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Old 01-21-2015, 06:42 PM
 
9,402 posts, read 8,463,352 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banjomike View Post
I have a son who suffers from severe ADD.
He went undiagnosed for a long time because he has never been hyperactive or disruptive, but at age 8, testing showed he could not concentrate on a subject for more than 10 seconds at a time. By then, he had completed the 3rd grade, but was still unable to read or write. He also suffers from dyslexia.

He was prescribed Ritalin, and we had some trouble at first getting his dosage right. He really disliked the jittery feeling it gave him, but it improved his concentration span immensely, and also helped his dyslexia very much. Eventually, his doctor found the right dosage of time-release Ritalin that helped him without giving him the jitters.

He repeated the 3rd grade, and from there on, he had no trouble keeping up with the rest of his class, and he graduated High School. A few years later, he attended a 4-year technical school and graduated from there as well. He continued to take Ritalin throughout; in his years at tech school, he medicated himself whenever he felt the need for it, as by then he could tell when is attention span began wavering.

All I can say is before Ritalin, we both believed he would never make it all the way through school. Like so many other kids who were never diagnosed, he would faithfully attend school, steadily falling farther and farther behind his classmates, until he was old enough to drop out, and then would never hold a good paying job for the rest of his life.

These days, he's making $25 hr. on his job, loves it, has purchased his own house, and is leading a happy life as an adult. If you ask him, he will say it was the Ritalin and a couple of dedicated teachers in elementary school who helped him catch up, that is responsible for who he is today. I fully agree. The difference in one year on the drug was remarkable.

I won't deny that Ritalin is being used for the wrong purposes, or that it is being over-prescribed. I am also sure that it is not a cure-all for all kids. But the drug, when carefully monitored and prescribed does work, and may be the effective first step in helping very complex cases of hyperactivity, depression, and other childhood disorders.

For Ritalin to do its work at its best capability requires a good doctor, involved parents, and good teachers and other caretakers who understand these children's problems. If any one of that combination isn't there, the child won't be as effectively treated, and may not be helped nearly as much. It is very easy to put the blame on a drug alone, but Ritalin does work, and does change young lives for the better.
Great for him ..glad he battled it.

One question actually. He PASSED 3rd grade and couldn't read or write initially?
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Chicago
607 posts, read 589,513 times
Reputation: 832
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magritte25 View Post
My son has ADHD. He has never been on medicine. It is a real disorder. I do not believe that mothers and fathers of children with ADHD are drugging their children because they are too tired to deal with their children.

I think the OP's premise is incredibly denigrating to many people, those with ADHD and parents of children with ADHD.

By the way, ritalin and other drugs are nothing close to a magic bullet. You should educate yourself on how these medicines work, how many different medications there are and how much trial and error people go through in order to find the right combo.
I think the confusion lies in implying that there is a cure for this.

Brain chemistry is very complex(beyond comprehension). There is no certainty what global effects on the young brain a battery of years of this drug can do per damage, per the fact that it is growing and maturing.

Short of severe mental illness, it is shocking that parents drink the kool-aid that big pharma has been selling with this over the years...

Perhaps patience and time, which parents have so little of now, would be far more effective...
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
21,549 posts, read 26,166,023 times
Reputation: 26574
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottkuzminski View Post
I think the confusion lies in implying that there is a cure for this.

Brain chemistry is very complex(beyond comprehension). There is no certainty what global effects on the young brain a battery of years of this drug can do per damage, per the fact that it is growing and maturing.

Short of severe mental illness, it is shocking that parents drink the kool-aid that big pharma has been selling with this over the years...

Perhaps patience and time, which parents have so little of now, would be far more effective...
No one is implying there is a cure for ADHD. Kids with it have brains that are wired differently. Their brains are still wired that way when they grow up. As banjomike has so eloquently described, the condition can be devastating in the classroom, setting these children up for failure and having an enormous negative effect on their entire future.

Your concern about long term effects is valid, but Ritalin has been around for fifty years, and that does not seem to be a problem. It has actually been studied.

Long-term efficacy and safety of treatment with stimulants and atom... - PubMed - NCBI

Neuropsychopharmacology - Long-Term Safety of Stimulant Use for ADHD: Findings from Nonhuman Primates

The meds do need to be given under the care of someone skilled in prescribing them and aware of potential adverse effects.

Untreated ADHD has consequences, including some you may not have considered:

NAMI | ADHD and Juvenile Delinquency

Boys Suffer Negative Effects of ADHD if Left Untreated - ABC News
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
28,227 posts, read 43,505,244 times
Reputation: 18682
Quote:
Originally Posted by suzy_q2010 View Post
Have you ever talked with an adult with ADHD? You might be surprised to learn what a difference medication makes in their lives. Actually, you have probably talked with a lot of adults with ADHD and did not know it, because they are happy and productive.
I'm an adult with ADD (no "H"), and was not diagnosed until my mid-30s since I'm not of the "ADD generation." At first I just tried to deal with it naturally, as I do for most other issues, but eventually it was beginning to affect my job performance etc. So for the last year I've been taking meds - first Ritalin (bad side effects for me), and now Vyvanse. I won't say it's been a miracle drug or anything, but my focus and performance at work have noticeably improved. Just ask my boss!

