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“I Resisted Medication”

As the parent of a child with ADHD, keeping up with research and information about the condition can help you make informed decisions about the best medication and treatment for kids.

I didn’t know what attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was when my son’s teacher brought it up. I just knew that Khris was busy and rambunctious. I learned all about the condition, but I resisted medication. We started counseling and behavior management, and we tried to structure Khris’s home life so that he could succeed at school. Nothing worked.

The hardest thing for Khris was being fussed at and punished for his classroom behavior. Teachers asked him to leave the classroom a lot. It can’t be fun to be told all day to keep still, don’t do this, and don’t do that.

Finally, when Khris was in third grade, the principal suggested trying medication. The first day he was on meds, Khris’s teacher said, “He’s a wonderful addition to the classroom now.” I felt so bad that we had not taken advantage of this treatment for an entire year.

Given my experience, l would advise parents to learn everything they can about ADHD and how it affects your child’s health. Become the expert on your kid. Stay up-to-date on ADHD research, because people who don’t believe the condition is real will challenge you. Never be swayed by uninformed people.

Seek the facts, so that you are confident about your child’s diagnosis and how you’re treating the condition. When Khris hit puberty, his medication didn’t work as well. I talked with the doctor about switching, and he agreed. I felt good that I had done the research to know I made the right decision.

Updated on July 18, 2017

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  1. Great article Karran. My son showed symptoms since Prek-3 and we had educational psychological evaluations, met an amazing pediatrician who told us a child can only be diagnosed around age 7 and he made a world of difference to our child. Our boy struggled to keep his hands to himself and follow directions and instructions, complete school work and homework until 2nd grade, when his grades started to fall badly. We were trying a “wholistic” pediatrician who prescribed several natural supplements to our boy but it wasn’t working. My husband was against medication and I had mixed feelings until I spoke to a close friend who happens to be an amazing pediatric pulmonologist that shared that 2 of her nieces had ADHD and took medication for years up until high school and college. And there’s scientific proof that it works and that is safe. She spoke to my husband and he finally agreed. I cried several times about this decision but I know now it was the right decision.
    The stimulant medication made a world of difference to our son. His grades went from C to A and upper B’s, he finished school work before several of his classmates and he can take care of his homework load. He has to do his homework right away when I pick him up at school because medication is wearing off. He does get emotional and irritated if I push him into doing too much at once or if he does something wrong on the homework, he doesn’t like being corrected but accepts it and doesn’t want me to explain it too much.
    Trying to find the right dose for your child is also important, he started with the lowest 2ml dose and it made a little difference but not enough. We tried 3ml and it worked a little, 4ml was too much for him and made him grumpy, angry (but not violent) and not himself. The 3.5ml dose has been working great for over a year now. Medication doesn’t help with everything, he still needed help with social skills so we we put him on a social skills group with a children’s psychologist that his school recommended and it helped him a lot. He did a full year of this therapy group on Sat mornings. I hate waking up early on Saturdays but I sacrificed my sleep for my child and it made a huge difference for him. He still struggles a bit with making friends now that he’s on 3rd grade, but he has 1 close friend and gets along well with his peers. He’s a straight A student and loves school and learning.
    I’m glad I listened to a Mom that told me she waited too long to give medication and her son failed on 5th grade and had to repeat the year.

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