I have a two sons a 7 year old and a 3 year old. My 7 year old has been diagnosed with ADHD (off the chart). I am being told he can only be treated by medication. My concern is that he is does great in anything that he does. He is in 1st grade and on the principal's list all but one of the six weeks sections. However, he does feed of any energy in a room. He usually gravitates to the youngest child and ask like them or worse. I guess my question is if he is doing so well in school and behavior is the factor should I medicate or not.
Well let me express my gratitude for those of you whom took the time to respond. Alittle more about all this I guess what I was trying to ask, which some of you answered very well is, what other alternatives do I have. I am got a lot of pressure from the school to get him tested. I did get him tested with the a psychologist whom diagnosised him with sever ADHD and said there was no other option, but to medicate him. I felt very uncomfortable with this, because one they did not want to test him academically, to see if he was just bored. He gave him one computer test which my over achieving son tested 5 times higher than the score needed for ADHD. I am also confused about the fact that he can go a weeks with out any problems. Some of you asked about home. Well I seem to be the only one that can really keep him in check. He doesn't test me nearly as much as anyone else. Which is why I don't feel comfortable leaving him with baby sitters. He is very confident. He has not fallen under any perpressure from older kids. I think he only needs time to grow a little. He does talk and make noise alot.
However, he has been talking or making words seens he was 5 month old. He has been very articulate. I may be in denial, but I would rather exhaust all other alternatives, before meds. So I would love to hear about what you know about diet, supplements any other alternative form of treating him. I will check out Feingold website. I already told my husband we are going to change our diet.
It is also a little difficult because we are moving in a June cross county to Arizona. This I am hoping will be a fresh start for him. I also need to know what you all think about telling the school. I rather not place a label on him. As some of you said teachers are human and will talk. I would rather the teacher have an open mind about him.
Again thanks for all your responses. At this point we are thinking about changing his diet, adding supplements and re-enforcing good behavior and punishing the negative behavior.
Best wishes to all and thanks for all your advice. I need all the advice I can get with this.
Sincerly, L. N.
My husband was diagnosed with ADHD at a young age and placed on medication. He said he remembers being incredibly gifted at so many things before that, but that his medicine took that away from him.
I have not had to go through what you have (my son is only 4 months old), so i can't give you any "real" advice as a parent. All I know is that medication had a lot more negative consequences than positive for my husband. Today he is a very smart and successful man, but was never good in a school setting and didn't go to college. i think today's schools maybe aren't creative or patient enough to find the right learning environment for each child.
I think it depends on whether or not the ADHD is interfering with his education. I have 4 children who are ADHD and my oldest daughter was doing very poorly in 5th grade and when she was diagnosed with ADHD inattentive type and was put on medication, she moved up to AG classes in 6th grade and is now on the a-honor roll. All my boys educational needs have greatly improved tremendously after being put on the medication. I truly believe that if it was not making it difficult for them to concentrate in school and stay on task, we probably would of been against the medications and wanted to try something else, but knowing what I know now, it was the best decision for the kids.
I can only write from teaching experience. I think so many kids are OVER medicated. Yes, it is a little more challenging and some teachers are like bring on the pill b/c the kids are better for them. But, if you do it at all start VERY low doesages. There are a lot of other things, like diet that can help. Even having a special classroom plan for him where maybe he leaves the room every 30 minutes to do 20 jumping jacks in the bathroom, then back to focus in the room would be better in my eyes than medication. Good luck to you! Whatever you decide you're doing it with love. :)
Get a second and third opinion from very qualified child psycologist before doing anything. ADHD is just the starting point. He may need much more testing. Don't waste time. Intervention now could mean a whole lot to his future success. My sister was diagnosed ADHD and was medicated. They stopped there and didn't realize she had severe learning disabilities until high school. It was the learning disabilities all along and she never really had ADHD. My boss and his son were diagnosed ADHD but it turned out to be dislexia. I'm begining to think ADHD is a symptom of a larger problem rather than a disorder in itself.
My own daughter's attentional problems got diagnosed as ADHD and medicated and it turned out that she didn't have ADHD. She did have sensory issues, vision problems and some other problems. The medication in her case seemed to improve things at first, but then really backfired.
Yet, I know other children who truly have a problem directly in their frontal cortex and the stimulant medication really helps them, along with behavior modifications which the parents and schools implemented.
