Tuesday, November 20, 2012

ADD--Medicate or Not?

 Just curious on this debate, 
If it were your child, would you medicate?

46 comments:

  1. There are too many things to try before medication. I would hold off and try diet, nutritional supplements, etc before I would go for the drugs.

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    1. Where do I find these things? The book the doctor gave us is ADHD and not the case with this particular child...not very helpful.

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  2. I have dealt with this personally and agree with Traci..try diet etc...
    however, this can be a hardship for some kids AND adults...meds can help them tremendously.

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    1. Really? I didn't know ADD was in your reprotwaw (sp?) Gotta call you!

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  3. I would definitely try diet and supplements first. We take Reliv and I know there have been wonderful results with it for ADD.

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    1. Thanks Laura--I'm going to look up Reliv....

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  4. As a teacher, I see all kinds of problems with kids that are medicated for ADD. They never learn the skills they need to cope because mom and dad just rely on the medicine to do the job. When kids get to be teens and don't want to take the medicine any more, there are problems. Also, the other extreme is that taking the ADD medicine makes them more prone to using very bad and harmful drugs...there is research on this so look it up. Medication was suggested for my son when he was little. We just said "no" and used diet and natural supplements (Udo's Oil was recommended by one specialist MD we saw and is a good choice). My son is now 16, has matured and is a fine young man. No matter what you do, pray about it. That is what we did. Medication was not right for our son, but God is always the one who knows best. Fast and pray.

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    1. Jones--what you wrote about is exactly what I'm afraid of. My husband and his family are mostly all in recovery and my kiddos are more prone to have issues with dependancy and I know I can't shield them, but don't want to promote it either, or make it easier for them.

      I've been praying.....

      It's the immediate anger that happens, that I guess medication can help with, slow that process down...but I worry about it slowing other things down. This child is not hyper, just highly distracted.

      I wrote those books down, they sound great--can't wait to read them!

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  5. Some good books to read..."The ADD Answer" by Dr. Frank Lawlis, "The Myth of the ADD Child" by Thomas Armstong Ph.D. and "Raising Cain" by Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson, both PH.D.s. God bless you with your decision.

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  6. It is so different with each child, Jamie. In my 29 years of teaching, I've seen kids who've been medicated needlessly or overmedicated, and then there are others, as Christine said, who've really been helped with it. I do agree, though, to exhaust all other options before trying the meds.

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    1. Thanks Shelly--we will, This is one of my options, getting info from other who have gone through this!! This child is seeing a counselor too.

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  7. I'm all about "healing and sealing the gut" these days. Diet all the way. ADD is a symptom of poor gut health. http://www.gaps.me/

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    1. Sarah--does not surprise me--this particular child lives on PB&J and eats no veggies, never has, even as a baby. Carb Queen. That makes this "gut" diet harder, when this child is my pickiest eater, supplements don't help either, she can't swallow pills (she says)

      I checked out the diet a little, looks like you need to get the book to get more info....doesn't look like anything she will eat.

      Thanks so much!

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    2. OK, I went back and looked more closely, the website does give lots of info, I must have been too tired last night and missed it. It's kind of funny though, it lists all the foods she never eats and never even tries.

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    3. David can't swallow pills. We break them open and put them in water. Used to do yogurt but he can't have that anymore.

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  8. Nope. I've seen some bad side effects in my nephew and personally, would never medicate.* Eventually my sister got fed up with the changes in her son & the side effects. She saw a dr. (nutritionist??), changed his diet COMPLETELY, and I think that's really helping him. She was upset b/c his teachers kept insisting he stay on the medication... and a couple months ago, just after the semester started she pulled him (& his sister) out and are homeschooling them! YAY! Okay, I thought that was really cool of her to do that for her son. :)

    * This is easy for me to say now, but I'm pretty sure I would try EVERYTHING else I could before going that route.

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    1. Well, that's one thing we are thankful for, that we homeschool and can work on what needs to be worked on, even going to her appts during the day!

      Yay for your sister!
      I was afraid of side effects...

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  9. I've done a lot of work with kids with special needs and I have to say some kids really need the medication. Ultimately it's the parents' call, and while it's not for every child there's certainly no shame in medication if it will help a little one thrive!

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    1. It seems to be so controversial...funny how heated people get about some things!

      That's it, we want what's best for this particular child.

