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  1. #11
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    It's late and I'd like to address more of this tomorrow but:

    Could you possibly even consider getting your son off his meds?
    Yes, we've done that a couple of times and it simply doesn't work. He is considered "special needs" and is severly handicapped without meds - like a suicidal person without antidepressants. We would have to have him labeled as such and likely have him in a seperate school with other handicapped people. On meds he is like a normal child and gets A's and B's and has SOME friends and is relatively happy. Without meds he's a mess and is UNHAPPY and basically fails and can't keep up with grade level academics. After exhaustive research, countless testing and specialist my husband and I have concluded that NOT medicating him would be a huge disservice.

    My husband and I have three kids. Two of our kids plus my husband have ADD or ADHD (hubby, and both of my sons) my daughter does not have this. My older son who is 13 no longer takes meds but he was ADD and mild, my 10 yo is much more seriously affected and is ADHD. My husband is very sad that he wasn't treated as a child and feels that his ADHD has negtively impacted his life in a profound way. We choose to believe that it;s a mental disorder like the medical establishment says it is, and support treating it as such which generally includes meds just like if it was depression, bipolar, etc. Not everyone will agree but our research led us to this to help our son. Each to their own - everyone should do what is best for their child or themselves. The treatment my son recieves allows him to function among his peers which he wasn't able to do without drugs. We tried a lot of behavioral and non-drug treatments prior to this.

    Your sons 'real self' is obviously his non drugged self.
    So do you think that my real self is without my anti-anxiety meds? What about my MIL with the Schizophrenia? The fact that ADD/ADHD is a real disorder is generally accepted by the mainstream medical establishment.

  2. #12
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    FWIW, I think it's wonderful that you and your husband put so much thought and care into treating your son. I have two sons with mild autism and one of them (maybe both) has ADD as well, so I know it's a struggle and no matter what you do and how much effort you put into parenting you always have critics.

    I can't tell my older son's type yet, either. He's eleven, so don't feel like you're the only one with a kid that age who can't figure their kid's personality out yet. He has so many seeming contradictions and sometimes it's hard to tease out personality from the autism and ADD. As parents we want so much to nurture our kids strengths and gifts, but sometimes it's hard to figure out how to do that exactly and there's always that looming fear that you'll miss something important.

    Even if you don't know your son's type or don't ever figure it out, it sounds like you know him really well and that you work with his many facets as he expresses them. Do you know how much that rocks?? Go you!
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  3. #13
    unscannable Tigerlily's Avatar
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    It seems to me that some of you are saying you don't believe in medicating children? I am just going to throw in my opinion on the subject whether or not this is true.

    Our son has been diagnosed with ADHD, (possibly) bi polar disorder, depression and anxiety. In the past he has been put on several stimulant meds which he was taken off of because of the nasty side effects (lethargy, depression). He has been prescribed these medications even when I have told the provider that he has terrible reactions to Ritalin based medications. My belief with medication is that if your child is not your child then he/she is on the wrong medication. And as for whether or not to medicate your child, only YOU the parent, know the answer to that.

    Some children need help and the right medication can make a world of difference in regards to improving their behavior which in turn will improve their quality of life. If a person has Bi Polar Disorder or is Schizophrenic (for example) I don't believe that it would be a good idea to turn them loose on themselves and others without the proper medication. Same goes for children who indeed have ADHD. I have a friend whose son cannot be still for even a second! She has decided not to medicate him and that of course is her decision.

    Although I will say that too many DR.'s throw ADHD meds at children no matter what the problem is, it does sounds to me like Alicia's son does indeed have ADHD and she is doing everything she can as a loving responsible parent to help and guide him towards having the best life possible.

    Also in response to your original question, I would guess that your son is an INFP.
    Time is a delicate mistress.

  4. #14
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    Thanks to all of you for your input!

    Gabe - I obviously got somewhat defensive yesterday. I do respect your opinion even if I disagree with you. A lot of my defensiveness stems from my activism locally where I'm part of a movement to educate people about ADHD being a 'real' medical condition and not just a lack of self-control on the part of the child or lack of good parenting skills. So you obviously hit a nerve.

    ptgatsby - you could be right about him not being an F - maybe his emotional side is related to his ADHD - I'm not sure? But I wouldn't say that he's 'neurotic' or 'broken' in any way. He's a loving, sensitive, curious child who has a need for reassurance but I don't think it's particularly excessive.

    As parents we want so much to nurture our kids strengths and gifts, but sometimes it's hard to figure out how to do that exactly and there's always that looming fear that you'll miss something important.
    Exactly!

    Jen - my son had depression and lethargy (plus some other negative things) from stimulant-type drugs. He is now on Strattera and doing well.

  5. #15
    unscannable Tigerlily's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alicia91 View Post
    Jen - my son had depression and lethargy (plus some other negative things) from stimulant-type drugs. He is now on Strattera and doing well.
    We've tried Focalin, Metadate and Daytrana and those were all terrible. A little over a month ago we went to visit a psychiatrist who threw Adderall at him because he was very active during the hour that we were there. I was referred to a child psychiatrist (by our pediatrician) who has now prescribed Prozac (small dose!) which may be helping but to be honest with you I am not convinced that his issue is depression. I am thinking that he may have low blood sugar/diabetes.

