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BonnieV 02-14-2011 09:10 AM

Stop Labeling our kids..
I so agree that it's easier to slap a label than deal with behavior issues. We need more parenting, not more drugs.

Allegro 02-14-2011 10:48 AM


Originally Posted by BonnieV (Post 352399)
I so agree that it's easier to slap a label than deal with behavior issues. We need more parenting, not more drugs.

Not having read the article (because the link didn't work for me)...

I have just had the most amazing weekend.

I have two children DD(8) and DS(6). We are strict parents and our kids "get away with" almost nothing. DD rarely, if ever, does anything wrong. DS however is in trouble constantly. He can ruin the most perfect day. We plan something fun and within 2 and a half seconds he turns it into a chore. We like to eat out but its exhausting. We like to eat in but a trip to the grocery store takes the patience of Job. Life was truly miserable - for me, for DH and for DD (who often wishes DS "wasn't like he is").

DS has been this way since we adopted him at 12 months of age. He used to scream in anger for hours if he didn't get what he wanted. Literally hours. He was willfully destructive. He was NEVER EVER EVER still. We couldn't do any activity that was focused on him because he would make it focused on him. I used to look at other children in playgroup, at pre-school, in the neighbourhood so enviously. He couldn't play appropriately with other children. When they didn't want to play with him they would push him away and he wouldn't even understand that, he would just push back and laugh as if it were a game. I was worried to send him to school because I knew that without me there so point out was was inappropriate; how he shouldn't hit other children; how he needed to wait his turn; how he needed to listen quietly there would be problems. And problems there were right from the start. Everything came to a head this fall when his teacher called us in to show us how his desk had to be placed in a seperate section of the classroom (seperated from the other students by a cinder block wall) for him (and the other students in the class) to get any work accomplished. Academically he was doing fine but socially things were completely out of control.

In the fall we had him evaluated by a psychologist. He was put through a battery of testing over three days. She noted many things: his extremely high IQ; his ability to grasp concepts quickly; his extremely poor memory skills (he can't remember the beginning of an equation like 2 + 2 long enough to provide the answer); his inability to read non-verbal cues in others (because he can't concentrate long enough to see them). His disappointment in himself because he is ALWAYS in trouble and really wants to please. he was diagnosed with "ADHD Combined type". That wasn't a surprise but the deficits it caused in his abilities was eye-openning. It never occured to me that it could affect him so broadly. Things I previously thought were willfull were more fully explained and I could see how they would be impossible for him to help.

Last Thursday we started him on Ritalin but he was at school and I couldn't see the effects. I really wasn't expecting miracles. Saturday I thought it was just may imagination how 'normal' he seemed. He wasn't the perfect boy (at one point he scratched his sister in the face in a fight over a Pokemon card) but he was different. One fallout from the Pokemon incident - he got a serious talking to (and lost his Pokemon cards) and when he left the room DH said to me "did you see, he was looking at you when you were speaking to him?" (something DS normally can't do) He's not even on a full dose yet but I can tell you almost precisely when the medication wears off and old DS emerges. It's actually kind of sad watching his mind move too fast for him to handle.

We had a wonderful weekend. We went to the grocery store and he held DH's hand willingly and listened when cautioned not to touch anything. He didn't run through the aisles and handle all the buns in the bakery. He didn't poke holes in the meat packages. We didn't have to put our LARGE 6 year old in the cart in exasperation. We went out for breakfast and he patiently waited for his order and we chatted happily like a family. He didn't fight over crayons with his sister and CONSTANTLY drop them on the floor. He didn't shout or sing or comment on the other patrons in a loud and disruptive manner. He stopped talking long enough to actually eat without being cajoled. He listened to his coaches at soccer and actually got something out of soccer practice. Ditto hockey practice. He was a normal boy; something I've never experienced with him.

So ya. Before DS I too would roll my eyes whenever I heard ADHD. But what I've learned over the last 6 years (or maybe even 3 months) is that yes, labels are passed out willy-nilly and excuses are made for everything but wow within all those over-diagnosis are some children really getting the help they need to function in society. That's more important to me than whether the kid accross the street really needs drugs or just has terrible parents (cause what business is it of mine anyways).

AmyB 02-14-2011 10:59 AM


Originally Posted by BonnieV (Post 352399)
I so agree that it's easier to slap a label than deal with behavior issues. We need more parenting, not more drugs.

