Many kids with ADHD not getting required meds
Join the discussion below, or Read more at Reuters.
#1 Aug 18, 2006
I recently did my dissertation on Cognitive Functioning and ADHD. My literature review supports this story that children are undermedicated, particularly minority and younger children.
#2 Aug 19, 2006
It would be interesting to discover the funding source for the research. Please post the funding source(s). Thanks!
#3 Aug 21, 2006
The comment "more than a third (35 percent) of study participants who did receive medication for ADHD did not meet the full criteria for an ADHD diagnosis, although they had about nine or ten symptoms of the condition" seems invalid since the DSM - IV only requires six (6) of the many symptoms to be present for the ADHD or ADD label.
#4 Aug 21, 2006
All this ADHD/ADD crap is overrated. Lines pharmacutical <Sp?> companies with hard green cash!
Parents hide behind this farce in order to escape parenting their children. Teachers push it on parents because they are too damn lazy to work with each child according to their abilities and talents.
Every public school we had our children in kept pushing that crap in our face.'Your kid needs to be evaluated...blah, blah, blah! They were saying that our kids were inattentive, disruptive and (according to them) showed all the classic signs of all the other ADD/ADHD children in the schools. I was military and lived all over the country, we experienced this at every elementary school.
One distinct episode rings this bell loud and clear: While at the military hospital, getting the school physicals, there was a mile long line out the peds office, all kids (with parents in tow)waiting for their ADHD referral papers. The attendant asked dad 'What can we do for you today?' Dumbfounded, he looks down at his 10 year old daughter. She says 'Dad, were here to get that Ritalin.' The attendant again asks dad, what prescription dosage do you need? Again he looks at his kid, she tells him....the story goes on. This loser dad had absolutely no clue, the line was full of moms and dads with the typical deer in the headlight look on their faces. It was rediculous.
Bottom line, our children were all bright, bored with the curriculun and were not being challenged...period!
After countless years of dealing with that crap, we pulled our kids out of public school and home schooled them. Each of them (all 5 of them) excelled beyond description! My 23 y/o son graduated at 16 years old and is finished his 4 year degree at 20 years of age, years ahead of his ritalen/stratera/concerta peers. My next 2 graduated early, both are in college. My youngest is on the same path. All of then earned academic scholarships.
Moral here is this:
Parents need to be in tune with their children. God made them exactly as he intended them to be, it's not our place to drug them into submission so they they fit into some subjective mold. If they are having problems at school, at home or socially, the answer isn't in a bottle, it all starts at home.
#5 Aug 22, 2006
I totally agree with you in O'Fallon, there are mega bucks in the drug companies to keep our children and adults labeled and medicated. Keep posting, you did a great job. To find out more about what is actually going on go to CCHR.Org
#6 Sep 7, 2006
Heres at news headline pointing out another ADD/ADHD problem 'Academic Doping'.
It's about time people started pointing this out.
#7 Sep 13, 2006
I honestly believe that medication isn't always the answer either. But I am home schooling my son who is 10 now because of this and he is still having difficulties concentrating. I can't get him to sit and do one paper by himself. He get's so overwhelmed. I don't know how to help him be more independent in his work.
I believe that self esteem may play a role in his frustrations as well, but again I don't know how to help him. I love him so much and I try so hard to talk to him, but he never wants to talk about what's on his mind. I don't know what to do.
I have considered medication, but would rather try ANYTHING else! Any ideas?
#8 Sep 13, 2006
We had the same problems with our 2 boys in public school. The basic problem was the curriculum was not engaging enough for them, and they didn't get ANY interaction from the teachers. Children need that.
We have been using the ACE program, a christian, bible based curriculum. I am at home every day with them, during their dedicated school time, they have my undivided attention. If they are struggling, we back off on the amount of work, if they seem bored, we turn up the pace a bit.
You mentioned '..working by himself...' Thats where you step in. If you have to sit with him all day, then thats what it takes, he will become more independent.
When our kids are ahead in their work (which they almost always are), we take days off and take a trip, go out and spend the day doing things (that is learning too).
