What are your opinions on ADD or ADHD and the medications involved?

Alicia - posted on 07/17/2009 ( 33 moms have responded )

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Just wondering what you all think. Is this a diagnosis that is commonplace now? Like a one size fits all type thing? Does it seem like if a child has a little difficulty in school that they are automatically thinking ADD or ADHD? Or do you think that this is a bonafide diagnosis?

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Candice - posted on 07/17/2009

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With a diagnosis it should be more than just a questionaire. Also I think that as a mom we know more of what is going on than an onlooker. As w/ my boys my first came out @ full speed. But it was his impulsivity that was the biggest hurdle holding him back. When a 6 yr runs in front of moving cars, you know as a mom something is up. I appreciate our doctor never mentioned ADHD. Even as my children were literally climbing her walls! She was only seeing a glimpse of their world. Too many proffessionals want to tell you everything they see in a 15 min visit. w/o the whole picture.I wouldn't have filled out the form either. But I do look into any possibilities in regards to my kids.

Candice - posted on 07/17/2009

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I have 2 kids that are ADHD. Our doctor was very thorough w/ it. I avoided meds until it was our last resort. it was a world of differance!! The interesting part was these are stimulits. So, if a child truly is not ADHD it hype them up. So I felt more comfortable that I wasn't going to have drones.There is a genetic history to it. So, if a child has no history of ADHD in the family, I would seek every answer possible. There is alot of labeling I'm afraid of boys. They don't normally sit all day & talk. School enviroments aren't always the best for the little firecrackers!!

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Elizabeth - posted on 07/21/2009

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I am an occupational therapist with experience in pediatrics. It is my experience that many children diagnosed with ADD actually have an underlying sensory condition as well as or instead of ADD. I wish that more parents were aware of sensory processing disorders and treatments for these disorders. In many cases medications can be avoided by participation in sensory integration therapy with a pediatric OT and an individualized sensory diet.

Jessica - posted on 07/20/2009

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My son was diagnosed with ADHD and I used the meds as a last resort. Honestly I did not want to medicate, it just doesn't seem right. I tried changing his diet, changed his routines and we spent a lot of time outside trying to run off all the energy! But his teacher this past year kept telling me how hard it was for him in class... even with the diet changes and changes in routine. Some children with ADHD have a hard time falling asleep at night, which makes it hard for them to focus the next day so his doctor suggested Melatonin to help him get to sleep. This has helped give him a good night sleep, even I take it... but didnt really help him with concentration the next day. So I used my last resort and the doctor put him on concerta which he has done well with but complained that his stomach cramped alot. Its been about 2 months now and I haven't seen much change so the doctor went to the next dosage up. I will go no further than that. If I do not see changes with this then he is coming off of it. The thing I like with the concerta is he only takes it Mon-Fri while in school. The weekends he can be his normal wild and crazy self :)
As far as how common the diagnosis is - I believe it is way to common! That is why I was so hesitant on giving him anything in the first place. I believe the school system, at least where I am, expects so much out of these young children. And some children have not reached that point where the "dots connect" as his teacher described. Im still very warry of the meds and watch him like a hawk. But as a parent you try to make the best decisions for your child and I want him to be given every opportunity to shine... :)

Erin - posted on 07/20/2009

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Okay, so I read through most of the posts and I agree with a lot of it. I would get several diagnosis before even attempting a medication. First of all, your children may need more structure than others and you may need to implement a behavior modification chart. Positive rewards mean more than negative consequences. Also, if medication does become necessary, look at GNC or another natural supplement place because the ADD/ADHD medication do contain meth and is highly addicting. This should only be used if it become necessary and nothing else has work. I have a difficult time focusing and have been diagnosed with ADHD and I have learned to cope without medication. In fact, I was just diagnosed two months ago and I am 28. I had to ask to be evaluated because I knew that there was a problem with my concentration and focusing.

LaCi - posted on 07/20/2009

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actually now that I think of it, I'm pretty sure it was the heads of the AAP that couldn't define ADHD... Anyway, nice documentary.

LaCi - posted on 07/20/2009

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There's a documentary, GenerationRX, very nice little look at medication and children, contains a fantastic clip of doctors attempting to define ADHD.

Alyssa - posted on 07/20/2009

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I used medication as a last resort, my son is seven he was having a very hard time in school he started off taking adderol which did not work well for him at all, he had a very hard night hallucinating seeing bugs and such and I took him off it. He now takes concerta and he does well with that. He also takes a small dosage of medication to help him sleep at night, and he does see a councelor once a week. His teachers definately notice a difference if we forget to give him his medicine, they will call and ask if he has had it. It was a tought decision to make but I think it is helping him tremendously.