Have you gotten a second opinion? We thought that our child may have ADHD but the school made a chart about how often they had to re-direct him and he did well with a reward plan in place. They proved that he didn't have ADHD. From my understanding with kids with ADHD they can be very smart but generally do NOT do well in school due to inability to focus. The fact that your child is doing well in school tells me that maybe a behavior chart/reward system may work just as well if not better than medication. At least it may be worth a try. I hope it all works out for you!
Check into food allergy testing before medicating. I took a seminar once on ADHD and the doctor teaching it said that if your pediatrician does not recommend allergy testing when diagnosing ADHD it is time for a new pediatrician. She had a son w/ ADHD found out he was allergic to wheat and he was much better when taken off of wheat.
Why do you want advice on to "drug" or not "drug" your son?...because he has energy...because he acts like a 7 year old boy and bothers his classmates at times? That is called normal! I still don't understand why they labeled him ADHD? You did'nt give enough details. Most times it seems people would rather slap a label on kids...drug them up than offer any other healthy way to confront the issue...but by your note...there is NO issue. He is learning and does well in school??? I have 3 sons and a daughter...all of them at that age had high energy...but I did'nt go drug them up!!! You need to be very careful and weary to the opinion of the medical profession or educational profession that gives you such advice....without a second and third opinion. YOU are your child's advocate! YOU know him better than anyone else!!! Why let others talk you into drugging your child???? Please consider listening to your heart...this is your child and his life, self-esteem and selfworth at risk here! Stand up for your kid!
This is always a difficult decision. I always take the conservative route, before going into something I may not be ready for. Hence, I would try the following: 1) .an impact on behavior. It is amazing as to what foods can create behavior issues and sugar isn't the only one. There also additives that can effect us in foods that we are unaware of. Remember we are all different bodily chemistry. Peanut butter effected my nephew and he had to be taken off of that. Mom used almond butter in place of it. 2) I would go to www.morter.com and see if you can find a chiropractor that practices with the BEST method. It has been known to help with ADD so this might be helpful to him as well. I have been healthier taking supplements and going to the chiropractor. I tend to go to alternative methods as the traditional ways aren't always as healthy. I am sure the meds will have a side effect and that would be my major concern.
Best of luck with your decision.
Ok, let me answer this as a mom whose 7 year old is on medication, also as a person who advised her boss to do the same thing. Nathan has been having positive experiences now due to medication. He is on Focalin, the one with little or no side effects. My boss put her 7 year old on it and his teacher told them that his grade level is going up, where before he couldn't sit long enough to learn anything. We use this medication daily and my son will ask for it. He knows it helps him. Our pediatrician told us to get fish oil pills, but my son Nathan wouldn't take it. It was our first effort at doing something naturally. We fought, so we decided medication was better. And better it is. I wish we had done it in Kindergarten. My boss says if she had done it earlier her son wouldn't have had to repeat Kindegarten. I just wanted to let you know my perspective on it because I do know that many parents out there are going to tell you medication is bad and I can't believe you would consider it. Let me know what you decide. Please let me know. We love my son taking medication, and others notice a big difference with him on it. E.
If you don't feel comfortable medicating him than you shouldn't. You could also look into some natural supplements. Both my kids see a developmental pediatrician who has put them on supplements because they have early signs of ADHD and they've helped! If you would like to know what we use let me know and I would be more than happy to share!
I have a daughter who is now 12 who started the medication at 7 years old.
There are no specific rules for this. You can try the medication and see if it helps. I recommend an 8 week trial period. I notice a difference in my daughter if she skips her meds even 1 day. Or you can choose not to medicate at all.
Also there are 2 kinds of med. Time release (extended tabs) and not time released. My daughter had a hard time sleeping on the time release ones. She is now on Adderol 20 mg a day once a day.
Regarding the social issues with your son. This may just mean that he is socially immature on top of the ADHD. My daughter also has this. She is still behind a little, but not to the extent that she used to be. I figure she is going to be my late bloomer.
If your in the Jacksonville NC area I have the name of a great family therapist and Psych office.
Personally I would. Things will only get worse the older he gets and the harder his classes get. Both of my older sons are on meds for ADHD and it really helps them focus more in school and keeps them from getting into things. Once he gets used to the meds you could always not give it to him on the weekends or over the summer. I hope this helps, I know its hard, but I wish you luck.