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  10. I have a child with autism as well as ADHD (ADD is now just called ADHD), and he's medicated. We have been dealing with the effects of ADHD for years and it's been extremely difficult on him, as well as the rest of the family. Medication was our last resort, but if you find the right one, as well as the right dosage, it can help tremendously. If diet were the only factor like some people are suggesting, then we would have seen an improvement a long time ago. I agree with the commenter who said it's ultimately the parents call--no one can really say who should be on medication and who shouldn't, because we don't walk in that persons shoes.

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    1. It's funny you say that, you are right, they call it ADHD now no matter what it is, but the psychologist will specify that they call it that, but it's actually ADD. So the term is still used. There's no hyper in this child. I think it's easy for people to say change the diet too, they don't know this particular child, who is the pickiest eater on the planet.

      We'll try though...

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    2. David was very picky. Wouldn't eat anything due to sensory issues. It can be done. It may all seem overwhelming considering what you've been through with your smallest one, but it can work. You have to get creative, and it may take awhile. It's not an overnight process.

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  11. I would really seek a trusted professionals advice. One that is willing to work with you (or the parent of the child). We were blessed to find a doctor who did not encourage medication because we were homeschooling- as the behavior did not disrupt a classroom, she felt that working with our child was the best solution. In any event, meds or not, I don't think there is any easy fix.

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    1. We are taking her to a therapist and trying other things right now. I think you are right, no easy fix.

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  12. I'm sure there are cases where medication is a God-send. But I would try other alternatives first, even the hard ones like major diet changes or parenting style changes. If those don't work after a good try, yes, I would medicate if needed.

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    1. Yes, the therapist is working with us and ways to help this child (parenting) and we'll try diet....picky kiddo though, very picky kid, which is probably got her in this place in the first place!

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  13. I would medicate if my child needed it. Just like I would medicate my child if he had a physical illness that required it. Mental illness is real, and while I would try other avenues first, I don't think medicine should be looked at as a poor choice.

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    1. Thanks Colleen. We'll try other things first of course. It's all about what is best for the child. We of course want our children to be happy and confident and to feel loved.

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  14. For us, meds were not an option because of side effects and wanting to live as natural in diet as possible. I don't know if that choice would have been different has we dealt with hyperactive, but we are dealing with distraction. I agree with the gal up there on gut health. That has been huge. And now that my daughter is old enough, she can feel how certain foods affect her body and brain. Supplements have been helpful also.
    (if you are searching for answers for one of your kids, you probably don't want to eat that cake and frosting or those muffins I sent your way last week. Or those chocolates if they contain soy! Fun. Diet changes are "fun")
    No matter the choices made based on a family's best interests, I would highly recommend writing an IEP and tweaking it throughout. It serves a student well in high school as they are writing standardized tests and looking at colleges.

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    1. OK, what's an IEP?

      I need to call you.
      this is my pickiest eater of all, my "carb Queen" as we call her. SO is it a gluten thing?

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    2. Individualized Education Program
      Jonah is on one and he gets services through the high school.
      Good to hear she is getting the help she needs and has great parents.
      There are so many ways to treat this...find out what works! What if meds were the answer and it did help her so much. Diet is so important...but it might not be enough. Not supporting anything here...cause it could get crazy. It seems like a hot topic. I always wonder why people are so anti-meds?

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    3. It's the side effects Christine, I think it's the side effects that are hard and not good...

      IEP, how much more individualized can a homeschooler get?

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    4. Check your state representative from HSLDA. In MD, your home schooled child can get an IEP, but if services are required, they have to be enrolled in school. Basically, no state services for home schoolers. Hopefully MN is different. But at least if you went private for services, the initial evaluation would be done through the school and you wouldn't have to pay for it through whatever private company you use/choose.

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  15. No. As a mother with a child with autism and ADHD, I strongly suggest medication as a last resort. If you think about it, medications can have side effects and if you already have a child with suffering, medication is (in my opinion) something to look at when, literally, everything else has been exhausted.

    Read the information on t his site:

    http://www.feingold.org/

    If you have any questions,let me know. We did Feingold for a long time (don't pay for it anymore but it was worth it initially), and do a modified version now (sugar is the main culprit of hyperactivity). Honestly, David is much much better when his diet is where it should be. It's very hard to keep it that way, and we've learned a lot, but God suffices where we lack. Even now, he will be six soon and when the diet is off, symptoms come back. There are many supplements (natural) you can try. Medication may work for some, but honestly, I've seen better outcomes for many different kids and families the diet/natural supplement route. It can be overwhelming, so if you are interested you can message me and I can share with worked for us (been about three years now on this journey). David has an IEP (autism) as well. He is enrolled in school, though, for his services (ABA, OT, and speech therapy).

