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Author Topic: Ritalin
YaYawoman

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Icon 1 posted November 07, 2005 19:45      Profile for YaYawoman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hello everyone. Today was Parent/teacher conference and report card night. The teacher was most concerned about his paying attention. I told her he had the attention span of a gnat, but he can be redirected and refocused. Then I made a joke about the paint-chip flakes I fed him as ababy, and that went over really well. (ha) She started heading down the ADD/ADHD road, and I interrupted her and said I felt he was too young to be thinking of medication. He is only 5, 37 lbs, was premature, has had 2 surgeries, and has a chest defect requires monitering every year by a specialist for when he will need surgery for that too. I will talk to his doctors for all the technical info I will need to make my choice, but my question for anyone who cares to answer is more personal.

Were any of you placed on medication for ADD/ADHD?
If so, how did it make you feel? Did it help? Did it hurt? Did it change you into a nice compliant student/drone? I can and will talk and read up on the subject, but I guess I'm looking for more of a subjective, anecdotal straight from the horses mouth opinion.

Honestly it makes my skin crawl medicating children so early and so young. Oh well, better teaching through chemistry. Timothy Leary would be teary. Thank you.

Posts: 766 | From: virginia | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted November 07, 2005 20:04      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
One thing you have in your favor, Yaya, is the fact that boys tend to learn better when they're moving. So if your son is just out of his seat a lot, he may be absorbing more than his teacher realizes. [Big Grin]

My youngest sister was put on Ritalin when she was in elementary school (I forget which grade) and it helped A LOT! As with all meds, there is a period of adjustment where the doctors work with the child to find the right dosage and then for that dosage to take effect, but once that's over, you'll notice a remarkable improvement in your child's ability to stay on task, pay attention to direction, and eventually grades. My sister says that before Ritalin, it was really hard for her to concentrate, but once she started the meds, it got much better. After a few years she weaned herself from the meds, to the point that she only took it the day before/of a test or a big event. She's a freshman in college and hasn't taken Ritalin for at least two years, maybe more.

While on the meds, she trained herself to concentrate, so when your son takes them, help him with that. It'll definitely get him off the meds faster. Ritalin won't cure him of his ADD/ADHD, but it will provide relief for him and provide him with time to learn how to concentrate when he's not on the meds.

Oh! Another to look into before prescribing meds is your son's vision. Some kids whose parents/teachers think they have ADD actually have undiagnosed poor vision. And as far as the premie thing... talk with your pediatrician about what your teacher has recommended. Your doc should give you a questionnaire to fill out concerning your son's symptoms. That'll help him/her determine if your son really does have ADD/ADHD and help create the best treatment plan for your son.

ADD= Attention Deficit Disorder
ADHD= Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (Which is, IMHO, much worse to cope with, 'cause you have a kid who can't keep still and who can't concentrate. Two years ago, I babysat a boy who had ADHD. Wow. After the first day I learned to plan in small sections and if doing projects, break them into very small tasks to be completed at odd intervals throughout the day.)

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Posts: 3851 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
alfrin
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Icon 1 posted November 07, 2005 20:21      Profile for alfrin     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Rhon, I swear you need to be a child therapist or teacher OR SOMETHING.

Amazing advice
/me claps

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Posts: 813 | From: Nevada, USA | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted November 07, 2005 20:51      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If I were ten years younger I probably would have ended up on Ritalin. Not only was I very spacy/easily distracted but I also had a vision problem that went on for at least two or three years before it was caught. Growing up, martial arts, and a goal-oriented personality leveled me out. I'm still spacy and easily distracted, but I get my shit done and I've got my life together and that's all the really matters in the end. I don't doubt that there are kids out there who need the drug, but I think it's a bit over-perscribed. There's ways to cope without taking pills and I definitely agree that you should talk to your doctor.

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YaYawoman

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Icon 1 posted November 07, 2005 20:55      Profile for YaYawoman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey guys - thanks for responding. if anyone else leaves a post i will definitely read it but itll be a while i just ogt the news my dad is dying and i have to leave for a while. thanks again.
Posts: 766 | From: virginia | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted November 07, 2005 21:05      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh no! I'm so sorry to hear about your dad, Yaya! My prayers are with you and your family, for sure.

