Sunday, October 26, 2008

To Medicate...or Not to Medicate

So, out of four children, two have ADHD. It has made my life just peachy, because it has not allowed me to slack all...not even for five minutes!

With ADHD Child No. 1, I thought it was a "boy" thing. Don't all boys run around in circles, knocking over lamps and tables, and jump into pools thinking it's just like the bathtub at home? It took six years before I heard the first "I think your kid may have ADHD" from his 2nd grade teacher. I was so relieved to hear those words.

In the state where my children were born, no ADD or ADHD diagnosis could be official until the child could read. Like reading skills are the most convincing behaviors of an ADHD child! (NOT!) Way back then, when New Kids on The Block were the hot "Boy Band", there was not as much information as there is now. My son had a missing link in his brain and there was a magical pill that would "link him up." This is what worked for us, having toddler and a newborn in addition to Child No. 1. I had read about diet, and behavior modification therapy, but chose the pill over both because I didn't think he would go along with changing his eating habits or being tested by stark raving scientists!

The pill worked. He could focus, he could study and he stopped knocking over lamps! There were a few minor side-effects, but they were outweighed by the results. He was getting straight A's and he was happy. In middle school, he told me he didn't need the meds anymore. We talked to the doctor, who said "Let's try it without the meds." So, we went off the pill. His grades went down, he couldn't concentrate on homework, and every little noise or slight movement made him anxious. He entered high school with a 2.0 gpa (down from a 4.0 two years prior). At the end of his first year of high school, he realized that he needed some help, so he started up again with the meds. He stayed on the meds until he finished high school. He recently graduated from college "med-free" and shows no signs of his former condition. I just have to remind him to not take his eyes off the road when he drives home....cows can look very interesting from the highway!

I'm glad we have the internet now and the ability to acquire more information. It's a personal choice that parents have to make. What works for one may not work for another. I think we have to find a course that will give our children the best opportunities for a healthy and productive life.

Next post will be about ADHD Child No.2...who is gifted...another peachy existence!

1 comment:

Jane of JaneZworld said...

Hi Liz this is Jane from Life & Times. I had to think hard to work out your blog address as you had written it as an email address. But I got here....
Ok so I have a few questions,
why is a dog that is black called Snowflake?
Dont know much about ADHD but do know about kid affected by preservatives and colourings.
Also goa gifted child. I am a chocolate-free zone!! and I do like keeping up with politics but I dont have to talk about that to you.
I am also a writer. Not an author yet, they to me are people that are published.

if you go to
you will find other blogs of mine, some of which need a whole lota work.
I am in Australia and we are in Spring rapidly approaching Summer.
catch up with me