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ADHD ( Attention Deficiet Hyperactivity Disorder)

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
When my son was little coloring books couldn't hold his attention. He didn't walk when he was going somewhere, he ran and he often seemed to be in three or four places at the same time. When he got older, he had a lot of problems getting his homework done because he couldn't concentrate. And I found out that he was causing disruption in his classes. He also had some related problems that I won't mention here. After several days of testing which was done at the Mayo Clinic, he was diagnosed as having ADHD. Ritalin(sp?) was prescribed along with counseling. Both of these have now been completely discontinued. And he is doing extremely well.

What do you think about the diagnosis of ADHD that has been given to a lot of kids???
post #2 of 35
I have mixed feelings when it comes to this. There are kids who definitely need the medication and there are kids who are being prescribed this medication that do not need it. Working in a Pharmacy, I see MANY kids in my small town getting this. I honestly don't think they ALL need medication, but the parents are being pursuaded by Doctors and teachers to do this. I know this for a fact because it happened to my brother. When he was in the first grade, he was just an onery little boy. He's attention span wasn't very big, but what 6 or 7 year old child has a big attention span. He talked a lot during class and didn't like to do his studies. Again, what child doesn't want to talk to their friends in class or enjoys doing studies...not very many IMO. His teacher told my Mom that he had ADHD and said he was not allowed into her classroom until he was tested. Thankfully, Mom took him to the Dr and the Dr took one look at him & said "He's just being a normal 6 year old boy!". Marc never took med's for that and he turned out just like any other kid.

Now, I see kids that were just like Marc getting this medication and I wonder if they truly need it. I've seen kids that TRULY need it (a good friends little brother is one whos on medication & it still doesn't help him completely). Another thing that I've noticed while being in the Pharmacy is that the kids that supposedly NEED this medication only take it during the School Year. Hmmmm....that doesn't make sense to me. IMO, if the child was THAT bad to need medication, he/she would need it constantly. Plus, there's another problem with Ritalin or drugs like it. The parents are claiming their child needs this medicine, but THE PARENTS are the ones who are taking it. It's a stimulant and it gives you energy when you are an adult. It apparently does the complete opposite in children and that is why it's such a popular drug for ADHD. Interesting, huh?

Ok..I'm stepping off my SoapBox for now.
post #3 of 35
I happened to find this while doing a quick search on the Net about ADHD. http://www.adhd-biofeedback.com/ritalin.html

I found this comment from that to be very interesting, but yet very true:

"Some children, of course, have problems so severe that drugs like Ritalin are a godsend. But that has little to do with the most obvious reason millions of American children are taking Ritalin: compliance. One day at a time, the drug continues to make children do what their parents and teachers either will not or cannot get them to do without it: Sit down, shut up, keep still, pay attention. In short, Ritalin is a cure for childhood." -- Mary Eberstadt (Reading, Writing, and Ritalin)
post #4 of 35
I do not agree with Ritalin, I think its the easy way out for people to calm a child down - it seems to me these days that its not "normal" for a child to have energy - I hate that. There are other ways to deal with hyperactivity. I don't believe in drugs as a quick fix.
post #5 of 35
It seems that, rather than teaching and disciplining kids, some people would prefer to dope 'em up.

My youngest brother was on Ritalin, beginning in 1971 and continuing until his teen years. He spent hours on the swing, just swinging or, if the weather was bad, rocking in a rocking chair. While on the drug, he set the house on fire, committed numerous acts of vandalism and burglaries and was a total criminal at 12.

It got to the point that, whenever anything happened in the neighborhood, the beat cops came looking for Wayne. He is now 36 and hasn't changed a bit - still a criminal. These days, he's on different drugs, mixed with alcohol.
post #6 of 35
Did you know that they now have a form of this they attribute to adults? Called AADHD? There is a website you can go to and take a test to find out if you have it, then you get to talk to your doctor about starting medication to help it!
post #7 of 35
It talks about the AADHD in the link that I posted earlier in this thread.

