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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder..To med or not to med?

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
Gee, just got back from see a GP with my 6 yr old daughter and he was more then willing to put her on meds within 10 of watching her. Not sure I like the idea of meds, I can totally see a reason for it in the school setting, but does a homeschool child really need them? Can I/she/we learn how to work around it? Since I've started to suspect she might have this disorder, I've read up on it, and my attitude towards her behavior has really improved, making it better for both her and I. I went to him in hopes of getting a better understanding of her, not to be told that if left without drugs she was doomed in society. Will it really do her more harm them good to go without?

Your opinions...please.

Thanks
Vickie

Oh... the appointmented ended with my requesting to see a specialist.
post #2 of 51
My perspective- was on Ritalin all my childhood. I have a 6 yo ADHD who is unmedicated. Luckily we have a ped who is totally supportive of non-meds, hs'ing, and all our other weird choices.

I cannot say what is right for you. I can see that there are some extremely ADHD kids who are SO impulsive or innatentive it may place their life at risk, and I would never look down on their parenst for medicating. Most don't fall into that though, and I personally would not choose to medicate.

My daughter has lots of time to run and jump, can do her work hanging off the table by her elbows, and had lots of understanding. She fdoes fine. She has plenty of interaction with other teachers (choir, Sunday Scholl, ballet) and they all work well with her. Ballet has been THE best therapy for her, bar none. If your daughter has a passion, placing her ina related class could teach her how to concentrate. I started DD in a half hour, relaxed class at 4 and it was a disaster. I thought the ballet thing was not working. Then my best friend suggested I put her in a longer, more intensive class. I thought she was nuts, but found a good school that was month to month so I gave it a try. She flourished!! Caveat- I would only suggest this working with the child's passion. You can't force this.
post #3 of 51
Lots of parents have had success with dietary changes. The feingold diet is just one. http://www.mothering.com/articles/gr.../feingold.html

I would look into possible causes to see if something else would help.
If you're daughter's behavior isn't a problem at home, and she's okay with it too, then I would say no to meds. But that's just me.

Also, I wanted to share this story: before I had my own kids, I was doing my student teaching. I taught a boy who could hardly sit in his desk for more than a couple minutes without needing to get up and walk around. He talked all the time. He drove the teachers nuts. As luck would have it- and it was really a coincidence- I was working at a kids camp that summer and was taking youths out into the wilderness for a week to teach canoeing. To my horror, who should happen to show up on the first day but this boy but you know, in that outdoor, wilderness setting, he was really and truely the best, most motivated kid in my group. He was social, and funny, and a joy to be around. It's amazing what a change of environment can do. Oh, and he was on ritalin while he was in school, but he was off it while he was up at camp.
post #4 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by jannjoe
Your opinions...please.
There are those who disagree, it gives me the creeps to think of a 6 year old (or any child) being drugged like that - especially in a home setting where there's no need for the kind of institutional conformity the schools want. In my website, BestHomeschooling.org,down in the lower left column of links, you'll find links to a number of good articles suggesting other ways of looking at it. I especially like the article, "The advantages of being dyslexic and ADD" - very positive. And here's another article worth taking a look at:
At Homes With My Children, by Cheryl Null

- Lillian
post #5 of 51
Our dd was diagnosed with ADD by a pediatric neurologist (and all her teachers) but we did not medicate. We tried the Feingold diet - eliminating just about everything that could be an allergen (dairy, soy, chocolate, wheat, corn, gluten, fruit, etc) for 6 weeks and added them back one at a time. She has a sensitivity to corn, wheat, tomato products and definitely orange juice which all affect her behavior. We also tried "Attend" a homeopathic capsule for attention problems. But it was just taking her out of the school setting that had the most improvement. She has no signs of ADD at all now. I think it most of the ADD was caused by the stress and frustration of the classroom.

JMHO
post #6 of 51
I opt for a big fat NO. Do not medicate a six year old child with medication that has such horrible side effects , long term issues. It was my understanding that only a psychologist should diagnose ADHD...not regular doctors.

