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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?

Thanks,

-- Joe

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.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: add; attention; children; deficit; ritalin; school
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1 posted on 08/27/2004 11:41:43 AM PDT by Joe Republc
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To: Buggman

Ping, you've got quite a bit of experience with this, haven't you?


2 posted on 08/27/2004 11:43:55 AM PDT by Homo_homini_lupus (Man is a wolf to man.)
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To: Joe Republc

http://www.breggin.com/ritalin.html


3 posted on 08/27/2004 11:44:14 AM PDT by sep699 ("I've noticed that everybody who is for abortion has already been born." R. Reagan)
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To: Joe Republc

What's the matter with your Boy?

Can you spell out his behavior?


4 posted on 08/27/2004 11:44:27 AM PDT by funkywbr
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To: Joe Republc

Get a second opinion from a doctor who you know doesn't pass this stuff out like candy!


5 posted on 08/27/2004 11:45:00 AM PDT by Spok
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To: Joe Republc

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.


6 posted on 08/27/2004 11:45:53 AM PDT by Marysecretary (GOD is STILL in control, even if Bush loses in 2004!)
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To: Joe Republc
A big NO to Ritilin.

Change his diet instead.

7 posted on 08/27/2004 11:46:07 AM PDT by zeebee
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To: Joe Republc

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.


8 posted on 08/27/2004 11:46:23 AM PDT by randog (What the....?!)
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To: Joe Republc

How much OUTSIDE EXERCISE does your little boy normally get?


9 posted on 08/27/2004 11:46:47 AM PDT by xrp
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To: Joe Republc

Sure, here is my .02 ......NO!


10 posted on 08/27/2004 11:47:06 AM PDT by gathersnomoss
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To: Joe Republc

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.


Good luck!


11 posted on 08/27/2004 11:47:10 AM PDT by Blzbba (John F'in Kerry - Dawn of a New Error.)
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To: Joe Republc
ADD/ADHD info at Family.org
12 posted on 08/27/2004 11:47:18 AM PDT by The Ghost of FReepers Past (Legislatures are so outdated. If you want real political victory, take your issue to court.)
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To: Homo_homini_lupus

Thorzine with a Barcardi chaser seems to work for my kids.


13 posted on 08/27/2004 11:47:33 AM PDT by mlbford2 ("sycophantic kerry koolaid sucker" -- S. Hannity)
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To: Joe Republc
Ask about the alternatives. Ask about Strattera and Concerta. My 14 year old son has ADHD (different than ADD) and Ritalin is useless on him.
14 posted on 08/27/2004 11:47:45 AM PDT by Jagdgewehr
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To: Joe Republc
Any child who gets a medical history of Ritalin (or similar) treatment will find themselves locked out of various jobs in their future, such as military service, for one.
15 posted on 08/27/2004 11:47:51 AM PDT by Joe Brower (The Constitution defines Conservatism.)
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To: Joe Republc

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.


16 posted on 08/27/2004 11:48:05 AM PDT by Corin Stormhands (John Kerry LIED and good men DIED for your right to vote against him.)
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To: zeebee

Ritilin=Ritalin


17 posted on 08/27/2004 11:48:07 AM PDT by zeebee
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To: rockinonritalin

Ping.


18 posted on 08/27/2004 11:48:24 AM PDT by martin_fierro ("Indeed, Ken, indeed.")
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To: Marysecretary
Have you ever talked with a nutritionist? They don't recommend ritalin.

One would hope not. My dentist doesn't recommend it either.
19 posted on 08/27/2004 11:48:32 AM PDT by July 4th (You need to click "Abstimmen")
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To: Joe Republc

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.


20 posted on 08/27/2004 11:48:46 AM PDT by TommyDale
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To: Joe Republc

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?


21 posted on 08/27/2004 11:48:53 AM PDT by coconutt2000
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To: Joe Republc
NO !
Snoot ;o)
22 posted on 08/27/2004 11:49:09 AM PDT by snooter55 (People may doubt what you say, but they will always believe what you do)
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To: Joe Republc
Ritalin is a schedule II substance, right up there with cocaine, morphine, opium, etc. Nastiness. Consult another physician before puting your child on this drug. It has lifelong consequences.
visit these websites to start your research (if you had not already begun).
http://www.sntp.net/ritalin/time_bomb.htm
http://www.healthysource.com/ritalin.html
23 posted on 08/27/2004 11:49:23 AM PDT by rjsimmons
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: Joe Republc
What made the Ped say this? Trouble at school? What are his symptoms? My oldest son is ADHD and has been on medication in the past...let me know the symptoms and Ill tell you what I did and the meds we used.
25 posted on 08/27/2004 11:50:10 AM PDT by PaulaB
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To: snooter55

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.


26 posted on 08/27/2004 11:50:18 AM PDT by MattGarrett
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To: Joe Republc
Get junior involved in a physical activity (sports, karate, Boy Scouts, etc....) where he can put that energy to use.

Turning kids into zombies isn't the solution.

