. I have ADD and my parents were so interested in medicating me so I would focus more in school, that I think they focused more on the ADD itself and took the focus off of helping me where it should have been. I am against a lot of the medications out there I have to say, and it because I have been on most all of them. I suffered horrible reactions to each individual medication that I still see some problems associated with them today.

The medications out there are so strong that they mess with the brain chemistry to "re-program" itself in a way (does that make sense?). I know that there are medicinal alternatives such as natural supplements, dietary changes, and "down time" routines that can make a huge impact on the way the brain functions.

We live in a society that thinks it is okay to feed our children caffeine and sugar in large doses and from a young age and then cannot seem to figure out why they are having a problem functioning. I am not saying or trying to imply that this is what you do by no means am I trying to offend. I do agree that some children are born with the predisposition for ADD and ADHD to develop and I am not completely against medicating. But I also feel that many parents are using it as an excuse to cop out on parenting. Again I am not saying you are doing this at all, this is probably the way your relatives are thinking about society as a whole not you personally.

If you have explored every alternative to medication and still feel with strong conviction that you are making the right choice for you and your children then you are making the right choice. No one has the right to tell you how you should and should not parent in this situation. However, if even in the smallest bit you hear a still small voice in your heart telling you that maybe you should not be doing this then stop and listen to what your mommy instinct is trying to tell you.

I am not against medications if they are needed. I believe that ADD and ADHD exists because I have ADD. I have not been on any medication for almost ten years now and not a day goes by that I have needed it.
http://www.chrysalis-school.com/
take a look at this school. This is the school that I went to and it is perfect for children that struggle with traditional schooling methods.

Blessings to you and your children.

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G.L.

answers from Salt Lake City on

With treasured family members and friends - "I appreciate your concern. We've considered carefully and made the best choice for our family. Please respect us." Then change the subject.

With the same people who won't just let it drop - "The decision has been made. Can we please talk about something else now?"

With people who are beyond help - "It's really none of your business." And then walk away.

I've no personal experience with what you're dealing with, but have had to defend the choice to breastfeed and not to circumcise against certain family members (okay, my own mother, who has trouble dealing with her children when we choose to do things differently from the way she did). I've decided, after causing myself headaches by trying, that the best defense is none at all.

Good luck.

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L.M.

answers from Seattle on

Hello, it sounds like you have tried all the right ways of telling your family it is not their decision. Maybe a good old mean, "It isn't your decision now get off my back!" might be needed. You are doing what is best per your pediatrician, teachers and counselors. Sixth grade is very hard, the expectation is for these kids to be very organized. We finally got a tutor which helped our son. Encourage him to user his planner from school, every weekend clean out his back-up and file assignments in folders, don't ever throw anything away until grades are final.

My son just finished his freshman year and we still have some issues, but every day he matures more and more.

Chin up, remember you are the parent of these wonderful children and have others in your court that know you are doing the right thing.

Good luck, L.

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J.T.

answers from Anchorage on

I know how u feel. I am a divorced wife and My ex-husband and I went through this for months. My son was diagonised with ADHD last school yr. and I agreed to put him on the med. When my children would go to there dads on the weekends he refused to give him the medication. This means that when I get him back Mon day morning he has energy built up from the whole weekend. It took me 3 days to get things back to normal just to turn around and do it again the following weekend. Finally, after lots of arguments and being called a BAD MOM cause I want ed to "DRUG" our son. I finaally got him to try it for a weekend and see if there was any difference. He finally saw things my way BUT I had to go through lots of name calling and hurt feelings. Good luck I know it is NOT EASY>

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L.M.

answers from Seattle on

I don't have any experience with my children having ADHD, but you have to do what is right for your family and children. Good luck.

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B.L.

answers from Jacksonville on

I wouldn't discuss the subject with them ever again. You're doing what you feel is best. You can say "thanks for your opinion" then change the subject, or "I'll take that into consideration" and then change the subject. Or offer to let them take the kids for the weekend, sans medication, and see what they think ;) All kidding aside, they are concerned about the long term effects of those medications, albeit criticizing you isn't helpful.

You might consult a naturopath. I've noticed the book Ritalin Free Kids in my naturopath's office. There are other books as well, such as Dr. Bob's Guide to Stop ADHD in 18 Days. You could try the library or look on amazon. Just a thought... Good luck!

