Wednesday, February 24, 2010

To medicate or not to medicate, that is the question.

For two years now, we have been trying to figure out whether or not we should medicate our daughter for ADD.  This has been a very tough question to answer.  At first, I was all, "NO", "My daughter will not be given mind altering drugs!"  (We will call her R4 once again.)  In kindergarten, R4 did very well.  Her teacher had nothing but good things to say about her.  Then, in first grade, we were told, R4 has trouble focusing and has to be reminded to stay on task.  The teacher was not allowed to come out and tell us, but she danced around the "ADD" diagnosis the whole conference period.  They were not given letter grades in first grade and the teacher basically said that R4's personality was carrying her through.  We put R4 in reading classes over the summer and then relaxation therapy.  We have met twice with the pediatrician on this subject and both times, the pediatrician said that R4 is doing this to get her parents' attention.  The doctor then asked if R4 was having any trouble at school.  I replied "No" and was then told that I needed to attend parenting classes.  Now I know my own child and I also know that she has ADD and SPD.    Then second grade rolls around.  R4 starts out with stellar grades ranging from a 98 to a low of 86.  The second grading period the range was 91 to 85.  The middle of the third grading period, the grades were 89 to 76.  Ding! Ding! Ding!  R4 is having trouble at school!  There are also several comments from the teacher saying that R4 is talking during class and not staying on task.  This week, I went back to the pediatrician and said, "R4 is having trouble at school!"  Next week, we are going back to talk about ADD medication.  I am going into this with an open mind.  The elementary school here is difficult enough without having untreated ADD and SPD!  We are right by NASA and all of the parents have very high expectations for their kids!  That includes these parents of TWO SPD kids one of whom has been diagnosed by a psychologist as having ADD.  I will keep you posted of R4's progress.

One side note.  I remember when we were getting ready to take our son (R5) home from the hospital after he was born.  The nurse told us to be adamant when we knew something was wrong with our child.  She said jokingly, "You will take your child to the doctor and the doctor will say, "All kids have their arms fall off at this age!""  I will never forget the words of the nurse and I apply them to my life.  We are not going to let our kids "slip through the cracks" at school or anywhere else!!

10 comments:

  1. Oh, I can so relate to your post! My daughter is 6 years old, very bright, but there are definitely red flags waving everywhere. Last year her kindergarten teacher had her monitored because of this. I spoke with her pediatrician about these same things you describe and he said not to worry yet. But I do - what mother wouldn't. I just found your site today from Catholic Mother's Online and wanted to welcome you and the first post I see is one that fits my daughter to a tee :)

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  2. It is awesome that we can help each other! My daughter is very bright also and her bubbly personality is masking her ADD/SPD. I have worried about medication for so long now but I think it is time....will keep you posted! Thanks for becoming a follower! It just always floors me when the pediatrician thinks the mom is wrong...just like when the nurse said, "All of the kids have arms that fall off at that age!" ;)

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  3. My suggestion is to go to a specialist that deals with add/adhd. They can administor tests that will actually let you know what she has, and what type she has. (there are more than one, hyperactivity, impulse control, and there is another one, sorry can't remember what it is right now.) Also check around the internet on gifted children, maybe your daughter is bored and needs to be stimulated a little more :) There is nothing wrong with medicating a child that is actually has add/adhd, and the best way to do this is to go to specialist. Ask your Dr. for a referal.

    New Friday follower!

    Angela
    http://nepastealsanddeals.blogspot.com/
    and
    http://debatethisponderthat.blogspot.com/

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  4. Thanks Angela! I think she is gifted and may be bored but she is my child so I am biased. She did get an ADD/ADHD test with a psychologist and the diagnosis was ADD. I am open to suggestions. Thank you for becoming a follower.

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  5. Hi there! I am always on the very opposite side of this discussion. I have two girls with ADHD. When children suffer from this it means their frontal lobe is not being stimulated like it should be, hence the need for stimulants. (which are not "mind altering") So, I feel that if I don't "medicate" my girls, it equates to the same thing as not providing a diabetic with insulin or someone who is hypthyroidism the synthetic thyroid hormone they need.

    I am playing devil's advocate. Giving the opposite point of view (mine only) I am not being critical or mean or anything like that - I found you on Friday Follow. I hope you come visit me.

    Bridgette Groschen
    The Groschen Goblins

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  6. Friday following... but your post on your daughter and the ADD... I can't tell you or anyone what to do.. but, too many kids are medicated today.. I feel they should not be!
    My son also could not sit in the chair in school but I fought it.. he survived and is now a Lt in the USCG... smart and still cant sit still! lol
    Drugs are given much too easily today and this scares me.. Let kids be kids!
    Sandy

    http://thewondersofdoing.blogspot.com/2010/02/play-along-food.html

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  7. To everyone, I have been on both sides of this argument and it is a very very difficult one! At this point I think that we should try R5 on the medication and see if it helps. I have also heard that only giving the medication on school days is controversial also. I will pray about this topic for sure! Thanks for the comments!

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  8. OK I am putting in my opinion here and it is only my opinion. It usually takes several doseage changes to get it right...then what may happen is it works for a short amount of time and then they have to switch to another one. It is a drug, a powerful drug. Now it is true some children are in true need of it. It is also true some school systems are overcrowded, understaffed, and it is difficult for them to manage a child who is let's say a little outside the box. When my son was in second grade they tried to indicate he had ADD..because he was not on task, very bright, outspoken and a bit impulsive. He is now in middle school, soft spoken, in the GT program and doing awesome! At the end of the day only you can make that decision. But the drug is like cocaine, it is a stimulant, and what happens when they are not on it anymore? Please do your research and research hard. Change up her diet, no sugar, no red dye, etc....Read the book A mind at a time...I believe that is the name. I see and hear more and more of this generation who is ADD ADHD...what happened in my day? I am 43, never heard of this. I can also tell you I had a friend who was in a situation where her son has a processing issue, he was outside the box in school and in la la land....her DR and I quote this said would you rather have an annoying child or a calm focused one. Personally I take annoying, they grow out of it! Just do your homework PLEASE. And no offense to those parents who do medicate, you are the parent and do what you feel is right for your child. I just do not know long term, and studies have linked these meds to future drug use......kids are now snorting these meds to get high! So they must make you feel good!

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  9. Thanks for the comment Debbie. We may try the Feingold diet. What annoyed me was when the pediatrician said that I needed to go to a parenting class because my daughter was not having trouble at school, she was just acting out to get our attention. Well, her grades HAVE dropped and she is getting conduct marks constantly. I like your comment about the "outside the box" child. I once told my child's teacher that my child does not even have a box!!

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  10. Sophie has been diagnosed "hyperactive-impulsive." They have not recommended meds at this point. I am positive that diet is a big factor. But how on earth do you change the diet of an already super picky eater? I mean, I can count less than 12 things she will eat well. Thankfully, one of them is eggs! But only boiled ones, and she doesn't like the yolks, but I do make her eat half of them. I saw it mentioned that whole milk is better, but from what I have been reading about milk, I think that full-fat yogurt should replace most milk consumption. Sophie will eat only the vanilla/banana/strawberry flavors of Stonyfield Farm yogurt - there can be no "bits" of fruit in there - part of her textural issues, I suppose. How frustrating is all this??!!

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