Six year olds are hyper by nature. They are wild , they are innattentive , they are impulsive , they DO lose concentration easily , they WILL wiggle when asked to sit still. THIS is a very good reason for homeschooling them. They need to jump on the trampoline to find the answer to "What's 5-3?"...they must lie on the floor and use manipulatives while being read to.....they must have that freedom.

I highly suggest you seek homeopathic /herbal remedies / feingold diet to help your dd.

My neighbor's kids are all on Ritalin....and they all walk around with a glazed look in their eye. It's very very sad.

I can see certain cases where medication might be needed for short term control...but in the long term and especially with a homeschooled child , where you can tailor fit her education....nope. Personally I wouldn't.


Go to Lillian's website , she offers much wisdom.

Here's an article from Mothering magazine...
http://www.mothering.com/articles/gr...alin-sham.html

and from Dr. Mercola's website...an article titled "Ritalin is more Potent than Cocaine"

http://www.mercola.com/2001/sep/26/ritalin.htm

and from Shirley's Wellness Cafe...
http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/ritalin.htm
post #7 of 51
I think if you can treat the symptoms without medications, then do that. Therapy, diet, behavior modification, etc., should be used first. Medication should be an absolute last resort, IMO. Especially since the doc only saw her for 10 minutes. Maybe find an ADHD support group (online or IRL) to get ideas and suggestions.
post #8 of 51
post #9 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Citymomx3
I think it most of the ADD was caused by the stress and frustration of the classroom.
Over the years, I've seen one child after another have miracle change of label after leaving school - from ADD to HAPPY. And I might imagine that a visit to a doctor's office could bring out some stress too... Hey, that doctor got me worked up, and I've never even been in his office! Lillian
post #10 of 51
Thread Starter 
Oh my goodness ladies I've been reading your links for hours now.... information overload...thanks you so much. I eyes are hurting..lol, time for bed. But before I go....Warriorprincess you said....


Quote:
Originally Posted by warriorprincess
My perspective- was on Ritalin all my childhood. I have a 6 yo ADHD who is unmedicated.
Would you mind sharing with us more info on what is was like being on medication through your childhood... was it something you where on 24/7, and if so, what made you determan it was not in the best interest of your daughter to do the same for her?
"Tell me more , tell me more, ..." oops you got me singing now.
post #11 of 51
Well, I cannot remember most of my childhood when I was on the Ritalin. I weaned myself off at 11 becuase I wanted to see who I was. I didn't know. I still don't get a full night's sleep, and I'm very edgy and bouncy. My naturpath says it's the Ritalin (it's fat soluable) and I need to do a cleanse. I think i just answered both questions! But please ask away.
post #12 of 51
Unless something has changed in the last little while, the armed forces won't take even let you enlist until you'be been off Ritalin for 3 or 4 years (I don't know which) because it's a class ll drug: <<Schedule ll - These medicines have therapeutic uses and have the highest abuse and dependence potential for drugs with medicinal purposes. Examples include Morphine, Demerol, Speed, Opium, Cocaine and Ritalin. A written prescription is required and refills are not allowed.>>

I think that says enough. : - Lillian
post #13 of 51
There's a book, The Wildest Colts Make the Best Horses by John Breeding. He's strongly against psychiatric drugs for children--he comes from a place of thinking that all children are good and loving and that they need our support and care but do NOT need to be "fixed" by medication.

Iirc, there's a board, or listserve or something for support as well. Maybe do a search for "Wildest Colts."
post #14 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J
Unless something has changed in the last little while, the armed forces won't take even let you enlist until you'be been off Ritalin for 3 or 4 years (I don't know which) because it's a class ll drug: <<Schedule ll - These medicines have therapeutic uses and have the highest abuse and dependence potential for drugs with medicinal purposes. Examples include Morphine, Demerol, Speed, Opium, Cocaine and Ritalin. A written prescription is required and refills are not allowed.>>

I think that says enough. : - Lillian
See, up until this point, I'd only ever heard of Ritalin as being a wonder drug. (Me and my small world eh). My gut ( and history...Thalamide for example) told me to be leary. I just didn't like the idea behind putting my kid on a drug everyday that little was known about.
Hubby surprised me last night with being open to the idea of diet change , I think I'll send some more time looking into that before I fill out any presciption.

