View Full Version : To medicate or not...


dem10
12-16-09, 03:17 PM
My son has been diagnosed with ADD since he was in 4th grade and he is now in 8th. We have gone thru periods of medicating with Concerta and times when we don't.(Yes, we have tried other meds) At this time I am at a crossroads and am not sure what to do.

My son has always been small for his age, but the medicine's side effects have definitely contributed to his small stature. We have had him off of the meds since summer and after the meds were out of his system we noticed a huge growth spurt.

Yes the medicine helps him to concentrate but the big negative to the medicine is that he is a different person on the medicine! He is on the smallest dose but he is very quiet and hardly has a personality...it breaks my heart. He is also at the age where he knows the side effects. He prefers not to take the medicine.

Sooo..he has trouble maintaining focus in class without it, but we have him in private school for smaller class size, and he has a tutor to help with homework daily. Even with all the help, school is still a struggle.

I need to decide, do I medicate my child again? I love his personality, his quick wit, and sense of humor. Do I give that up so that he can excel in school? Or, do I just decide to help him as much as I can at home, and accept the fact that he is going to do poorly on tests and report cards? Do I make peace with the fact that each child learns differently and excels in different area's and that my son may not be as successful in school as other children but that that doesn't mean that something is "wrong" with him.

I know he is a tactile learner and will choose a career that lets him excel at what he is good at. There is no question in my mind that he will be successful after school is out. I'm just trying to maintain his positive self esteem in a school system that puts so much pressure on kids to fit a certain mold.

Torn...

dem10

MGDAD
12-16-09, 05:37 PM
There are ways to get a smaller long acting dose of the medicine. While you cant cut up a Concerta you could;

Try Vyvanse. You can open up the smallest pill (20mg) and split it into two doses. (did that for my son for a while).

Try the Daytrana patch. You can cut that into any size patch you want.

Try Focalin XR its capsule can be opened and split into smaller doses too.

Good luck.

Ms. Mango
12-16-09, 09:45 PM
Ultimately it's your choice to medicate or not. It shouldn't be done just for the school's benefit even if they do so appreciate compliant little beings.

Have you taken your concerns to your son's doctor? Medication shouldn't strip away your son's personality. I only have experience with my son, but medication didn't do that to him. He's still pretty much a live wire.

Rather than the decision to medicate or not it seems to be more of a matter of finding the right medication at the correct dosage. For right now. I'm amazed when I look on other parts of this forum to see adults on the same med at the same dose for years--it doesn't work that way for kids. One of the big concerns for me initially starting meds for my son was that I realized this was a chronic condition that would have to be carefully managed on an ongoing basis through puberty and beyond. The reason I like my son's dr. is that, in addition to being an excellent dr., he knows and understands my concern and is willing to work with me until we get it right. And as my son grows and changes we'll probably have to do it all over again. And again.

Good luck!

Bluerose
12-18-09, 08:54 AM
I’m not ADD and so I don’t feel I have the right to comment but I read a book recently about the huge number of kids that are on meds for ADD today and it’s frightening. My advice would be if in doubt leave it out. If it was my child I would just let him be a kid. As difficult as that might be for some of you, you have no idea what these meds are doing to your children’s organs to say nothing of their brain. I would like to suggest for anyone considering giving their child meds for any condition to do their own research, read up on the particular med that has been prescribed for your child, and then decide for yourself if meds are the only answer. Doctors are not saints, they are not infallible, they are not always right - they are just doing a job. Do your own research.

Mikaylas_Mommy
12-31-09, 02:21 PM
Well I am new to this whole thing my daughter was just diagnosed 12-30-2009 with inattentive.....But I grew up around most of my male cousins having some form of ADD/ADHD.....They did poorly in school most were in special education classes due to being so far behind before it was discovered.....My daughter excels in all subjects but math, She would get everything correct at home but at school is failing! So after tutors and hours of working with her on math with no improvement, I scheduled a parent teacher conference and the teacher and his aid suggested she had ADD. Well the doctor confirmed it,

I too was in much debate about medication. I tried the diet while waiting on the doctors appointment, and still have her on it. Well there was really no improvement with just the diet, and a vitamins(approved by the doctor). Then I realized am I setting her up for failure? My little cousins ended up dropping out of school when they are older due to it was just too hard for them. (they decided they didn't want to take their meds anymore) Well honestly they got in trouble with the law and choosing a lot of bad habits and I believe its simply because they don't make the right choices from not being on their meds. So when I thought about it and read some adults blogs and posts I decided to medicate,

We started on Adderall XR yesterday. Its your choice and his, but judging from what I seen in my cousins I will choose medication over not. If the medicine is making him have bad side effects to where he doesn't want to take it, maybe try something new. If Adderall doesn't work for Mikayla we will try something new. My cousins may be a few that just decided not to take medicines and the outcome was bad but I am not willing to take that chance with my daughter.