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B.M.

answers from Portland on

K.,
I am sorry people really don't understand what you go through and do not understand that sometimes medication is a good thing. Our bodies don't always work right and medication is there for a reason. I know that people are very judgemental and it is hard, just know you are doing what is right for you and your family. It may not be right for theirs, but you are doing your best. Our challanges are quite different when we are faced with children with special needs and it takes a lot of patience. Something I have had to learn more of myself. I just want you to know that you are a great mom and don't let anyonw make you feel like you are not. My nephews have been on several meds to find the one that best works for them and they have been through this as well. We always try and do our best. Mom is the hardest job to have. Best of luck K.!

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K.S.

answers from Eugene on

TO QUOTE YOU:
"Is it so horrible to give them what you believe is best?!" NO.
"What do you say to these people"
It's not up for discussion and these are your children!

I don't believe that you are the one being rude. In fact, it seems the people pushing their point of view are out of line. You are not doing harm to your child, in fact you are helping her. Getting your daughter the help she needs now is the right thing. It isn't like you didn't try everything for your son the first time around. Besides, there are so many better meds these days than there were before.

My daughter is 18 now and was undiagnosed for years. She struggleed so much early on in school and was not able to grasp alot of learning concepts that were needed as she got older. It made her feel like a failure and it was damaging to her self esteem. I put her on ADD meds at 16 and it helped her get through school enough to pass with a GED. Yes -it helps her but it was in someways too little too late for her, she was just too far behind in school. If any of my other children show signs of ADD/ADHD, I will know what to do this time around. As do you. Good Luck.

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S.C.

answers from Spokane on

Hi K.! The people that make those judgements do not spend day after day with an ADHD child and see the difference that the meds can make. A mom does not want their child to have this medical condition but has to make the choice as to what is best for their child. As a mom of an 8 year old ADHD boy, I feel terrible that I have to give my son meds in order for him to function, however, I know that it is the best choice that I can make at this time. As far as other people go, you could tell them thanks for their ideas and tell them that you try everything. With some of the trusted, closer friends or family members, you could have them take care of one of your ADHD kids for a day (not on meds). Anyhow, I hope these ideas help! S.

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L.L.

answers from Seattle on

I have ADHD and took medication for a while (I'm really going somewhere useful with this, I promise), but ultimately decided that it was not right for me. Personally, I was not diagnosed until age 19 (I'm 28 now) and had already learned many tricks to keep myself in check so I could focus...only I didn't realize that was quite what I was doing. It took me a very long time and many years of hard work just to be able to remember what I was reading after one sentence (even into high school). I know what it is like to not have meds, and to take them...much like YOU know what it is like to not medicate a child and then medicate that same child later in life...and see what the benefits/draw backs are of both. My suggestion to you is that you politely thank them for their concern, but you "have done the research and made an informed decision" that you do not intend to change. Take it from me, if they do not tell you that you shouldn't be putting your child on meds, they will tell you that ADHD is an imaginary disease (and probably that you should not medicate for an imaginary disease)...I am guessing that you have probably heard this once or twice. I get that kind of thing all the time..."adhd is a childhood disorder" "adhd is not real, the psychiatrists just want to make a bunch of money"...the list goes on...people will pick at whatever they can, some of it you just have to take with a grain of salt. I have known my fiance for almost 14 years and he still tries to tell me that ADHD isn't real, yet continues to ask my why I (insert whatever ADHD symptom you like here) LOL. I hope I have helped anyway. My point is that you know what is right for your children. Do not feel bad about making a decision that you know is good for them and in their best interest. A lot of the meds have been around for a very long time and have been used on children for as long as they have been around (i.e. if they were going to cause brain damage or something, they would know about it by now). You seem like the type of person who does not like to medicate unnecessarily, so take pride in your decision and in the fact that it is an informed one.

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D.M.

answers from Anchorage on

I might respond "thank you, I apreciate your concern." Know that it is your decision! If they are so very concerned maybe they could come help you tutor your son and get him on track. With family sometimes its ok to be a little forward. for those that are very bothersome, sound very intrested, then give them a list of all the things you have tried and current problems. That way they can know how far you have gone and at least you will hear new ideas.

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M.E.

answers from Spokane on

First of all I would like to thank you for your decision. I was a private nanny for a family of 5 children, 4 of whom where challenged by ADHD. They got one dose of medicine administered by the school, even though they were suppose to receive 4 doses equally spaced throughout the day. Their parents didn't want them medicated at home and those sweet children struggled to focus on anything and everything. Their lives were 100 times more difficult than need be.

Choosing to medicate your children to help them focus and enjoy life is an act of compassion and good judgment in my opinion.

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