people telling you 'don't give meds' because its just an energy and control issue...grr

Donna - posted on 04/12/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I was sitting with some new friends, and mentioned my son has ADHD. Of course they start telling their stories about interactions with ADHD kids. Example, my friend had a son with ADHD, she homeschooled him, didn't medicate him- instead she had him run around the yard before answering each question to get his energy out.....now he is a track athlete....etc.
Second person says, 'we babysit an ADHD kid for 1 week, we broke his control issues by not allowing him to not do his school work, we wouldn't let him play until he did it. It was control issues, all he needed was someone to discipline him....etc.

Grr! I am so tired of people assuming I am firstly, an ineffective young parent and it is just discipline and control issues, secondly, they say it doesn't exist, so don't give them meds!

I try to explain they don't live with him, the good behavior they see today is just due to all my hard work to get him to that point. Meds are for at school for a system that doesn't accommodate him and he needs it in that stressful situation to focus.

They don't ever hear me out, I just feel overpowered and judged.

What to say to people in a nice way that their input isn't welcome becuase they haven't raised an ADHD kid themselves, and their assumptions are totally off?

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Donna - posted on 04/15/2010

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Linda, I also feel so relieved to hear I am not alone in this. I think I have learned a big life lesson to not offer up my advice to people that are going through things that I have never experienced! I will use it as a teaching moment. I'm glad to hear the medication is working for you, I agree, the meds can help lighten them up by removing alot of frustration in everyday living. I have stopped meds for the moment, because he asked to stop, and also until I can get him reevaluated for a physical. He mentioned chest pains, and I don't want to take any chances with that! I purchased pycnogenol, a french pine tree bark extract that has research published for adhd, asthma, and many other diseases. It increases the antioxidant levels, and reduces stress products in the body- and was found to reduce some adhd symptoms. It has no side effects, and seems to be working as well as his meds were....
Thanks for your response..

Linda - posted on 04/15/2010

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Wow. I know it is a totally sucky situation to be in but it makes me feel so much less alone to hear that I'm not the only one who has people telling them its a discipline issue and "...that in my day a smack on the butt worked wonders..." maybe so, but they obviously weren't a child with ADHD!

My son has been on medication for about 4 months now and I now have hope that he's going to achieve all those things he might ever want to achieve. He is still my bright, sparky, spunky boy, but at the same time he's now a boy who can follow a direction, have a conversation with you and can let his uniqueness shine through without so much rage and frustration at the world because he can't get all the thoughts in his head out. Yeah, we still have days that suck, where nothing you do for or with him is right and instead of talking he'll use his fists, but these days are becoming less frequent (most of the time).

Anyway just wanted to say that reading your post, as frustrating as it is, is so helpful to me so I don't feel so alone. Thank you.

DIANE - posted on 04/14/2010

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I put my son on medication and it was the best decision i made for him and ourselves. I was totally against medications ,but in our case, there has been MAJOR improvement , not only schoolwork , but our house is alot more peaceful. I decided to try meds because we had tried everything else, and i had to think of my son & what was best for him !

Donna - posted on 04/13/2010

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I did print off materials for her to read....a researched based behavior plan....she refused because it was too involved (she actually brought it to the principal & superintendent to get their support), instead she made her own. It was worthless but I had no choice. I am beyond her now though.
At some point you have to stop fighting and get on with his education, my child kept asking why I didn't like his teacher- she was nice. So sad that he thought the mean things she did were ok, but I didn't tell him anything of course.
I think at some point the fight gets in the way of the main goal, the education. So I think the advocate thing is great. But keep in mind that a change of scenery may do wonders too. I point blank asked the new principal about her policy on retention. Her reply made me confident that she understands the affect of failing on a students' self esteem and future. I also interviewed the new teacher as well. I wasn't going to let it happen again. But I found a new charter school, and u may not have that in your area.
Thanks for your help- I hate fighting with the school, people around me. If our kids were physically disabled and it was obvious they wouldn't get away with it.
oh well..I like having you moms to talk with- we are soo not alone.

Carli - posted on 04/13/2010

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Donna- reading your last reply wants to make me scream! Not at you, at the school. We are going through the same thing! Find an advocate in your area. There are some that do it for free but others have a fee. It's worth it. If you walk into that IEP meeting with an advocate you will most likely get everything you wish. Like I said before, it is required by law to help your child. If the school won't help you then contact the Special education department directly. if they won't help you go to the superintendents office. Go up the chain as far as you need to!I luckily haven't had to do that yet but I have a lot of family and friends who have been in education for years and know the system well. I'm glad you guys are doing better but if your child's next school tries to do the same things then just be prepared. To help educate the principal and teacher I've printed out resources and literature for them to read. As long as the teacher doesn't have to go the extra mile to do that extra work they usually accept the help.

Donna - posted on 04/13/2010

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thanks, yes the school is 'required to help', but in our case the school wouldn't budge on policies like retention, bringing books home so he wouldn't lose them in transit, etc. the teacher hated my son, and told me in so many words. my son's confidence was so shot he didn't like himself anymore.
we changed schools- actually I have let him go off the meds as he asked to control his own behavior. the change in emotional stress has allowed him to focus better I think to do this. he now isn't failing his classes, has friends, and is happy about school again. 504 plans don't work if the principal and teachers don't understand adhd, or won't educate themselves beyond a few pamphlets. They wanted him on medication, at the same time as criticizing his behavior as 'not just adhd'....it was pretty sad to think of the future kids going into that school and what they have to go thru.
oh well...we are a happier family now for sure!
and thanks for the support, people have NO IDEA about the disease, and it sucks they always tell u it doesnt exist, its all your parenting skills! or yeah, just make him run, like that's all adhd is, an energy thing....*roll eyes*.

Amy - posted on 04/13/2010

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This is why I don't tell people very often. It's frustrating. Yes, I've tried all those discipline techniques. ALL of them. All of his teachers and ALL of his sitters have had the SAME issues with him. It's not juse ME. I spent all of first grade and the first half of second grade in the homework battle. That kind of bullying only made it WORSE. With the ADHD child, the feeling of hopelessness makes them angry.



He never ever ever responded to rewards. Not immediate rewards, and most certainly not to delayed rewards. Negative consequences always resulted in tantrums and other angry behavior (like pulling all his clothes down off their hangars, everything off of shelves, everything out of his drawers and his bed was pulled apart). He retaliated all the time.



It's exhausting. The running thing worked for one family. great. It won't work for mine. Though I do use "running laps" as a negative consequence. Perhaps one of my boys will be a track star, too. *rolling eyes*

Carli - posted on 04/13/2010

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I'm not against meds but the day I saw my son who is 7 and in the second grade (w/ ADHD and High functioning autism) with those glossed over eyes and completely unable to control himself we took him off meds permanently. He is definitely a handful but we found out that channeling his energy helped a lot. He has improved greatly at school in the last year. The school has to help your child. It is against the law if they don't! If an ADHD kid has something in their hands to fiddle with it will help tremendously. As you know ADHD kids seem like their not paying attention when they really are. Do research on the internet to find ways to help him. I definitely agree that people need to keep their opinions to themselves.

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