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So your child has been diagnosed with ADHD and you suddenly hear either one of two very strong opinions. Some will think this is hogwash and tell you that your child is just not very well behaved, meaning they think it is a discipline issue. While others will think it is a real disorder and your child should be put on medicine immediately usually with the insinuation that you shouldn’t expect others to have to deal with your child if they are not medicated. When there are two extremes on any given subject, I personally think you will usually find the truth lies somewhere in between.
I’m amazed at how far we have advanced with modern science and that we can find answers to how and why some of us think and act differently because of certain chemicals or lack of in our bodies. I am grateful that we have a medicine that can help those that really need it.
Although I think some ADHD diagnosed children need medical help in order to function successfully, I still think most do not. Years ago if a child was hyper and couldn’t focus we called them rowdy children that needed more exercise. Parents just knew to not give as much sugar and they would let them get outside and wear some of that energy off. That was the end of it and except for those extreme cases, the child learned how to live life like the rest of society by finding something that suited their strengths. Most found careers that were very physical thus allowing them to continue to be active.
My concern is that as a society we have been so quick to put labels on things that are not life-threatening and it has caused a stigma for these young children. As parents, we are always wanting to do the very best for our children and rightfully so. However, I think we sometimes get forced into a diagnosis and told it is much more severe than it really is. We panic and grasp onto anything that looks like it will help our children deal with a current concern, do better at school, or be easier to handle at home, later to find out it did more harm than good.
Back in the 80’s modern medicine had discovered a cure for some infections by putting tubes in their ears. However many articles have now been written about the disadvantages of doing this unless it is really necessary. Because of this, the amount of children that have had this procedure done in recent years has dropped. Here is an article on this very subject You will see that even though these procedures fixed the problem in some cases, in many other cases it was not the best long term solution. A side effect from having a tube in your ear is not near as bad as the side effects of these drugs used for ADHD that according to Alan Sroufe are not even as effective long term as we once thought.
We need to learn as parents to deal with this without making it worse and without allowing it to make our children stumble or be less than what they can be. But neither should we shy away from it and not do everything we can to help these children now that we know it is not their fault they can not focus or stay still. If you feel you have to tell your child that they have ADHD then do so but do not let it become an excuse for them to fail. Instead, let’s show them, teach them, encourage them to be better than it and overcome it. If they can learn this at a young age with something that is not life-threatening, it will give them a tremendous start on overcoming other obstacles in life and they will be conquerors instead of victims.
Don’t take just one doctor, or teachers diagnoses, get a second, third and fourth opinion. Read everything you can about it. Know if your child is mild, medium or severe and decide with all the facts and with wisdom if you should put your child on medicine.
Let’s only medicate if it will be the best decision for the child, not if it is easier for society/teachers or us as parents. Does it mean you have to do extra work to help them focus and stay calm, yes, probably, but so what isn’t your child worth it? I know my son and grandson benefited from me doing my homework.
Here are a couple of articles on natural ways to help keep your child and these might/might not work for your child but they are at least worth a read.
I am not advocating anyone over the other just giving options.
I have an upcoming article about your rights in dealing with your child who has any kind of disorder. Stay tuned to find out more.
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