If you decide to medicate, do it for HIS benefit and not the school's or anyone else's! We spent three years investigating every alternative and trying many of them (we can't afford Biofeedback or Interactive Metronome at this time, but anything behavioral or dietary has been tried, including counseling.) Medication just helps the way nothing else has! My son has an IQ in the top 1% (MENSA requires an IQ in the top 2%) and he would be failing if we didn't medicate just because of forgetting to do or turn in assignments or getting off track while doing them.
The decision is personal and don't let anyone's opinion sway you. Consider it research and make your own choice! Daniel Amen makes some great books about the brain's role on ADHD as well as other issues. When you discover it is an underactive prefrontal cortex, which controls attention and such, you might think of it the way you'd think of diabetes or something else you body can't control. I don't blame my friend for taking insulin and I would expect her not to blame us for giving my son medication he needs for proper brain function!
Much of the advice seems to point to boys being boys and a true diagnosis goes way beyond that! Medication is absolutely not a cure-all (it fixes symptoms only), but my son is able to learn and contribute in class in a way he'd be unable to do without medication. His self-esteem suffered prior to medication because he beat himself up on why he just couldn't finish his work or or focus or pay attention. It has suppressed the symptoms of ADHD so he can get on with his life and I am thankful!
I too have a son that at age 6/7 was diagnosed with ADD. We had him tested by a pyschatrist who based his finding on the fact that my son had an above average IQ. This goes hand in hand with ADD. We didn't see any attention problems at home but school was another story. Less stimulus at home. My son is now 14 and doing very well on medication. He thanked me not too long ago for helping his brain be less "fuzzy". We have had him checked throughout the years to see if anything has changed. It was the hardest decision we made but the right one for us.
Don't medicate him unless he and you both feel good about it. He's old enough to be in on the decision. There are lots of dietary changes that may make a difference in his attention span, but God made us all different. Try to let him have as much outdoor exercise as possible to expend his energies and that'll probably help him be a little more focused in indoor settings.
If it were me, I would try to avoid the medication as much as possible. He is doing well in school, you don't mention any problems at home, so maybe some behavior modification would be a better start than medication. I don't have any good scientific reason for not medicationg, it just doesn't seem like a good idea to give a child medicine that they don't need. What prompted the evaluation in the first place? Good luck to you and your family!
DO NOT MEDICATE. He is just a kid.... that's what they do. More then likely it is because he is so smart he just gets bored. Have you had him tested for that?? My oldest Nephew, who is 8, does the same thing to the three 4 year old boys, myself and two sisters all have 4 years olds. Boys are boys, I don't get why everyone thinks they need meds. I just don't like taking anything because the way it makes me feel. I could only image what it would do to a child!!! Don't medicate, its just the school systems way to deal with children who express themselves in the only ways they know how. Get his I Q tested.... I bet he is smarter then anyone thought!!! Again I have 5 nephews..... Its just boys being boys!!!! There wild, crazy, and daring. Don't get me wrong, it scare me to death but,there boys!!!!
Read Jenny McCarthy's book about how to "cure" autism... lots of great info in that... You may think that it's a stretch, but just remember that there is a pendulum and ADD is on one end and autism is on the other... the book is full of suggestions for diet change. Off the top of my head, give up wheat! and sugar... you won't believe the change you will see!
Most of all, don't give up... so MANY MANY better options than meds... don't even get me started on big pharma companies.... they keep people between sick and not quite dead... no REAL solutions to the problem... my family has great benefited from our Alternative Healthcare physician (real M.D. with over 40 years as a doctor)... don't be afraid to explore doctors that aren't mainstream. Mine has helped me personally with multiple issues with out meds... (I'm off wheat, and on specific vitamins for specific deficiencies - that my mainstream doctors weren't even willing to test for.) My own gyno didn't even check my iron levels... turned out I am anemic on top of other issues, she wouldn't even talk to me about alternative methods to help change my period from heavy to normal without hormones) Bottom line, they make money off meds, unlike my doctor who makes money off of his office visit fee. He wants to see his patients get healthy, not just slap a med script on them and say "next". Only you can fight for your son and it sounds like you have good intuition. Go with that! Research, read, explore, and like you said exhaust all options... and then look for some more! Stay strong! and (sorry about the rant!)