My husband has ADD and never medicated he found ways to help him, he was hyperactive not inattentive though. For example he said he would pace up and down the hall while doing homework, or squeeze a stress ball. I don't think its that easy for inattentive, One day I watched my daughter count her fingers 34 different times(yes I counted lol) for one simple math problem because she kept losing count. As a parent I can not watch my child suffer like that, if she does it at home I can only imagine how school is with other kids around and nosies and sounds and distractions. The choice is yours, and I hope you find out what you need to know to make the best for you and your son! Good Luck your family!

daveddd
12-31-09, 02:40 PM
if you were giving your son a big enough dose to strip his personality , and stunt his growth (havent heard of that before), please please dont give him any more meds until you find a doctor that knows what the meds are suppose to do, and you research them alot more

Mikaylas_Mommy
12-31-09, 04:34 PM
if you were giving your son a big enough dose to strip his personality , and stunt his growth (havent heard of that before), please please dont give him any more meds until you find a doctor that knows what the meds are suppose to do, and you research them alot more


The slowing of growth is a well known side effect to the medications for ADD/ADHD.....it was even on the prescription information packet given when I received the medicine....I don't know if I am the only paranoid person that reads those lol.....It is the stimulants the slow the growth....but I do agree with if its so much medicine he has no personality its not the correct dose or medicine....My daughter is only 2 days in with Adderall but through enough research I have seen that its a side effect with too much meds or wrong kind.....heres a article about the growth stunt and stimulants..... http://www.healthcentral.com/adhd/c/57718/28350/stimulants-growth

Dizfriz
12-31-09, 07:01 PM
The jury is still out on the growth issue. There have been a lot of studies showing that ADHD kids grow more slowly but catch up later with no difference in overall height than with non ADHD kids with the medication showing no impact.

The big boost to the idea of less growth is from the giant MTA study in which there where this was noted. The problem here is the study did not yet address the effect on growth in the long term. Since it is a longitudinal study, it will only be able to address this as the kids in the study grow older. We should know more on this issue in the fullness of time.

Here is a statement from the Mayo Clinic.
"Stimulant medications may also be associated with a slightly reduced growth rate in children, although in most cases growth isn't permanently affected.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/adhd/DS00275/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs

You cannot tell the effects of the medications on growth using one child as medication might have been discontinued right before the kid is ready to go on a growth spurt plus each child has a unique and somewhat unpredictable growth pattern. That is why studies are on groups, the bigger the better.

Hope this sheds a little light on this part of the medication question.

Dizfriz

Lunacie
12-31-09, 07:08 PM
We hesitated to put my granddaughter on meds because of these concerns, but eventually decided she had the right to try them and see if they helped. She's been taking Concerta for about 9 months and it has helped A LOT. Her friends can tell if she forgets to take it before school in the morning, and she can generally tell herself as well.

At 10 years old she was nearly as tall as her mother and weighed almost as much so we weren't too concerned about any possible stunting of growth - however she has grown at least another inch in height and put on a few more pounds since she started the meds. Doesn't seem to stunting her at all. ;)

Of course, everyone may react differently to the same medication.

Mikaylas_Mommy
12-31-09, 07:34 PM
yea I didn't have concerns of growth issues either....my 7 year old is the average height and weight of a 10 year old and tallest in her grade.....but I had cousins that took the medicine for years and it didn't seem to effect them.....but in their teen years they did decide to go off the medication.....I do agree the growth stunt is not permanent just temporary and eventually they catch up....I can see where with boys it would be a bigger issue then with girls.... after all you don't want to be the shortest boy in your class....but then again whats more important height or grades?

Justtess
01-02-10, 01:37 PM
I spent some time trying to decide medication for my son. He was able to cope with the symptoms until 7th grade when it was obvious his ability was not matching his potential (according to school testing and a string of teachers through the years who were finding it fustrating for him to produce something consistent).

I let my son give his input on medication and we decided to give it a try. It was better for him to see if it made a difference now than when he was on his own and missing an observation by his family.

His school did improve and it had also opened another 'can of worms' sort of speak. I think medicating for the first time in the teen years opened his eyes a bit to his relationships with his peers. I sometimes wonder if I had him on meds earlier, would he have been able to manage some of his issues more smoothly.

Currently, he feels medication helps him at school. I've seen a big difference when he takes it consistently. Sometimes, he complains the meds make him shy. His doctor has encouraged me to let him decide when to use the medication as he has to learn when and how it will benefit him. I just make sure he's not taking more than what is prescribed daily.

Turbochica
01-26-10, 11:05 AM
I understand your concerns here and here your loving mother's heart as well for your dear son.. we first used Adderall for my daughter and saw the same affect on her. She became very quiet and withdrawn. then switched to concerta which has worked well for her.