We have a christian household (not sure what yours is), so we beleive the basic biblical principal of:
There is NO ONE more qualified to teach my child than me.
During our last year in public school, the teachers were more focused on dayminders, schedules, and all that hooplah. At no time did they seem concerned about actually teaching our kids anything.
What home school program are you using? Like I said, we use the ACE one. It is extremely simple and consists of workbooks that the kids do on their own at ther own pace. It's so simple that you wont have to spend so much energy wrangeling with all the books/documentation/correspond ence, and just focus on your little ones. They have a website, and you might be able to enroll him through a local church. The church will have to have a homeschool program though.
The only issue with the ACE program is that they are currently not accredited. Meaning when the kids finish, they have to take a GED instead of walking the ailse to graduate. The pass rate is near perfect and the ACT college testing rate is very high.
#9 Sep 13, 2006
Another thought Sherri...
Your kid is only 10.... Tell me, what 10 year old likes to do school work...It's normal.
Saint Louis, MO
#10 Sep 14, 2006
We agonized over putting my son on Metadate (generic Ritalin) for years, and once we did carried the guilt of thinking it had to have been something we did to him to make him need medication.
During his first school year, pre-k at a snotty private school where the classes were small and teachers could lend individualized education, he was in trouble for talking, wandering, and "disrupting" the class almost daily. We had him professionally tested by a the psychiatrist at a school where my mom teaches for ADD/ADHD and the test was inconclusive.
We decided to take him out of that school for Kindergarten and put him in public school. Within months we were receiving calls about his lack of concentration, talking out in class, his inability to sit still and "disrupting" the class. A little later we noticed that his self esteem was plummeting. His work was messy, incomplete and rushed. Every day was a fight to get him to school in the morning because he hated going; hated the teachers, the work, the entire school could have burned to the ground and he wouldn't have cared. But we lived in denial a little longer.
About halfway through his 1st grade year, and after several trips to the principal's office for various non-violent infractions, we relented and started him on Metadate. Within weeks we saw an immediate turn around. His self-esteem sky rocketed and his work showed marked improvement. He was proud of his work and the fact that he was no longer labeled the "bad" child in the classroom.
Unfortunately, in this school, his medications plopped the big stigma on him that followed him the rest of that school year into his 2nd and beginning of 3rd grade. Teachers were downright rude and treated him badly when he didn't have his medications - his third grade teacher even singled him out in class about being on drugs!
When we moved after the start of 3rd grade to another school district in O'fallon, the stigma stayed behind at the old school. He successfully completed 3rd, 4th and 5th grade bringing home nothing less than a B in every class. He's in the 6th grade now and is excelling - with the aid of the medication.
My son is fiercely independent and intelligent - I have no doubt in his ability to attain those same grades without the medication. I do however, doubt his ability to maintain the self-control he needs in order to pay attention to get those grades. He's never been neglected or abused. We've nurtured his self-esteem and talents. He is a boy and despite what others seem to think about there being no inherent difference between the sexes, as parents of twin girls as well, I can attest that there are in fact crucial differences.
I will continue to keep my child on medication until we know that he has gained the social and emotional maturity to come off of them. I will not rob him of his self-esteem or of the respect of his teachers. I feel that on occasion he is bored at school as he whips through the school and homework in little time, but he can request extra work (and I don't know many 11 year old boys or girls who do that). I will not risk his future by taking him off of the medication he obviously needs just because of the stigma with which people will label him.
I am not an ignorant parent. I know my son's dosage, when his last appointments were, when the next one is, how much weight he's gained and I know the side effects to watch for. I could home school him, but I am realistic enough to know him as well as myself and I know that homeschooling would not benefit him. And I don't believe that homeschooling is beneficial to all children in many social aspects as well.
There are people who will abuse the diagnosis. People who will simply stick their kids on mind-controlling drugs rather than deal with the child at hand. I am not one of those people. My choice to medicate my child has been made in the best interest of my son.
