Skip to comments.Help me decide if my 10 year old should use Ritalin
Posted on 08/27/2004 11:41:39 AM PDT by Joe Republc
My pedetrician has just recommended that my 10 year old boy use Ritalin.
The issue of Attention Deficit Disorder has come up every so often throughout most of his life, but this is the first time our pediatrician says it's time to try medication.
What questions should I be asking?
What do I need to find out?
Any good resources?
P.S. My wife is in a hurry to do this, now that the doctor says so. I'm not.... my wife and I had some strong disagreement about this last night ;) When I ask around, it seems like men are less inclined to go for this than women.
Ping, you've got quite a bit of experience with this, haven't you?
What's the matter with your Boy?
Can you spell out his behavior?
Get a second opinion from a doctor who you know doesn't pass this stuff out like candy!
Have you ever talked with a nutritionist? They don't recommend ritalin. My friend Di's son was on it for years and it may be effective but it also can leave the child drained and lacking in energy, etc. Diet can help. Sometimes a child is allergic to something, too, that causes severe reactions. I saw that once on TV. The child was fine until he ingested something with red dye and then he went right off the wall. Investigate this with a good nutritionist before you let him go on that stuff. A drug is not the best thing for a child, IMHO. Check www.hacres.com for a diet that is supposed to help with any kind of problem like that.
Change his diet instead.
I've read that it takes numerous observations by a trained doctor to properly diagnose ADD. Was your doctor's diagnosis based on a single office visit? If so I'd get another professional opinion.
How much OUTSIDE EXERCISE does your little boy normally get?
Sure, here is my .02 ......NO!
It'll be tough to tell your child to "Just Say No" to illegal drugs, but no problem with saying "Yes" to these happy pills.
Do this experiment (if you haven't yet):
1. Get some sort of video game system (Playstation, etc.)
2. Sit child in front of video game and tell him he can play for as long as he wants.
3. Come back in an hour. If child is still playing, he DOES NOT HAVE ADD!!
Yeah, you might have to spend $150 or so on this experiment, but you'll easily determine if your child is either ADD-impaired or just bored. Plus, if you buy a PS2, you'll have a DVD player to boot! This $150 will be much cheaper than an 8-year prescription to some stupid pill.
Thorzine with a Barcardi chaser seems to work for my kids.
We had our older son on Ritalin from about 2nd 'til the middle of 6th grade. It DID help him focus and he did well on it. Until puberty hit and it didn't work anymore.
Dr. switched prescriptions a couple of times and there were side effects. I put my foot down and said "no more."
Read up on it. Some kids DO need Ritalin. But the vast majority of boys who are put on it are just...boys.
I wouldn't do it again and have already informed my wife that the doctor will NOT drug our younger son.
I would first eliminate sugar (sweets, soft drinks, etc.) for at least a couple of weeks, and see if the behavior changes before I let any doctor prescribe Ritalin. Then I would seek a second and even a third opinion.
ADD shouldn't be treated with medication unless it is really causing major problems.
Explore all other options. At least that is how I feel.
Sometimes I think enrolling a kid with ADD in a sport that requires them to pay attention helps... martial arts maybe?
Ask Sean Hannity what he thinks of Ritalin.
As for me, they'll give my son Ritalin when they pry him from my head arms.
Turning kids into zombies isn't the solution.
I agree..my son used Concerta for years...Rit was useless on him also...
It is very important to remember the effects that ADHD have on a kid who is struggling with the everyday stuff. My son is 11 and we have resisted the idea of trying concerta for his ADHD, we have found that medication helps him be more calm, and at peace. Try to imagine what you would feel like if you had jolts of electricity going through your body every 30 seconds that seemed to interrupt your thoughts, memory, and just about everything else. That is what kids suffering from this disorder feel like. A trial of something like Ritalin could be an important step for your child's life. The thing is, the medication will only help with the feelings/physical issues. You must remember that this child has been dealing with these feelings a long time, he will need to be helped with the issues of organization, follow-through and over sight by you and his teachers. Address this now for the future.
My neighbors dog bit him during time with the dog. They took the dog to the Vet. and the dog put on Ritlan. The Vet said it would shorten the dogs life span. You decide! I am a woman and I would NOT put my child on this drug.
Sorry I disagree..it (concerta) didn't turn my son into a zombie...thats a misconception....maybe on some kids but ADHD children don't turn into zombies
Think about this... from what I've heard if a child takes Ritalin, they are unable to serve in the military because they had been prescribed mood-altering drugs.
Ritalin (and Paxil, etc.) are vastly overprescribed in this country. I don't know what your child's problem is and don't read anything into this, but in most cases it's nothing a little discipline wouldn't cure.
Since you asked, NO!