There has to be a lower dose med that will work for your son without these side effects

all that to say keep looking keep asking questions don't get discouraged :)

Yes the medicine helps him to concentrate but the big negative to the medicine is that he is a different person on the medicine! He is on the smallest dose but he is very quiet and hardly has a personality...it breaks my heart. He is also at the age where he knows the side effects. He prefers not to take the medicine.

formychildren
01-27-10, 12:50 AM
It might be possible that there is another dx with the adhd. Is it that he's more depressed while on meds? Maybe the concerta works, but not completely. What about adding another med to it to help his attitude/personality? Do you notice more changes now as he's entering adolescents? Could that be a factor? Maybe he's shown the same symptoms before with other meds? I dunno, just a thought.
My daughter's psych did tell us that these meds have the potential to stunt growth and it has someone happened to my daughter, however she's not only adhd so I can't compare it to someone who is only adhd. The one thing the dr said was to not give her the adhd meds on wknds or holidays, including the summer months when she's out of school. We've been doing this for 2 years and she's 50% in height and 60% in weight, so she's growing at a steady pace now. Things are fine in that area, she is on folcalin for her adhd and that med did not have any of the other side effects that adderall and concerta did, including loss of appetite. Maybe that had something to do with it. Either way, I would talk with the dr about your concerns and see what you could add or do different to help your son.

Codykins
02-02-10, 12:19 AM
My 8 year old has been on Vyvanse for a year in a half, started at 20mg and this year now at 30mg. His wieght goes up and down but I do not give meds on weekends unless he has a play date or is participating in something where the meds will help him.

My son has done a 360% turnaround in his life, both at home and outside of home. He has many friends now, does well in school, is NOT a different kid, funny, plays the drums very well, snow boards and is happy, happy, happy! I struggled with the decision to medicate for over a year and went to two neuro peds before I gave in. It was the best decision for my son I ever made. We are lucky becasue the first meds are working well and his diagonoses was correct.

michinyuja
02-02-10, 06:15 AM
If you can't find five local families who can attest to you personally that their ADHD child has improved after at least 3 years of taking medication....please don't medicate your child.

You have no idea the kind of stuff that medication does to children. I know because I was prescribed medication for many years, and it took me years to be able to demand my right not to take the medication. I felt trapped by the fact that the adults wanted me to take these pills, but I didn't want to be on them.

I eventually quit the meds by myself. The ironic thing is, years after that, my mom went to a doctor for menopausal symptoms and got prescribed anti-depressants and sleeping pills. Five years later, that same doctor was prescribing my 55-year old mother with 120 Xanax a month, 95 Ambien, and 45 Trazodone!! Our families concerns over her increasingly erratic behavior was answered when she crashed her car, completely doped up on prescription meds.

And to think...for those five years, of ALL the money we paid that doctor for all the frequent trips required to get medicated!

Unfortunately, after the incident with my mother, I did a lot of research. This situation is very common. Once the patient is medicated, no one trusts the patient when he says he wants to stop taking them. And from then on, the doctor gets to dictate everything. Which costs money.

I am especially passionate about this because I've seen very successful cases of raising and educating ADHD children using natural therapies. Particularly:

- regular exercise of the type where practical skills are gained and skill level can advance steadily (something they can get better at over years and will come in handy someday)
- monitored diet
- no caffeine in diet, except when given intentionally to stimulate focus
- no TV at night
- allowing the child to sleep in the room with his parents or putting him in the same room as a sibling (ADHD children seem to sleep more easily when they feel safe)
- deliberate and strategic mentoring by parents and authority figures.
- and other natural treatments.


Also, I think the above 8-year old might just be happier because he actually has friends now and isn't getting in trouble all the time. You sometimes can't see the effects of a powerful medication like that until the child is a little older. Just an opinion.

Please consider homeschooling! The laws are a lot more generous than you would think...you can create a flexible, personalized plan to shape and mold your child yourself! Why leave it up to strangers hired by the government -- the same people responsible for the DMV and foster care? Many parents of gifted children are opting to homeschool because it can actually improve their chances of getting into the best colleges; a well-developed, intensive, realistic education blows a regular public high school education any day in the minds of academics and intellectuals. Basically, smart people will think a lot higher of your kids if they're homeschooled well than if they do well in public (or even private) high school. It's the institution of the thing. Smart people know that real quality doesn't come from factories. It's hand-made.

Lunacie
02-02-10, 10:51 AM
Yes, some doctors are too quick to prescribe and too slow to follow up. But not all doctors are that way. I'm sorry you and your mom have been treated by such a doctor, but it's not right to assume from your limited experience that all doctors are bad or that all medications are bad or unnecessary.

My oldest granddaughter has been diagnosed with the most severe case of ADHD that her doctor had ever seen and has been taking Concerta for nearly a year now. It's amazing how much of a difference this has made. She has gone from being a popular kid who had too much self-doubt to see that the other kids honestly liked her - to being aware that she has a handful of very good friends and a lot of other kids who enjoy being around her.

She has gone from almost failing every class in fifth grade last year - as much because she lost her homework or forgot to turn it in as from struggling to understand the course work - to getting A's in all but one subject in the sixth grade, which we expected to be more difficult for her because of the confusion of having a different classroom and teacher for each subject and organizing things in her locker between classes.

Books written by authors who can "attest personally" to the effect of medication on children with ADHD because they've done their research and have interviewed hundreds of children and their families, as well as the personal experiences I've read on this forum and others, went a long way towards convincing my daughter and myself that giving my granddaughter a trial on meds was a good idea.

