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Old 11-24-2009, 08:39 AM   #11
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Re: "It's not fair that 'Johnny' gets a pill to make him behave"

Sounds to me like he doesn't really have it, but that's he's just bored. I would see if you can get him tested to find where he truly falls academically. If he scores high enough, I would see if there is a chance to let him skip a grade. Maybe his teacher can help find things more challenging for him instead of worksheet after worksheet.

And yes, Dahlea, some people need the medication. I agree with that. But I think that other means should be tried first before going right to medication. I think they are being overused, especially in children.

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Old 11-24-2009, 09:03 AM   #12
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Re: "It's not fair that 'Johnny' gets a pill to make him behave"

But, but, but...as a teacher I will say this.

If your child (or any child) is disrupting the education of others, then they need to be evaluated. Whether it is because they have ADD/ADHD, are bored, or whatnot. I always told my 7th graders that they do NOT have the right to prevent other student's from learning and they would be removed from the classroom for doing so. I may have 30 kids in class and if one of them is acting out, then they are preventing the other 29 from learning.

And make sure your son knows that those "pills" are not fun. My stepson takes meds for ADHD and he cannot gain weight, he cannot sleep at night, he has to go to the Dr. each month to monitor his blood pressure and he has a million other side affects. (He'll be 8 next month and he has been on meds since he was 4) He also cannot live without them. The first hour to hour and a half is a nightmare before his meds kick in. I would never wish ADD/ADHD on anyone.
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:53 AM   #13
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Re: "It's not fair that 'Johnny' gets a pill to make him behave"

my ds is adhd and on meds, he works above his grade lvl in almost all subjects (handwriting is another story) The meds dont help him behave persay, but they do help him focus his attention so he can get his work done!
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:49 AM   #14
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Re: "It's not fair that 'Johnny' gets a pill to make him behave"

I used to be anti meds until I saw the way they helped my cousin. If done right they can change a child's life! He said they "made it fair." (His words) I cried when he told me he couldn't control himself before and now he can show everyone how smart he is inside. It relieved his anxiety too because he wanted to "be good but couldn't" (his words again). I agree it can feel like it is for the teacher not the child until you see the results. The good thing to remember is that the drugs are stimulating. So if I were to take them I would act like a person on speed. If your DS acts like that from the meds you will know it was a wrong diagnosis. If he acts like he can now focus and control his thoughts and actions you will know it was right. Getting the perfect medication and dosage for your child can be a journey too. Good luck! Look in to diet and behavior changes too. And look ahead to next year's teacher. Pick one that does centers and allows movement at appropriate times. If the desks are in rows and all she does is sit down lectures and workbooks she is NOT a match for your guy! I had a lot of ADD students in my class because I had a lot of modified activities for them to succeed. It was a bit of a circus, but many of my ADD kids were VERY intelligent! Didn't exactly show on the bubble in tests or on a workbook page, but man they were smart!
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:05 PM   #15
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Re: "It's not fair that 'Johnny' gets a pill to make him behave"

Good points, jewelzbird. My son has autism with OCD. He has told me many times how much he hates it that he can't control some of the things he does and knows that they are wrong but he can't control it. Sometimes he will hit himself over & over on his head & say "Stop brain, stop!"
I feel so badly for him. I guess if there was a pill he could take to make his brain listen to what he wants it to do, I might be tempted. To give him that peace we all take for granted.
OP...And I totally agree about the glasses & the student in the front row learning to "cope" with a condition. You said it so much better than I could. Sometimes things are necessary.
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:31 PM   #16
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Re: "It's not fair that 'Johnny' gets a pill to make him behave"

Well, as an adult with ADHD, I have to say that meds are NOT the enemy. I lived for 30 years trying to cope and learn how to operate like everyone else and it's been devastating on a self-esteem level. You have no idea what it's like to have 30 different thoughts going through your head at the same time ALL of the time. I think ADHD meds are an incredible blessing and now that I was finally diagnosed at 31 years old, I cannot tell you how much better and easier life is when it comes to focus. Not only that, but without the meds, I get overwhelmed and very frustrated to the point that I just don't know where to start. I think people with ADHD tend to be major procrastinators too, which is not a good thing even though I know myself and surely other people with ADHD perform incredibly well under the pressure of time lines. It's just a horrible way to cope. I'm always 10 minutes late for every thing because the idea of having to wait is impossible for me to accept. And the pressure of trying to beat the clock motivates me and gives me something to hyper focus on. But being late all of the time or not completing things the way you intend just ends up making you feel defeated a lot emotionally. Does that make any sense? I wish I had been diagnosed with ADHD as a child so that I could have been given medication that would have allowed me to learn the proper way to do things instead of flying by the seat of my pants for everything. It's so much harder to learn now and I'm saddened knowing I'm passing on poor organizational skills, poor time management, etc to my kids because I never learned how to achieve those skills the way others take for granted.

By the way, I was a incredible student! Always in Honors, never a GPA under 3.8, but the truth was, I never "got" any of it. I could repeat it, but didn't "learn" it. Perfect example is my college degree. I had a 4.3 GPA when I graduated with my Associates in Paralegal Studies. One of my main professors used to constantly tell me I was too bright to be a paralegal and that I really needed to go on to law school, yada, yada, yada. Well, I can honestly tell you that I have NO memory of the stuff I learned and wouldn't even consider myself capable of being an attorney's receptionist! LOL I did the work, learned what I needed to for the test, memorized that information only and once the test was done, so was any recollection of what I took the test on! LOL So in fact, your son may be performing well on tests, but may not be performing well at all in LEARNING the information that he's taking the tests on. Comprehension is a bear too. I can watch a movie or read a book. Cry, laugh with the characters, emotionally become one with them and as soon as the movie is over or the book is closed, I couldn't tell you what it was about! It's craziness and I'm not sure if all people with ADHD experience the same things, but I for one, know that since getting on ADHD medications, my choices are better and I was on time to the last several doctor appts. That's huge!