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Posts: 3851 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
csk

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Icon 1 posted November 07, 2005 21:25      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by YaYawoman:
Hey guys - thanks for responding. if anyone else leaves a post i will definitely read it but itll be a while i just ogt the news my dad is dying and i have to leave for a while. thanks again.

That's awful, YaYa, my thoughts are with you and your whole family.

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6 weeks to go!

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted November 07, 2005 21:44      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
<meh>
So sorry to hear that, YaYa - my regards to you and your family. I hope your father can stay in as good health as is possible.

</meh>

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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ChildeRoland
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Icon 1 posted November 08, 2005 04:01      Profile for ChildeRoland     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I hope things turn out better for you, YaYa. Try to hang in there.

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted November 08, 2005 06:55      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:

ADD= Attention Deficit Disorder
ADHD= Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (Which is, IMHO, much worse to cope with, 'cause you have a kid who can't keep still and who can't concentrate. Two years ago, I babysat a boy who had ADHD. Wow. After the first day I learned to plan in small sections and if doing projects, break them into very small tasks to be completed at odd intervals throughout the day.)

There is no actual difference between ADD and ADHD. They are the same thing, just two different names for it.

AD(H)D comes in three forms.

Inattentive type.
Hyperactive type.
Combined type.

As for me, I am a diagnosed obsessive-compulsive. While it's not ADHD, it (could) be corrected with the same medications -- I've never taken one in my life. When things get particularly stressful, my compulsions get worse, but it's still very manageable, and doesn't cause me to do anything like Jack Nicholson in that crappy movie with Helen Hunt.

I strongly believe CBT is all you need at MOST, I refuse to ever let a medication alter who I am. People are too quick to throw pills at problems in today's day and age.

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DoctorWho

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Icon 1 posted November 08, 2005 11:46      Profile for DoctorWho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My son was correctly diagnosed with ADHD & Bipolar disorder at age 9. You need to be very careful concerning your doctor. Listen to what the doctor says, but do your own research too; you know your child better than the doctor does. My son's doctor says "many children do not need medication, and many of those that do are misdiagnosed and are getting medication that treats the wrong thing."

Bipolar can look alot like ADHD because the symptoms overlap quite a bit. My son is on Strattera for the ADHD, and Risperdal for the Bipolar. I do not find it has changed his personality. He is just more focused, and better able to deal with things when life throws him a curve ball.

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The White Tree
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Icon 1 posted November 08, 2005 13:08      Profile for The White Tree     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't like how people are put on meds as soon as something is suspected. Yes, some kids need the meds, but other times its just because they are kids...
Posts: 201 | From: York, PA, residing/school at NNPTC at NWS Charleston, SC. | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Serenak

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Icon 1 posted November 08, 2005 16:39      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sorry to hear your sad news...

But also look into Irlen Syndrome... it can cause ADHD type inattention or perversly when bad it can cause autistic spectrum disorder type symptoms.

It may not be the cause but if your son is affected by it coloured lenses will dramatically alter the way he can concentrate

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Posts: 1938 | From: Suffolk England | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
fs

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Icon 1 posted November 08, 2005 17:57      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey Yaya. Sorry to hear about your Dad. We will miss you while you are gone and our thoughts are with you. (Personally, I think you're contributions are interesting, relevant, and well thought out. I hope you manage to come back.)

For your son, remember that the teacher, while she may have had experience dealing with ADD kids, isn't qualified to make that diagnosis. In your son's case, especially. From your description, he has had a lot going on medically in his short life. Kids act out in different ways that don't always make sense to adults. (My nephew is a good example, his new school thought he was ADD, but they had no idea what was going on in his home life - his behavior changed dramatically when he moved from living with his mother to living with his father.) It sounds like you have a doctor that you can trust, which is good. You might want to try a child psychologist too, before making any final decisions about medication.

I've had friends that were ADD and loved their medication, friends that were ADD and hated it, friends that were misdiagnosed and put on meds... It depends on what is right for you and your family. This is one of those issues where there can be bullying and pressure, usually from the cschool, but sometimes doctors, friends, family members, etc. You sound like you are going about getting all the information you need to make an informed choice, don't let anyone push you around.