I was also shocked to find that Ritalin is linked to Cocaine! That's so powerful stuff! And then feed it to children...how INSANE is that?
post #8 of 35
Now that I've searched that previous link, I can't find it...but I did find this site about AADHD:
post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by Shell
"Some children, of course, have problems so severe that drugs like Ritalin are a godsend. But that has little to do with the most obvious reason millions of American children are taking Ritalin: compliance. One day at a time, the drug continues to make children do what their parents and teachers either will not or cannot get them to do without it: Sit down, shut up, keep still, pay attention. In short, Ritalin is a cure for childhood." -- Mary Eberstadt (Reading, Writing, and Ritalin)
Shell, I don't think this person is an authority on ADHD. The more I look at that quote the more insulted I am by it. And now you're going to make me mention things I wasn't going to mention. First of all, my son wasn't like the other kids and they didn't accept him because his behavior was too extreme. When he caused disruption in his class it wasn't by doing little things like talking in class. He couldn't concentrate so he was causing general disruption that made it impossible for the class to continue and for anyone to learn. Also, there was no one trying to prevent my son from being a normal child. I tried for a very long time to avoid medicating him. The doctors also tried to avoid medicating him, but it was necessary and was used as a last resort. Once he was on the Ritalin we were better able to help him and teach him self-control. He was so proud of himself when he no longer needed medication.
post #10 of 35
Lorie dear, I didn't mean to offend you. I'm terribly sorry.

Apparently your son needed the help and it worked great for him. Some other kids are not quite so lucky since they really didn't need the medication to begin with. That was the point I was making. It is a Godsend for the parents and the kids who honestly need this. But it is also just a quick fix for the parents who don't take the time with their kids and try to find out the real reasons why they are acting that way.

Once again Lorie, I'm sorry if I offended you. It really wasn't my intention to do so. I do hope that you accept my apology.
post #11 of 35
Thread Starter 
Shell, apology accepted.
post #12 of 35
post #13 of 35
It's a stimulant and it gives you energy when you are an adult. It apparently does the complete opposite in children and that is why it's such a popular drug for ADHD. Interesting, huh
Riatlin is also quite popular among college students. Especially around finals time. I've known a lot of people that use it to help them stay awake at night to study. However Ritalin in adults can become very addictive, I learned that the hard way. Thinking oh one or two won't hurt me, it will help because I want to do well in school. But when it gets out of your system your body starts to crash and you can't stay away without it. Thankfully I have now discovered coffee and have learned not to try to cram before finals.
post #14 of 35
My oldest son was diognosed ADHD as a child. He was just an out of control kid. He was a fire bug and would do things that would boggle the imagination! By the time he was a teen he was breaking into garages and being brought home by the sherriffs nearly every week. They would ask what I wanted them to do and I would say "lock him up" I needed him to learn consequences. The Sherriffs refused every time.

I couldn't prosecute him for the theift and forging of my checks as he was a minor and the parent is held responcible. He stole and stripped my cat at 14, again I couldn't press charges, "He lives in the home so it isn't stealing" was what I was told. I lost stereos, computers, collectables and more. At 14 he finally attacked his younger brother and me and called the cops telling them he was going to kill us all.

I was able to have him placed in a care facility and he was diagnosed as bi-polar, oppisitional Defiant disorder, and adhd. He spent 4 years in the states care and lived over60 miles from home. I visited and attended councelling sessions every week.

I was allowed to take him home at 18 yet nothing had changed except he was now bigger and stronger than me. He went off his medication and back on street drugs. He is currently 25 and in rehab. He really is trying to straighten out his life.

Yes some kids need medication, but they also need a village to help raise them. If I had had the backing of the sherriffs and other ople in his life maybe things would have been different.
post #15 of 35
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by DragonLady
Yes some kids need medication, but they also need a village to help raise them
Very true. Besides me and the doctors, my son also got a lot of help and support from his teachers. The school was also cooperating with his doctors.

DragonLady, I'm sorry your son is still having problems, but at least he is trying to straighten out his life. He is still very young, and I hope he will suceed.
post #16 of 35
These examples of young people with really serious problems are the reason I get very upset about the current use of Ritalin. I hope I can explain this properly.