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  16. And carbs, anything "white", converts to sugar. Causing the "sugar" problems (main symptoms of ADD/ADHD). We do NO white flour in the house (special occasions for everyone except David...seriously, he just can't have it) and I've learned to cook with our bread mill and wheat berries. Gluten was never the issue (did the gluten/casein free but gluten free is replaced by corn in some cases...corn is evil!)

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  17. If I can say, medication was not an option for us because David is extremely reactive. Usually in the negative. We seriously went back and forth for close to six months with our doctor as far as medicating him. I just feel medication is used too soon in so many cases. I mean, I was DESPERATE. It was so, so bad, but we worked with our doctor and tweaked some things and thanks be to God it worked. Medication for things like true mental disorders are important...I don't think a lot of kids out there have true, hard core mental disorders. Just my take from my own experience...and David has issues with aggression, behavioral, etc.

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  18. I'm sorry I keep reading...lol.

    You mentioned picky eater...they are picky because the foods they are eating are addictive. Like when we eat chocolate, or chips or whatever and we can't stop. Well, kids have it too. If you look at the majority of the food in the grocery store, it's not really "food" (except on the perimeter). Trust me, when David got worse (right before his official diagnosis), I had just had my fifth child. That baby went on to have major kidney disease, and my oldest was only 9 years old. I can't stress enough that the longer the diet goes unchanged, the longer nothing will change. It took years to get it right with David, but we saw improvements in the small things we initially did. PB&J on white bread is basically just sugar. The jelly is all processed high fructose corn syrup artificial coloring. Even the stuff that says "natural" on it is really not natural. I remember screaming at God that I had too many kids and too much to do and didn't have the time or energy to work on our diet. I mean, the kids were fed. That was all I could do! But it was either David continued as he did (which wasn't good...he would smear feces on his walls at night, scream for hours on end, we couldn't take him anywhere because he would flip out...). Ours was a desperate one. Something HAD to change or we weren't going to make it. Right now as I'm typing this, David is sitting at our breakfast bar, playing with his iPad, and when I got him up this morning, I said good morning to him and he said, "Morning Mom". He hugs and kisses us, is verbal, and even though he is still not potty trained, I know he will be eventually. Just a few weeks ago his behavior went down the tubes because he was sick, and we realized a food he had been eating had a hidden ingredient. Took the said food out...totally fine. Okay, I'll stop now. Just lived it and feel very strongly about it.

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  19. Jen!! Thank you so much. This has been very helpful. This has been going on for years for us. Not to the extent of your son's issues, but the behaviors monopolize/control how our family does things. When this child does dishes, NO ONE can be in the room or any room or actually on that floor while she does them, or it will take her literally 2 hours to get them done, if we are not there, it takes her less than a half hour. There are lots of jealously/anger/bullying issues (we homeschool though, so it's with her siblings) and ODD--oppositional Defiant Disorder--that one is really hard. Tom and I end up yelling and I hate that. School takes all day, and even then, we are not totally done. There is no place that is not distractable. She has the whole school room to herself, because if anyone even walks in to get a pencil, major probs happen.

    I have done the no white foods, for myself, but for kids--how? What are some examples of what to give her? In our whole Thanksgiving meal, her plate filled with carbs....I had a great veggie salad (I love veggies), she loved "the corn" the best. All I did for that was heat it up!!

    Jen, how is the baby with Kidney disease? Simeon is having surgery on his kidney/ureters in like 3 weeks....I'm so worried....it's different. Hoping it takes care of everything. (for good)

    I'm so glad you've seen such great improvement with your son. Thank God for small miracles....I have another friend whose son cannot have any sugar, or they see the same thing you've described....not sure if they've given up white foods...must have...

    I'm going to check your link now!

    God bless you. I'm always praying for this child....even when I should be praying for Simeon, it seems my prayers move to her more often. Those prayers will not go unanswered.

