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Need Input --- 8 year old Son has ADD


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So the results came in from my 8 year olds ADD test.

 

The psychologist says that he has it.

 

He showed me on a graph type chart where out of 13 points taken from the computer based test, only 2 fell in the normal range. All other points fit an ADHD profile.

 

He is certain that not only do I have ADD (at the age of 28 ) but my 8 year old does too. He gave me a reading list of books to get, and even some websites for information where he says these are trusted sources to get accurate info.

 

This sucks. I didnt want to hear that although I have suspected since my son was about 3 years old that he was more hyper than your adverage child.

 

I dont want to put him on medication, of course thats what the doc recommends.. He is all prepared to send the pediatric doc the results of his exam so that he can go on meds if I want. Followed by retesting after a month or so of taking the pills to see if it helped.

 

I just dont know about this. Who am I to change the boy that god created? Going to get deep here....

 

What if the person he is , is who he is meant to be? What if he is meant to do great things? What if by forcing medication on my kid I am changing the path he will one day take? What right do I have to do that?

 

Am I not to guide this child and do the best that I possibly can to assure that he is taught values and morals as I see it.. To help him find his own path in life? I think if I can just wait until he is a little older... 13,14,15 and then ask my son what he wants to do? When he is a little more mature and is able to understand what the medication could possibly do for him and the side effects he would face?? To leave that choice for him to make and not me?

 

 

UGH I just dont know what to do, this is the toughest thing by far since I have become a mother.

 

Right now, I guess Im looking for input. What about different discipline tactics? Structure? Diet? Theres got to be another way!

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Hi, southerngirl...if I was in your position, I'd be having many of the same thoughts. So, I just did some research on the Internet and here are links to sites that advise a holistic approach to treating ADD:

 

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As one of the writers in the above links states, "ADD is not a Ritalin deficiency." Medication should be a last resort here, and it's too bad it's the first suggested by your doctor.

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I can go off experience with this. My younger brother was diagnosed with ADD when he was 5 or 6. When he was a baby it took hours to get him to sleep. We would all end up asleep before him. It got worse when he started school. The teachers were constantly needing to get him on task.

 

When he was home he was always getting into things. Constantly making noises, and basically would not sit still. My mother like yourself was against any sort of medication. She had numerous meetings with the teachers, his peditrician, and the person who diagnosed the ADD.

 

After much consideration my mother started my brother on Ritalin. I tell you it was like night and day. After a week or two he was calm. He was able to concentrate at school and not get so easily off task. At home he was able to sit still and do things as he was told. Thet had him in a special ed class to learn how to concetrate and different excersises to focus.

 

He graduated from highschool with good grades, many friends, and an overall great young man. He still has problems with reading but he did grow out of the severe ADD. With the help of learning new ways to focus he stopped taking the medication when he was I think 9 or 10.

 

I say don't feel bad about this. It is something that you had no bearing on whether he would have this or not. Weigh out all the options and think of what is best for your son. It is worth a try even if it only for a trial period.

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I think medication could help, and DOES help some people. Worst case scenario: try it for a while; if he acts out of it or something like that, you know that you tried and it didn't work..

 

I have seen medication for ADD really help some people. As for "changing what God created"... you do that every time you give him a shot, or give him tylenol for his colds, or things like that. The real issue is that there are valid concerns over medicating him.. but if you have no other options, at least try it and see how your son responds. If he's able to concentrate better and is happier overall (people may respond to him better if he's less hyper and more agreeable) then the benefits may outweigh any concerns you have.

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Well, I've heard that Ritalin can practically turn kids into zombies. Yeah, it calms them down, but it also sucks all the personality out of them at the same time.

 

WorkinProgress, did it do that to your brother?

 

No my brother did NOT turn into a zombie. LOL He still acted up at times. As for his personality he was still a very kind and engaging little boy. The medication just helped to rework his chemistry. Yes, I agree ritalin can have the "zombie" affect on some children. But like I have said and n83 consider trying the meds, if it doesnt work or your child seems dispondent stop and try another avenue.