Some kids are really troubled. I am sure that eventually they will find the reason that brain chemicals are out of balance, and be more scientific about fixing the problems. These kids are in desperate need of help, and drugs like Ritalin are a literal godsend for them.

But, for other kids, and I hazard a guess that this covers most that we hear about and see in mainstream settings, the drugs are being prescribed to "fix" a behaviour, not to redress serious illness. Kids act out for a huge variety of reasons, and the school system is less and less capable of coping with any behaviour outside of the middle of the road mainstream. Some kids are bored, some have short attention spans, some don't learn well through words, and need more active learning. And the sad thing is, at the same time as we are learning about how children are motivated to learn, we are also seeing drastic cuts in the budgets for education, so we are less and less able to accomodate these differences.

My big frustration with all of this is that it somehow diminishes the "diagnosis". If someone like Lori has a child with a serious problem that needs intensive medication and therapy, and then every other kid on the block is also taking Ritalin, how can people understand the difference in severity. I bet people are thinking, well, my kid has the same thing, and he's not lighting the house on fire. They don't understand that its not the same thing at all.

I am afraid that ADHD is a diagnosis that is way to freely handed out, and that just diminishes the severity of the "real" cases in the public mind.
post #17 of 35
There are most definitely some children who legitimately have ADHD and ADD. For these children, like others have said and as some of the parents here have experienced, the medications are a godsend.

However, the big problem that I have with Ritalin and ADD/ADHD is the overuse of the diagnosis. When I was being trained as a teacher, we spent quite a bit of time on these two disorders, being trained to spot them - almost to diagnose them! I've heard of times when a teacher will tell the parents that their child has this and don't come back without meds, and they are supported by the administration. Or parents are convinced that because little Johnny isn't pulling the grades *they* think he should, well he must have ADD/ADHD, so they go to the Dr. and insist on getting him on meds. Couldn't be because they don't spend any time with the kid, helping him with homework, and that he's disrupting class to make up for the lack of attention he's getting from home. It shouldn't be up to the teachers or parents to diagnose the child. They should be working together to find the underlying problem, along with a doctor, but teachers and parents are generally not trained to diagnose it themselves. Too often ADD/ADHD and Ritalin are seen as the cure all for any behavioral or grade problems that a child has.

Lorie and Teresa, we all know that you two are very good parents and from your short bits of information you definitely fall under the legitimate category. (Not that you needed my confirmation on that ) These observations come from my short tenure as a teacher, and the training and stories I heard during that time.
post #18 of 35
This is a great link: http://www.add.org/ It has all sorts of ADD info & resources, as well as information about the importance of accurate diagnosis. The typical ADD symptoms can also be caused by other problems.

I remember hearing on the news not long ago that Ritalin can be very dangerous if it is given to children that have not been properly diagnosed with ADD. The example shown was of a child with bipolar disorder misdiagnosed as ADD - when he was given Ritalin he became psychotic. I was unable to locate that story, but did find this link that mentions the possible dangers:

One the one hand, I am thrilled that ADD is getting publicity because it may help direct many children that genuinely need help to therapy, helping them to succeed in school and in careers, when they would otherwise probably drop out of school & end up in service careers. When my mother first heard about it, the first thing she did was call me - "They're describing you perfectly! So that's why you could never manage to pay attention or stick to a train of thought! I sure wish we had known about this - maybe you wouldn't have ended up dropping out of school!"

On the other hand, it is very sad that the diagnosis is being made by unqualified people, simply to quiet children who may just be suffering the effect of too little freedom & exercise. I can't even imagine growing up as so many children do now, in a small apartment with no place to run & play outside.
post #19 of 35
My son also is a ADHD and also were on Ritalin , when the medication wear of it had some bad site efects on him like mood swings , temper and also bad heatache . My son also did not want to eat , so after a year he look like he was not geting any thing to eat from me . Then I just stop Ritalin totaly . Well no need to say that his grades trop and he almost failed school . Somebody said something about Adderall to me and the Army hospital did not carry or rescriped it I had to go of post to a Dr. He was right away on Adderall and was a changed child . His grades improfed and is a A and B student now . Now they also have it on post where I get his medication now .Also I need to say that he only take his medication on schooldays , or on Sunay for church . But I also need to say that there are many children they really don't need these kind of medication . Some times Teachers , School , Dr. and parents are to quick to give the medication with out evaluating the kids .
post #20 of 35
Teresa, I hope this is a typo??? I was reading your post and thought OH NO he skinned her cat?!?! I hope you mean your car.