#11 Sep 30, 2006
I'm curious to know if your child has gained weight due to taking Ritalin (as a side effect).
#12 Oct 1, 2006
I work in education and am tired of seeing children medicated because adults will not take responsibility for their poor parenting.
In 13 years of working in schools, I have witnessed so many little ones even kindergarteners being medicated because they are too hiper or wont focus, this should be a crime, what small child will stay focused for an extended amount of time?
my sons best friend was put on ritlan when he was in kindergarten, he is now 19 and still on it, why? because he's addicted to it, he cannot, or thinks he cannot function and take any responsibitly for his actions because the medicine helps him get through the day, this is so sad to me he's 19 and already a drug addict thanks to his mom and the irresponsible physician that diagnosed him at age 5
how can parents do this to their children?In all my years in the public school system I can honestly say I've seen maybe 3 kids who I felt needed help of some kind, I dont agree however; in medicating these kids and not teaching them self control.
I fear what the next generation will be like, I fear what long term research will show about the effects these drugs have on kids, Im quite sure it will be disturbing I AM SO GLAD I DID NOT CAVE INTO WHAT EVERYONE WAS TELLING ME ABOUT MY SON BEING ADHD WHEN HE WAS IN 2ND GRADE,I WAS TREATED LIKE I WAS DOING HIM SOME SORT OF DISSERVICE BUT I REFUSED, HE IS ALSO 19 NOW AND NOT ADDICTED TO A DRUG HIS MOTHER PUT HIM ON AT A YOUNG AGE.I TOOK RESPONSIBILITY FOR HIS MISBEHAVIOR AND HANDLED IT EVENTUALLY ,AFTER MANY CONFERENCES AND BUTT WHIPPINS HE LEARNED HOW TO ACT AT SCHOOL
I NOTICE THAT ALL THESE STUDENTS WHO SO CALLED CANT SIT STILL AND LEARN AND FOCUS , ITS MIGHTY FUNNY THAT IF THEY ARE PROMISED ICE CREAM OR SOME TYPE OF REWARD THEY DONT BUDGE
#13 Oct 1, 2006
Crazy God Bless you
I agree wholeheartedly.
We refused to follow the trend that drugs our children into submission. We used our God given parenting rights and skills to properly raise our children.
I cringe each time I hear a mom or dad praising their childs behavior while they are under the influence of add/adhd medications. It turns them into silent little robots. It totally kills their spirit and desire to interact with the world on their own.
My sons aggressive ADD traits landed him a 6 figure job because they liked...and needed a go getter in their company. Take that to the bank! He thanks us daily for sticking behind him during his younger years.
Someone mentioned self esteem! Sure, lets teach our kids that they are different and can't be normal unless they take a drug. Then praise them for not interacting with the world in their own way...talk about killing their self esteem. The kids esteem began to suffer as soon as mom and dad decided to drug their child.
Each of my children use their so called 'Figity' personality to tackle the problems of their daily lives. Their special, aggressive personalities have also made them very, very successful now that they are out on their own.
Heres the bottom line...
ADD/ADHD does not exist. These kids simply perceive and interact with the world differently. If parents fail to recognize that, they are failing their children miserably. Some of are laid back, some are aggressive, some are in between. These kids are no different.
Consider this list of names...
Leonardo da Vinci
Alexander Graham Bell
Gen. George Patton
John F. Kennedy
Werner von Braun
Dwight D. Eisenhower
F. Scott Fitzgerald
George C. Scott
Each of these people either were diagnosed or exibited the classic traits of ADD/ADHD. Imagine if they had medicated themselves and killed their creative spirits????? This world would be a very different place for sure!!!
#14 Oct 5, 2006
Honestly, your narrow approach to this topic is not justified by your children's success. Perhaps your experiences hurt you in some way, but your anger towards well intended parents hinders your message. The rageful context of your message could suggest you put your kids into submission. Their success doesn't equate to their well being.