Thanks again
Vickie
post #15 of 51
I'll play devils advocate here I guess.

My oldest son (9yo) is medicated. Not with Ritalin, with Concerta. He was diagnosed with severe ADHD.

With his disorder, people don't see his disability like they would with a child with a physical disability. Therefore, they have a hard time believing it's there. And since so many, many children are being diagnosed with this, the people who truley have it, are not believed.

For years I refused meds over and over again. Finally, at the end of our rope, we gave them a try. He has been medicated for almost 1 year now.

This is our first year homeschooling and we are slowly weaning off of the meds. We are watching very closely, and if needed he will remain on them.

I was torn when he started meds. I cried every night the first 2 weeks he was on them. But I wanted to do what was fair for him.

I discussed the meds with him, and asked him if he would like to try them. I was not going to force it on him.

He could not make friends. We went to park, play group, etc. other kids called him a freak because of his behavior. He destroyed his belongings constantly, he couldn't be trusted to leave my sight.

We spent thousands of dollars on homeopathic medications and visits. His diet has always been strict, so switching to f.gold diet was no big thing. 2 years of behavior modification therapy, and seeing dr. after dr. Nothing worked. I just sat there and watched my little boy suffer.

I have 5 children, and yes, I know children will be hyper. But what Tyler was doing goes way beyond hyper. I thought if I took him out of school and let him run free all day in our woods that he would be happy, feel normal, etc. No, it wasn't the answer. He still just could not function!

I love trying to live a very natural lifestyle, so for me to have a child on meds killed me. But this isn't about me, it's about my son and what is best for him.

Since meds, Tyler is a different child, and not in a bad way. He does not walk around like a zombie at all. He is able to make friends now with ease, and now enjoys sitting and reading, and the change is just so obvious.

I'm sure we will never go back to public school, becuase all they did there was destroy his self esteem. So Tyler's path of ADHD led us to homeschooling and what a blessing it has been for all of us.

So, to the OP, I say for someone who has seen your child for 10 minutes to diagnose? No. Get another opinion.
post #16 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamera
This is our first year homeschooling and we are slowly weaning off of the meds.
I am sooo happy to hear that you are trying homeschooling as an educational choice and as a way to control Tyler's adhd.


on a side note : Tamera , I wonder if you've considered removing all food dye from Tyler's diet. I'm sure it's one of a long list of things you've tried. Maybe he needs a heavy metal detox. Especially if you vaccinated him.
post #17 of 51
Oh yes, we really watch out for dye, one in particular is red40...what horrible stuff that is!

He was vaccinated, which I do believe contributed to his disorder. Also, when I was pregnant with, I was put on high doses of tributaline for 3 months to keep from giving birth to early, and I honestly think, that is the main cause of his disorder, but of course, I can't prove it.

We do detox on a reg. basis. But one thing I've been diong research on, is fish oil capsules. I've heard amazing things about it. But of course, I will need to speak to a homeopath to find the right one and amount.

Tyler said he's willing to give it a try, as long as he doesn't taste the oil
post #18 of 51
roflol..as long as he doesn't taste it...roflol... I completely understand.

A good omega 3 fatty acid will do wonders. A good quality fish oil.

My dd cannot tolerate the fish oil so we give her flaxseed oil instead.

MUST BUY FROM A HEALTH FOOD STORE IN THE REFRIGERATOR SECTION

not from the shelf at your local mart.
post #19 of 51

Feingold with Evening Primrose Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by happymomwith5
Oh yes, we really watch out for dye, one in particular is red40...what horrible stuff that is!

We do detox on a reg. basis. But one thing I've been diong research on, is fish oil capsules. I've heard amazing things about it. But of course, I will need to speak to a homeopath to find the right one and amount.

