Do I have a right to take my son off ADHD medication forced by my ex?

Julia - posted on 05/17/2016 ( 17 moms have responded )

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I have a son who is 10 y.o. and has ADHD. 3 years ago I moved all 3 children on organic diet and raw milk from the farm and 100% grass fed cows. I felt like my son had all sicknesses in the world. I was a home staying mom. It started with his asthma getting worse. He was about to go on every day steroid. First I changed everything to organic. I noticed that I felt better myself but his asthma didn't get better. next I added raw milk. The first time in his life I could hear his mucus melting in his chest, fpr the forst time he had productive cough. It took about 18 month for his asthma to completely go away. He has being asthma free for over 2 years now. His eczema disappeared as well and a bunch of other health issues. 6 month after switching to raw milk I decided to get rid of gluten. Almost right away he stopped complaining that his brain was bouncing(ADHD). His visions(moving objects) in the dark room disappeared as well. His ADHD was getting better though he still had trouble focusing at school. Then my awful divorce started with lots of yelling and undermining me by children's father who put himself on a large dose of testosterone for body building. Ex started to give my son bad foods behind my back. Then he took him to psychologist and through him on medication. Ex was trying to use this against me in court, that I am a bad mother who doesn't want to medicate her son. Now since I have the majority time share, he gave the medication to school. I do not want my son to take it, I would like to continue with a diet. I also researched how spine misalignment can cause ADHD. I got an appt with a chiropractor for an evaluation of his spine. My question is: Do I have a right as a mother who has a majority time share to go to school and to demand to take him off one of the two medications which causes side effects I do not like? Is it my decision or doctor's to medicate my son? Do both parents should agree of medicating a child? I just know in my heart that diet can help my son's ADHD about 50%. I am praying that chiropractor will convince my controlling ex about benefits of a diet. I have done so much research about diet in the past 4 yeas and observed great results in all of my 3 children, but this is first time i am posting my own story after reading thousands of others.

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Sarah - posted on 05/18/2016

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"No one in that school cares how it will affect his brain in the future." In defense of myself and every school nurse who does care; OUCH!
A chiropractor is a controversial issue in my district. We have had a run of kids seen by chiropractors and come to school with modifications in learning, or even full out treatment plans. The hot one right now is replacing the standard chair with a yoga ball for the child to sit on at the desk. I personally feel if the parents want to invest in the ball and the chiropractor has advised it for a valid reason then fine. We have gotten to the point where the child and parents must sign a contract about the use of the ball: No bouncing, no dribbling, no one else sits on it, the parent is obligated to advise the nurse of how large the ball should be for the child to sit on and work easily. I have had some dietary requests by chiropractors and I tell the parents, if they want to provide such foods as raw milk, or gluten free items, fine but the school cannot provide those food for a child. Even if the dietary request was from an MD, my response would be the same.
I deal with divorced co-parenting parents all of the time and I see the exact behavior you describe: please hold Tommy's noon dose of adderall today, followed by please give Tommy is medications directed by his doctor. In our schools if a medication is prescribed by a physician; we give it as ordered. If a parent is unhappy with that, they need to talk to the doc or get a judge to force a second opinion. It is unlikely that a judge will say each parent can either give or hold a medication without cause.

Jodi - posted on 05/18/2016

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Julia, you are going to have to work it out with his father. Sorry, but it is just wrong to have it so that dad medicates him on his time and you don't on your time. This doesn't work for the child. If the father gave the medication to the school, then they have permission to give it to him - in fact, if there is a doctor's letter with it, they are most likely obligated to give it to him and your say so is unlikely to override dad's say so and a doctor's letter.

How about you think of the child and get a court order or mediate an agreement? If you can't afford it, then sorry, but just not taking it when with you and taking it when with dad is not fair. I'm not saying you are wrong to be concerned about the medication, but dad has just as much say as you do, and he may not be wrong either.

Your original post asked if you have the right to take him off. Yes, you do. But dad also has the right to put him on them. Just because you have the right to do something, doesn't mean it's an appropriate solution.

Ev - posted on 05/17/2016

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Julie--the point is this: You and his father have joint legal decisions meaning you have to work it out with dad. Also, taking a child off a medication he has been on for a long term suddenly is not good. He would have to be weaned off it slowly to start with as some medications you just can not stop cold turkey without some sort or with drawl or reaction because it stopped suddenly. Also, since neither agree with the other on taking him off or keeping him on the meds, you will have to have a third party (court) like has been said to get this changed to what you or dad wants. If you try to take this on yourself and make the decision your ex could take you to court for contempt of the court orders. You can still seek out counsel from most lawyers for free. You could get some answers to your questions at least.

Just a curious question: How did you and the kids like raw milk? This comes from one who was raised on it from birth on to age of ten years.