Perhaps you are correct in saying your kids didn't have ADD or ADHD, however their struggle in the education system could have contributed to the constant change from moving all over the country. Having to start over each and every time can be discouraging. In that case, home schooling would be the best approach to that lifestyle. Due to YOUR circumstances I feel you have no right passing judgment on parents living in a different set of circumstances.
#15 Oct 9, 2006
response: after many years of medication, some with bad side effects and some without, expensive behavioral therapy and many disagreements, i finally gave in to my 13 year old's wishes and just let him listen to music through the portable with headphones. The work isn't always top quality, but the headache is gone and the work gets done. Music would be very distracting to some, but for others it is the manageable distraction that is needed to block out all of the other distractions which are not so manageable. Try it, what have you got to lose?
#16 Oct 10, 2006
I am trying the '5-HTP', Omega-3 w/multi-vitamin approach to see if it helps my two boys. The younger one (3 - 25 mg each morning) is 'extremely' active and the other (10 - one 50 mg tablet each morning) has difficulty w/new concepts - self-esteem/confidence key issues (he's afraid to fail or appear 'stupid') and it has interfered w/his ability/behavior at school. I chose the supplemental regime as a 'ritalin' alternative for the youngest who had been kicked out of 'daycare' for aggressive and over-active behaviors. I do not wish for my child's extroverted outlook on life to be impaired - just for the 'convenience' of childcare providers. At the same time, I see his need for consideration and I accept that he needs a 'controlled' environment without all the avenues for attention in a crowded setting.
I too am following the supplemental/vitamin regime to know what effects it has (started w/50 for 3 days to 100 mg each morning)- takes majority of 'guess work' of side-effects on the children and has great reviews on overall well-being. I feel that it may help with the demands of single parenting for 3 children that wish to pursue several sporting and recreational activities that require alot of organization and time constrictions.
I have consulted a physician who has chosen to study 'natural' alternative medications (after prescribing prescriptive medications for over 30 years, including anti-depressants and 'behavior modification' drugs). The same guy who took my tonsils out when I was 12 yrs, and has treated my hemophiliac brother with some of his 'rebel' applications that had proven to help reduce physiological deterioration of joints - he applied 'normal applications' to joint bleeds (drained them) in controversy to 'specialists' protocol.
I do trust his theories as he is extremely physically/mentally fit himself - proving that he applies his knowledge to his own lifestyle. All of his children have excelled in academics and made impressions in chosen sporting activities (hockey & soccer).
I have a hard time thinking that a doctor, who is not physically fit (first impression), can influence me as to what it takes to be 'healthy'.
I have just started this last week. I'll keep you posted on results.
#17 Oct 12, 2006
Hello I am all new to this. Yes I have a son 9 years old. He has learning difficulites from kindy. We have done the eye doctor, yes wears glasses, hearing test and yes he can hear a pin drop. He has fantastic balance like a cat. BUt boy this by can move and be naughty. He is in year 4 and having all sorts of trouble with the teacher. He is learning slower than most and she is not the best teacher for him. Here where we live in a small place, teacher is the principal as well so needs good kids in her class so she can complete her work in the day. Which means Alex(my son) doesn;t get one on one like he needs. He is disruptive in class can;t sit still, yes all of the things you have been taking about. He is on fish oil(omega threes) for the last year. We have him on a strict diet, no perservatives no colours nothing and that has helped lots but we still have the anger times and the not thinking impossive behavior. So we took him to a clini in sydney and yes he was diagonised with ADHD and put him on Ritalin. I feel like a failure and my hubbby wnats it kept a secret(embarrased I guess) but Alex is so much better he is tentative, thinking and more polite, still his saucy self with the mischief in his smile. SO I am hoping that his school work will impove and that life at school will be better. I read your stuff and I used to think like you do but really I have seen a difference with it and than day to day without it. am I a terrible parent because I want him to succed we have tried tons of stuff, thi has the best result. I thought I woudl never go this way but here I am. Should I feel bad? I hate this I have three sons why only one of them has ADHD????
Just my two cents. Thanks for listening.
#18 Oct 12, 2006
At the end of the day, and your child is coming off the effects of the medication...pay close attention.
