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As a parent, these are the questions you should be asking about the medications if you have discovered your child has ADHD.
- How severe is my child and is medication the answer? For some children, the answer is absolutely, yes, for some the answer is no. Improving diet, using natural methods and spending the time to teach them to concentrate is enough.
- What are your rights in the school system if you do not put your child on medication? We all live in different areas; this is one you have to find out for your own particular area.
I wrote an article a short time ago regarding ADHD regarding the struggles both my daughter and I have dealt with in the school system. My intent is not to say that all children who suffer from any form of ADHD should be handled the same way we chose, as I think every situation needs to be handled individually. If you are in a situation where you have done your research and your specialist says your child is not sever enough to be on medication and you are struggling with feeling bullied to put your child on medication, here is our story. I hope it gives you the courage to do what you feel is right for you and your child.
The school my grandson was in was insisting that my daughter put her son on medicine as they felt that was the only way to control him enough so he could learn. After many doctor appointments and doing a great deal of research, my daughter came to the conclusion that her son was capable of learning without meds. He is basically a good boy and is not overly disruptive when he was given the proper help and diet. Yes, he was a typical boy in all areas, meaning very active, loved to play outdoors, a bit rough at times. His ADHD did bring that out a bit more. But we did discover that he could concentrate, just not for as long as all other children.
We didn’t expect the school system to work one on one with him. We just expected them to allow him into the class and if he got disruptive to take him out until he could re-enter and do the work that was needed to be done. Repetition of taking him out of the situation until he acted appropriately had been very effective at home, and we were confident it would work at the school as well.
Human’s all learn how to work situations to their favor very quickly and children are no exception to this rule. My grandson got a bit rough with a child at school and got sent home. Not long after that, it happened again and soon it became a regular occurrence. My daughter kept asking the school to put him on detention in the office, even for the whole day if they needed to. Sending him home was rewarding him and he was not learning the right thing. My daughter was called into the school time after time to attend meetings or to be told she had to pick up her son. This caused her to lose many hours of work as they were refusing to allow her son to stay at the school at all. He was not expelled as he was not truly hurting anyone, but the school didn’t seem to want to deal with this. Even though his mother gave them permission to do whatever was necessary to help him learn his behavior was not acceptable, they refused. Strangely, this all started after my daughter had said no when the school had suggested she put her son on medicine for his ADHD. She informed the school that neither she nor his doctor felt he was sever enough to warrant this course of action.
After calling a district supervisor of our school board I found out that in my area the parents have the final decision if their child should be on medicine and that the parent can insist that the child is left in the school for ‘in school’ suspension rather than be sent home. My daughter insisted the school take this option because sending him home was rewarding him, which was causing a cycle of bad behavior. Although my grandson is in school all day now, the school is still giving him a hard time and insisting he go directly to the office as soon as he gets to school, without even giving him a chance. So we need to tend to this issue next.
Please understand I am not saying all schools or all teachers treat children with ADHD in this manner. Nor do I assume they all insist children with ADHD be on medication. I have had a lot of teachers who taught my child with ADHD and did a great job with him. They didn’t make me feel bullied for not putting him on medication and I appreciated them so much. This allowed me to know that the doctors and I were right and that my son could effectively learn if the teacher was willing to help us.
Upon asking some personal friends who are higher up in the school board system their opinion here is what they had to say: There are more children on medication then needs to be. It is possible the parents are feeling pressured into putting their child on medication, and they strongly suggest that parents do all they can to get the right information for their child and not to assume that ADHD = medicine.
My daughter and I both felt bullied and had a fight on our hands because we didn’t put our children on medicine by both the school system and the teacher. I felt huge ridicule from my first article on ADHD from the readers assuming I didn’t know what I was talking about, stating that ‘if I did I would not have made my son or my grandson go without medicine‘.
If you feel like I am judging you or what you do with your family in this area, then you have not heard what I am really saying here or in my last article. Let me state my point very clearly:
- There are some people out there that put their child on medication because it makes their child easier to deal with.
- There are some that don’t put their child on medication because they don’t believe in medication of any kind.
- I do not fall into either of those categories.
If after you have researched ADHD including: what the benefits and/or side effect to either taking or not taking medicine are; if a specialist in this field (not a family doctor) has given you their recommendation; then you need to do what you feel is right for your child. I don’t know your situation so I have no right to judge you or your decision. If you feel that medicine is what is needed for your child to learn and grow in the proper way, then please do not let anyone pressure you into doing anything other than what you feel is right for your child. Extend the same courtesy to those of us that have also done all our research and do not feel our children need to put on medicine.
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