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Thats what Im afraid of! This could suck the child right out of him. He is so full of life. Sure he has lots of energy but then, he allways has! I had to take him out of his crib at 12 months old because he was climbing out of it. From there he was in a twin sized mattress on the floor because he moved around so much at night I didnt want him falling out of the toddler bed.

 

He's been climbing trees since he was about 2 years old. Literally. He talks big about wanting to fly planes and jump parachutes, hanggliding... How he wants to do tricks on his bike. He does the most amazing stunts on that bike.. Scares me but I try not to hold him back, I could even show you pictures of the things he does. Thing is from what im reading online, those with ADD are drawn to adrenaline charging type behavior just like this.

 

Id hate to find he was no longer interested in those things, its who he has allways been.

 

Im scared it would zap the life right out of him and I would feel guilty forever.

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If it was me, I'd try a natural, holistic approach first. The meds would be my last resort. Has anyone noticed the correlation between rising numbers of ADD diagnosises (sp?) and the amount of junk and processed food laden with sugar flooding the market?

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Oh yeah me and my aunt were discussing this. She told me to throw out anything processed, with dyes, or preservatives.. To get out a cookbook and make only homemade foods for a month. She swears that he would be a different kid.

 

Think about it, every food we buy in the store basically has some kind of crap thrown in it. Ive been looking at those links, very interesting reading thank you.

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I think that there are children who are wrongly medicated. However, if tested properly, and by a credible professional in that field I cant think they just want to push drugs down our throats. There are the unscrupulous ones out in the world.

 

My brother played like he always did, sassed like he sassed before, and enjoyed the things he enjoyed before meds. It just helped him settle down and focus and not be so impulsive.

 

I do see that the rise in junk food high in sugar and preservatives. There could be a correlation. Former president Clinton just struck a deal with the food corporations that peddle their goods in schools. They need to find healthier snacks to distribute that are lower in sugar and fats. Its slow coming but its changing in that arena.

 

I can't help but think if someone were a diabetic would you not want them to be on meds for that? Or how about epilepsy? Would you restrict meds because of that? Epilepsy is also a brain function and meds help keep that regulated what is the difference if its just regulating impulsivness and hyper activity?

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2 out of 3 of brothers were dignosed ADD.

My mom attempted the pills, but didn't feel right about it. She discontinued them. She did prayer instead. Trusted God more than doctors.

My brothers are now 23 & 27 now, they live very happy, very successful & happy lives now.

Can't say this is the direction for everyone, but it was for my brothers.

 

totally agree with scout. defineitly try a natural approach first. (: Best wishes for you & your son...You sounds like a wonderful mother.

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I can tell you from experience with my eight year old son that stimulants work differently for every child. Stimulants like Concerta and Adderall make my son psycotic. I mean he was anxious, paranoid, just the littlest thing would upset him and he would talk about dying. It was the most horrible thing that I have very been through. Then I looked on the internet and found that some antidepressants work very well with ADHD kids. They put my son on Wellbutrin, and I can tell you that it has been a god send. My son was hyper, but more so he needed it to concentrate or sit still in class. He has been on this medication for probably about 8 months or so, andso far so good. It's the trial and error process that really wears you down.

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I can't help but think if someone were a diabetic would you not want them to be on meds for that? Or how about epilepsy?

 

Personally, I think those are two diseases that are pretty well-researched and understood. I'm not even sure if ADD is a "disease" or a real "disorder" - it's a fairly new diagnosis. There's debate if it's an emotional or physical condition, or both. Less is understood about it. Plus, the symptoms of diabetes and epilepsy are life-threatening, in which case, it seems medication has been proven to treat it and prevent those symptoms.

 

With ADD, it seems there is leeway to at least try a more natural approach first, since you're not dealing with seizures and other serious physical implications.

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Good poiint Scout. I was diagnosed with it too. I however was an adult. I took adderall for awhile and it seemed to focus me. But like many I hate taking meds. I do have some medications that I have to take and will probably take them for the rest of my life.

