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Anyone w/ experience or opinion on ADD & ADHD meds for kids & school performance?

I want to know what you think about these medications for kids & ADD/ADHD. Are these psychiatric or neurological meds too easily prescibed by our regular primary care providers? I feel that kids should at least be seen by a psychologist or neurologist before meds and some PCPs' won't make the referal.
Do they work(meds)? I have not met a kid who was helped by meds yet and only got worse and had to use additional drugs on top of other drugs. Of course when you sedate a child he will most likely calm down but isn't that the same as some recreational downers? Is it possible for these meds to cause permanet or long term damage/effects on the brain? Dr. Walter Freemans running around? I am also afraid of teaching drug/med dependency.
Have you found a natural holistic or hands on approach that works better? I recently just heard of the more modern Brain Balance Centers with no meds. But, I bet it is cheaper for health insurance for us to just use meds prescribed by a PCP.

Answer Question

Asked by Indakitchen at 3:11 PM on Jun. 18, 2011 in Parenting Debate

Level 3 (23 Credits)
Answers (17)
  • The only kids I have seen helped by drugs are kids that should NEVER have been in a mainstream classroom to begin with. My friend started to medicate her son for ADHD, and the first four different meds the doctor prescribed made him fall asleep everywhere, and changed his personality for the worst. He was disruptive and occassionally violent in class. It got better after he was taken off meds and put into a special ed class where the teacher knew how to handle kids with issues like his. I do think that ADD and ADHD are over diagnosed, and that meds should be a last resort after everything else has been tried.

    Answer by alphamom26 at 3:37 PM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • I've heard of ones with autistic and/or ADHD symptoms who have been RADICALLY helped and transformed by gluten and casein free diets. If these food substances get through to your bloodstream they can seriously mess you up. Please Google this. And even if you're not convinced try it strictly for 2 months, just for your own peace of mind anyway. I know it works like a miracle in some.

    Answer by Poppinsie at 3:45 PM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • My nephew just started meds for ADHD, and oh I see a difference. We all do. He is much more calm, and can carry on a conversation better, and seems to have more focus. He NEEDED them.

    Answer by KairisMama at 4:20 PM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • The only kids I have seen helped by drugs are kids that should NEVER have been in a mainstream classroom to begin with.

    Care to tell me exactly what a child "that should NEVER be in a mainstream classroom" looks like? It's people like you that make inclusion look like a bad thing. ALL teachers need to be educated on how to teach children with special needs.

    My son has ADHD, and behavior problems. We have chosen not to put him on medication at this point and his primary care doctor and the developmental pediatrician agree. But we all also agree that, eventually, they may become necessary. If you don't have a child with these issues, you have no idea what they go through on a daily basis.

    Answer by TARARENEE at 5:50 PM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • I diagnose and treat ADHD as a therapist. My referals come from tge primary care doctor. Guesses why? Because no, it is not handed out like candy. Behind your back the majority of doctors will assume you parent poorly and send the famy to me. I do not assume you parent poorly. Some children do meet criteria for ADHD and some do not. Some have other childhood disorders and some have bothe ADHD and other childhood disorders. It gets complicated which is why I get a lot of referals. I know medication is the best treatment, along with therapy, for managing symptoms. I have well over a decade of experience and medication does help. If it were not ADHD - it would do nothing to assist with the areas of concern.

    Answer by frogdawg at 7:28 PM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • bumpfrogdawg,


    Answer by TARARENEE at 7:33 PM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • My DD is ADD. (no hyperactivity- just attention deficit) She was incapacitated to the point that she would be daydreaming at the table. I'd call her name and she would look around a be visibly startled by her bowl/plate in front of her. She could not follow directions because she forgot she was doing something. Her doctor, after my asking, diagnosed her as ADD. He said that many of these kids are overlooked because they are not disruptive to class. She takes Straterra. It is the only drug (at least when she started) that is NOT a stimulant but works more like an antidepressant- levels out the hormones?blood levels?

    This is how much it helped her. She sat at the table working on homework. Her two year old sister came bouncing along asking her for popcorn on the table. DD gave her popcorn and returned to her homework. This was so amazing, I went down the hall and called my DH, My mom, and closest girlfriend to share the news.

    Answer by zfarms at 9:51 PM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • My son has ADD. He takes Adderal. His diagnosis came as a shock, and we did not take the idea of medication lightly. He has never been hyper, but had a hard time focusing, was easily bored and unable to complete tasks. The meds have been a huge help. He does not take it during school breaks, and we notice the difference. Lol. His focus sucks! He will take out the lawn mower, walk away..and forget to mow! He has been on the meds since age 10. He is a 21 yr old college student, now. Before the diagnosis, he had anxiety issues and migraines, he is much better, now. He now has confidence in his abilities, which is a stress reliever.

    Answer by boys2men2soon at 10:01 PM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • My son had adhd and pdd and takes concerta. We fought him taking the meds at first, but after talking to his doctors and the school we choose to do it. He likes taking it as now he can enjoy simple things like coloring and watching movies. Before he couldn't do either one. I find it funny that people act like it's a big deal for a child to me on meds for adhd, but if its something else it's ok.

    Answer by sweetangie79 at 5:27 AM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • My sons is ADHD and I knew it from age 1 on, but then I am also ADHD.. can't hold still for a second!! LOL Anyhow my son was put on medication AFTER we had his IQ tested and did all of the psychological exams. We discovered that a lot of his classes he was just plain bored in because they were not challenging him, a child or adult with ADHD needs to be challenged and kept busy. After we figured out a game plan for his education and got him in the correct classes he started doing a little better but was still not holding still and concentrating, so yes he is on Concerta through the school year and YES it helped dramatically!! During summer vacation he's allowed to be a hyper rambunctious boy!! One thing I will say is that we don't allow him to play video games for more then 2 hours on Saturday or Sunday as they hold back an ADHD child. We have gotten him active in Motorcross and he's excelling wonderfully!

    Answer by dan4heather at 12:59 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

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