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What You Should Consider About ADHD Medicationsby Angie Dixon
I know some of my readers are up in arms that I even
wrote this article. You think there is no question about
ADHD medications. The funny thing is, some of you think
there's no question that your child SHOULD take ADHD
medication, and some of you think there's no question
that your child SHOULD NOT take medication for ADHD.
The truth is, it's a very individual decision, and
there are a lot of things to consider. First, just to
be fair, let me say that my son takes ADHD medication
and will as long as I have anything to say about it.
For us, not medicating is not an option. It helps him
handle his ADHD symptoms and he does better in school
and at home. He stays out of ADHD-related trouble caused
by impulsive behavior and gets better grades than before
the ADHD medication. He also has more friends because he's
easier to be around. That's why we decided to medicate
Jack's ADHD in spite of side effects like lack of sleep
and lack of appetite.
When deciding not to medicate ADHD kids, a lot of parents
talk about fear of side effects. This is a legitimate
concern and one you should discuss with your doctor
before deciding for sure against medications. Since
ADHD medications affect different people in different
ways, it's possible to mitigate side effects.
Some parents just don't want to give their kids medication
for something that is "normal kid behavior." To this I
would submit that if you're concerned enough about ADHD
to be discussing medication, it might not be "normal."
Other parents really want to try natural
remedies/diet/alternative therapies for ADHD first. Again,
I would say do your research and know what really works
in treating ADHD and what you're getting into.
Some parents believe every ADHD child should be medicated,
and don't investigate very thoroughly what medication might
work best for their child, but just go with the first thing
the doctor suggests. I would suggest that ADHD medication
is at best an art and not a science, and sometimes ADHD is
very hard to medicate correctly.
My point in all this? There is no right answer. There is
what's right for you and your child, and the best judge
of that is you, once you've researched all the
possibilities and are making informed decisions.
For me, the informed choice is to medicate my son and
myself. For you, there may be something that works better.
But you need to do your homework first.
Angie Dixon is a writer and ADHD mom of an ADHD
son, Jack. For a free report on helping your
ADHD son, see Angie's site "That's My Son!"
Anthony Kane, MD
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