But the issues of adult ADD/ADHD, versus adolescents or children with the disorder, are very very different topics... and what works in the fully-developed adult brain might cause major problems for a child/teen. Also, I fully agree that it's OVER-diagnosed, but that doesn't mean it is a fake condition. Anyway, there are my two cents on the topic.
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
28,227 posts, read 43,505,244 times
Reputation: 18682
Oh, and thanks to those who've cleared up the misconceptions & myths... particularly the one regarding "not sitting still," which might be one aspect, but is certainly not the definition of ADD/ADHD. I am perfectly happy vegging out on the couch, and my job isn't highly active (kind of up to me), but my BRAIN is the part that can't always shut down. So I might be sprawled out for hours appearing to do nothing, while on the inside I've completed a whole novel. No, make that three partially-completed novels - LOL.
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
21,549 posts, read 26,166,023 times
Reputation: 26574
Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo980 View Post
I'm an adult with ADD (no "H"), and was not diagnosed until my mid-30s since I'm not of the "ADD generation." At first I just tried to deal with it naturally, as I do for most other issues, but eventually it was beginning to affect my job performance etc. So for the last year I've been taking meds - first Ritalin (bad side effects for me), and now Vyvanse. I won't say it's been a miracle drug or anything, but my focus and performance at work have noticeably improved. Just ask my boss!

But the issues of adult ADD/ADHD, versus adolescents or children with the disorder, are very very different topics... and what works in the fully-developed adult brain might cause major problems for a child/teen. Also, I fully agree that it's OVER-diagnosed, but that doesn't mean it is a fake condition. Anyway, there are my two cents on the topic.
Thanks for your input, gizmo.

For the purpose of the conversation, I am using ADHD for simplicity, though I realize many people have the inattentive features without the hyperactivity.
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Old 01-21-2015, 11:04 PM
 
3,352 posts, read 2,146,366 times
Reputation: 2232
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottkuzminski View Post
I think the confusion lies in implying that there is a cure for this.

Brain chemistry is very complex(beyond comprehension). There is no certainty what global effects on the young brain a battery of years of this drug can do per damage, per the fact that it is growing and maturing.

Short of severe mental illness, it is shocking that parents drink the kool-aid that big pharma has been selling with this over the years...

Perhaps patience and time, which parents have so little of now, would be far more effective...
My brother's meds work up to 8 hours.
His meds are on strict control because people abuse them.
My parents switch pills the first time because he was suffering from side effects badly.
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Old 01-21-2015, 11:43 PM
 
Location: Whereever we have our RV parked
8,057 posts, read 7,076,199 times
Reputation: 13497
Most of these kids diagnosed with a problem, actually do not have a problem. They have a lot of energy. The problem is adults who don't understand. Lots of kids especially boys just have a lot of energy, much more than they realize. No wonder my mother constantly sent her four boys outside to play. For example, in HS, I could play full court basketball at full speed for hours at a time. When boys and young men have that kind of energy level, sitting in school and paying attention is difficult.

But I have another final comment. From what I know, a lot of these ADHD kids are actually pretty smart kids. Part of the problem is that they are bored in school and that was certainly true of me. I hated HS. I was bored out of my mind, but loved college because all of a sudden, the classes were running twice as fast and we were actually learning things rather than enduring hours of not much more than babysitting. IHMO, we should look at the problems with the way schools are being run, not blaming the kids for not being able to conform to boredom and mediocrity.
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Old 01-22-2015, 12:08 AM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
21,549 posts, read 26,166,023 times
Reputation: 26574
Quote:
Originally Posted by augiedogie View Post
Most of these kids diagnosed with a problem, actually do not have a problem. They have a lot of energy. The problem is adults who don't understand. Lots of kids especially boys just have a lot of energy, much more than they realize. No wonder my mother constantly sent her four boys outside to play. For example, in HS, I could play full court basketball at full speed for hours at a time. When boys and young men have that kind of energy level, sitting in school and paying attention is difficult.

But I have another final comment. From what I know, a lot of these ADHD kids are actually pretty smart kids. Part of the problem is that they are bored in school and that was certainly true of me. I hated HS. I was bored out of my mind, but loved college because all of a sudden, the classes were running twice as fast and we were actually learning things rather than enduring hours of not much more than babysitting. IHMO, we should look at the problems with the way schools are being run, not blaming the kids for not being able to conform to boredom and mediocrity.
ADHD is not just "a lot of energy". It is not being "bored", which for you appears to be due to a poor school. The kid with AD(H)D cannot focus on one thing long enough to be bored with it.

As gizmo980 has reminded us, not everyone has the hyperactivity component. Some just have the concentration difficulty.
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Old 01-22-2015, 06:18 AM
 
2,606 posts, read 543,597 times
Reputation: 6473
When I worked with kids with ADD, I was always amazed that they couldn't concentrate on tests/academics/household chores, but even the ones with hyperactivity could concentrate for hours on computer/video games. Any thoughts as to why this form of attention was not a problem with them?
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