I would bet you my breakfast that this is a Scientology-sponsored site.

jknyc 02-14-2011 12:51 PM


Originally Posted by AmyB (Post 352441)
I would bet you my breakfast that this is a Scientology-sponsored site.

You won't lose your breakfast on that bet. The group behind the video is CCHR, an anti-psychiatry group founded by Scientologists.

BonnieV 02-14-2011 09:19 PM

for the record..
I am not a scientologist. I think medications are very useful when truly indicated. I also believe they are handed out to both children and adults much more often than indicated. I'm not a big fan of pharmaceuticals.

AllyOops 02-15-2011 09:05 AM

Allegro - I saw MB reference this post on PNO, so I came to take a look and I wanted to add my "yay!" to MB's. As a mom of a child w/ combined ADHD, I feel like finding the right medication brought us out of the depths of hell (OK, that's a little dramatic, but any mom of an ADHD child knows what I mean!). I can completely relate to the sense of relief after finding the right medication. I get that the anti-medication crowd is well-intentioned, but until you've walked in my shoes and observed the immense difference between my child before and after medication, your opinion is honestly worthless to me ("you" and "your" meaning the universal anti-med crowd). I don't like that my son needs to be on Adderall as it affects his appetite and sleep, but there's a greater good being served here. I resisted the meds for years due to my own stubbornness wrt not wanting to medicate my child. It was only through educating myself that I began to understand the true physiological nature of ADHD and that I was doing a disservice to my son and basically setting him up for failure. I hope the Ritalin continues to work and you continue to see improvement. Good luck!


Allegro 02-15-2011 10:10 AM

Thanks so much Ally. You know I worry about the medication and its affect on him. So far we're not experiencing any side-effects but he's only on 10 mg a day (the doctor thinks he will need 20 mg a day. It's wearing off much earlier than it should so I know his dosage isn't high enough). I've watched his appetite like a hawk since he started and haven't seen a shift (he eats like a full grown man). I'm also worried about his growth as I've read that methylphenidate can stunt growth (although it doesn't seem the changes are all that big). And I worry about his sleep patterns because the one reprieve we've always had is that he has ALWAYS been a good sleeper.

But he's just a different kid on the meds. A child I never thought I would ever see. All the good parts about him that I love are there to enjoy and the awfulness that made him very hard to like sometimes were just gone. Even when the medication had obviously worn off he was better. He wasn't exhausted from working so hard all day to control his impulses so he was better able to deal. He was feeling better abouthimself because he hadn't spent the entire day being constantly corrected and redirected. Further I was more patient because it hadn't been a full day slog. I hadn't even realized the extent it was negatively affecting our family as a whole until the medication. It didn't just help DS; it helped us all.

Yesterday I signed him up for a hockey camp over his March break. I never would have done that pre-meds. It would have been a waste of money for me and just unfair to the rest of the kids in the group that would have had to deal with DS. Now he can have fun like a regular kid.

jvirginia 02-15-2011 11:15 AM

I think this is another "walk a mile in my shoes" deals. There are kids who get Ds and Fs until they get meds, which allow them to get As and Bs - this is a huge deal. We only have a brief time in our lives to get an education; why spend it fighting and fighting our brains when they misfire. Why graduate high school with a D average and no prospects, if you are smart and want to learn and have the capacity, but a true ailment gets in the way? My BIL has severe ADD, and it isn't just a "label" - it helps us understand why he is the way he is, and how to make him somewhat functional. Are some kids on meds who don't need to be, for the sake of the school and the teachers, not the kid? Probably. However, I also know at least one severely hyperactive and depressed kid whose mom is all about homeopathic remedies and her son is out of control and angry all the time. I just wish wish wish she'd realize that she's doing her son a disservice by not acknowledging that there's a real issue there, and that there are real professionals who could help.

jeninnc 02-15-2011 11:26 AM

I assume your kids have adhd? Please share what natural methods have worked so well for you.

jeninnc 02-15-2011 12:11 PM

I am so glad it's working for you.

My dd (10) just started on Concerta (ritalin) and the next day she thanked me for putting her on the medication. She said she felt like she could focus for the first time ever in school. I was blown away, and a little sad that we hadn't persued it in K, when we first noticed the trend.

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