This reply was originally posted by user brlk13 in ADDitude’s now-retired community.
@Benine: You have to do what you feel is right for your child. I will give you something to consider as you head down this medication road — kids feel the impact of ADHD in all aspects of their lives, not just school. I too tried medication vacations early on, but what I found was that for him, struggling at camp or extracurricular activities, even activities within our family was just as stressful as school. It impacts their self-esteem the same whether they are struggling at school or at camp, and the challenge with social interactions can often be magnified during these activities where there is often less structure than in the classroom. We no longer take med breaks, making his behavior much more consistent, and he’s enjoying activities more than ever. I have friends who struggle with ADHD as adults and they will tell you that they have developed coping mechanisms over time that help but for some, medication helps them cope, stops the dramatic swings in mood and behavior and helps them live less stressful lives. For my son and our family, medicating daily has changed all our lives for the better, and I am seeing him mature and grow leaps and bounds in a way I don’t feel would be possible without medication being part of his daily life.