Another thing to look at is diet and environment. As weird as it sounds, some kids have food sensitivities that make them behave poorly. IIRC, it was a red food dye about 20-25 years ago that a lot of kids had a reaction to and was finally taken off the market. There have been schools experimenting with different types of foods in lunches, more whole grains and vegetables, less fatty, sugary and fried foods, and finding that it makes a huge difference in behavior and attention span.

It's also normal for little kids to pay attention differently than adults. If he can pay attention to things that he is interested in for a reasonable period of time, he could also be just plain bored. Besides getting his eyes tested, you might want to see if you can get some kind of IQ test done.

Good luck. [Wink]

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Posts: 1973 | From: The Cat Ship | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted November 08, 2005 18:02      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Just quickly...

check out what the DSM-IV says before you go see a doctor. That way you'll know better what to consider. Specifically: http://www.behavenet.com/capsules/disorders/adhd.htm

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Change the way you SEE, not the way you LOOK!

Posts: 3851 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Grummash

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Icon 1 posted November 09, 2005 14:11      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hi YaYaWoman - sorry to hear the news about your father. I hope you both get everything you need to help you at this difficult time. I look forward to when you can post again.

On the Ritalin question - my only experience of Ritalin is my sister's little boy. He was diagnosed ADD and prescribed Ritalin at the age of six. He is still a handful, as small boys usually are, but he, my sister, and the rest of the family now have a normal life. I know some people can't deal with Ritalin, but some others can't do without it. I think you were right to stop the teacher "diagnosing", but I would get a proper medical opinion before you dismiss the idea completely.
Sending you positive vibes from the UK [Smile]

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...and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes...

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magefile
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Icon 1 posted November 09, 2005 16:28      Profile for magefile     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Rhonnie is right that vision problems are often misdiagnosed as ADD. So are hearing problems (I had one teacher that tried to diagnose me as ADD, despite the fact that she knew I wore hearing aids) - it doesn't have to be huge or even all that noticeable to make a big difference.

Good luck!

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted November 09, 2005 18:56      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Following up on my comment about vision...

Check out Dr. Seiderman. He's a nationally known specialist in treating attention disorders that are directly (or indirectly) caused by vision problems. (Vision is more involved than just 20/20.) My father was diagnosed with ADD a few years ago and started going to Dr. Seiderman. His symptoms are better (or so I've heard; I rarely see my father) and the kids he and his new wife adopted have been working with Dr. Seiderman with some success. There's an e-mail address on that page above, so go ahead and send him an e-mail when you have questions. [Smile]

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Change the way you SEE, not the way you LOOK!

Posts: 3851 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
YaYawoman

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Icon 1 posted November 10, 2005 16:55      Profile for YaYawoman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hello everyone. My father did die on wed. at 1:24 am. ( why are births and deaths so common early in the morning) I wanted to say thank you very very much for your posts, and your care and concern. They helped me more than you will ever know while I was sitting at his bed listening to his rattling breaths.

I also appreciate your ideas and opinions about the add/ritalin issue. I will use every piece of info you have offered in my decision making. I'll let you know what happens. bye for now

Posts: 766 | From: virginia | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted November 10, 2005 16:58      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I am sorry for your loss.

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Let's pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere. - C. S. Lewis

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garlicguy

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Icon 1 posted November 10, 2005 17:23      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My condolences and prayers regarding the passing of your father.

As for the Ritalin, we worked with many, many kids with ADD and ADHD. When we began that work, we were of the (not entirely well informed opinion) that those drugs were unnecessary. After many years of exposure and experience, let me put it like this:

Without it, some kids would not have the opportunity to learn. If they need it, see that they get it and that it is monitored by a caring and competitent physician.

If they don't don't need it, (meaning they're just a bit hyperactive or strong-willed), avoid any teacher or school who is merely using the drug therapy recommendation as an excuse to sedate children while they take it easy. These are rare, but they do exist.

gg

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I don't know what I was thinking... it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Posts: 3753 | From: Pluto, no matter what you call it, is still my home. | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged


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