I can certainly find five families who believe that meds have helped their child but they won't necessarily be local families. I can also find at least five families who swear their lives were ruined by meds for ADHD. Maybe their diagnosis was wrong or incomplete and therefore the meds they took were not the best ones for their problems. Maybe they gave up when the first two or three meds didn't give them the results they wanted to have - even if the meds helped they didn't provide a "cure".

Your own personal experiences provide valuable insight, but everyone is different and others may well respond to the meds that you found questionable in a more positive way. Please don't encourage people to completely ignore over 30 years of proven benefit from meds for ADHD just because whatever med(s) you took didn't cure you.

Dizfriz
02-02-10, 11:08 AM
I do appreciate your posting, it shows caring but I must respectfully disagree with much of it.

If you can't find five local families who can attest to you personally that their ADHD child has improved after at least 3 years of taking medication....please don't medicate your child. You can find many on the forum who have medicated their children and and have had very good results. A simple search will verify this. The research clearly shows that without question ADHD medications can very helpful in dealing with the symptoms of ADHD. Right now we have only two treatments that have been shown to be effective in treating ADHD; medication and behavior management.

You have no idea the kind of stuff that medication does to children. ADHD medications are probably the safest psychiatric drugs available. We have had over 50 years experience with Methylphenidate (Ritalin) and Amphetamine (Adderol) over 70 years. We are familiar with the side effects and most are mild but some, like any medication, can be more severe. We know pretty much what these are and the parent and the physician can monitor for these and make changes as necessary.

I know because I was prescribed medication for many years, and it took me years to be able to demand my right not to take the medication. I felt trapped by the fact that the adults wanted me to take these pills, but I didn't want to be on them. I am sorry that you had this but your experiences are not an universal imperatives. Each person is different and what was not good for you might be different for another.

I eventually quit the meds by myself. The ironic thing is, years after that, my mom went to a doctor for menopausal symptoms and got prescribed anti-depressants and sleeping pills. Five years later, that same doctor was prescribing my 55-year old mother with 120 Xanax a month, 95 Ambien, and 45 Trazodone!! Our families concerns over her increasingly erratic behavior was answered when she crashed her car, completely doped up on prescription meds.

And to think...for those five years, of ALL the money we paid that doctor for all the frequent trips required to get medicated! Unfortunately, after the incident with my mother, I did a lot of research. This situation is very common. Once the patient is medicated, no one trusts the patient when he says he wants to stop taking them. And from then on, the doctor gets to dictate everything. Which costs money. This has not been my experience. Many here have used medication to take control of their lives and many, when finding a doctor who dictates, simply change doctors. Not all are victims.

I am especially passionate about this because I've seen very successful cases of raising and educating ADHD children using natural therapies. Particularly:

- regular exercise of the type where practical skills are gained and skill level can advance steadily (something they can get better at over years and will come in handy someday)
- monitored diet
- no caffeine in diet, except when given intentionally to stimulate focus
- no TV at night
- allowing the child to sleep in the room with his parents or putting him in the same room as a sibling (ADHD children seem to sleep more easily when they feel safe)
- deliberate and strategic mentoring by parents and authority figures.
- and other natural treatments.

I might have issues with an older child sleeping with the parents but the others are good for any child, ADHD or not. Exercise can be helpful specifically for ADHD as it increases the dopamine level in the brain.

The problem is that while good advice, these will have a minimal impact on a child with severe ADHD. They may prove to be enough in less severe cases and many parents have been able to manage the child's ADHD without medication using behavior management methods. If your suggestions resulted in dramatic changes in a severe case then I suspect something else was going on beside ADHD.

Also, I think the above 8-year old might just be happier because he actually has friends now and isn't getting in trouble all the time. You sometimes can't see the effects of a powerful medication like that until the child is a little older. Just an opinion. Many untreated ADHD children simply have no friends. Research and experience clearly shows this. With effective treatment this can change.

I am not going to address homeschooling. Another subject for another time.

You obviously mean well and have some bad experiences from medication but keep in mind that your experiences cannot generalize to the rest of the world.

I do not like medicating ADHD children and I know of few who do but it is a simple fact that sometimes the negative effects of not medicating are worse than the negative effects of medicating. This is the crux of problem that parents of ADHD children have to face. Each parent must weigh the factors and make their own decision. I had to make it and many here have had to face this this difficult choice. For most, medicating is their last choice and this, perhaps, is as it should be.

Yours

Dizfriz

Galileo
02-02-10, 01:35 PM
My eighth grade son was diagnosed last fall and I made it clear to him that it's his decision to take ADD medication and he can stop anytime he wants. For the last 4 months he has chosen to take adderall because he can see the huge difference it makes for him. He says the difference he feels is "amazing."

He tried methylphenidate for a week and it didn't do much for him. Fortunately the second choice of adderall has been working out very well.

And fortunately, it doesn't affect his personality in a bad way and the side effects are minimal. He's an outgoing and very independent kid and when he takes his med he communicates much better, listens better, is much more cooperative and can focus well, as opposed quite poorly when off med. The difference is huge.

Of course my wife and I try to be as informed as possible so we can to provide him with the guidance and information he needs to make this decision. He is comfortable asking his doctor any questions he feels like. He chooses to take it during school and on weekends if he has a lot of homework.