 

I talked with my mother about how I was and she said I was a day dreamer. That is a common trait for girls. Anyways I still have trouble with focusing or keeping on track with one thing. "Driven to Distraction" is a great book on dealing with ADD.

 

I also believe that diet can have major implications on the way the body reacts. I probably should change up mine a bit for focus.

 

As for your son Southern Girl, you need to do what is in the best interest of your son. Do your research and then go to his pediatrician and confer with them about choices that you have available.

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Speaking from experience; I was diagnosed with ADD numerous times, and have took medication to try to "fix' my "problem" all I have found out is medicine made me feel like a zombie. It was really hard to have fun while medicated for ADD. So I refused to take it once I realized it was the medication doing this to me. My mom tried to make me take it but eventually realized forcing it on me got us no where. Personally I think ADD in most cases is just to sell lots of drugs. I hated school I couldn't concentrate at all, but I'm doing good now without the medication. I'm 21 years old have my own web hosting company and am working to buy my first rental property. In my opinion your son is going to make his own path no matter what you do. Just feel things out if you do decide to medicate him please remember not to assume because his grades improve everything is ok. The suicide rate almost triples for teens on medication. Sacrificing emotions for grades will get him no where. I don't mean to scare you I just feel this can be dangerouse.

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Wow, here's an even more interesting article about a holistic approach to treating ADD. The theme among these articles I'm starting to see is there isn't just one approach you have to take, there are several areas you need to concentrate on. A good read: link removed

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I didnt read this entire thread but I will say that you are correct in thinking meds are not your first answer. Ritalin permanently shrinks the brain and causes irreversible changes. Avoid anything that contains the color red ingredient in the food he eats...look this up...bad stuff and will cause behavior problems in a lot of ppl and chrildren without them knowing it.

 

I think you are spot on with helping him with diet and good parental skills. Read up and attend classes on how to help him. Go to the Post Institute web site, contact Juli on this....awesome, nationally recognized expert. she will help you with your questions. She has books and CD's you can get that will help you raise your son w/o meds and these techniques will work.

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This all started a few months ago when I went to this doctor.

 

I have grief issues that I need to deal with and also, I was raped at the age of 14... There are other things too so I wanted help in dealing with this. I have never been to any kind of psychologist before. So he gave me a test and then said I have it... He also says that this will fix me. So lets say I start taking medication, and what about the other issues? It wont make it go away.. Im wondering if this guy just is diagnosis happy.

 

The other thought is okay... lets say I really have been undiagnosed all these years. Its not killed me yet. I have made it this long in my life with no medications of any kind like that.

 

I can tell you from experience with my eight year old son that stimulants work differently for every child. Stimulants like Concerta and Adderall make my son psycotic. I mean he was anxious, paranoid, just the littlest thing would upset him and he would talk about dying. It was the most horrible thing that I have very been through. Then I looked on the internet and found that some antidepressants work very well with ADHD kids. They put my son on Wellbutrin, and I can tell you that it has been a god send. My son was hyper, but more so he needed it to concentrate or sit still in class. He has been on this medication for probably about 8 months or so, andso far so good. It's the trial and error process that really wears you down.[/Quote]

 

Goodness, what alot to go through! See, I have heard this isnt uncommon. The doc gives the prescription for the ADD, then another prescription to counteract the first side effects.... Before you know it my kid could be on all sorts of pills...

 

The other thing is this, the school has not said anything about meds. They havent said that my kid has problems. This is all coming from this doctor. HE says that my son has inherited this from me genetically and in turn I probally inherited it from others before me. This just sucks.

 

So if I did try meds, wouldnt the school need to be aware of it? Then, if they were made aware of it, wouldnt they then be able to force me to medicate from then on?

 

This is my thread from about 3 weeks ago. 9-19 about how the doc says I too have ADD.

 

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I have ADD, and went on meds as a child for a couple of years. Even today, I simply can NOT study and have a very hard time reading books that aren't either extremely interesting or broken up into very tiny paragraphs. The fact that I went off medication in college is, I'm sure, a leading factor in why I dropped out.