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  20. It's so, SO hard when you have a child with medical issues, then one with the behavioral. Oh how I understand that! Well, the child you are talking about sounds a bit like my older one, who is 9. He has major issues with distraction, but again...with some dietary changes (much smaller for him...dairy seems to be his trigger...he gets dark circles under his eyes and will sit upstairs in his room for four hours working on Math...ugh) he bounces back quickly. Two things that have helped him a lot (non food related) are swimming and piano. We did a music therapy program that we had done with David (so we had the equipment), but it's expensive, and honestly, that was something God put in our life when we needed it (I am friends with the daughter of the woman who runs the program so we got some perks). Classical music is an amazing thing. Won't see changes right away, but the beats per minute/tempo of the music actually calms the brain (fancy science stuff that I don't get...just seems to help calm them down). We made two major purchases in regards to food. One was a bread mill. We mill our own flour from wheat berries. Nothing is processed. I make all our pancakes, bread, rolls, cookies (I use Sucunat instead of sugar), etc from either hard red berries or soft wheat berries. A friend of mine, with 10 kids, was doing it, and she said it has to be "easy, simple, or it won't get done". She was so right. The mill is here:

    http://www.breadbeckers.com/store/pc/WonderMill-GrainMill-w-FREE-Shipping-9p1825.htm

    Then we have the Kitchen Aid mixer for the dough. Whole thing to get ready takes 10 minutes. It has two risings, so I do it on a day when we are home all day doing school. Makes 3 loaves. Some people use the bread mill attachment from their Vitamix too..not sure if you have one of those? Anyway, the mill was the best purchase ever. We don't buy Eggos anymore. Make our own waffles and such, and the white berries come out like "regular" stuff. You have to sort of trick the picky child and make it taste as close as possible. Then, they never know the difference. And I know all about how a child can take command of the house. That's so tough. On everyone. Email me if you have any questions! You are doing a GREAT job. It's a long tough road and every kid is different, but you'll find what works.

    jhigdon73199@hotmail.com

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  21. Oh Sonja is doing better. Now she's on daily abx because the reflux is improving on it's own now...just slowly. She had a VCUG done in July and again, improved but super slow. Haven't had a breakthrough infection in a long time, and the scarring on her right kidney seems to be fading. Which is good. We pray for Simeon all the time!

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  22. Jamie, thank you for sharing this post. We have been tolerating my son's behavior and loving him the best we can - but we finally reached out to figure out if there was something more. We're going to get the official diagnosis from a psychologist, but the paper testing shows he has ADHD. My first thought was that we'd try everything before medication, and putting a label on it helps others understand him better. We believe medication covers up problems, instead of fixing/treating them. A relative of mine used meds for ADHD and as a teen/young adult experimented with street drugs. His description of using meds was feeling like he had worms crawling under his skin all the time. I'm sure they've tweaked the drug since the 80s/90s, but still... I plan to take him to my Chiropractic Neurologist who is treating me for Thyroid disorder, who also treats ADHD with brain therapies and proper nutrition. In the end, we are so glad he is homeschooled because no one can love him outside his disorder like his family. A good christian book to help understand your children's temperament and how to love them better is "The Temperament God Gave Your Kids." It's been very helpful to me as his teacher and mom.

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    1. Here's my doc's blog about it: http://moundsviewchiro.blogspot.com/2012/09/re-balancing-your-childs-brain-role-of.html?spref=fb

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    2. Hi Melissa--Thanks for the link. We are taking this child to the Chiropractor...still have to make the appt....but our chiropractor does do a lot with ADD/ADHD things, straightening the atlas is part of helping with concentration I think...we'll find out more.

      Sorry to hear about your diagnosis for both you and your son, but you are right, it helps to get that diagnosis.

      I do not think medicating is covering up though, mental illness is a serious issue and sometimes meds can really help the brain to function better.

      Of course we are planning on trying everything we can first....

      I have read that book, it's a good one.

      I agree, we are blessed to be homeschooling, we are able to work with our children, we have the time and do not have the pressure of a teacher or the school wanting to medicate.

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  23. Jamie, I read your comment earlier about substance abuse/dependance in your family. I had forgotten about that. I would also take that into consideration if you do decide to use medication. It does run in families (I have several family members with mental health issues and substance abuse - alcohol/drugs), and could possibly, later on, have an impact. That's what I've heard from doctors (for example, there was something a friend had to take after one of her surgeries due to being allergic to the primary narcotic..the doctor was asking about drug addiction in the family before giving it to her because it can be a genetic thing and he needed to discern whether it was a good option since she could possibly become addicted if there was a family history).

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    1. Jen--Yes, that is an issue I worry about. If she's more prone to be addicted, would we just be introducing her to it?

      Oh, so much to pray about.

      I really liked that Feingold site. I printed up the first chapter of some book....can't convince hubby to pay the 80 some bucks for the membership so I can get the books. (it is a lot of money) Wish they would just sell the books separately!

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    2. I have the books from a few years ago and can tell you what works and what doesn't. We don't pay the fee anymore either. Email me and I will send you what I have!!!

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