He stole and stripped my cat at 14
post #21 of 35

Surely that was a typo!
post #22 of 35
A school in my area got in trouble as they had a policy that new kids in the junior grades had to be on Ritalin in order to get into class. They were using this as a means to control children. It is a wonderful drug if it is actually necessary, but I don't agree in the wide spread distribution as alot of kids are just active without ADHD
post #23 of 35
As a teacher, I only report to parents behaviors that I see. I always tell them that it is strictly up to a doctor to make a mdical diagnosis of ADD or ADHD. In some kids I have worked with, it has been mild. But there have been others who, without medication, could not have been at all successful in school.
post #24 of 35
There is a new drug on the market called Strattera that is for ADHD. It's not a narcotic and it's not habit forming. It's only been on the market for a couple of months, but I have heard some great reviews about it. So, for those who's kids are needing medications like Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta and many others like those, you might want to check out this new drug.

With the Drug Laws with Ritalin and the others I just mentioned, you are required to have a written prescription each & everytime you need it filled. With Strattera, it's not a narcotic so you do not have to go through the hassle of getting a new Rx from your Doctor.

Just a little FYI for you all...
post #25 of 35
Shell , I do need to make a apointment with my sons Dr. for a refill any way . So then I will talk to him over that new medication and see what he has to say . But I also need to say that I don't have to pay for medication my hubby is ret. military so I will get it free on base . Thank's for the info . Deb25 I hope you know that I was not talking about you .I only said some Teachers . Sorry if I up sad you in any way .
post #26 of 35
ADHD is very real. However, I do believe there is an over prescribing of Ritalin. Instead of scaling down classroom sizes and hiring more teachers and teachers assitants, some schools are demanding many children be put on ritalin that probably don't need to be. I've even seen cases where if the parent refused, the child would not be allowed to attend the school. Outrageous! (Deb, this is not meant to be a reflection on all teachers!)

My son is grown now, but he was on Ritalin. He needed it too! (Like Lorie's son). One of the misconceptions about ritalin though, is that it calms the child or slows them down. It sort of does indirectly. But Ritalin is actually a neuro-stimulant. What it does for an ADHD child is affect the chemicals in the brain in a way that allows them to focus better. They are able to deal better with other stimuli around them and focus on something specific. I take TONS of ritalin (and another prescribed drug called Provigil) for narcolepsy. It's the only way I can stay awake enough to function!
post #27 of 35
This is a very misunderstood problem. My brother was diagnosed with ADHD when he was about 5 years old. He was horrible, he through fits, would beat on everyone, screamed at the top of his lungs, he destroyed everthing he could get his hands on & more. The problem is that when he got to school, no one understood the problem or thought he was just "lazy", or "bad". My parents did not medicate him although the doctors wanted her to, and it was so hard on him and the entire family for many years. Now he is 16, and you wouldn't even know he has ADHD. With help from a psychologist, he learned to control his temper, and to do constructive things to offset the negative behavior that he was compelled to do. He gets b's in school, and plans on having a bright future. I think that if my mother had medicated him, life may have been a little easier on everyone, but I don't think my brother would have learned as much about his disorder & himself, and how to deal with it responsibly and effectively.
post #28 of 35

Don't you worry. As in every profession, there are teachers who are not worth the weight of the paper that their teaching certificates are printed on. I just don't want people to think that we all would behave that way.
post #29 of 35
Yes Deb25 I do understand I have two friends at my church they are teachers and they would not ever just say something like that . Both are working with the children and the parents together .
post #30 of 35
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by Maggpie
Now he is 16, and you wouldn't even know he has ADHD. With help from a psychologist, he learned to control his temper, and to do constructive things to offset the negative behavior that he was compelled to do. He gets b's in school, and plans on having a bright future.
That is so wonderful!!! Congratulations to your brother!!!!!
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