Ashley - posted on 07/20/2009

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I honestly think ADD and ADHD are over-diagnosed. All children are very active and continue to act that way until you tell them when and where they should be calm. My little brother was diagnosed with ADD and given medication because he wouldnt concentrate on doing his homework, but the medication made him act like a zombie. It was very disturbing. He eventually got off the medication and taught himself to sit down and do his homework.

Crystal - posted on 07/20/2009

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I am a teacher, and I have filled out so many ADD/ADHD forms that it is ridiculous. I believe that each child is different. I suggest to parents that they look at diet or behavior at home. I never suggest that a child has ADD/ADHD, but I do encourage them to talk to their child's pediatrician. I see ADD/ADHD a lot now. It helps some children, bu tnot all. I would suggest working closely with the teachers, father/stepmom, and doctor to come up with alternate ways to deal with the ADD/ADHD (if he is diagnosed with one of these). There are other ways to "cope" other than mediation.

Zera - posted on 07/20/2009

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one would think that after many years of teaching that teachers would actually see the signs. not so. my mom first noticed that my kid has adhd then we brought it to the teachers attention and watched for a while then we took her to the doctor and he did a battery of tests and it was all confirmed by him. i hated the idea of ritalin but now its like a God sent. she is like jekkel and hide if she misses the meds in the morning.

Pamela - posted on 07/20/2009

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I work in a public school helping children who have issues like ADHD etc as well as having a son who has the same issues (ODD/ADHD).

Is as parent/adults working with children with problem take the time to get to understand what makes these children tick and work out stragies to work with them, adding diet into the mix and i strongly feel we will find that is all it takes to bring most of them to a level in which they can learn and be a postive part of every aspect of life! It takes work but isn't what we love most in the world worth it?

Educate yourself and work along your children treating them with repect and you will wonder what was all the fuss about! good luck

Michelle - posted on 07/20/2009

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I took my eldest child, my son to a doctor on the suggestion of the school for behaviour problems, I stupidly went to the doctor they recommended. I was there for 5 minutes and the doctor had him on ritalin, as I had no idea and paid in excess of $150 to see this professional I did as I was advised, however the medication had the wrong affect on my son and it turned him into a Zombie and when the medication wore off he became violent, things that my son had never been. After my marriage broke down due to the issues with my son and my ex husband and I continually arguing about the medication etc I sought a second opinion, as it turned out my son was diagnosed incorrectly, needless to say I removed him from the catholic school he was attending which I paid through the nose to send him to and put him in a public school, may I say no more medication and he is going great guns. So if you ask me I personally think doctors diagnose this condition to often and in some cases the child doesn't have the condition, I have seen children with ADD and ADHD etc and my son was nothing like that. My suggestion make sure that they are sure that ADD/ADHD or whatever is what the child has. It seems the school my son was attending were happy for him to sit there like a zombie, another number, more money in their pocket......

Kelli - posted on 07/19/2009

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I think its over-used, as are other diagnosis' such as autism. If your dr. has given your child this diagnoss, I agree with the other moms, that you really should seek another opinion. I would definitely have an opinion of a family therapist, psychologist, or someone else. One alley that most ppl don't know about is Occupational Therapy. Occupational Therapists won't diagnose your child, but they can use therapy to give your child the tools they need to make the best of what they actually have. They teach peer interaction as well as school readiness. I did a pediatric clinical with a group of OTs and I was so impressed at the substantial progress some these children make in such a short time. OTs can also give the parent new strategies to help the child when they feel at a loss, at moments they feel out of control. I hope and pray that you find what you're looking for, and that your angel gets whatever it is he/she needs...

Lila - posted on 07/19/2009

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I think it is over diagnosed and way over medicated. there are ways to treat it without meds. ADD and ADHD meds are basically speed so if your child is misdiagnosed they get even worse. i think a lot of it is people are getting lazy with their children. they dont take the time to tech them how to behave in the first place, then when they act out its the childs fault. some cases of ADD are only treatable with meds but i think its way over diagnosed and in some cases an excuse for poor parenting.

Christina - posted on 07/18/2009

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I worked in pharmacy for over a year, and my sister had adhd. I have been on both sides. Alot of the time the only thing needed to help these children is patience, which face it our current school systems do not have. My sister has microcyphalis, also known as tiny head. She is adopted and her head is the same size it was when she was born, she will grow into being a dwarf. She was on a medication until recently. My parents decided to look into what she was taking. Many medicines used to treat such a condition are schedule 2 narcodics. Commonly found in the national database with oxycotin. Before you let them push you around or tell you it will help them, let them play outside a couple of hours and run off some of the energy that little boys have. My sister definately has it and struggles with it daily at school but she is a happier and more "child like" child when she is not on any of that medication.