Yes you should get your son medicated with the help of a local doctor because you don't a teacher having a hard time dealling with your child, and actting out the wrong way to him!If your child dosen't need medcated the doctor could offer a better choice and help to the teachers of any school he may go to if you move!
This is just something to think about. Do you want him to have a bad name that follows him all through school. Being known as the difficult kid does travel with a child. Even though teachers are not supposed to talk about kids it happens. They get blamed for things that they did not do. Also principals set a kid up for failure when they start getting in trouble. Many trips to the principals office and the principal assumes they did it wether they did or not.
That being said. I do have a few kids in my family that are being treated for ADHD. I have one that is being treated for ADHD and OCD at the same time. It is hard for a child to function with these issues and adults want to just assume they can control it when they cant.
I am not a fan of meds but I have 1 child being treated for ADHD and now depression. She is my stepdaughter and did not come to live with us till she was 10. She had went several years with no treatment. She recieved bad grades in school because of behavior and missed several days of school because of behavior. Her mother also let her stay home because it was the easy way out. If she is not at school she cant get into trouble. She was so far behind that she was getting depressed about it. With some counseling and medication she is getting A's and B's and we have only had 2 minor incidents this year. It has taken us 3 years to get her in this shape. There are still some teachers that think of her as trouble. I even doubt her sometimes because she has been in so much trouble. I made the principal break out the video that the school takes and view it to make sure she was telling the truth about the incidents. This way I know it is not guilt by past incidents.
It is a lot to digest but Im telling you in the long run if a good counsler tells you meds are needed then it is something to really consider. They dont like to push the meds on just anybody.
Oh L., I hope you follow your "mommy" instinct. It makes no sense that he would need chemically altered(meds) to function normally if he is doing it frequently on his own. Our society is so very competitive,teachers are stressed out and scrutinized,judged by class scores,etc...it is easy for them to want every childs attention at every moment, but some kids,like adults just have different personalities..there is little patience for the ones who march to a different beat. Dig your heals in and stand your ground. I recommend asking his doctor for a referral to a large childrens hospital for a full evaluation. This eval will consisit of an educational exam,psycological exam,audiology,speech,etc. It may take a good deal of time to comlete. I live in Ohio and I was pressured very badly by my middle daughters' school to medicate her, beginning in kindergarten. In first grade I relented and gave her some medicince briefly,only to have her bouncing on the bed at midnight. I got the referral in second grade,told her school I wanted to have her professionally diagnosed and waited. Her school was not happy at all,because they had no recourse but to wait also.Her school counselor called me and actually said to me"we just don't understand why you would want to do this"..so I replied that I couldn't understand why any parent wouldn't want to know for sure,before medicating! to make a long story short, it was 2 full years later before the results were in and by this time she had matured(which I always believed was an issue)to age 9 , and there was little trouble at school,and she is a dream student now!!! Her teachers brag on her all the time,she's 11 and its wonderful! She just is a very pleasant child! But had she not been allowed some more time to mature,she would have been on a stimulant for several YEARS...crazy. I hope this helps a little...schools just want all kids to be quiet little cookie cutter kids, but people in general aren't like that, why would children be any different? More teachers,or an adjusted schedule is a better,and healthier solution.
You don't say who diagnosed your son or if he has attention/behavioral difficulties at home. If he only has difficulty at school, but not at home (be honest), it cannot be ADHD. Like other responses, it may be he is very intelligent and bored or it may be something like Asperger's. Unless he was diagnosed by a trained professional, not a teacher or school counselor, I would seek out additional testing. If he does indeed have ADHD, there are other options out there besides medication. Is he getting enough sleep, what is he eating and when, does he get enough exercise? All of these should be looked into. Behavior modification is essential even if he does have ADHD. Most children will show increased attention if on medication, regardless of whether they truly have ADHD. It's a function of the medication. ADHD is real but it is overdiagnosed. Some behavior is just normal for boys your son's age. Most parents of true ADHD kids have noticed the behavior since the children were toddlers. If that's not your son, keep searching for answers. Good luck.
