So many people say that this society we are so quick to give medications!! Well I think that had changed now after hearing all the horror stories about giving children medications when we were kids parents today are faster to reject them than to give them. Ritalin and other drugs like that used to require other drugs to combat their side effects, and before you know it kids were being drugged for one side effect after another. Those poor kids have lived through hell because they said once you put these kids on those medications; you could not stop them! Well that is NOT the case these days. Here, is my personal story with medications and children.
I am the mother for 4 children. I adopted my stepson at age 3, from the Dominican Republic. At age 5 he was diagnosed with Autism and ADD. I was devastated. Sure you are all thinking he was my stepson, so it is not as devastating as if he were my own child. You could not be further from the truth! I was told I could not have children;he was my only child, and I loved and adored him as if he was born from my heart since he was not born of my womb. I had been told over and over by numerous people when he was diagnosed, SEND HIM. Well we are not talking about an alarm clock I purchased and did not like. This child is not even a dog or cat. We are talking about a little boy who I loved.
Medications?! NO WAY.. I was not going to give this precious little boy those awful medications. I saw a program on PBS about how this child was "normal" diagnosed with ADHD, given Ritalin than had problems sleeping, gave him sleeping pills. Then the kid started having a problem with anger issues, gave him something else.. Long story short the kid was a walking zombie. He was NORMAL before all the drugs. ADHD makes it tough to learn, nothing else. So I would NOT be doing that with my son! He was in a private school; I paid to get him smaller classes, etc. I did not stop with smaller class sizes. I researched like I research everything and found the alternatives to avoid having to do medications. I cut out all red dyes from my son's diet. At first I noticed a slight change, but nothing with his learning capabilities.
I went and cut out the gluten, his sugar, etc. He was NEVER hyper. Actually he was the opposite. He was more sedated than the normal child (without medicine). Just a unusually calm, easy-going kid with some issues.. He did not need medications, I was so sure because I had researched it. I saw the "dangers" in it. I would not do it to this kid that I loved and adored!! No way!
I surprisingly got pregnant with my first daughter. Around age 3, she started to show all the same signs my son had. I was devastated that I would have another child that would suffer because they could not learn like a "normal" child. How would I deal with the constant fighting with the schools to get them their services etc? By now I took my son out of private school because it was not helping and I was told public schools had the services he needed. My son was a phenomenal reader, but could not recall what he had read so comprehension was 0. He could not remain focused during a story, his mind would wander.
My daughter was born with a birth defect. She had Spina Bifida Occulta and a tethered spinal Cord. She had spinal surgery at 5 months of age to fix it. Due to this she was immediately given early intervention services. At 9 months of age, they gave her physical therapy, feeding therapy, occupational therapy, and special ed classes. She was a remarkable toddler because of the schooling she received so young. When she got into the kindergarten she excelled because she knew it all;she had learned it.
First grade hit me like a ton of bricks she was diagnosed with ADD. I knew she had it; I saw the signs she had everything my son had. I was mortified. At first I did everything I did with my son, the different diets, the different natural wonders, and then by third grade I caved. I asked the right question at the right time. If they do not work can I take her off them? YES! Now mind you, my son was now in 8th grade going into 9th grade, so he had struggled all these years with NOTHING.
Reluctantly, I put my daughter on Concerta. I was too embarrassed to actually tell the teachers, but I had to find out what they thought of my daughter on medications. They were thrilled to report that I had a new child!! They were always in-love with my daughter cause she was such a good kid, but the medicine opened her up. They could see her concentrating, thinking, and even having self esteem to call out answers. That NEVER happened before the medications. She was in her own world, and she would NEVER offer an answer because she could not concentrate long enough to pay attention! I was a believer!
I immediately put my son on Adderal. Due to his autism, they felt it would be a better match for him. Again we saw success nearly immediately! He could concentrate! He felt like the cloud was lifted he was a new child!
After the excitement wore off, I realized that I wasted my sons life away NOT giving him the medicine. My daughter was immediately pulled out of special ed classes and mainstreamed, but my son had no foundations. He had no idea about math; he could count, add, and subtract and maybe a little multiplication but retention was NEVER possible. He would never have the education that other kids got. He is now 18 years old and although he has the capacity now while on medicine to understand, he lost 9 years of schooling! What a waste of time and energy. I could have had my child at home with me and enjoying him then send him to school daily to feel inferior to everyone. I did more damage by NOT giving my son medicine than I could have ever done by giving him medicine.
I hope that anyone reading this realizes we are given choices. Most parents do not want to have their child diagnosed because of the fear of medications. Instead, they refuse to get their child "medical help."
Parents here are the steps most people go through when their child has a problem. First they beat their child, and they realize their behaviors are not changing. Whether they act out at home, or do not pay attention in school. When a beating does not work they go to a psychologist for therapy. If the therapy does not work, they beat their child again. When a suitable beating does not work they flounder around. Some parents never go and try medication due to fear, but what do you undoubtedly have to lose? Your child could lose all chances of having a productive life. Do not take chances. You are your ONLY child's advocate, get them help now while they are young!