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    Think really hard about medicating children
    An_191073 posted:
    As a 22 year old with ADHD the best thing my parents ever did for me was not medicate me. I realized the tests I took at the age of 7 and 13 were about my dyslexia and ADHD I remember my parents tried Ritalin on me in 3rd grade it made more hyper. The absolute worst part though it made me feel like there was something inherently wrong with me, there isn't I enjoy my ADHD. When I tried a friend's meds was a sophomore in high school (I am absolutely not advocating experimenting on your own). Math made total sense for the first time. I wish my parents had retested me in the middle of high school without my demanding it. But I did and was tested again in the middle of junior year. After which I was put on Adderall. After which my grades went up two letters. I don't regret for one minute the poor grades I got before that. It made me work harder. And for those parents who only care about college (not the overall life long well being of a child) it gave me an excellent topic for my college essays.

    Not being medicated was difficult for me and for my parents but growing up isn't supposed to be easy. Parenting likewise is not supposed easy. There are extenuating circumstances; sometimes there is no other option. However, putting your children on mind-altering drugs is serious and should be treaded that way. Teachers push the drugs to not deal with problem children. Sometimes kids are just going through a phase, which could be attributed to many things: problems at home (divorce, middle child syndrome, shi**y parenting, etc.), problems at school (social or other) or it's simply a phase. Most kids I know that grew up on meds use their ADHD as an excuse for anything.

    Kids need to grow up and deal with their problems as they grow. Putting them on pills encourages the idea that a pill is a cure for problems.
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    Boyzmomee responded:
    There are other ways to build character and a work ethic without struggling from an untreated medical condition.

    ADHD medications are not "mind altering" medications. The mind remains the same as it always was with the addition of the ability to focus and with less hyperactivity/impulsivity.

    Teachers are unable to "push" medication as they are not legally able to prescribe medication.

    When evaluating a child for ADHD, other factors need to be first ruled out.

    As for my son, he was initially diagnosed by a pediatric neurologist (not a teacher) and is now followed by a child psychiatrist.

    He understands that he has a medical condition and does not use it as an excuse any more than a child who wears glasses would.
    proudmommy32389 responded:
    I agree with you 100%. My question is what if they are already way behind (like to the point of failing)? That's where I'm at with my son yes he is only 5 but medication is my last option. I've done the therapy and special education and none of it helped. he started the medication 2 weeks ago and his scores have already doubled. I'm more concerned with his well being and the way he performs on a daily basis rather than his long term future. So, I guess I'm saying that every child is different and you have to make the decision that is unique to them.
    Gina Pera replied to Boyzmomee's response:
    Well said, Boyzmomee.
    Gina Pera replied to proudmommy32389's response:
    That is so true, proudmommy.

    If I could go back 10 or 20 years ago and see my future self nodding at the potential benefits of giving some five-year-olds medication for ADHD, I wouldn't believe it. That's just nuts, I would think.

    But after 12 years of researching this topic and meeting thousands of people with ADHD, I have to say that, after all other options have been tried, medication can be extremely helpful.

    It's not something you want to rush into with a young child. But neither is it something you want to postpone until the child reaches the teen years. By then, some developmental windows will be shut as the teen brain "re-wires" itself. And certainly self-esteem and even core self-identity can be very fragile by that point.
    Boyzmomee replied to Gina Pera's response:
    Thank you.

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