This is a tough one. i recently put my 5 year old on medication for adhd.it was a very hard decision. she is the smartest child in her class however has a hard time sitting still. we put her on the lowest dose of Ritalin and i just had a meeting with her teacher. she said she has noticed a huge change! She is still the same Emilie but just has a better attention span. our thoughts were if it doesn't work or makes her not herself we would stop it and try something else. we are also in therapy for her and we meet with her doctor every 3 weeks. the combination of the 2 have worked wonders. I no longer feel like pulling my hair out every 5 mins!
hi, have you tried controling the adhd with his diet? in raising my now 31 year old son, i found certain foods and additives would trigger him, his were red food coloring, whole wheat, and some tomato products, such as ketchup and spageti sauce, he was also on medication, but i would not give it too him on weekends or during the summer, i also made sure to read labels you would be amazed at how much of our food has red dye in it, i hope this helps, this too will pass my son when he hit prberty did not need the med anymore, he does still have to watch whole wheat and dye as now it gives him migrane headaches.
As a mom of a son that teachers were telling me should be tested for ADD, I would push for other testing. Are you comfortable with this diagnosis? Do you feel your child has ADHD?
The reason I ask is my 9 year old was recently diagnosed with Asperger's. He has difficulty staying focused, can become easily overwhelmed in situations and gravitates to the younger children over his peers because he knows the social interactions with them.
My own personal experience with my son led me to realize he didn't have ADD...he can sit and read a book, build for hours on end with legos, lincoln logs, and watch a movie to name a few. He has problems with sensory integration and that sometimes gets misinterpreted for ADD.
I'm not saying your child has Asperger's but I am pushing you to listen to your gut here. You are his advocate. Reading that he is doing well in school but behavior is the factor was a red flag for me. I suggested you return to his pediatrician and request a referral to an area OT that specializes in children. Request a development delay and sensory processing disorder screening for your child.
You can also try to eliminate artificial flavors and dyes from his diet. I noticed a huge difference in my child's behavior after eliminating certain foods. Dr. Feingold has some great information on his site and the Feingold Diet has been one that families with children of ADD, ADHD and other issues have found very sucessful.
If you'd like more info or have questions please send me a message. Stick to your guns momma and listen to your gut!!!
Hi L..I am a mom of 3 7-18yrs of age.I am also going through what you are.I have a 7yr old in 2nd grade and he has been diagnosed with ADHD from 5 different doctors.We have toiled with this for 3 yrs now and have tried every exercise,diet change anything creative we could do to hep him stay on task and focus.His grades are impeccable but his behavior in class and disruption has been a real issue.We have finally had to place him on medication against my better judgement.However,they have put him on a low dose of Aderal.It wont be as dramatic for him to trnasition into as the ridilin.If he has been diagnosed with a sever case,I would try the medicine.Im not one for medicating a child which is why it took us 3 yrs of going back and forth with different methods and 5 doctors.I think you will see a difference.Remember nothing is cncrete.If you dont like the way he is acting or feeling on the medicine either have the dose adjusted or take him off of it.It is always YOUR choice and noone elses.I am here if you want to chat and we can go thru this together.Im a newbie to this as well.Take care and good luck,H.
i personally would not medicate for that, i think teachers just cannot handle kids these days. if doesnt act out at home,then i would not medicate to keep teacher happy.also get second evaluation. sometimes medication is not the solution.
I personally have a 12 y.o. daughter that was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 7. Initially I medicated her and she did improve in school, but when I changed doctors my second pediatrician was more diligent and fully informed me on the risks involved with medicating. He informed me that studies were showing that children that had been medicated were at a much higher risk for liver failure and for depression later in life than those that had not been. He didn't tell me not to medicate, he just said I should weight the benefits and the risk. He also made sure she had a full diagnosis, he referred her to a child psychologist that thoroughly tested her and gave her a full diagnosis. Her doctor gave a prescription and I chose to no longer medicate her. The next couple of years were more difficult to keep her focused and we had to do extra work at home with reading which was her most difficult task (common for children with ADHD, they usually excel in math) but I am happy to say that now she is an honor student. In my opinion she now can reason herself to focus and even realizes when she is losing focus. I also realize my 6 y.o. son will probably receive the same diagnosis and I plan to not medicate him. I also agree to investigate foods. Artificial coloring, flavors and sweeteners of any kind should be avoided as they add to hyperactivity. Hope this helps.