By the way, if you haven't read "Attention Deficit Disorder: The Unfocused Mind in Children and Adults" I highly recommend it. It provides a summary of scientific views and findings on ADHD and its treatment options. Also, it's quite current, published in 2005. You can read about it here:

http://drthomasebrown.com/books/index.html

I like this book because it cuts through the hype and sensationalism and tells us what is actually known about AD/HD and available treatments today. It also cuts through the myths which have no scientific basis. Fantastic book. It gave me a much needed basis for sorting through the noise and making these ongoing decisions.

I hope you have a great doctor that you and your son are comfortable with. If not don't hesitate to meet with other doctors until you find one that works for your son. This can be a hellish process.

As for the growth question, the book I mentioned goes into specific detail about the scientific shortcomings of the actual studies that have been done regarding the effects of these meds on growth. Personally I'm not that concerned about the growth thing at this point but that doesn't mean I'm making the right decision. For me the visible benefits far outweigh the perceived small risk. As Dizfriz mentioned, the jury is still out on this one. I don't believe any studies have provided viable scientific proof that any of these meds stunt growth. Seems to me the studies to date have been flawed or limited and more research is needed here. Unfortunately, the growth stunting rumour continues to float around and has acquired some traction, despite the weaknesses in the studies. So every time we hear about it, it worries us. Even my son came home with this rumour in his head. I call it a rumour because it has developed a life of its own and is spread by unknowingly by people who are not checking the facts. And like many potential side effects, if you read the warnings on the label, you might stop taking medications altogether. You have to read between the lines. The warnings are put on the label 1) because some of the side effects are of legitimate potential concern and 2) to mitigate lawsuits against the manufacturer in the event that one of those rare, highly improbable and even speculative side effects ever did occur.

CrazyLazyGal
02-02-10, 02:26 PM
As an adult who wasn't medicated until adulthood because her parents were firmly against psychiatric medications of all types, I still struggle to forgive my parents for that decision. Their continued opposition to medications and efforts to flush my meds down the toilet when I visited certainly doesn't help.

I wonder if I had gotten the treatment I needed when I needed it, whether my self-confidence wouldn't have been so shot, my life wouldn't have felt so ruined for so many years.

Do I still act more "crazy and lazy" than average? Definitely. But at least I haven't committed suicide (I was close and antidepressants saved my life) and am functioning in a job and school. Most of all, I have more self-confidence and self-esteem now and as a result don't have the social phobia I used to.

Although life might be livable without medications, life is definitely more worth living with them.

To the original poster: If a medication takes away your child's personality, it's not the right medication and/or dosage, and you should definitely look into changing it. There are so many options now.

Normal Mom
02-02-10, 03:07 PM
We have choosen to go to meds as a last resort only. We have been working on therapy, diet, excerise, lifestyle and a school change first. So far, so good :)

Tisha
02-10-10, 12:54 PM
Sounds like the same experience I've just had with my son, age 13. Grades weren't horrible, but he had to works twice as hard for a "B". He was diagnoses with ADHD-inattentive. Went on Vyvanse and his charming, talkative, witty, cheerful personality turned into a quiet, subdued young man. He's been on it 2 months, and he told me this weekend he doesn't want to be on it anymore because it makes him "quiet". He's so different, it breaks my heart. I took him off of it yesterday, but told him if his grades go down drastically, or that I see he's struggling, we will try a different med or lower dosage. Since he's not flunking, it's not an emergency. But, His grades have been drastically better, with not as much effort. High school will bring larger challenges, and I know we will be addressing this issue...however, I'm not sure higher grades are worth the best part of my son...his personality.

dustin615nc
02-10-10, 01:23 PM
A lot of people with ADD become successful. Here's a list of some people who have ADD or were thought to have had ADD:

Mozart
Benjamin Franklin
Thomas Edison
Albert Einstein
Whoopi Goldberg
Alexander Graham Bell
Magic Johnson
Winston Churchill
Henry Ford
Sir Richard Branson
John F. Kennedy
Robert Kennedy
Terry Bradshaw
Ty Pennington
Woody Harrelson
David Neeleman
Charles Schwab
Stevie Wonder
Ludwig Van Beethoven
Wright Brothers
Paul Orfalea
Bill Cosby
My Dad is ADD, he's a CFO, CPA & CFO. One of his old business partners has ADD and he's was extremely successful and has a daughter who has ADD who about to finish law school. I know a lot of successful people who have ADD. BUT, if they grew up on meds, maybe they wouldn't have been successful. Maybe they would have just been avg.

I took ritalin and adderall in middle school and some in high school. That stuff drove me nuts. Like you said, your son's personality is gone when he's on meds. I was the same way and I did well in school, but at what cost. I gained nothing from the experience, cause once I stop taking the meds, the good grades left.

There is a long term solution. One that will give your kid good grades and lots of discipline.

Exercise
Eat lots of fish
Reading - Find something your son loves, and buy him some books on that subject. Reading makes you focus on details and will increase his attention endurance
Math - Math makes you focus on details and will increase his attention endurance.
Meditation - have your son work on calming his mind. Everyone has a different way to do it. One thing I do is I don't drink caffeine (most of the time).