 

People like to laugh about ADD, talking about how shiny things distract them and stuff, but it's a truly frustrating disorder.

 

ADD is not a made up thing, any more than depression or bipolarity are. It's a serious problem. People who don't have it can't possibly understand. It's not just simple difficulty concentrating - it's absolute impossibility. When my husband and I bought a house, our realtor handed me half the contract and handed my husband the other half to read, and while I was interested in reading about what we were getting ourselves into, I literally couldn't read the contract. The words would jumble together and I'd have to read the same sentence 3 times. After a few paragraphs, I gave up, said "I can't read this," put the paper down, and walked out of the room. My realtor thought I was illiterate.

 

I'm not on medication now because ADD doesn't affect my life on a daily basis, but for a child in school, I know it would. Southerngirl, I think you've done a great thing by going to a licensed professional to have him diagnosed instead of just throwing him on medication without a thought. You can try to change his diet to help him, but if it just doesn't work, don't feel bad about putting him on medication. It doesn't exist to harm him, it exists to help him. If the first medication doesn't work, try him on another. I had to try 3 different ones before I found the right combination of medication and dosage for myself. One of them did make me zombie-ish, but it might not do the same for your son. There are so many treatments for ADD out there that I know you'll find the right one for your son.

 

Good luck!

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Southern Girl - well you had ADD as a child, you didn't take meds, and you seem to be an intelligent woman. Would you have wanted your mother to give you medications to make you more the way you "should" be (less dreamy).

 

I do know that ADD exists and I believe that medication can help. BUT I also think it is heavily over diagnosed due to several factors.

 

The pharmacy company's ... they sell more drugs they get more $

Parents ... their kid is driving them batty, give them drugs to calm them

Doctors ... parents come in, please make my child better, he's off the wall

Media ... which has sensationalized ADD & ADHD

Food ... there is sugar in almost everything now, I truly think that High Fructose Corn Syrup is at the base of the ADD/ADHD issue as well as the Obesity issue in America

 

Every person is different, some people NEED anti-deppresants to operate in a positive manner. On the other hand their are people like my best friend who is, quite frankly, in a really * * * *ty place in life right now and is depressed. Her parents are pushing her to get on anti-depressants, but she is like NO! those meds change your outlook and make everything seem better, which is what you need if you are chemically imbalanced, but her problem isn't her outlook, it's what she is looking at, she needs to change that, not her outlook.

 

I think you should try some of the alternative therapies, like changing diet, setting up routines, and so on, I think by paying close attention over the next month or two to him, making some environmental changes, and researching the subject you will be able to make the best decision for your son.

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Oh I can relate to how you are feeling southerngirl. I have two children who are diagnosed ADHD ( attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) one was also found to be bi-polar and the other has depression and anger issues. I also have a son with slight Autism. My house is alot of fun

 

Before my children were diagnosed I already knew there was a problem. They were basically jumping off the walls. It wasn't until they went to school that their attention or lack of became a real problem. I too wondered about medication but looking seriously into the pros and cons before deciding and opted to give them meds. ( there was no school work getting done without them) For us it made all the difference. Once they were on something that worked we were able to sit down to a nice family dinner. It was impossible up to that point. The difference was so noticeable I had to call the doctor and let him know.

 

My kids are nowhere near zombie mode. They are very creative, outspoken and still highly active--just not the point of stressing themselves out. This year I have one who is the "star" of the theater class. I'm so proud

 

I applaud you for not simply giving into what the doctor says, so many parents to. You have a right to refuse to medicate them...and you should look into all options before making a decision.

 

 

Don't blame yourself if you need to change your mind at some point....

 

You need to be very involved in their care because YOU are the one that is with them most of the time and you know your child...

 

Hang in there

 

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My guess is any kid in zombie mode is either taking the wrong medicine, wrong dose or both. She may not even need meds that bad. Parents should keep a watchful eye for side effects and a close relationship with the doctors. Bring up any and all concerns.

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