This reply was originally posted by user Benine in ADDitude’s now-retired community.
We’re in a similar boat to you. Our son, in grade 3, is now old enough to feel how different it is, and this is when I said I’d take action. Private school, and medication. I’m afraid, not just of side effects, but I also fear that when he gets to be a young adult, we may have medicated him for so long that he will no longer get help from them, yet he’ll require them to maintain the level of attention he would have had if we had never medicated at all. There isn’t any research that I can find has reassured me.
This just one of my fears, I dislike the idea of making him shorter, with no other long term benefits (see the latest MTA results). I fear that he’ll think we don’t love the inattentive him. I fear that he won’t accept his inattentive side either, and in the end, after a few years of honeymoon, meds will be of limited use, and that he will have trouble accepting his imperfect self.
Maybe the best I can do is to realize there are no answers for me out there. I will just go forward assuming there are no miracles; that medication is like aspirin — it can usually alleviate suffering on the short term. I will give as many ‘drug holidays’ as possible in spite of the fact that he will not fit in well in summer camp. I don’t know what we’ll do with evening sports. I’m expecting he’ll be worse off in the evening than he would have been without meds. Doctors say, “Well, just give him more meds of course.” That sounds like a slippery slope.
It also sucks that if I follow my conscience and try not to dose him more than absolutely necessary, then we parents will probably end up with the short end of the stick, and the teachers will get the star pupil they want.
When it comes down to it, the whole ADHD business is a load of hurt and worry, and there’s no dodging it.