All these things will increase discipline and your sons attention endurance. When you take meds, your attention endurance increases, but you gain no discipline in the process. People with ADD (who don't take meds) learn to get up and try again. This is the best lesson anyone could learn. Drive and never giving up is what it takes to succeed in life. Life is hard, so why try to make life less hard for a young man? Cause one day, he's going to enter the world and that extra toughness will make him a winner.

Oh ya, in response to what one person said about watching TV at night. Its okay to watch TV at night as long as its channels like the Discovery Channel, National Geographic and the History Channel. Channels that provoke thought and creativity.

“Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.”
Winston Churchill
Dustin

dustin615nc
02-10-10, 01:38 PM
Response to the person who said this:

"Many untreated ADHD children simply have no friends. Research and experience clearly shows this. With effective treatment this can change."

My response is:

That's complete BULL!!! ADD people tend to be very social and have a good amount of friends. As a researcher who is ADD and works with kids with ADD, that statement is far from the truth and I find it extremely offensive. Sick of people like you making crap like that up to try to demonize ADD so you can make money off prescribing meds every month.

Dustin

Lunacie
02-10-10, 03:54 PM
Response to the person who said this:

"Many untreated ADHD children simply have no friends. Research and experience clearly shows this. With effective treatment this can change."

My response is:

That's complete BULL!!! ADD people tend to be very social and have a good amount of friends. As a researcher who is ADD and works with kids with ADD, that statement is far from the truth and I find it extremely offensive. Sick of people like you making crap like that up to try to demonize ADD so you can make money off prescribing meds every month.

Dustin

All I know is from personal experience. I was undiagnosed and unmedicated and had trouble making friends as a kid - partly because I was horribly shy but also because my emotions were all over the place and I tended to blurt out things without thinking and was generally less mature than my classmates. I got along better playing with my little sister and her friends - who were 5 years younger than I was.

My oldest granddaughter started taking meds for her severe ADHD when she was in the 5th grade. I wish we'd started her sooner. She was not just struggling with her schoolwork, she was feeling horrible self-esteem and felt like she only had a couple of real friends. She started middle school this year and her attitude has done a complete turn-around. She does have more friends now - and that's because she feels connected with more kids, she doesn't feel so different and weird, and although she still only has a couple of really good friends, she also feels more connected to them.

I think we can find just as many researchers who report benefits from kids taking meds as we can find researchers who say that meds aren't necessary. From what I've read (books, forums like this, other places), kids who aren't medicated for ADHD are more likely to drop out of school, more likely to end up being arrested and sent to jail, more likely to become addicted to drugs or alcohol, more likely to have trouble making and keeping friends.

I can appreciate that your perspective is different, but I think you're way out of line to accuse anyone here of making it all up in order money of prescribing meds. If anyone here stands to make money off their personal opinion, it would see to be you with your link to a website selling books and stuff. It was removed before I actually took a look to see what all you're selling.

meridian
02-10-10, 04:00 PM
My son has always been small for his age, but the medicine's side effects have definitely contributed to his small stature. We have had him off of the meds since summer and after the meds were out of his system we noticed a huge growth spurt.

Welcome to the Forums and I feel how tough this decision is for you.

By why would you think the meds were retarding his growth? I've never heard of that as a side effect (hey I've been wrong before).

I mean, he's in 8th grade, so of course you're going to see a growth spurt!

Can't there be a happy balance between the vivacious kid you know and the dulled down one? I'd try to aim for that kind of a balance. If the meds need tweaking again, that could be an answer. ???

Speaking for myself (as a former child), not succeeding in school made me feel stupid no matter how hard I tried. And when you are really trying and still can't succeed you get depressed. And how did I hide my depression -- by being funny and quick witted -- on the outside.

HTH

Also you might want to check out this video (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=77219) by Dr. Russell A. Barkely in which he says that meds for ADHD is the same as insulin for a diabetic -- needed at a genetic level.

Dizfriz
02-11-10, 12:26 PM
Response to the person who said this:

"Many untreated ADHD children simply have no friends. Research and experience clearly shows this. With effective treatment this can change."

My response is:

That's complete BULL!!! ADD people tend to be very social and have a good amount of friends. As a researcher who is ADD and works with kids with ADD, that statement is far from the truth and I find it extremely offensive.

I am the one who wrote that.

This seems to be the general consensus opinion.

From the transcript of a Barkley workshop. http://www.greatschools.net/cgi-bin/showarticle/2054.

Page 6

"The traditional AD/HD child is often a rejected child, because they’re immature and emotional and hotheaded and demanding and controlling and impulsive and often aggressive, so that when we compute a social profile of the AD/HD children they often wind up as being the least liked, the least popular and most likely to fight. That is their peer group profile. That is what Ken Dodge and his profile of peer acceptance views as the rejected child. And 50 percent or more of AD/HD children are utterly rejected by their peer group; "

You are more than welcome to disagree with this but would be helpful in judging your creditability for you to show your sources and the results of your research. Please do. Since you describe yourself as a researcher, I am quite interested. I am always willing to be corrected with good information.

