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Old 11-23-2009, 04:17 PM   #1
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"It's not fair that 'Johnny' gets a pill to make him behave"

This is pretty much what my 7.5 yo DS said when he walked in the door today.
Whatever happened to personal responsibility? Seriously?
It doesn't help that we are taking him tomorrow to get him evaluated for ADD since his teacher says he can't stay focused on her boring assignments. Yet the survey she filled out showed that he is working above to very above average in all subject levels.

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Old 11-23-2009, 04:42 PM   #2
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Re: "It's not fair that 'Johnny' gets a pill to make him behave"

That is quite normal for kids withh ADD/ADHD to work at or above grade level. They absorb a lot more than people tend to think. But when dealing with public school you have to follow their rules, which, of course, means doing homework whether it's boring or not. Your son will get over it, I'm sure. My kids would be interested in the why it isn't a good idea to do a certain medication. Maybe do some research on the side effects of the different drugs and share it with him.
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:54 PM   #3
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Re: "It's not fair that 'Johnny' gets a pill to make him behave"

We already went over the side effects business. We also discussed that research shows that it is the combination of medication and behavioral therapy that proves to show the best results. We discussed how it is important that kids have tools (other than medication) so that they can help their brains do the best they can do. Just like learning to use their bodies, they also have to learn how to use their brains in their own unique way that they are designed. People who are short learn to manuever large objects differently than people who are tall. They still do it, they just do it differently, etc.
He even understands the placebo effect.
I am still wondering exactly who we are helping here: DS or the teacher.
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:12 PM   #4
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Re: "It's not fair that 'Johnny' gets a pill to make him behave"

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Originally Posted by mcpforever View Post
I am still wondering exactly who we are helping here: DS or the teacher.
This is so true!
I am not discounting the med effect on kids that would otherwise have troubles paying attn in school or not concentrating to finish assignments or disrupt class, but where does that cross the line into "obedience"? Are we medicating to make our kids behave better in a certain environment for the benefit of our kids or the teachers?
I think we really have to look at this deeper. If your son has been okay thus far and tests well and gets good grades, is medication necessary? Maybe he just doesn't mesh well with the teacher, which comes off wrong. Should we medicate the teacher? No. So the student must be the problem.
I'm not saying teachers have it easy. I volunteer weekly and see the magic they work. My son has Autism and I know what a struggle some days can be for both him & his teacher. But he has always been this way and we work with what he has. I would think deeply though about medication. Who benefits? Is it needed? Are there alternatives?
But with your child, I'd also take into account if this has always been the case with him, a history if you will. From your post, it seems maybe not.
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:41 PM   #5
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Re: "It's not fair that 'Johnny' gets a pill to make him behave"

ditto the pp. it is scary how quick some parents are to start their kids on medications when they haven't researched all the alternatives and other options. not trying to imply that that is the case with the op.
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:46 PM   #6
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Re: "It's not fair that 'Johnny' gets a pill to make him behave"

I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here. ADHD meds are not to make children "behave". ADHD meds help children with that disorder act at the same level as their otherwise "normal" classmates. As an adult with ADHD, it's very frustrating to hear people saying derogatory things and acting as if it's all fake (I admit, teachers are suggesting ADHD meds and drs. are prescribing them for many children who don't need them) For people who need these meds, it's not to make us behave, or be smarter or anything-it's to get us to the functioning level of normal-brained people. I only wish that I had had these when I was younger-they make such a difference for me now, I wonder what my life would have been like if I would have been able to take advantage of them earlier.
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:01 PM   #7
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Re: "It's not fair that 'Johnny' gets a pill to make him behave"

Some teachers are crazy having been one myself (special ed) some general ed teachers want all students to fit into a box no matter what so I understand the whole is the child the problem or is the teacher to fixed is her ways to adapt to your sons needs
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:11 PM   #8
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Re: "It's not fair that 'Johnny' gets a pill to make him behave"

Dahlea, no offense was intended.
If a child or adult needs meds, then by all means, use them! OP stated her concern over who the meds would really be helping. By her assessment & the teachers own survey, it seems as if her son is coping well without them.
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:40 PM   #9
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Re: "It's not fair that 'Johnny' gets a pill to make him behave"

I would wonder if your DC is bored. I was bored out of my skull in school and as a result would not concentrate because I KNEW it already. Based off my experiences I would say if your DC is above grade level and is having challenges concentrating on the teacher you should look into seeing if he is eligible for advanced placement. I basically stagnated in school and until I hit College I HATED school and was always in trouble because I was bored, nothing was a challenge, I never had to work hard but still passed all my classes. In college I was able to advance based on my own knowledge and was not held to the level of my same age peers. Knowing what I went though I would always recommend making sure that the school work fit the child's level.
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:31 PM   #10
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Re: "It's not fair that 'Johnny' gets a pill to make him behave"