    We've also tried Strattera and it was ok, but made him sleepy. One problem he has is that he doesn't like school (says it's too long) so if he took Strattera in the morning he would be exhausted all day long and not get anything done.

    This will not be solved in one day and we will never give up on him. Like your son, Junior has so many wonderful qualities and is such a loving person. I truly want him to be happy and I'll do whatever I can to ensure his happiness.
    Time is a delicate mistress.

  6. #16
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    Strattera made my son sleepy at first. He actually fell asleep at school a few times but his teacher is wonderful and very supportive and didn't make a big deal about it. After about 1-2 months the sleepiness was gone. We are hopeful but it's only been about 4 months on this med and while it helps, I wouldn't say it's a miracle. But it's better than nothing and he simply can't tolerate the Ritalin-type drugs - Adderall, Focalin, Ritalin LA, Daytrana, Concerta - we've tried most of them.

    I am hopeful that as he gets older his need for medication will diminish. My older son who also has ADHD (they call all of it that these days) but is actually more ADD - he was on meds from 2-7th grade and is now in 8th grade and doing great without any meds. On the other hand I guess I have to be realistic since the younger one seems much more affected.

    truly want him to be happy and I'll do whatever I can to ensure his happiness
    Amen to that!

  7. #17
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alicia91 View Post
    ptgatsby - you could be right about him not being an F - maybe his emotional side is related to his ADHD - I'm not sure? But I wouldn't say that he's 'neurotic' or 'broken' in any way. He's a loving, sensitive, curious child who has a need for reassurance but I don't think it's particularly excessive.
    No no, I don't mean that he is broken/etc, only that he feels he is. When a child is told that he has issues, he can begin to live that message. Likewise when he struggles at school, when he doesn't fit in... The way you describe him is neurotic (neurotic here meaning "negative emotions" - deep and long lasting), but I suspect that he isn't and that he is lashing out about being different, outcasted and "broken". The reassurance comes from trying to find an anchor in his life. Generally speaking, the emotions problem come from the ADHD stunted development... so I don't know, of course, however I can seem some similarity to what I went through as a child.

  8. #18
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    Thanks for the explanation ptgatsby. I understand what you mean about the broken and neurotic comments - I took them a bit different initially. You could very well be right about his need for assurance being because he knows he is different. It's kind of a hard subject to tackle with him because I don't want to put thoughts into his head where I'm pointing it out, so we just try to be reassuring and supportive. ANother factor that we have noticed is that like most kids with ADHD he is emotionally/socially younger than his age. Experts have told me that 2-3 years behind is typical but they eventually they catch up by late teens. So, he's socially like a normal 7-8 year-old and again, this makes him feel like a misfit. Then you have my mother who tells me not to give him so much reassurance because according to her I'm creating a "mama's boy" with all the coddeling. Ack - it's not easy being a mom!

  9. #19
    Senior Member Gabe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alicia91 View Post
    Thanks for the explanation ptgatsby. I understand what you mean about the broken and neurotic comments - I took them a bit different initially. You could very well be right about his need for assurance being because he knows he is different. It's kind of a hard subject to tackle with him because I don't want to put thoughts into his head where I'm pointing it out, so we just try to be reassuring and supportive. ANother factor that we have noticed is that like most kids with ADHD he is emotionally/socially younger than his age. Experts have told me that 2-3 years behind is typical but they eventually they catch up by late teens. So, he's socially like a normal 7-8 year-old and again, this makes him feel like a misfit. Then you have my mother who tells me not to give him so much reassurance because according to her I'm creating a "mama's boy" with all the coddeling. Ack - it's not easy being a mom!
    How can he be 'emotionally' younger than his age, when as, you described it, he is spending each afternoon (as you say) talking about his feelings? Of course he doesn't have 'social skills' (whatever that's supposed to mean (seriously)), if social skills means acting in a culturally-approved way. I always take child developement 'schedules' with an :rolli: . Catch up? Well obviously people 'mellow out' as they get older (without meds). Please deconstruct your idea of a 'typical' child. Last I checked, we aren't all the same, and humanity would've gotten nowhere if we were...
    And the answer is right in front of our noses- the title of Isabel Myer's book is 'Gifts Differing' for a reason. I say your son is just as 'developed' as anyone else, and your son probably stand head and shoulders higher than others in one of those 'differing gifts'. The problem is (this is the part where I place the blame) our culture only values a few of these gifts. Whatever skills your son has might not get translated into good grades, YET! But high school education requires different skills, and higher education even more different skills. Someone's 'disability' can become a gift in our education system later on.

    I don't mind if you get mad at me. I can handle it (with an ease that might suprise you).
    By the way though, I'm not mad at you at all. I'm mad at every teacher who's told you that something was wrong with your son. I'm mad at our culture for trying to make everyone the same. And I'm extremely mad at all of those "experts" who pathologize everyone, and help no one.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabe View Post
    And I'm extremely mad at all of those "experts" who pathologize everyone, and help no one.
    Me too!
    Time is a delicate mistress.

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