Sick of people like you making crap like that up to try to demonize ADD so you can make money off prescribing meds every month.'
DustinI am puzzled, where in the world did you get the idea that I was prescribing medications?

Inquiring minds and all that.

Dizfriz

daveddd
02-11-10, 12:39 PM
Response to the person who said this:

"Many untreated ADHD children simply have no friends. Research and experience clearly shows this. With effective treatment this can change."

My response is:

That's complete BULL!!! ADD people tend to be very social and have a good amount of friends. As a researcher who is ADD and works with kids with ADD, that statement is far from the truth and I find it extremely offensive. Sick of people like you making crap like that up to try to demonize ADD so you can make money off prescribing meds every month.

Dustin


social anxiety tends to come along with add alot

that makes it hard to make friends

Codykins
02-18-10, 11:18 AM
There was/is a difiente difference with my child friendsips today post medication. the same group he always was attracted to would not play with him. Since we have addressed his ADHD with medications he now has not only this group of boys but many other friends as well. My son was always making friends, couldn't keep them however. Emotinal, controlling and implusive were his issues with making friends, he would hurt them by acident, not play games fairly, get mad when things didn't go his way, get in trouble and go to the principle due to his reaction to things. Today, none of these issues exists and his friendship blossom. Before treatment the only kids who play with him were the bullies, now he won't touch those kids with a 10 foot pole. I really think that some people here just hate medication so much they make up things. The proof for me, is in my son. And might I add, he is FAR from dulled down!

Derven
02-18-10, 12:13 PM
To the OP I will say this. I wasn't diagnosed until I was 27 and I wish I could go back and have gotten treatment at a much younger age. Having gone through schooling without it was not only difficult, but it left me with a really bad education frame work. All college level courses require a understanding of fundamentals in order to build upon them. If ADD leaves too many holes in the foundation, it becomes that much harder to build on from there.

It's completely your child's choice as to whether he wants the medication or doesn't, but I hope that not taking it doesn't leave him with regrets later in life. It could easily become the opposite as well I suppose where he takes the meds and then regrets that later. It is a really tough call to make. I think the best course of action would be to stay objective to both sides and try to take the best of both worlds.

Best of luck to you both.

~Bill

solsken
02-19-10, 12:06 PM
I feel like we are a small case study for ADHD and meds. :D Our 3 children are adopted and all were diagnosed at a young age. I was sure the oldest had it by the time he was 3 but couldn't believe all of them had it but sure enough over time it was clear they did. (No wonder playdates were so awful and I felt overwhelmed and incompetant :eek: ).

Our 2 eldest kids do really well on Concerta. My daughter is almost 10 and she is at 75% for height and weight. She is an A student and if not on meds is the most obnoxious, stubborn, crazed child. (I love her, but this is true). She still makes impulsive choices (like taking my mascara and writing on the walls) but overall is doing great. My son who is almost 11 is smaller than most of his classmates, but eats well. He is just too hyper to keep off meds and he is doing fairly well in school. (Honor roll this year with some study club and paying for a tutor 2x weekly)

Our youngest just turned 8. He is in the 5th percentile for height and weight and is doing horribly in school. Every year has been a struggle and this year (for the 2nd year in a row) the school is pressuring us to retain him. He is irritable, cranky and does not eat when on any of the long acting stims. 2 weeks ago we made a decision to be done with them.

We are now trying a trial of strattera. It is not going to work, but I am thinking maybe asking for 2 doses of short acting ritalin a day to add to it. He is a happier child, is finally eating and to me that is more important than anything at this point. I am not giving up on meds, but stims for him, unless it is a short acting methyphenidate is all we're going to do. Poor sweetie. My heart breaks for him.

Good luck!

solsken
02-19-10, 08:41 PM
From the transcript of a Barkley workshop. http://www.greatschools.net/cgi-bin/showarticle/2054.

Page 6

"The traditional AD/HD child is often a rejected child, because they’re immature and emotional and hotheaded and demanding and controlling and impulsive and often aggressive, so that when we compute a social profile of the AD/HD children they often wind up as being the least liked, the least popular and most likely to fight. That is their peer group profile. That is what Ken Dodge and his profile of peer acceptance views as the rejected child. And 50 percent or more of AD/HD children are utterly rejected by their peer group; "


Dizfriz

I am new here and probably have undiagnosed ADD. I only read parts of threads and then impulsively reply. :p So after going back and reading this thread throughly, I would like to respond to this post as well......

This describes my children to a Tee (tea, T). :) It is heartbreaking. And I have done EVERYTHING in my power to foster positive peer relationships including doing weekly play groups starting out when they were toddlers. It was a nightmare and after engaging in these outings every friday (with dear friends and thier kids who were very patient) for years, I finally said "no more". These social problems are real. Any parent who has gone through this with their child knows exactly what the social challenges are for their ADHD child.