27 posted on 08/27/2004 11:50:56 AM PDT by Mulder (All might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they should.-- Samuel Adams)
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To: Jagdgewehr

I agree..my son used Concerta for years...Rit was useless on him also...


28 posted on 08/27/2004 11:51:04 AM PDT by PaulaB
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To: Joe Republc
Make sure that you try other things, first. In particular, try eliminating processed sugar from his diet and (this one is important) make sure he's getting more than enough sleep (8-10 hours per night). Because the ADD mind races, people often think the child is too awake and needs to be sedated. Actually, the opposite is true. The mind is racing in order to stay awake. Ritalin isn't a sedative -- it's a stimulant.
29 posted on 08/27/2004 11:51:30 AM PDT by Question_Assumptions
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To: Joe Republc
I would never give a child an addictive drug, yes addictive. Now if they prescribed Prozac or some similar drug I might go along with that depending on the child's behavior, but you haven't gone into that. Sometimes just keeping the child busy with extra curricular activity burns of the extra energy and does wonders.
30 posted on 08/27/2004 11:51:54 AM PDT by ItsTheMediaStupid
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To: Joe Republc

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.


31 posted on 08/27/2004 11:52:37 AM PDT by truthingod
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To: Joe Republc

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.


32 posted on 08/27/2004 11:52:42 AM PDT by elephant
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To: Mulder

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


33 posted on 08/27/2004 11:52:47 AM PDT by PaulaB
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To: Joe Republc

NO
NO
NO
NO
NO

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.


34 posted on 08/27/2004 11:53:06 AM PDT by HawkeyeLonewolf (Christian First, American Second (Conservative Anti-Smoker))
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To: Joe Republc

Since you asked, NO!


35 posted on 08/27/2004 11:54:11 AM PDT by fml ( You can twist perception, reality won't budge. -RUSH)
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To: Blzbba; Joe Republc
Come back in an hour. If child is still playing, he DOES NOT HAVE ADD!!

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).

36 posted on 08/27/2004 11:54:26 AM PDT by Corin Stormhands (John Kerry LIED and good men DIED for your right to vote against him.)
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To: Joe Republc

Don't do it. I can only reiterate the reasons already presented.


37 posted on 08/27/2004 11:54:48 AM PDT by Former Proud Canadian
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To: truthingod

well said


38 posted on 08/27/2004 11:55:17 AM PDT by PaulaB
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To: Joe Republc

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.


39 posted on 08/27/2004 11:55:35 AM PDT by Aunt Polgara
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To: Joe Republc

NO HE DOES NOT NEED RITALIN! FIND A NEW DR. THAT'S AT LEAST 50 YEARS OLD...


40 posted on 08/27/2004 11:55:55 AM PDT by Red Badger (Hillary has a Coke Bottle figure....3 LITER!)
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To: Joe Republc

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.


41 posted on 08/27/2004 11:55:57 AM PDT by Protagoras (" I believe that's the role of the federal government, to help people"...GWB, 7-23-04)
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To: Joe Republc

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.


42 posted on 08/27/2004 11:56:31 AM PDT by sc2_ct (This is the way the world ends... not with a bang but a whimper)
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To: Joe Republc
Whenever any drugs are prescribed to your child the first reaction should be no. These drugs can and do have life long effects, varying in severity person to person.

This is one of those life decision that should be considered carefully, informing yourself, speaking to more then one doctor and forcing them to make the case for medication.

I do not even buy a car without checking Consumer Reports, Kelly Blue Book, asking around and visiting multiple dealerships. Does a child deserve less?
43 posted on 08/27/2004 11:57:38 AM PDT by CyberCowboy777 (Veritas vos liberabit)
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To: Joe Republc
I guess today is the day to talk about my grandkids:'). My THREE y/o went with her mom to a Navy doctor for her yearly check up. She showed her butt. This docor after observing her for a few minutes prescribed this. My DILs mom and I had a fit. She took her to another pediatrian who suggested holding off for awhile and recommended some structure and diet changes and more outside play time. She's doing much better.

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. :')

44 posted on 08/27/2004 11:58:16 AM PDT by CindyDawg
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To: Joe Republc
What are the diagnostic tests for the condition? Ask to see the actual test results. They will probably turn out to be nothing more than a teacher's opinion.

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.

45 posted on 08/27/2004 11:58:29 AM PDT by Marylander
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To: Joe Brower

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?


46 posted on 08/27/2004 11:58:29 AM PDT by Hard Way
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To: Blzbba

This has got to be the most logical solution EVER!!!

Great post!


47 posted on 08/27/2004 11:58:45 AM PDT by HawkeyeLonewolf (Christian First, American Second (Conservative Anti-Smoker))
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To: Blzbba

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.


48 posted on 08/27/2004 11:58:50 AM PDT by truthingod
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To: Joe Republc

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.


49 posted on 08/27/2004 11:58:57 AM PDT by struggle ((The struggle continues))
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To: Joe Republc

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.


50 posted on 08/27/2004 11:59:36 AM PDT by Fierce Allegiance ( "Stay safe in the "sandbox", cuz!)
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