Jaime - posted on 07/18/2009

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Alicia it sounds like you are doing everything you are supposed to be doing. You are the one that spends the most time with your children, so you are the one that notices when things are not on track. As you mentioned, with all of the "new" in your life; new house, new baby, the boys might be regressing back to the terrible-two stage when they knew that they could test the limits and get any form of attention from you or your spouse. At this point, having tested the boys' hearing and eyes, and having cut back the sugars in their diets as well as additives and dyes, I would suggest perhaps talking with a family counselor still before resorting to medication. The counselor might be able to offer you advice as to how to help your sons focus when they feel like they are out of control. Often when a child is hyper it is because they cannot focus, so helping them to find a "control centre" (whereby they concentrate on a word, image or sound that is calming to them) which will help them to essentially take a mental time-out and calm their reactions to their surroundings. It sounds to me like you are doing a great job, despite feeling like you have no clue what to do...it's trial and error 90% of the time so don't beat yourself up. Take a deep breath and just keep at it...you WILL find something that works...and if it ends up being medication, then you can take comfort in knowing that you have done everything possible to try and moderate the active behaviour of your boys.

Alicia - posted on 07/18/2009

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Thank you for all of your input... :) They both have had vision and hearing, my oldest son needed glasses which we got for him, but my youngest garret had 20/20 vision...As far as their diets, we dont eat anything with artificial colors, alot of sugars, or alot of preservatives. We dont eat completley holistic, but we try and mainly stik with locally grown produce and things like that. So diet isnt an issue at all. There were many other factors that they were going through this past school year too that the school and teachers didnt really take into consideration, like the fact that their stwp dad and I were expecting our first child together, that alone had to of added to stress. And the fact that their dad who was supposed to see them every other weekend hardly did. Those two factors alone plus a new house Im sure it was alot. Theyve been defiant.. I have to tell them things at least 6-8 times before they will acctually do it... more so my youngest with this one. My oldest wants more freedom and wants to be able to do whatever he wants, but Im not really ready to let go like his dad does.. I dont let him go to the park (which is right down the road) by himself, I dont let him ride his bike around the whole neighborhood... I dont know. Raising boys was definatley easier when they were little, now I have NO CLUE what to do! lol..

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Alicia, I think you're absolutely right to be thinking the way you are. YOU are their Mom, so if it doesn't feel right to you, don't do it! You would regret any decision that was made to please other people. You're absolutely right that your kids are just acting like kids! This diagnosis wasn't even around years ago, and "hyper" kids grew up just fine without a bunch of medication. You want to be careful not to be pragmatic, like those who are suggesting to you that you should medicate them "because it might work." Yikes....Kids are not science experiments! I think you're doing the right thing, and you should stay strong and have confidence in your instincts. Behavioral medication is a dangerous road to go down in my opinion, because when does it stop? We have adults now who have trouble with behavior because they've always been medicated for it. Scary stuff. Anyway, I think you're doing a great job. Keep it up!

Natalie - posted on 07/17/2009

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I am a special education teacher who supports children with ADHD everyday. I can tell you that they kids who have it and aren't medicated have a harder time learning in school than those that are medicated. I don't push medication, as I am not trained to do so. I support whatever child comes through my doors, however, there are days that I can't imagine what it is like to be in the body of some of my students with ADHD who are not on meds. I can't imagine. You wonder when sometimes these students have behavioral problems other than their ADHD... some of them don't know how to cope with the body they have. I think every kind of treatment is worth a shot inorder for your child to have the best possible chance at learning in school. Good luck to all of you who have children with ADHD.

Jaime - posted on 07/17/2009

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Alicia I have not had this experience with my Son as yet, but he is only 5 months old and he could very well end up being a very active and hyper child. I don't think that active and hyper are the only indicators of ADD or ADHD, so please don't feel as if you are not raising your children right. There are plenty of other reasons as to why your boys might be excessively hyper that have nothing to do with an attention deficit. One suggestion I will make is to have your boys hearing and eyes tested...and the reason being is that all to often kids are diagnosed with attention deficits, to which they are prescribed medication to calm their activeness. What has been found in a lot of cases (and particularly now because the diagnosis of ADD/ADHD is commonplace and widely disputed) is that children are suffering from limited or decreased motor function. A lot of times children are having trouble focusing (particularly at school) because they either cannot see or cannot hear what the teacher is saying. A child might be in need of glasses or a hearing aid instead of a dose of ritalin to calm their anxiousness. Of course it might not even be that extreme, because it might even be a simple case of moving a child to the front of the classroom so that they can focus better. Lots of foods and food additives have been attributed as a cause for some of the hyper behaviour that children display, so again it might just be a case of cutting back on certain snacks or changing the time that those snacks are given to coincide with their most active time of day, rather than so close to bed time when it might be impossible for them to settle into a sound sleep. That being said, I want to encourage you to stand your ground and continue to research all the possibilities and consider alternatives before turning to medication. Don't let someone else bully you into making a tough decision based on their narrow view. I am not against medication because it is necessary in some cases, as a proper diagnosis would yield the results of chemical imbalance...but this is not true for everyone, so there needs to be equal, if not more attention paid to the alternative methods of correcting hyperactive behaviour.