"50% or more are utterly rejected by their peer group." Yep. We know this only too well.:(

bammers
02-20-10, 02:56 AM
My son has been diagnosed with ADD since he was in 4th grade and he is now in 8th. We have gone thru periods of medicating with Concerta and times when we don't.(Yes, we have tried other meds) At this time I am at a crossroads and am not sure what to do.

My son has always been small for his age, but the medicine's side effects have definitely contributed to his small stature. We have had him off of the meds since summer and after the meds were out of his system we noticed a huge growth spurt.

Yes the medicine helps him to concentrate but the big negative to the medicine is that he is a different person on the medicine! He is on the smallest dose but he is very quiet and hardly has a personality...it breaks my heart. He is also at the age where he knows the side effects. He prefers not to take the medicine.

Sooo..he has trouble maintaining focus in class without it, but we have him in private school for smaller class size, and he has a tutor to help with homework daily. Even with all the help, school is still a struggle.

I need to decide, do I medicate my child again? I love his personality, his quick wit, and sense of humor. Do I give that up so that he can excel in school? Or, do I just decide to help him as much as I can at home, and accept the fact that he is going to do poorly on tests and report cards? Do I make peace with the fact that each child learns differently and excels in different area's and that my son may not be as successful in school as other children but that that doesn't mean that something is "wrong" with him.

I know he is a tactile learner and will choose a career that lets him excel at what he is good at. There is no question in my mind that he will be successful after school is out. I'm just trying to maintain his positive self esteem in a school system that puts so much pressure on kids to fit a certain mold.

Torn...

dem10

Hi Dem, you sound like my Mom when she had to make that same decision for me almost 20 years ago. She first tried alternative therapies including herbal supplements and counseling before choosing stimulants (ritalin from ages 6 to 11, Adderall from 11 to 18 and Adderall XR from 18 to now, age 25). Anyway, I am very thankful that she kept me on my medicine because I know for a fact that I would NOT be where I am today without it. From age 6 to 15, I was VERY reluctant to take my medicine and would go to great lengths to avoid swallowing my pill everyday. Once I entered high school, I was more aware of how my medicine impacted my studies and how beneficial it was so I wasn't as reluctant to take it on a daily basis. On the otherhand, I wasn't my outgoing, class clown self during school hours which was kind of annoying to me, so on the weekends I wouldn't take my medicine and that allowed me to cut loose and have fun with my friends. My best friend since age 10 is also ADD and she stopped taking her medicine back in high school and really hasn't been able to excel in life and school like I have and I think 90% of the reason for that is because she got off her meds. I have finished college with my Bachelors in Accounting and am studying for the CPA exam right now and she is still at a community college working towards an associates degree but still has no clue what she wants to do career-wise. Her reason for getting off her meds is for the same reason we all sometimes wanna get off of our meds: it changes our personality and makes us less funny and more zombie-like. Over the years, I have learned to 'appear and act normal' in social situations when on my medicine and so will your son. I'm not sure what dosage he's on, but you may want to lower the dosage so he doesn't feel so zombie-like. Ultimately it's up to you if you want to medicate your child and there's obviously much more information and treatment options today than there was when I was diagnosed so exhaust all other options first if that would make you feel better.

Lunacie
02-20-10, 12:14 PM
Hi Dem, you sound like my Mom when she had to make that same decision for me almost 20 years ago. She first tried alternative therapies including herbal supplements and counseling before choosing stimulants (ritalin from ages 6 to 11, Adderall from 11 to 18 and Adderall XR from 18 to now, age 25). Anyway, I am very thankful that she kept me on my medicine because I know for a fact that I would NOT be where I am today without it. From age 6 to 15, I was VERY reluctant to take my medicine and would go to great lengths to avoid swallowing my pill everyday. Once I entered high school, I was more aware of how my medicine impacted my studies and how beneficial it was so I wasn't as reluctant to take it on a daily basis. On the otherhand, I wasn't my outgoing, class clown self during school hours which was kind of annoying to me, so on the weekends I wouldn't take my medicine and that allowed me to cut loose and have fun with my friends. My best friend since age 10 is also ADD and she stopped taking her medicine back in high school and really hasn't been able to excel in life and school like I have and I think 90% of the reason for that is because she got off her meds. I have finished college with my Bachelors in Accounting and am studying for the CPA exam right now and she is still at a community college working towards an associates degree but still has no clue what she wants to do career-wise. Her reason for getting off her meds is for the same reason we all sometimes wanna get off of our meds: it changes our personality and makes us less funny and more zombie-like. Over the years, I have learned to 'appear and act normal' in social situations when on my medicine and so will your son. I'm not sure what dosage he's on, but you may want to lower the dosage so he doesn't feel so zombie-like. Ultimately it's up to you if you want to medicate your child and there's obviously much more information and treatment options today than there was when I was diagnosed so exhaust all other options first if that would make you feel better.

The right medication at the right dosage does not make people feel or act like zombies. When my granddaughter takes her Concerta she is certainly less of a live-wire, in a good way. Being a "class clown" might be fun for the child, but it's not a good learning environment for the child or the classmates, and it can be very annoying for everyone around the child. My granddaughter is actually happier with herself, and not as hard on herself, when she takes her pill every morning.