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Michelle - posted on 05/18/2016

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Can I just point out that a Chiropractor isn't qualified to comment about the benefits of diet unless they have studied it.
You would be better off finding a nutritionist or someone who deals with natural medicines and diets to back you up.

Raye - posted on 05/18/2016

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I have a question... does the medication actually seem to help your son for the 50% of the ADHD symptoms that the diet wasn't improving? Why is it a fight about what you want versus what the father wants? It should be about whether it actually benefits the child or not.

Julia - posted on 05/18/2016

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yes, to get the most benefits you need to do everything together, that is what I did, not just the milk.

Ev - posted on 05/17/2016

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Actually, I was sick a lot. I would get bad colds as a child so bad in fact I had to have my bed elevated. But as an infant I quit breathing at 7 months old or so according to my mother. I ended up in the hospital with asthmatic bronchitis. I was told the doctors thought i would out grow it by 3 years. I did not out grow it until my teens. Also my sister got either ear infections or strep throat easy. I am not sure how far the health benefits of just the raw milk go but it could also be to the point of the fresher veggies and fruits and other things you are changing in your family's diet.

Julia - posted on 05/17/2016

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Thank you Evelin for your response, kids absolutely love it, it tastes so much better then pasteurized organic milk, it is very digestible. All of my 3 children were on inhalers. I grew up on raw milk as well and when I arrived to this country 17 years ago I could not figure out why milk smelled and tasted pharmaceutical. Switching to raw milk was just an easy option for me compare to dropping dairy completely like some people do since raw milk helps to digest some of the pasteurized cheese and butter we eat. You just have to make sure milk comes from grass fed cows. These cows do not get sick. First time I was bribing the kids to drink it by little bit since the taste was different. They can't drink pasteurized milk anymore, it tastes bad to them.

Thank you for the feedback about the meds, I would never take him off it fast. Chiropractor should help with this issue. They promote healthy diet, do the adjustments to free the nerves in the spine which control the brain and suggest to take a child off the medication slowly. I can wait to see the x-ray of his spine this Saturday and I hope this is the root of the problem just as the diet is.

Dove - posted on 05/17/2016

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He can certainly give medication when he has parenting time w/ his son... and you can certainly choose not to give the medication when you have your parenting time... the problem w/ that will be the additional back and forth harm to the child.

You can not make him stop giving the medication and he can not make you start giving the medication UNLESS you guys get a court order ruling one way or the other. Until that point... the child will be the one stuck in the middle and being caused additional suffering unless the two of you can come to an agreement on your own (or one of you concedes to the other whether you like it or not).

So... you work together, one of you caves to the other, or you get a court to decide. Such is the joys of co-parenting when you both have very different ideals.

Julia - posted on 05/17/2016

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Sorry, but I don't think it would be unfair for the school. School has nothing to lose, but I do and my son does. All these drugs have a long term side effects. It is convenient for the school to keep him medicated so he is a zombie and doesn't bother anyone. No one in that school cares how it will affect his brain in the future.

Julia - posted on 05/17/2016

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You mean he can't keep him medicated if i disagree even if the doctor wants him to take medication? I am sure the school wants as well. I don't think either of us can afford taking it to court, plus I am sure a pediatric doctor will side with my ex since this is what they are trained to do: prescribe drugs. This is why I am taking my son to a chiropractic doctor who is trained to offer alternative treatment.

Dove - posted on 05/17/2016

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If you share legal custody then you must both agree or have a judge decide.

Jodi - posted on 05/17/2016

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So if you are equally responsible for all decisions, you both have equally valid viewpoints around your child's medication and you should not put the school OR the child in the middle. Get a decision by the court. Until then, he can say medication based on a doctor's letter, and you can say no, and the school is most likely to follow doctor's orders. If you want otherwise, you are probably going to have to get a court order.

Julia - posted on 05/17/2016

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We settled on child custody before the trial. I have most of time share, but we are equally responsible for all decisions concerning children.

Jodi - posted on 05/17/2016

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Unfortunately, if you both have shared custody, this is not something either of you can make a unilateral decision on. Medical decisions are something that should be joint, and if you can't agree, you need a court decision. It is unfair to place the school in the middle. The two of you need to sort your shit out, even if it means you have to have a judge rule on who gets to make the decisions if you can't agree.

I had a similar issue (not medical, but education). Education is another issue that often requires parental agreement, and both parents have a right to be involved in the decision. My son wanted a certain high school. His father would not agree. Because it was my son's wish (not mine), I had to take it to court to get an order to agree to the situation, because the school could not accept him without the permission of both parents.

Ultimately, you may have to take it to court. You both have a right to your opinion on this, and you both have a valid argument. You now need a judge to make the decision. Don't put the school in the middle. It's not up to them to make a decision, and if they have doctor's letters advising that your child needs these medications, they will follow that, especially of there is no court order saying otherwise.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/17/2016

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What are your court orders regarding medical decisions?

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