My 7.5 yr old was diagnosed at 3.5yrs old with ADHD and Asperger's Syndrome (mild autism) and we waited until he was 5yrs old to medicate. It was then that he actually begged us to help him stop thinking all of the time and his impulse control was non-existent to a dangerous level. I was afraid to use medication with him, but am so glad we did go that route. On his medication, he is able to focus and comprehend and when he's not on the meds, it's IMPOSSIBLE for him. I mean, it's so incredibly obvious to everyone the difference it makes. The meds wear off at about 5pm. If we are doing homework at 4:30pm, he can sit and do his work. At around 5pm, all of a sudden, he's eating his homework paper, scribbling on his paper, deciding that's the time to try to write his math problems in cursive, cries because he can't "get" what he's supposed to be doing, gets overwhelmed and melts completely because he just can't pay attention. It goes from peaceful to an all out screaming fit. And it's funny you mention your son's interpretation of ADHD meds as "behavior medicine" because that's what my own son calls them! LOL His words, not anyone else's.

Yes, the side effects aren't great, but on the right medication, the good FAR outweighs the bad. I sent my son to school one day without giving him his medication (didn't tell the teacher either) to see if it really made much of a difference in his class performance. I had a conference scheduled with her after school anyway, so figured it wouldn't kill her to go a day. Well, the FIRST thing she said when I walked into the classroom for the conference was "Did you change Connor's medication or something?" I laughed, explained, and asked why and she told me that he had tipped over his chair, dumped his group's pencils on the floor and was pretending to swim on the floor during math that day! (The ADHD meds actually seem to help him a lot with his autism too!!) She told me there is no way she could have kept him in her classroom without him being on medication because he was such a disruption to the class that he'd have to be removed even though he is years ahead of the other students academically!

Anyway, just wanted to give you my personal experience with both a child on meds and also being an adult with ADHD. Doctors actually don't take the diagnosis as lightly as many people presume. It's difficult to find a doctor willing to go through the process of diagnosing ADHD and prescribing medication is another thing they often don't want to be responsible for. If you're honest with your child's doctor and he evaluates him thoroughly, I'd feel comfortable with whatever the evaluation comes out showing. You can try to deal with your son in a non-medicated way, but whatever you do, don't let him struggle through it. It's so incredibly difficult to live knowing you are a capable and very intelligent person who truly has the best of intentions but is always being a day late, a dollar short, and the one person who will spend 45 minutes deciding between Elmer's glue or RoseArt brand glue when your picking up supplies for school!!
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:39 PM   #17
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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 nakedbabytoes View Post
Sometimes he will hit himself over & over on his head & say "Stop brain, stop!"
THIS IS EXACTLY what having ADHD is like!! You CAN'T just stop thinking. It's constant and overwhelming and you cannot control WHAT you focus on. It's usually whatever can keep up with your mind. And diverting from what has caught your focus is incredibly difficult and I'd say almost debilitating! Even as an adult, I have temper tantrums that will trump any 2 year old simply over the computer not responding as quickly as I am typing or searching! And if I'm trying to figure something new out, any distraction is overwhelming.
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Old 11-24-2009, 03:15 PM   #18
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Re: "It's not fair that 'Johnny' gets a pill to make him behave"

Thank you thank you thank you ALL so very much for your replies. I so NEED to hear it ALL.
We went to his initial evaluation today to get the testing process started. The Dr (child psychologist and neuropsycologist) was very positive about the entire process and pointed out that whatever the objective testing shows, we will have information to work with to help him regardless. Based on his initial interview with DS, the subjective surveys, and discussion with his parents, the Dr gave us the impression that if he has it, he is coping with it extremely well and would lean towards methods that do not involve medication at this point.

What he "gets in trouble" at school for is NOT disrupting other children, but for not completing his work or for doing random things like throwing his own shoes up in the air (not at another child) during RECESS or for giggling at another child who is being the class clown. (Yes, I realize the last disrupts the class, but without the instigator...)
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Old 11-24-2009, 03:17 PM   #19
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Re: "It's not fair that 'Johnny' gets a pill to make him behave"

My son says that about his OCDs. He doesn't have ADHD issues, but he OCDs drive him bonkers sometimes. Like he doesn't WANT to get up & wash his hands again for the umpteenth time, but he HAS to. His brain just won't let him choose not to. I think if they made a med for that, he'd probably think it was worth it. He's smart like that
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:46 PM   #20
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Re: "It's not fair that 'Johnny' gets a pill to make him behave"

Actually, they do make a med that helps with OCD issues. Zoloft is often prescribed for kids who have OCD issues. My son's neurologist prescribed it for Connor because he has OCD, but I've never pursued it. Some of the things my son is OCD about make him who he is and I'd hate to take that away from him, but he also isn't bothered by them. I'd check with your son's specialist about using Zoloft for the OCD if you aren't opposed to meds. It might make his life so much more enjoyable!! And I think it's good that Zoloft is an anti-depressant too because I know personally that when your OCD issues get frustrating to yourself and you feel out of control regarding your choices, you are very likely to become depressed because of them. My son just isn't bothered by the OCD at this point. His is more about needing to be perfect about lining things up or being OCD about explaining something over and over again to people who could care less about what he's talking about. He's more annoying than anything, which he doesn't know, so I'm not sure he'll ever need meds for it unless it becomes obvious that his issues are causing major social issues for him.
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