Tyler said he's willing to give it a try, as long as he doesn't taste the oil
Along with the Feingold diet may I suggest trying Evening Primrose Oil - easily obtained from Trader Joes or any Health Food Store. Prick the capsules and rub it into the skin - the elements are then absorbed that way, instead of through the digestive system.Has the same qualities as the fish oil, but without the nasty taste! Also, a vitamin supplement which includes Zinc is indicated.

My son was never 'diagnosed' with ADD (he's 23 now) and by the time he was two years old wit's end is not even close to what we were feeling! No sleep, inconsolable screaming, constant runny noses and colds, constant thirst, bouncing off the walls etc etc. He had been a perfect breastfed infant until he started being weaned at 6 months...his favorite food was applesauce made from the organic apples from our garden! Who'd've thought that apples would be the cause of such a syndrome! (Salycylic acid...so no aspirin!) My doctor prescribed an antihistimine to get him to sleep at night...and that would have been fine, except for the artificial coloring, flavoring and preservative in the medication! Just ended up making him worse....what a nightmare!

I was living in England then, and nobody had heard of the feingold diet - I ended up joining the Hyperactive Children's Support Group who were brilliant and had the info on the feingold diet and more.
Following the diet was a challenge...reading labels to avoid Tartrazine (Yellow #5) Red40 etc and finding foods that were not messed with was hard. And there's always the issue of kid's birthday parties and not being able to eat out etc. I got to be an expert on finding fun foods made with natural food coloring. Also watch out for foods with hydrolised vegetable protein - chemically similar to MSG - and often used in products instead of meat.

I have to say though, that as well as the diet was working, it wasn't until we started the Evening Primrose Oil and vitamin regime that we really noticed a big change - four days in and he slept through the night for the first time in 2 years!!! We had him (and ourselves!) sorted by the time he started Nursery School, and he's grown up into a fabulous guy - is now pursuing a PhD in Physics...
When my daughter was born, I stuck to the dietary protocol - wasn't taking ANY chances!! Life changing stuff, no doubt.

Do note other factors other than diet: felt tip pens, for instance, if the child uses them and puts them in their mouth or gets them on their skin...the colors are absorbed that way. Also - check your laundry soap and fabric conditioner - these tend to stay in the fabric after washing and can also cause problems next to the skin. Generally, try to use environmentally friendly cleaning products around the home. If it's safe for the environment, must be safe for us too.

My heart goes out to you. Hang in there - try the dietary option with supplements - don't give in to ritalin. Drugs should not be a long term fix!
post #20 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by warriorprincess
My perspective- was on Ritalin all my childhood. I have a 6 yo ADHD who is unmedicated. Luckily we have a ped who is totally supportive of non-meds, hs'ing, and all our other weird choices.

I cannot say what is right for you. I can see that there are some extremely ADHD kids who are SO impulsive or innatentive it may place their life at risk, and I would never look down on their parenst for medicating. Most don't fall into that though, and I personally would not choose to medicate.

My daughter has lots of time to run and jump, can do her work hanging off the table by her elbows, and had lots of understanding. She fdoes fine. She has plenty of interaction with other teachers (choir, Sunday Scholl, ballet) and they all work well with her. Ballet has been THE best therapy for her, bar none. If your daughter has a passion, placing her ina related class could teach her how to concentrate. I started DD in a half hour, relaxed class at 4 and it was a disaster. I thought the ballet thing was not working. Then my best friend suggested I put her in a longer, more intensive class. I thought she was nuts, but found a good school that was month to month so I gave it a try. She flourished!! Caveat- I would only suggest this working with the child's passion. You can't force this.
I am in the 98 percentile for ADHD.....it is pretty severe.

My mother put me in dance at age 2. It was my life.

I almost failed out of public school.....but I could get gigs dancing, instruct, dance in Broadway shows.....and I own a dance academy now! :

Dance saved my life.......it gave me meaning and purposes when others said I was failing. :

What also has been a little trick for me is trying to engage as many senses as I can at once when I have to concentrate.

Ex: For reading a book that I am not interested a great deal in (sometimes even books I really like I have trouble staying focused) I try to read the book, listen to it on tape/CD, take notes, and I usually tap my pen while reading. : I do this all at at the same time. Works though....
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