Candice - posted on 07/17/2009

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As for your kids, I would contact the organation for ADHD. It was very helpful in finally deciding what I needed to do. A counseler for ADHD is very helpful for all involed. Mom, Dad, grandparents, anyone who is involed. If it is a behavioral problem they can address it. If it maybe ADHD, they can refer you to pycholigist. Boys are differant than girls.Dr. James Dobson has an awesome book, Bringing up Boys. an excellant resource for boys!! Especially since society wants little drones instead of children.

Alicia - posted on 07/17/2009

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I just wanted a little input from other moms, my sons school was shoving the add/adhd thing down my throat and now his father and stepmom want to take them both to the dr's for what would be the second time... to get a diagnosis. My sons are very hyper and its hard for them to concentrate in school or otherwise. BUT they are only 7 and 8! Isnt this somewhat normal. Im just tired of feeling like Im not raising them right, or that Im a bad mom for not putting them on medication sooner.. all I keep hearing is "what if it helps?" Im just at a loss for what to do. There minds are still developing and growing and I really feel that introducing a hard chemical into their still developing brains may do more harm than good...

Amanda - posted on 07/17/2009

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I agree that it is overly and falsely diagnosed. And some of the meds that they prescribe for it are just plain scary. What's even more scary is that if one med doesn't work, many doctors will either up the dosage or prescribe a more potent medication. The side effects of a lot of the medications are ridiculous. My brother was diagnosed with ADHD and 3 meds and several dose changes later, he still wasn't doing any better. I would say to get as much information as you can, a second opinion, and consider all of your options before trying the medications.

Anna - posted on 07/17/2009

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spirulina...it's an herbal supplement my brother takes and has been diagnosing his adhd with it since high school. Read up on it.

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I agree with many of the moms so far. This is WAY too commonly diagnosed. Think about it... did you like to sit still when you were a kid? What kid does?! Kids are kids, and they have a lot of enegy. This may be a bit deep, but I think we are often medicating symtoms...not the actual problem. Some kids genuinely have behavioral issues, but does that really require medication? Maybe. But maybe we're just taking the easy way out. Medication should always be a last resort, and should only be given for MEDICAL problems. You have to ask yourself if behavioral issues really fall under a Medical Doctor's radar. Good luck to you as you think these issues through. Raising kids definitely requires a LOT of wisdom and patience!

Carrie - posted on 07/17/2009

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my son was assessed for this. i can't believe it all came down to a questionnaire from parents and teachers, i was fortunate it did not come back as ADD. a mis diagnosis is so easy. my friends son is now 12, he was diagnosed with this, put on medication, but actually he was just autistic, my friend said he now has to have the medication because it's changed what he was before he even started it, now he just can't do without it, sort of like an addiction. i don't know how true this is but it's what she told me.

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I think its way too over diagnosed. When we first noticed behavioural problems in my stepson he ended up being diagnosed with ADD ODD and PDD (he was like 5 at the time!)



We could not convince anyone that his behaviours were due to his mother not raising him properly and the fact that he was in three different fosterhomes before his father finally got him.



Every medication that he was put on has slowly stopped working. We have been desperately been trying to get him into councelling but since they think its all these disorders and councelling won't help.



Hes not hyper or anything but has become a danger to himself and others. Even the school system won't bother helping him, he is mentally behind his age group by about two years but yet they keep passing him in class. No IEP or one on one assistant.



I feel so bad for him since he is so far behind and can't understand why he isn't "getting it" and everyone else seems to be, but yet hes now going into grade 2.



I do think that some kids are just wired differently, and since they don't easily fall into the way everyone else seems to be they are given a label and then pushed aside!

Sabrina - posted on 07/17/2009

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I think it gets thrown around too much. But I do know that are there are situations were meds are needed and have worked. But I have also seen cases where they say the kid has it they give him meds and nothing. He is still the same. So in cases like that I think it is just a child who is too active and doesnt want to sit still. And I do agree that boys are the ones. My boys are active. specially my 5 yr old. They wanted me to diagnose him with adhd. When I looked at the form they asked me to fill out. If I was answering yes to those questions I would think there was more than just that.

Jamie - posted on 07/17/2009

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I think its over diagnosed. And they think oh just give the kid a med to fix him. Rather then actualy look into thing. Sometimes a sinple diet change can change behavior. i think meds should be a last resort. and Imean that after some counseling. Kids maybe mad or jsut need attention so they act out and parents and docs just give them pills to calm them down.

Nicole - posted on 07/17/2009

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I think that doctors use this diagnosis way to much!! Half the kids who are diagnosed with this dont have it. If a doctor wanted to tell me one of my children had this I would go get a second opinion!

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