He will be tired, emotional, cranky... Ritalin really messes with his chemistry and emotions. I'd really consider other alternatives. Any child can be rowdy. Children dont naturally know how to control their behavior and emotions, they have to be taught, not medicated.
If you and hubby are feeling bad or 'secretive' about medicating your son, maybe you need to respond to those feelings, your conscience is telling you something!
#19 Oct 12, 2006
While I agree that children are overmedicated in many instances. I also take issue with the narrow minded view that ADD/ADHD does not exist. I have two children, both diagnosed ADD, with very different histories. The first one, School suggested eval. We had it done, we tried many methods to help before we went with Ritalin (btw, the child psychologist suggested NOT using the generic and on the occasions the pharmacist would mistakenly dispense it, we saw a difference). The drug helped at first, and then the dose had to be increased, until one summer after being off of it we decided the benefits outweighed the side effects for our child. So we never started it again, and she did ok in school after that.
Our second child was quite the different story. Always had been a decent student. In the sixth grade this child approached us and asked for help. Told us of trouble concentrating and inablity to resist talking if talked to. We worked with a very understanding teacher who helped use some methods to help control this behavior. This child had NO problems being moved next to the teachers desk if needed.
Finally in JR. high, with class changes and all it became to much. We went to our pediatrician and started adderallXR, during the day, and a low dose in the evening if the drowsies became an issue. It worked well for this child, and we did all this with input from this child. We asked many questions of him/her. We kept track, and it was helping. Most importantly it was NOT turning this child into a zombie at all. This child was and is a vibrant active child that is involved with friends and extra curricular activities. This year as a freshman he/she decided to try school without the meds. We are working thru the first quarter to see how it goes. Seems ok so far.
So those of you who use meds for your children, if they dont seem to be doing any good, investigate others. Different chemistries for different bodies.
I guess my point is that if you can help your child with diet, behavior modification, home schooling, what ever, fine. If it works, even better. If it doesnt, try something else. If that something else is a med, dont feel bad. If one doesnt work, try a different one. Do whatever is necessary to help your child.
As long as you are NOT using it as a crutch, using it to keep your child QUIET. THAT is child abuse in my book.
BTW weight and Ritalin was mentioned earlier. The issue, as I understand it, with Ritalin is not weight gain, but loss.
Also, Hogwash. I have to differ with your opinion that ADD/ADHD does not exist. It is over diagnosed, I will agree, but it DOES exist. Your perceptions are false and have no basis in fact. Neither of my children were "little robots". Medication has not at all "killed their creative spirits" They have no self esteem problems. They do perceive the world differently. At the same time, they need to learn how to take that difference and work with it in the real world.
So Hogwash, I take issue with the insinuation that I am failing my children miserably as you put it. I think I have done a fine job of walking that fine line between alternative methods and meds. I know that not all parents do so. I know that some/many use it as a crutch. I am very happy that your methods worked for you and your children. Congratulations on their success in life. I however believe that my children will be successful also, thanks to the help given them by my careful monitoring of their schoolwork, and meds.
#20 Oct 12, 2006
I don't think that you are bad, or a bad parent, for your decision to take the Ritalin approach. I just feel that it is better to wait til the child is able to express himself, verbally, before experimenting w/pharmaceutical drugs that are known to have side effects. I may have to go the same route, if I am unable to find a means to control my childs behavior, so he will fit in to the profile for 'public' education.
I also read that Ritalin should only be used on school days, and high stress occassions, and not to administer on non-school weekends etc. There is also a suggestion to suspend administering 'a drug' for two weeks after 6-month periods.
I was also informed that the drugs were not suggested for early child development because they may disrupt 'brain development'. I find it odd that you were able to find a doctor that prescribed them to your 4 year old, but I understand your desperation to help him adjust to your 'circumstantial' education option available to you. I, personally, do not see home-schooling has 'over-all' advantages over 'social' education environments.
I'm relieved of your 'unease' for your child's predicament and, because of it, I believe that you will be better at observing, and securing, your child's 'best interests'.
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