Quote:
Originally Posted by nakedbabytoes View Post
This is so true!
I am not discounting the med effect on kids that would otherwise have troubles paying attn in school or not concentrating to finish assignments or disrupt class, but where does that cross the line into "obedience"? Are we medicating to make our kids behave better in a certain environment for the benefit of our kids or the teachers?
I think we really have to look at this deeper. If your son has been okay thus far and tests well and gets good grades, is medication necessary? Maybe he just doesn't mesh well with the teacher, which comes off wrong. Should we medicate the teacher? No. So the student must be the problem.
I'm not saying teachers have it easy. I volunteer weekly and see the magic they work. My son has Autism and I know what a struggle some days can be for both him & his teacher. But he has always been this way and we work with what he has. I would think deeply though about medication. Who benefits? Is it needed? Are there alternatives?
But with your child, I'd also take into account if this has always been the case with him, a history if you will. From your post, it seems maybe not.
It's so hard to tell! He was the only boy in a class of all girl preschoolers and we were told he was "rough." Then he had a teacher who was there 1 day out of every 3 she should have been there. Then he had a glorious year with a veteran teacher who rose to any challenge he presented her behavior wise (he can challenge). His kindergarten year was bliss. His first grade teacher never ever mentioned him having attention issues. She did note that he played a good bit instead of working. His second grade teacher describes him as a day dreamer and easily distracted.
His second grade (present) teacher tells me she had a son much like mine that was diagnosed with ADD and put on meds. I guess I am having trouble figuring out the point of it if he is hitting his marks academically and she is just getting tired of redirecting him or finding something more interesting than writing the morning message in his handybook.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahlea View Post
I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here. ADHD meds are not to make children "behave". ADHD meds help children with that disorder act at the same level as their otherwise "normal" classmates. As an adult with ADHD, it's very frustrating to hear people saying derogatory things and acting as if it's all fake (I admit, teachers are suggesting ADHD meds and drs. are prescribing them for many children who don't need them) For people who need these meds, it's not to make us behave, or be smarter or anything-it's to get us to the functioning level of normal-brained people. I only wish that I had had these when I was younger-they make such a difference for me now, I wonder what my life would have been like if I would have been able to take advantage of them earlier.
This is my frustration with the attitude and impression my son came home with today! This is why I question the use of meds/pushing to get a "diagnosis" if someone is on par academically but is just a little challenging for the teacher to handle. If it makes a difference in a child struggling academically or socially, then it seems like a good thing. If it's just to get an intelligent wiggle worm to do his busy work, who is it benefiting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nakedbabytoes View Post
Dahlea, no offense was intended.
If a child or adult needs meds, then by all means, use them! OP stated her concern over who the meds would really be helping. By her assessment & the teachers own survey, it seems as if her son is coping well without them.
Exactly. We started him on a behavior chart/contract and he did poorly the first week and then figured out exactly what he needed to do to get the good feedback (beat the timer, stay on task, ignore the class clown) and thus the rewards.
But at the same time, a kid who has less than 20/20 vision but sits at the front of the room to see the board still "needs" glasses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasha299 View Post
I would wonder if your DC is bored. I was bored out of my skull in school and as a result would not concentrate because I KNEW it already. Based off my experiences I would say if your DC is above grade level and is having challenges concentrating on the teacher you should look into seeing if he is eligible for advanced placement. I basically stagnated in school and until I hit College I HATED school and was always in trouble because I was bored, nothing was a challenge, I never had to work hard but still passed all my classes. In college I was able to advance based on my own knowledge and was not held to the level of my same age peers. Knowing what I went though I would always recommend making sure that the school work fit the child's level.
I know that he has the most difficulty with worksheet and predictable, repetative work. He daydreams instead of writing the morning message. Recently he has begun answering fill in the blank questions by circling phrases in the reading passage (on the same page) and then drawing arrows to connect the questions to the phrases that answer the question. That way he doesn't have to actually write anything, but he has shown that he comprehends.

I worked as a music teacher for 6 years in an elementary school. I have respect for teachers, but I think I might expect more of them since I have had to deal with ALL the kids at school with all their different abilities. I have had kids magically change and found out they had started meds. I have had teachers whisper to me that little Johnny started meds and couldn't tell a lick of difference. I had one child who had been diagnosed with ADHD and his parents chose not to medicate him and I respected that choice and made sure to help him direct his energy and maintain focus. He seemed very angry and frustrated and his peers disliked him. Strangely the ones who had big turn arounds were always well liked and incredibly happy even before the meds.
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