You will find the answer to your son's ADHD at www.feingold.org. Feingold is a 30yr old non-profit organization whose purpose is to inform the public about petroleum-based artificial ingredients in our food supply. These harmful additives cause ADD, ADHD, OCD, and many other emotional, behavioral and physical side effects. Feingold is a leading authority on this subject and has helped thousands of families over the years. DO NOT listen to doctors who say the only solution is medication. They don't study nutrition in med school - so they know very little about it. My ADHD daughter is now in honor society in her junior year. She eats an all-natural diet and has NEVER taken mediction. Best wishes.
I think it's hard to not get the same responses over and over. I had sooooo much trouble deciding (finally) that my son needed this. I kept saying, "he's just a boy..." but his 2nd grade year has been unbelievably hard! This was a long process of testing, but I'm so glad we did it. It has opened up a completely new world for him. A lot of nay-sayers will tell you that parents/teachers want these kids on meds to make THEIR life easier, and while that's true, the impact on him has been unbelievable. He is super smart, borderline gifted like his sister who is at the top of the top in the whole school, but he just could not get focused. And he would get soooo frustrated at always getting in trouble, that he sorta just gave up. After starting the meds, his whole world has changed. His writing is so much neater, smaller, and intricate. He gets excited about school work now because behavaior issues are no longer the MAIN focus of his world. I have a personal blog, and I've written about it because it has been such a huge part of our lives. Go read if you want, so you can see that some of my feelings were exactly like yours!! www.tangledeutopia.blogspot.com
My 8 yr old daughter was diagnosed with ADHD over a year ago and she is on medication. She is a straight A student in school however her behavior brings her down. I tried all the tecchniques for rewarding good behavior as well as punishment for bad but nothing has worked until we placed her on medication. This medication Adderall helps her focus and not disturb others. Now there are some days and weeks she is not behaving well but still takes her medicine daily. I would talk to your peditrician and try all other forms of techniques before medicating. I was the same way you are about medication. Good luck.
The decision to medicate your child is a personal one. I , myself, chose not to medicate my son when the doctors said he had ADHD. He was diagnosed before he had the chance to start public school. I knew that the school would want him to be medicated if he attended because my son is very ADHD. I spoke with one of my old teachers from my school days who knew me as I had ADHD as a child but was never treated with drugs for it, as my parents would not allow it. Well my teacher who was also the baseball coach told me," N. keep your son at home and allow him to be a little boy. Do not let him be put on medication." He believed as I do that children need to be children. Drugs are used to control them so they will fit into that pattern of behavior that others thing they should fall into. Each child is an individual. Let children be the individuals God made them to be.
I chose not to medicate my child due to my own personal beliefs and advise from others. I chose to home school him. I was already home schooling his sister who is 8 years older then he is,so the decision was easy for me to make. I have enjoyed every moment of it. My son is the little boy, he is now 10, that God intended for him to be. He is well behaved, still hyper, but I have taught him how to channel his hyperactivity into constructive ways to manage it. I often get compliments from others on how well behaved he is but I did not do anything other then teach him at home and let God do the rest. I teach a Bible based curriculum from Christian Liberty Academy out of Arlington Heights Illinois.
I am not saying that this will work for you but it has worked for me. As I said to begin with it is a personal decision whether to medicate or not medicate your child. It has to be based upon your beliefs, the advise given you, and the welfare of your child. If you choose to medicate do some research beforehand . Also if you choose not to medicate do some research on alternative ways to help those with ADHD. There are support groups available. Also talk the decision over with your Pastor or a Christian counselor. They may have some words of wisdom to share with you. I am praying that you come to the best decision that will benefit your child and family the most.
Happy meadows in Berea carries books that offer advice to parents that have children with ADHD. They offer advice about diet and other alternatives to medication. I have found that a child with lots of allergies or a red dye sensitivity sometimes exhibits a lot of the same systems as ADHD. Sometimes watching diet and putting a systems in place to help your child stay organized helps. Have your child's teacher check to make sure that your child leaves school with the materials he needs to complete home work tasks and before your child leaves for school check and make sure he does not forget any completed work that needs to be turned in at school. As long as your child's grades are good and He is not disrupting class with his behavior I would try watching his diet and looking for patterns in his eating habits/behavior. It could be something as simple as changing what he eats.