Cute, but not accurate. It is PRECISELY the electronic stimulation of an ADHD child that can grasp his attention.
My son (who DOES have ADHD) can do the video games for hours on end (if we let him).
Don't do it. I can only reiterate the reasons already presented.
I am absolutely certain that my dear husband would have been a candidate for Ritalin if it was available when he was a kid. Until he became ill a couple years ago, he absolutely could not keep still.
I am ever so thankful that it wasn't available. Instead, the nuns in his grammar school took him out of the classroom and gave him real work to do, like helping in the school office.
It amazes me that schools seem to want to make kids (especially boys) sit still as punishment for misbehavior when they should be making them run laps around the schoolyard.
I haven't had a lot of experience with children on Ritalin, but the one I saw was turned into a zombie by the drug.
NO HE DOES NOT NEED RITALIN! FIND A NEW DR. THAT'S AT LEAST 50 YEARS OLD...
So you have to make a serious decision about your life and your son's health and you go to a political web site to make your decision? Good choice.
I was perscribed Ritalin at about that age, and I feel that it was a mistake. Sure, I have always had a little more trouble focusing my attention on what someone wants from me (i.e. a teacher, etc), but my ADD also came with a great benefit in that I can focus intently for long periods of time on things that are important to me. My recommendation would be to work with your son to work on techniques that allow him to get by without the medication (structured study times, copious notes, an appointment/schedule/homework book, whatever it takes).
Using Ritalin made it so that I functioned un-naturally and as a result it wasn't until I was about 20 that I finally learned to control myself.
There are some extreme cases where Ritalin is necessary, but I think it is one of the most over-perscribed drugs on the market. People have been growing up learning to live with ADD for thousands of years without Ritalin and I see no need to change that.
Teachers of course are big fans of the stuff, since it makes your child more easily controlled, but is that what you really want?
I've found ADD to be a great benefit, and I've seen that most of the highly successful people that I've worked with have ADD and have simply learned how to properly utilize it. Out of the top three troubleshooters at my last tech job (QA Engineer & Level 3 Tech Support, all three of us had moderate to severe ADD.
Not only do I view it as an advantage, but I don't view it as a disorder at all. With the number of people being "diagnosed" with this disorder, it would seem to me that it is just a way of learning and a part of your mental makeup. The problem is that the schools just don't want to take the time/effort to learn how to teach kids with ADD, they just want to drug them into normalacy.
In the end it is a decision for you and your wife to make, but I would suggest a lot of study on the situation before you decide to resort to chemical means to change the thought-patterns and behavior of your child. Hope this helps in some way.
My hyper 4 y/o grandson acts like a monkey. He just started a Christian private kindergarten. Two times sitting in the room with the teacher while everyone else went outside to play checked his act.
I don't know your circumstances but a second opinion is your right and some kids require medication but little boys (even at 10) are not made to sit at a desk all day quietly when they have the whole world to explore. :')
What are the long-term benefits of drug therapy? None demonstrated, I believe.
What side effects are there with long-term use? Short stature and low self-confidence, I believe.
What dosages have been shown to improve alertness, and what dosages are associated instead with sedative effects?
What other treatments have been shown to be effective? Consistent training and close supervision, I believe.
In order to develop self-control, an ADD child needs more instruction from teachers and parents,but when they are given drugs to control the condition they actually tend to get less instruction than other children.
The literature available from the doctor's office is just drug company advertising. Research is often funded by drug companies. You can easily find something on the internet to back up any opinion pro or con on the matter.
Tin foil hat firmly attached here: Suppose current Ritalin use precludes future firearms ownership. Would you put it past the AMA (or Psychiatric Council or whatever it is) and politicians? Long term dis-armament plan?
This has got to be the most logical solution EVER!!!
It is very important to find a DR. who knows how to works with kids who really do have this problem. A trial of medication can often be the real test of the presence of ADHD. There is a book that is helpful also, "over coming underachieving" it has some real helps with kids are struggling.
Take it from a former ADHD kid and Ritalin user, the only thing Ritalin does is make him lazy so he doesnt interfere with the class. It's only there for the teacher, who probably isn't teaching a class interesting enough for your child anyway.
Homeschool your child if possible, or see if you have a curriculum completion based private school. I used to study hard so I could finish the day's work and then read the rest of the time. Your child is possibly too fast of a learner for the other kids in his class, I know I was.
My oldest of 4 daughters is ADHD and Bi-polar. We went through a long period deciding to use the ritalin after seeking alternatives, ie, the Feingold diet.
THANK GOD we started her on it, as her life has dramatically improved.
I strongly suggest you go to someone who is trained to give a proper diagnosis through a series of tests and multiple visits.
Clearly it is overprescribed in the U.S. , but if your child can improve school and social wise, it will be well worth it to him and your relationship as a family.
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