This reply was originally posted by user adhdmomma in ADDitude’s now-retired community.
I was scared at first too — I think most parents are. Most of the extreme reactions are rare, and suicidal ideation is usually related to SSRI’s and Straterra, not stimulants.
Medication is the most effective treatment for ADHD, since ADHD is a physiological difference in the brain (http://www.additude.com/adhdblogs/19/12325.html). A homeschool environment might help for a while, but probably isn’t a long-term solution to treating his ADHD. And there are risks for untreated ADHD too, like addiction, depression, anxiety, etc (http://www.additude.com/adhd/article/811.html).
What I found most helpful in considering trying medication, was to learn the facts about it. These articles help with that:
Medication changed my son’s life. And the tipping point for us was that (1) we have tried behavior modification alone with little change, and (2) my son was super sad and down about himself all the time (at age 5!). I knew we had to help him succeed right away.
ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism